Had a lunch meeting with someone at a Dim Sum place located near the Embarcadero BART station in the city. It’s a crystal-clear day. Leave work at 11am in Alameda and get to the West Oakland BART station, the last stop in the East Bay before reaching the city. There’s a seven-mile-ish long tunnel under the bay between Oakland and SF that the trains go through. Somewhere midway (I imagine) on trips under the water, I sometimes (used to always) imagine the tunnel cracking and beginning to fill with water. Which way would I swim? Etc.
A guy with a beat-up bike but a put-together mien got on with me in West Oakland. I don’t pay him too much mind, but then something alerts me to him, maybe I overhear him talking drugtalk on a burner-like cell phone. One look says dude’s going for a mid-day heroin ride. (From Trainspotting: heroin’s a thousand times better than sex. That always blew my mind. “My God! Then that’s some amazing sh!%.” Reminds of the time, one time, when I was helping a friend in Humboldt County, that Wild West, huge Northern California county on her 40-acre mountainside property. We were cleaning out her greenhouse; black widows had decided to set up shop in the white elbows of the structure inside. She was cleaning up the property from a previous owner, who had left rotting structures (full of rotting, silverfish-eaten books, and Playboys! and I remember a defunct, full-size school bus? I’d pound the back of an axe into the crumbling studs of the half-down structure, rat sh$% pouring down on me, decades-old raccoon dander, decaying possum hair, filling the air, coating my skin and my lungs? Anyhow, we found a jar of poppy seeds in one of the structures, literally poppy seeds. How do they differ from the bagel kind? The previous owner grew poppies, she said; they would grow the plants, let them grow flowerbuds and then take a razorblade and carve an X in them at night and let the sap ooze out overnight and then collect it in the morning, balling it up into a gummy, tacky ball of opium. They did that until the government helicopters rose over the hillside one day and spotted the plants and busted them.).
Got to lunch, quiet, early. Dim Sum ladies passing every few minutes with tacky-noodles filled with spinach, pork, other stuff.
Over at 12:30. The place absolutely packed now, walked a block to Embarcadero BART station and back to West Oakland and then Alameda at 1:00, after a drug-pulling stop at Blue Bottle, which was on the way (I swear!).