Issue 6: Disappeared
FICTION & NONFICTION by: J.M. Tyree, Alvin Orloff, Jim Nelson, Tiny (Lisa) Grey-Garcia, Rodrigo Jimenez, Gravity Goldberg, Kevin Hobson, Cynthia Mitchell, Evan Rehill, Lincoln Mitchell, L.J. Moore, Matt Stewart, Charlie Anders, Jon Longhi, Shari Mueller, Alia Volz, Suzanne Kleid, Chris Williams, Riki Rebel Garcia, Pei Wang, & Eric Zassenhaus
Ruby the Pizza Guy
Among the emails, phone calls, and notes congratulating us after my younger son, Reuben, was born was one from one of my oldest friends from San Francisco, asking if I had named him “after the pizza guy.” Reuben was named after my wife’s grandmother Ruth. But after he was born, and as we began to call him Ruby, I found myself thinking more about “the pizza guy.”
C. Bobby & The Owl Tree
It was an annoyingly bright October morning, too warm too early in the day, when I learned Bobby had died. I read it over breakfast on the Chronicle’s obituary page. I looked up and told myself I should have a drink, not to settle my nerves, but a final tip o’ the glass to one of San Francisco’s last great bartenders.
What do we remember about this place?
Those of us who can remember being children here remember the feeling of cold, the smell of eucalyptus, and hunger.
We all got high, mostly on pot that was stolen from someone’s parents. We got high on anything we could.
Day of the Dead
“Let’s move to the Mission,” Maggie says. We’re lying diagonally across the bed, my prick turning soft beneath the covers. It’s hard to hear her over my post-coital breathing. “You could use a change in scenery, and there’s so much going on.”
“Uh-huh,” I grunt. She knows how much I hate that neighborhood.
The Rainbow Lady of Fisherman’s Wharf
Everything was closed for the holiday. I lived right off Union Street and I was amazed how quiet San Francisco could be. I was crossing a totally deserted street when, out of nowhere, a white Porsche came zooming and barely missed me and caused me to fall down. The guy pulled over and got out and he was real apologetic— and just gorgeous! He said, “Well the least I can do after knocking you off your feet is take you out to dinner.”
Along the Great Highway
Chick Perkins’ cherry ’59 Chevy roars up the Great Highway. In the darkness, headlamps reveal only the moment of road before him, and if he didn’t know this stretch like his face in a mirror it might seem a mystery. But a road doesn’t change. Once you know it, you know it, and following it’ll never lead you anywhere different until you decide to steer a new course.
Carlos y Elegua
A Road No One Knows How to Begın or End
From the Poverty Hero Series
barely afternoon black sky arms and legs scent creaking against broad ridden dirt perfectly safe blue had spent a life repairing mangled bones crushed maxillas collapsed cheekbones torn lips hamburger meat bits of cement and asphalt embedded skin rumbling idle of steam age
Off of Washington Street near Grant, you’ll find an unassuming little byway cutting you a path toward Jackson Street. You’ll see tourists clustered in front of the fortune cookie factory, locals toting pink bags of groceries, laundry hung out to dry on the fire escapes high above the storefronts.
Here is where, early in December 1875, a prostitute named Xijiao was slaughtered in her room.