They say the purpose of the story arc is to give one an artifact—real or imagined—with which one can plot out one’s story. One of the speakers at the writer’s conference even had us make an arc in the air with our fingers “to help you visualize the arc.” I made no arc. There are, unfortunately, boring parts to every tale, and this one is no different. Except the most boring parts of this story are what brought me to Fog City in the first place… But this puts me way ahead of myself, and is possibly the worst first paragraph ever written, if, that is, the first paragraph is meant to pull the reader in, and it is, but I don’t really care about that as much as I should. So I push on, and besides, we can take this out in post…so they say.
Once I made it back to land, I walked over to a little diner that I noticed on my way down to the pier. Fog City Diner is a great spot to eat, their prices are reasonable for the quality and quantity of food you receive, which is great, but wasn’t why I stopped there. I stopped there because it looks like a 50’s roadhouse diner (or is it roadside) (pain don’t hurt). I was completely ignorant of the prices and the food. The place, however, was beautiful to look at, and that was all I needed to decide I would like to sit there for an hour or so, and if a meal was to pass by my lips during that interval, all the better. All that to say, if you’re ever down at Pier 33, having just returned from Alcatraz Island, and want to get a good burger, and have lots of choices for things to go with the burger or in lieu of it, you could do a lot worse than Fog City Diner. This blog is already paying for itself.
I had no idea how long it was going to take me to get to my hotel from the diner so I headed that way. It had been around 30hrs since I had slept, so the hike up the hill was going to be a long one, of that I was certain. I had no map, but knew that if I walked uphill, more or less, I would probably find it, which was good enough for me. While passing the Homeland Security building I heard a scuffle behind me. This was disturbing to me—while walking through the substantial shadow being cast by this monument to citizen suspects (yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow…)…this bastion of big government nanny-statery…this welcome to the neighborhood gift of Bush-era conservatism—the last thing I wanted to hear was a fight. I was not in the mood to hear anything save for some birds singing—but alas—they know better than to hang out under the long shadow of fascism. Fascism, it turns out, is definitely not for the birds. I don’t know why I get so edgy every time I see the Homeland Security logo…this is my homeland…I ain’t agin’ security, I’m all fer it (that last piece was meant to sound like an old-timey resident of the Ozarks, not the victim of a minor stroke—now that that is clear go re-read it for a good laugh). No? Well it was worth a try. It turns out the scuffle was a one man show…a single protester in the “Occupy Gravity” movement who was laying down his well-being in protest of uneven sidewalks. “Are you okay?” I asked. “Yes”, he replied. And I think he was. At least from the fall, he had—as they say—bigger fish to fry when it came to his health. This was evident as he scrambled away frenetically mumbling about something. That was my cue shit had gotten a little too weird for me, and I made my way—post haste—out of the valley of the shadow of…I forget my point.
750 words in, and I’ve only traveled 5 blocks, and possibly two hours—in real time—into my story before I got hung-up on some anti-establishmentarian goat trail. I fear this blog is becoming increasingly self-serving. It is not my wont to spend excess time raging against faceless machines, but my mind is—at times—given over to this sort of rabid delusion. I promise to get back to the story at hand, whatever that may be, soon. Heavy is the head so they say… more times than not the head weighs more than the crown…but at times like this it is best not to get bogged down in the details of self-reflection. One is rarely fond of the dirty reflection that faces one in the small hours of the morning. Make no mistake: these are the small hours of history. Homeland Security has been protecting us from ourselves since 2001, which seems like a big deal at first shine. That is, until I realize that I have a rock in my room that has been protecting me from crocodile attacks for one helluva lot longer than that…and with more efficacy. And no, the rock is not for sale.