Littler Brother 2
I bought the Emma Goldman poster on the way home and stuck it up over my desk, tacked over a vintage black-light poster. I also bought a NEVER TRUST t-shirt that had a photoshop of Grover and Elmo kicking the grownups Gordon and Susan off Sesame Street.
It made me laugh. I later found out that there had already been about six photoshop contests for the slogan online in places like Fark and Worth1000 and B3ta and there were hundreds of ready-made pics floating around to go on whatever merch someone churned out.Mom raised an eyebrow at the shirt, and Dad shook his head and lectured me about not looking for trouble.
I felt a little vindicated by his reaction.Ange found me online again and we IM-flirted until late at night again. The white van with the antennas came back and I switched off my Xbox until it had passed.
We'd all gotten used to doing that.Ange was really excited by this party. It looked like it was going to be monster.
There were so many bands signed up they were talking about setting up a B-stage for the secondary acts.> How'd they get a permit to blast sound all night in that park? There's houses all around there> Per-mit? What is "per-mit"? Tell me more of your hu-man per-mit.> Woah, it's illegal?> Um, hello? You're worried about breaking the law?> Fair point> LOLI felt a little premonition of nervousness though.
I mean, I was taking this perfectly awesome girl out on a date that weekend — well, she was taking me, technically — to an illegal rave being held in the middle of a busy neighborhood.It was bound to be interesting at least.#Interesting.People started to drift into Dolores Park through the long Saturday afternoon, showing up among the ultimate frisbee players and the dog-walkers.
Some of them played frisbee or walked dogs. It wasn't really clear how the concert was going to work, but there were a lot of cops and undercovers hanging around.
You could tell the undercovers because, like Zit and Booger, they had Castro haircuts and Nebraska physiques: tubby guys with short hair and untidy mustaches. They drifted around, looking awkward and uncomfortable in their giant shorts and loose-fitting shirts that no-doubt hung down to cover the chandelier of gear hung around their midriffs.Dolores Park is pretty and sunny, with palm trees, tennis courts, and lots of hills and regular trees to run around on, or hang out on.
Homeless people sleep there at night, but that's true everywhere in San Francisco.I met Ange down the street, at the anarchist bookstore. That had been my suggestion.
In hindsight, it was a totally transparent move to seem cool and edgy to this girl, but at the time I would have sworn that I picked it because it was a convenient place to meet up.
She was reading a book called Up Against the Wall Motherfucker when I got there."Nice," I said. "You kiss your mother with that mouth?""Your mama don't complain," she said.
"Actually, it's a history of a group of people like the Yippies, but from New York. They all used that word as their last names, like 'Ben M-F.' The idea was to have a group out there, making news, but with a totally unprintable name.
Just to screw around with the news-media. Pretty funny, really." She put the book back on the shelf and now I wondered if I should hug her.
People in California hug to say hello and goodbye all the time. Except when they don't. And sometimes they kiss on the cheek.
It's all very confusing.She settled it for me by grabbing me in a hug and tugging my head down to her, kissing me hard on the cheek, then blowing a fart on my neck.
I laughed and pushed her away."You want a burrito?" I asked."Is that a question or a statement of the obvious?""Neither. It's an order."I bought some funny stickers that said THIS PHONE IS TAPPED which were the right size to put on the receivers on the pay phones that still lined the streets of the Mission, it being the kind of neighborhood where you got people who couldn't necessarily afford a cellphone.We walked out into the night air.
I told Ange about the scene at the park when I left."I bet they have a hundred of those trucks parked around the block," she said. "The better to bust you with.""Um." I looked around.
"I sort of hoped that you would say something like, 'Aw, there's no chance they'll do anything about it.'""I don't think that's really the idea. The idea is to put a lot of civilians in a position where the cops have to decide, are we going to treat these ordinary people like terrorists? It's a little like the jamming, but with music instead of gadgets.
You jam, right?"Sometimes I forget that all my friends don't know that Marcus and M1k3y are the same person. "Yeah, a little," I said."This is like jamming with a bunch of awesome bands.""I see."Mission burritos are an institution.
They are cheap, giant and delicious. Imagine a tube the size of a bazooka shell, filled with spicy grilled meat, guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, refried beans, rice, onions and cilantro.
It has the same relationship to Taco Bell that a Lamborghini has to a Hot Wheels car.There are about two hundred Mission burrito joints. They're all heroically ugly, with uncomfortable seats, minimal decor — faded Mexican tourist office posters and electrified framed Jesus and Mary holograms — and loud mariachi music.
The thing that distinguishes them, mostly, is what kind of exotic meat they fill their wares with. The really authentic places have brains and tongue, which I never order, but it's nice to know it's there.The place we went to had both brains and tongue, which we didn't order.
I got carne asada and she got shredded chicken and we each got a big cup of horchata.As soon as we sat down, she unrolled her burrito and took a little bottle out of her purse.
It was a little stainless-steel aerosol canister that looked for all the world like a pepper-spray self-defense unit. She aimed it at her burrito's exposed guts and misted them with a fine red oily spray.
I caught a whiff of it and my throat closed and my eyes watered."What the hell are you doing to that poor, defenseless burrito?"She gave me a wicked smile. "I'm a spicy food addict," she said.
"This is capsaicin oil in a mister.""Capsaicin —""Yeah, the stuff in pepper spray. This is like pepper spray but slightly more dilute.
And way more delicious. Think of it as Spicy Cajun Visine if it helps."My eyes burned just thinking of it."You're kidding," I said.
"You are so not going to eat that."Her eyebrows shot up. "That sounds like a challenge, sonny.
You just watch me."She rolled the burrito up as carefully as a stoner rolling up a joint, tucking the ends in, then re-wrapping it in tinfoil. She peeled off one end and brought it up to her mouth, poised with it just before her lips.Right up to the time she bit into it, I couldn't believe that she was going to do it.
I mean, that was basically an anti-personnel weapon she'd just slathered on her dinner.She bit into it. Chewed.
Swallowed. Gave every impression of having a delicious dinner."Want a bite?" she said, innocently."Yeah," I said.
I like spicy food. I always order the curries with four chilies next to them on the menu at the Pakistani places.I peeled back more foil and took a big bite.Big mistake.You know that feeling you get when you take a big bite of horseradish or wasabi or whatever, and it feels like your sinuses are closing at the same time as your windpipe, filling your head with trapped, nuclear-hot air that tries to batter its way out through your watering eyes and nostrils? That feeling like steam is about to pour out of your ears like a cartoon character?This was a lot worse.This was like putting your hand on a hot stove, only it's not your hand, it's the entire inside of your head, and your esophagus all the way down to your stomach.
My entire body sprang out in a sweat and I choked and choked.Wordlessly, she passed me my horchata and I managed to get the straw into my mouth and suck hard on it, gulping down half of it in one go."So there's a scale, the Scoville scale, that we chili-fanciers use to talk about how spicy a pepper is.