San Francisco is famous for many obvious things: Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, and also…street performers. Most common were those that frequented the streets of ye olde days—juggler, contortionist, escape artiste, storyteller—performing various tricks and jokes of all kinds. And this is one person. Whenever I’m at Pier 39, I always catch a performance, since they’re free, and pay them a bill at the end of their performance, as this is how they make their living.
This one particular entertainer started doing her shtick by juggling three, lit torches. About a hundred adults and children stood around the stage at the back of the pier, silent. Flags flapped behind as the wind blew.
“What?” the performer asked. “You see this every day?”
Everyone, including myself, applauded and hooted. She said it in jest, but had a point.
I’ve started going on hikes with random people to explore my surrounding world a bit. I’ve found beautiful places that I’ve lived next to, never knowing they were so close. This past weekend, on a particular hike in Big Sur, two fauna had stopped in their tracks in yellow grass. Both stared at me, ready to leap away if I made an attempt to tear into their flesh. I’m not that kind of predator, but they didn’t know that.
However, it was the first time that I could remember where an animal was reading me. Their eyes were locked onto me, sensing my every move. I guess taking out my camera to take a picture wasn’t threatening, since they stayed and smiled. OK. They didn’t smile, but they didn’t move. We shared a unique and intense moment. Pretty awesome. I strolled away quietly.
At the end of the hike, a small Asian man was talking to a small group of hikers and marveled at the mountains that lay before us. He mentioned that there was nothing to see until you made it to the end of the trail. I said I saw fauna as we were hiking in.
His slanty eyes glared at me though his dark sunglasses. “If I don’t have a mountain in my face, then it’s not scenery,” he asserted. I don't know how to fit a mountain in his face, but I guess the vast Pacific Ocean behind us wasn't impressing him either.
“So do you see fauna every day?” I jested.
Again, those slanty eyes glared and he proceeded to talk to his group, ignoring me.
At the end of our day, some of us went to a seafood restaurant to eat. When finished, this same guy said good-bye to every table, and when it came to mine, he strode by and ignored me as I waved my hand.
“Do ya feel tha heat?” I thought to myself. Small man’s complex. Yes, surprisingly enough, this guy was shorter than me. But who’s counting.
One of the best places on display for the Napoleon Complex is the gym. When I go after work, it gets crowded. So paths are gonna be crossed, people bump into each other, guys wanting to show how tough and beefy they are will grunt and yell as they lift. Almost always, those who don’t yield and barge into your path, who stare and compare the amount of weight lifted to yours, and grunt and yell tend to be short men. I don’t ever see this behavior from women, but they tend to compare tits, legs and ass, something I like to take note as well. Ahem.
There’s nothing I can do about being short. After struggling with being vertically challenged, I found accepting it was the best and only choice. Scoffing at anyone’s precious moment is something I don’t do either. I’ve realized as I march toward my own mortality that every moment is precious, even those spent writing useless articles.