San Francisco, California

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One can never satisfactorily trace the lineage of an otherworldly bout of diarrhea, nor does one find it especially pressing during the clenched throes of such a battle. However, with some relished distance from the event, especially transcendent with the quaking buoyancy of a still-vacant gizzard, that event’s epidemiology becomes a more than a mild preoccupation, lest one too quickly reestablish the same conditions out of ignorance. Thusly, as well besotted with other distractions, I found myself fumbling at the counter of Sightglass.


Visiting an old friend whose menagerie of tattoos includes a ‘sacred potato’, it was probably not a stretch to assume that our first dinner would be resplendent with fried starch. Several helpings of Saturn Cafe’s shoestrings in various preparations may not have twisted the sword into my guts so viciously in my youth, but it was too much for my civilized adult body to handle. Immediately upon peeling myself from the vinyl booth it was clear I was in trouble.

The drive back to the Castro from Berkeley was hellish. I saw white and pink spots expanding through the windshield and began to gray out as soon as we started rolling through Berkeley. I hung my head out the window to keep from passing out. My friend, who I know was in terror that I might fall out and then… fall out, suggested stopping at the Denny’s before the base of the Bay Bridge, but this not being that kind of pit stop, and afraid he might make me eat more potatoes there, I clenched harder and came back to my senses a bit. Weaving through construction zones and one-ways back in the city he drove to protect his upholstery, to protect our friendship from my inadvertent, uncontrollable party foul. “How much further?” He wouldn’t tell me, wisely, lest I get too prepped for the onslaught and miscalculate T-minus zero. And then finally home I recall stiffly scissoring up the stairs and more stairs to what was strangely by this time a relatively normal bathroom visit, all things told, with a few extra sheaths of cold sweat. We took in several episodes of Workaholics, neither of us torqued by the evenings events.

Still without an appetite the following morning, the next stupidest thing to do was to pour a pour-over over my quaking GI. Now, barring the last thirteen months, I have lived the last eighteen years in big cities. I don’t fancy myself a rube or country-mouse by any stretch but it didn’t take more than thirty seconds in the coffeeshop for me to feel like Axl Rose stepping off the bus at the beginning of the ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ video. More than the next-level-shitness of Sightglass I want to owe my befuddlement to the bodily hesitation that was invading everything from the length of my gait to the firing of neural networks all coalescing into the dedication to remain solid-state. But, perhaps the coffee ‘menu’ itself would have been beyond me anyhow with its Whitmanesque flavor catalogs more familiar to boojie wine flights and names more deferring than small, medium, and large coffee. I couldn’t fathom the need for such complexity and absently ordered the first on the list. And though my friend had just been talking on the way in about the shop’s affiliation with Twitter, and with Twitter’s affiliation with a new payment method called Square, that I had never heard of nor could I understand its value (note: I understand now that it is much cheaper to operate than standard credit card machines), much like Twitter, while still swirling, still half void inside and somewhat buoyant, I stood staring in a stupor when the barista handed me an iPad with a series of options and so on. Given only two seconds to stare at the device, of whose ilk this was my first experience, my reeling banjo-eyes were decidedly too much for the young lady who asked if “(this is) your first day on the planet?”

“Perhaps… I am just trying not to have diarrhea on your concrete floor.”

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270 7th Street
San Francisco, California 94103

2 Responses to “Sightglass”

  1. Gray

    Do you think your “dirty brown dishwater” could have overpowered the Granny Smith Apple air fresheners in Jawks car?

  2. j.h. trefry

    I was more worried about his aftermarket pleather upholstery. Also, those aren’t air fresheners, that is his ‘body splash.’

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