Issue 4: Love
FICTION & NONFICTION by:
Sean Beaudoin, Raina Bird, Mickey Disend, Susana Kittredge, Joe Donohoe, Broke-Ass Stuart, Janet Wells, Manuel Jimenez, Karen Lewis, Ruby Wexler, Jeremy Adam Smith, Loren Rhoads, Jennifer Blowdryer, R. Puccini and Jim Nawrocki.
An Interview with North Beach Cop Mark Alvarez Interviewed by Eric Zassenhaus I grew up in the Mission, and South of Market, but I didn’t hang out there. I hung out in North Beach. We used to cut school and come into North Beach. It used to rain a lot in San Francisco—at least I
Sucker Punched in the Noriega Street Punch Bowl
Ocean Beach is not for the timid or weak. The bone chilling water keeps most people out. Its reputation as part of the “bloody triangle,” a wedge shaped, shark infested sliver of ocean real-estate spanning Monterey to the Bolinas Lagoon, is probably responsible for keeping the rest out. But the real threat is the strong rip tides that can wear out the most capable swimmers.
Is there some numerological, cabalistic lore the city consults in naming San Francisco’s bus lines? I’ve never really tried to divine whether there’s any logic to it; there probably is, and it’s no doubt disappointingly quotidian, so I prefer to think of the various bus designations as separate states of mind.
I had spotted him at a warehouse party South of Market, before people called it that. Two missing front teeth, a pork pie hat, and a big grin that came from a whole city (Philadelphia), a whole drug, a whole music, and I wanted him. I invited him to a party at my house, on Octavia Street, and he came. I tried to pressure him into sex, but he couldn’t get it up.
“Don’t leave!” I implored.
“Alright” he promised, nonchalantly.
Lessons for the Beginning Masseur
It may be a loaded question, but it’s one I have to ask: “So, what kind of work do you do?” Most clients hesitate to answer. They look back at me through suspiciously cocked eyes and choose their words carefully, as if the information I’m looking for is going to be used against them. Maybe they think I’ll charge them more, or suggest they come in more often, if they have a higher paying job. How they use their body on a daily basis, what stresses they subject it to, where they carry their tension: These are the things I want to know, and it’s why I ask the question.
The peeling Victorian sits on the north side of Cesar Chavez, on the south side of a Safeway lot, three lanes of non-stop traffic and no good bars to speak of. Two flats are connected by a tile staircase, an ever-present smell of wet rug and spilled soy and roommate. There’s a crayoned wall and a stack of Viet-era magazines and a fireplace filled with dead flowers. I hear everything from my center room: laughter, anger, orgasm. Running along my spine, the vibrations rise through the joists and the cheap plank floor.
Pier 39, K Docks
Glossy, brown, and whiskered, blubber and bark,
I left my heart with the sea lions
who fight and snuggle on their piers,
some flipper to flank looking almost like love
while alpha males galumph and butt
their rivals from their comfy berths.
Rider of the Jade Horse
Penman stared at her back muscles. He’d been femme-fucked by a variety of androgynous giantesses in his time, but never by one with such a developed physique. He was admiring Jihan Li’s hilly trapezius and the sweep of her latissimus dorsi when she turned and thrust the gift box at him.
Leaning upon one elbow he opened the present and began peeling away the tissue paper, doing his best to keep his eyes off her breasts. Then the paper was gone and Penman was looking at a small horse.
San Francisco, 1976, between earthquakes. An elevated artery of freeway towers over the Embarcadero, pulsing a steady stream of vehicles down into the narrow, slower heart of the city. Susanna walks, steadies her camera against the edge of a wall pasted with posters that advertise concerts she missed, consumer junk that she will never buy. A hopscotch of empty lots south-of-market, the area known as Yerba Buena, holds little hint of the convention center, museums, baseball complex, luxury condominiums yet to arrive in future decades. Susanna is drawn to the margins between decay and development, places where a wild hawk might roost on a cracked concrete wall.
Guy’s ad was the first one I ever answered. Except for a one-nighter with someone I met at a conference two days after I filed my divorce papers, no one had touched me since my soon-to-be-ex-husband. I’d been window shopping for men through the Salon and Nerve personals.