Posted by: facetothewind | June 26, 2011

Pink Saturday

Gay Pride in San Francisco has reached fever pitch. The neighborhood is just swarming, pulsing, thumping. It seems to be reaching a vulgar crescendo with the streets teaming with hungry people. They come from all over the world, by bridge and tunnel, hungry to consume, to get drunk, drawn to the madman’s drum. The eyes of people in the evening are glazed over, their eyelids both heavy from substances and bright with the prospects of something they hope to find. Something draws these masses together to cut loose and scream and piss in the street. It seems that it’s both a sense of freedom people are longing for and a sense of connection that they must have now. It’s also a sense of belonging to some tribe that we call Gay and the drumbeats of the DJ’s are calling them out into the street and working them into a frenzy.

Here’s a little video clip of the swarming madness…

Earlier in the day, I followed Anders around a bit becoming his audience and groupie as he busked the streets. He ended up losing more money than he was making as homeless people kept hounding him for money, scamming him and taking money out of his guitar case. In two hours of performing at Civic Center, he had earned about $2 in quarters. I enjoyed watching and harmonizing quietly in the background with him. I carried his viola case around and encouraged him to do San Francisco songs, rainbow songs and New York New York (in honor of the gay marriage victory there). Still it didn’t produce any cash.

He seemed demoralized by the experience. I bought him a cup of coffee and put a dollar in his case. I shared my maple glaze doughnut with him. And I listened. It seemed all I could do.

He’s awfully cute (and he knows it), awfully talented and I appreciate his artistic struggle. There’s something in me that longs to be able to just pull out an instrument and sing to anyone. The day wore him down as no one stopped to listen. “I just want to play for someone who wants to listen,” he told me. Don’t we all. We went to the Castro and he immediately fell in with another guitarist. They jammed for a long time until I began to feel like I was getting in the way and I took off home for a nap. He sent me a text later on that he had met a hottie and was going to Redwood City with him. I’m off to Ukiah. Our paths have diverged and I was grateful for the music we shared, and the sweet kisses.

Anders’ text message to me of having found a “hottie” left me feeling the sting of lost connections. It caused me to see Gay Pride in a different light. I suddenly felt like an outsider, too old and sensitive to participate in the ruckus, at once turned out by the illusion of brotherhood. We all seem to be longing to connect in some way, whether it’s dancing in the street with some hot guy fantasizing of where this might go or singing in harmony on a windy corner with a misty-eyed troubadour.

And so I’m up in the middle of the night awash with the feelings of these deeply intimate moments we spend with strangers and the ones we think aren’t. And I realize we’re all singers to each other just trying to find that moment of sweet harmony.

Happy trails to Anders and to all the people who came to the Castro seeking something deep. I hope you found it and didn’t just leave us with urine soaked streets for nothing!

Here are a few shots of Pink Saturday 2011…

The poor darlings.

* * *

Next stop: Mendocino County.

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Responses

  1. Fantastic shot of the MinPin with the zebra togs.
    Have fun up north…


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