Monday, April 5, 2010

the center is closed, a story

We walk from the Timbuk2 store to Market Street passing the tiny park with curly, white dogs.

Will it matter is the question I want to ask him, but instead, “are you hungry?”

“No,” he says. “Are you?”

“No,” I say followed by an obvious grumbling from inside. “Well, a little.”

He smiles at me; his teeth are so white. He tells me it’s because of his toothpaste, but I use the same kind.

We turn the corner and stand in front of the LGBT Center. Closed.

“That’s right,” he says. “It’s MLK Day.”

“Where else can we go?” I think out loud. “Magnet? No, it’s probably closed today too. Where did Alex go to get his test?”

“It was a booth at the Castro Street Fair,” he tells me.

“Oh,” I say. “I guess it would be pretty expensive to go to the hospital.”

“Yeah. It’s ok,” he turns to me. “We’ll go another day.”

“Yeah.” I walk up to the door of The Center. It is black inside. A typed sign informs us that The Center will re-open tomorrow.

“Tomorrow?” I ask. “I can meet you here anytime after 1. We can make a day of it- come here, then go to that new bookstore on Octavia, then come back for the results. Then we can go to Philz, get coffee.”

“School starts tomorrow,” he says.

“Oh. Then when?”

“Soon,” he says. “I’ll go soon.”

We start walking toward BART. He’s telling me about his brother’s wedding. We stop at a corner waiting for the illuminated white male icon to tell us it’s safe to walk. Across the street is Martuni’s.

“Wanna grab a beer?” he says.

“It’s on me,” I say.

“No, I’m buying.”

“You bought last time.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“You did.”


I look both ways, then bolt across the multi-lane street, but I’ve always been a slow runner. I see his jet black hair sprint ahead of me, and he is already at the bar ordering my Blue Moon when I make it inside.

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