Melancholy

Last night I was bummin’, just kind of chilling out at home, thinking about how I don’t tend to really take care of my life. I work a lot, and bang on the computer a lot, but don’t really feather my nest, or nourish my brain, or any of that. No reason why or why not, it’s just what I’m “thrown” to do. It’s my normal behavior unless I arrest it with a higher priority task or long-term goal.
So it was 12:30am and I thought what the hell, why not go for a long walk? I’ve been meaning to visit Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street, and it’s open 24 hours. Bob’s is the only independent donut shop left in San Francisco (or so I’m told), and I’ve read that it’s the only one that doesn’t use the standard doughnut dough. Really! No matter where you go for a donut in SF, they all taste the same and mostly look the same. So depressing! But I’d heard rumors that Bob’s is the holdout. So I went on a quest.
It’s about a 30 minute walk to Bob’s, so I brought along my MP3 player with Diana Krall in it. Diana Krall’s music is good for a melancholy mood, and as I walked it occurred to me that the melancholy mood is one I rather like. It’s reflected in the music and movies I enjoy the most: Round Midnight, Blue, Miles Davis, Diana Krall… I have vivid memories of walking around with this same “kind of bummin'” feeling while I was in college (15 years ago), listening to Miles Davis after breaking up with someone. With that mood and an overcast or foggy sky, I just feel very comfortable, and it inspires a lot of introspection.
Probably too much introspection, admittedly, and not enough action. Times when I have felt happiest in my life were when I set up clear goals and let actions come from those – sticking to the goals was like setting up guideposts for my life, so I didn’t really need to think about what I was doing as much. But setting up guideposts these days frequently seems arbitrary and so I don’t give them much credence. Hm.
So anyway. I went on my long walk to Bob’s. I walked past City Hall, which was gorgeous at night as usual. A fellow told me his car had broken down and he was stranded and needed some money – while talking to him a German couple pulled up and asked for directions. After pointing them on their way, the gentleman launched back into his well-rehearsed pitch. But I was on a walk and I only had enough dough for donuts. I’m getting used to the pitch by now anyway – I live in San Francisco for crying out loud, you’d better do a good job pitching me if you want my spare change. 🙂
Walking up Polk Street, past drunk people, past the oyster shop, past more drunk people, past a really nice wine merchant I didn’t know about. Ahhhh, it’s nice having all these things close by. Though admittedly I miss the quiet. My friend Alison tells me she’s a city girl, and sometimes I feel like a city guy – but only when I know I can still escape to the silence now and again.
Finally I reached Bob’s. (This is a picture I’ve borrowed from Yelp.)
bobs on polk.jpg
And, well, I know a lot of my posts the past few months have been about apple fritters. I don’t eat them very often. But I figure I’ve lost a lot of weight recently by managing my indulgences, so the occasional fritter is fine. Anyway – I have found the Apple Fritter God. Bob’s is head and shoulders above Starbucks. Warm and fluffy and appley… Mmmmm…. you hear that Chris? Next time you’re in town… 🙂
So all the rumors were true. Bob’s is the promised land. It’s probably good for me that it takes an hour of walking to reach it. 🙂
The walk back was pleasant; I took a different route with fewer people. A bit more quiet. I think this walk would be quite nice on nights when the fog has rolled in. I like the fog. Especially when I’m in my head. But the fritter was a pleasant distraction this evening, and Diana’s last song ended just as I reached home around 1:45. This was a nourishing way to spend my early morning hours, deep in thought.