Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

When speaking of love, it is important to acknowledge — in addition to the things which one does love — that which one does not. You know, for the sake of balance. God forbid I write of yin while neglecting the yang.

* * *
Scene: An apartment building in San Francisco. Morning. A light shines from a window on the second floor. Inside, a girl sits drinking tea on the couch. A Chet Baker CD is playing softly in the background. Out on the street, a car sits idling. Loud music is playing from inside it.

Shannon: What the fuck is that?

Chet Baker [singing]: Myyy, fuuunny valentiii– wha’s what?

Shannon: That. That noise. I can’t believe someone is playing the Beastie Boys before 6 in the morning. That’s just — wrong. The BB are for night time, yo — nighttime!

Chet Baker: I hear that. I’m for the morn, right, Shanny? I’m your morning dude?

Shannon: Damn straight, Chet. You and me, pal. In the A.M. It’s you and me. I don’t know what this person is thinking. Disrespect, man… disrespect.

Shannon walks to the window and looks out. Through the tinted windows of the car a thin ribbon of cigarette smoke leaks out, an extension of the driver’s wrist. Shannon slides open the window.

Shannon: Damn it. [speaking to the driver of the car:] Uh, excuse me? Hey, sweetheart — mind turning your music down? It’s not even 6 in the morning.

The girl in the car does not indicate she’s heard anything.

Chet Baker: Maybe she didn’t hear you.

Shannon [yelling]: Hey — hey! You, in the car! It’s SIX IN THE MORNING. Turn your music down, woudja?

Chet Baker: I didn’t mean yell.

Shannon: Go get lost, Chet.

Chet Baker [hurt]: Jus’ tryin’ ta help. You don’t have to get so — so, aggressive…

Shannon turns around, shuts the window. She turns up the music.

Shannon: Come on, Chet. You can take on the Beastie Boys, can’t you?

Chet Baker remains silent except for his lonely crooning. Shannon sighs in exasperation.

Shannon: Wussy.

The thumping of the car stereo below grows louder.

Shannon: (Beat.) Oh, so we’re going to play like that now, are we?

Shannon opens up the window, grabs the nearest object in site, and does what any mature, self-respecting city dweller would do: she throws the object out the window onto the hood of the car. The music stops. There is clicking of the car door handle as if opening. Shannon, in a moment of panic, dives away from the window. Yelling comes from outside.

Shannon: Shit. Now she’s pissed.

Shannon hears the car door shut again. Then the horn blares for 10 long seconds. The music resumes, louder than before.

Chet Baker: Now you’ve done it.

Shannon: Shut up, Chet! Man, I can’t believe this. What a bitch. When I say I love most everything about my city, you know — all this B.S. I write about on my blog –well, most of it’s true. From the places to the food to the people, I do, I really do love it all — the people! O! I love the people. From canvas-KQED-bag-toting literaries to suited bankers to barefooted neo-hippies to Timbuktu-saddled bike messengers — even right down to the goddamn pigeons, if only that I love to hate them.

Chet Baker: I don’t mind the pigeons so much.

Shannon rolls her eyes.

Shannon: But something I do not love at all, cannot love, with any portion of my expensive-yoga-class-induced open-heartedness, is what these people — always quirky, often stupid — do; I can love them when they manifest themselves as graceful extensions of the complexity and uniqueness of humanity, embodying the continual bliss and mystery of what it means to be a human being…

Chet Baker rolls his eyes.

Shannon: I do not, however, love these people when they decide to manifest themselves as skanky-ass, Hundai-driving, chain-smoking, crinkly-haired, music-thumping assholes. I love many things, but this? I cannot love this.

Shannon crawls to the window and peaks out. She can see the driver straining to see from where the aerial assault has come.

Shannon: Now, I’m a morning person you know?

Chet Baker nods.

Shannon: It wasn’t that she woke me up when she started blasting “Brass Monkey, That Chunky Monkey” from her cheap-ass speakers this morning at 5:45–and don’t get me wrong — the Beastie Boys and I go way back.

Chet Baker: That you do.

Shannon: It was her audacity, you know? It ruined my mood; I was drinking tea. I was chilling with you, my old buddy Chet Baker. I even had on slippers. Slippers! And then with the thump-thump-thump.

Outside the girl revs the engine of the car once, twice — three times. The music continues to play at an increased volume. The horn honks intermittently.

Shannon: Wow. Okay — wow. This girl really just wants to piss somebody off, doesn’t she?

Chet Baker [mumbling]: Looks like she already has.

Shannon: I’m not listening to you anymore.

Shannon hits the pause button on the CD player and stomps to the closet, grabbing a sweatshirt. She grabs her keys, and runs down the two flights of stairs to the apartment building lobby. ‘Now you’re really going to get it’ she thinks. Just as she flings open the front door of the building, she sees the taillights of the Hundai as the car pulls away. Shannon, standing now on the sidewalk at 6:15am wearing nothing but a nightie, slippers, and oversized sweatshirt, fumes.

Shannon: Fuck!

A window above her slides open. A head appears out of the darkness

Head: Hey! It’s not even 6:30 in the morning. Mind keeping it down out there?

Shannon pauses for a moment, stunned. Then a smile cracks over her lips.

Shannon: I love this city.

§141 · February 25, 2006 · Love Project, Narrative, San Francisco glory · · [Print]

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