tim and veronica live in The Haight

This morning I went on a scouting mission: Books for Adam. Every month I spend two or three hours on my hands and knees scouring the bookshelves at any number of smelly secondhand stores in the greater Seattle area. I crawl around workmanlike on the floor, pulling out every single book in search of literary treasure for the growing mind. When I’m done, hopefully I’ll leave the store with a stack of good books two or three feet high. Old ladies in line at the cash register look upon me with the type of admiration ordinarily reserved for returning soldiers and ask if I’m a teacher. Adam loves books and I love reading to him, it’s probably the only thing I excel at as a parent.

I took a few moments to look for myself and found one of Sunset’s neat old travelogue books, this one was about San Francisco. Unfortunately the binding split apart in my hands. The glue that was supposed to keep the spine together crackled like Rice Crispies and dusted my feet with prehistoric glue-sprinkles. On a page inside the disintegrating book, the photograph you see below was taped next to a map of the central city- A line was drawn diagonally with ink from the picture to a dainty asterisk on the corner of Oak and Divisadero. A note said “Tim and Veronica live here”. I could barely hang on to all the falling-out pages but I still tried to take the book home because it had intriguing maps and diagrams of the city inside (I had an idea to use them in one of my useless special projects). I stood there dangling all the loose pages and cover in a mangled mess for the cashier to see and yet she insisted I’d still need to fork out $1.99 for the pleasure of emptying the store’s recycling bin. I disbelievingly but politely handed the pile of papers over to her and she tossed them in the garbage. The people in line behind me gasped with sympathy. Well, I still have the picture of Tim and Veronica’s house. I’m going to keep it and find that house someday and knock on the door and see if anyone is home. I hope Tim and Veronica still live there.

On a whim, Adam and I tried to get to Haight-Ashbury by foot one night. A bus we caught from North Beach deposited us between Nob and Russian Hills and after several failed attempts to hitch a ride on the Powell-Hyde cable car (too full) I told Adam about the Painted Ladies bordering Alamo Square. He liked the idea and so we decided to go there and then bounce up to Buena Vista Park for another nice view. My plan was to catch a bus but none of them were in our haphazard trajectory so we just kept walking. I bought Adam an ice cream sandwich and he dripped half of it into my hair while riding piggyback on my shoulders. We made it as far as Lafayette Square, where it was revealed he’d developed a blister on his right heel. It was getting too late, anyway. So we called off the crazy plan and caught a bus on Clay Street that took us through Chinatown and, no kidding, straight back to our hotel by the Ferry Building. So that turned out all right.

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