Friday, December 03, 2010

Public Street Death and Secret Sidewalks

"Are you alive?"

I got the above text from my old roomie Alisa on the evening of October 8. "Yeah. Why, shouldn't I be?"

"Cool. Just wanted to make sure you weren't the cyclist that got killed by a Muni bus on 6th and Clement a couple hrs ago."

"Not the guy. Thank Jeebus."
The unfortunate rider, who is under the yellow tarp, under the bus, next to his bike, was 22-year-old Derek Allen. From what I gather, the driver of one of the buses--both on the 44 O'Shaughnessy line--pulled around a stopped bus blocking the northbound lane, into the southbound, or "oncoming traffic" side of the street. Schedules to keep, man--time to hammer it into oncoming traffic. At the same time, Allen, who was riding on the sidewalk on the southbound side of the street, unaware that his death was just over his right shoulder, popped into the lane in front of it.

This is four blocks from my house. With the amount of traffic congestion on Clement and all the avenues around it between Arguello and Park Presidio, I'm not sure why Muni's got to try to ramrod a bus through that neighborhood--maybe they'll stop and consider whether it's worth it.

Derek's aunt has written a remembrance, which was placed on a ghost bike chained on 6th and Clement. There's been a memorial fund set up benefiting the ceramics program at his high school alma mater in Pleasanton, Amador Valley High.

Here are some photos of the ghost bike, which is no longer there. Unfortunately, I take a million years to write a post, and this one has been sitting for a bit.

Rest in peace, my two-wheeled brother.
I left this Flick Trix mini 2-Hip Pork as a memento:
And this Vuelta ring. Wanted to leave something that'd come off one of my bikes, something I'd ridden. Came back a couple days later and someone had swiped it. Really? Youre going to steal shit from a memorial? I bet your mom looks forward to getting giant "Rest In Peace" wreaths from the graveyard every Mother's Day.
Well, it's going to be hard to switch gears on the death of a 22-year-old bike rider, but I believe in harsh juxtapostions. Hence, I'll relate something that happened more recently--last night, to be specific. I came home from work at 4:30am, after promising my lady not to be too late. Okay, strike one.

Now, I've been known to talk in my sleep. My friend Shane used to prod me when I was fading out in order to get me to say weird shit. "Camel, man. Superman..." was one prophetic utterance from back in those days.

I've also been known to roll over with a boner and go to work. I'm sure most guys have done this--especially after drinking. You wake up fucking.

Last night was a combo. Sort of. The only thing I remember is waking up at 5:30am to my girl screaming at me. "I can't believe you woke me up--AGAIN! And what the fuck are you talking about? What are you saying?"

She stormed back to her place in the dark. The hilarious part, aside from my heavy drinking and ofttimes dysfunctional relationship--because you know that shit is just too funny--was how I woke her up. I was murmuring about "newts" and "salamanders" in her earhole, because chicks dig amphibians, I guess--then I slapped the shit out of her ass. Hard. Three times in a row.

I remember none of this. I was sleep-slapping.

Sorry, babe. Please don't stab my eyes out with a pencil.

Maybe these next two videos will make you feel better. I promise to tickle tickle your vagina as well as doggie it to satisfaction.

Since I'm bearded and bald, I'm sure if I ever run into the above songstress, Majela ZeZe Diamond by name, I am guaranteed [read like Cajun Man: "Gay-rohn-teeeed!"] to get laid.

God, I hope I never run into her.

Finally, I've had these pictures of the Secret Sidewalk in the hills of Niles (North Fremont) sitting on my computer for awhile. It's a place where we used to go in high school to smoke weed and drink. I only went a couple times back then and didn't really explore as much as I should have. The place is amazing and weird--it's a sidewalk in the middle of nowhere, going nowhere. What I discovered on the last trip, though, was that it's hollow--a mile long square tube, probably meant to be an aquaduct at one time. It'd be awesome and scary to climb inside with a headlamp and see what's in there--there's only one way to get in, so if there was a Yeti--or, as oft reported, a troll--you'd have to run in a 4 foot high enclosed concrete tunnel for a mile to get out. There has to be bodies inside there.

In addition to the sidewalk itself, there's the remains of a brick factory, with bricks marked for Northern California towns, landmarks, and counties, I'm assuming. Richmond, Merced, and my favorite, Diablo. The only thing that's left of the factory is three giant smokestacks, and tons of bricks arranged by local stoners into benches and various statements. The really odd thing is that I went to dinner at the most delicious Hali'imaile General Store in Maui, and the front of the building had these bricks. Odd.

My Nikon battery ran out on this trip, so I was forced to take a bunch of photos with my new iPhone. Here are the Nikon pics, the iPhone pics will be in the next post. This is mostly the area surrounding the Sidewalk--next post will have photos of the actual Sidewalk. (As usual, if you'd like to see a photo embiggened, click on it.)
Bird skull leaf:The lady, pre-Newt Molestation:
Next batch of photos soon.

I have to admit: sometimes I have doubts.

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