Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Drive Safe

I made a flip joke about driving 65 on Sloat yesterday. This would later become an incredibly assy thing to say, but I wouldn't know it at the time. (Me saying assy things, even if unintentionally, is becoming a habit.)

One of my simple pleasures in life, and one that I take more advantage of than I probably should, is driving with impunity in the city. Mostly this is in the Sunset where stop signs seem totally superfluous. And on Sloat? Hahaha. Sloat is a giant straightaway for like 3 miles from 19th Avenue to Ocean Beach. In that time there are two stoplights. They put giant flashing light speed signs on Sloat now too, which I just think are taunting me and I like to see how high I can make them go. Yesterday, with the pent up aggression of bar study and being stuck in the house for long stretches at a time, I took it out a little on my car and the streets of San Francisco. I flew down Sloat. And in just more of a giant bird to how I feel about law right now, I tweeted about it. But now? I'll be sure not to drive like an ass. At least for awhile.

Now, this is going to require one of those huge giant digression things, bear with me. It'll point out just how small SF is and that this, for its drawbacks, also makes us all really connected to each other:

My dad grew up on 46th and Wawona. And when he was growing up there, his backyard met the backyard of another sprawling family with 6 kids. My dad became lifelong friends with one of the daughters, Sue. In fact, there's a big long legendary family story about my birth, which I'll save for another time, and Sue, a nurse then, being at my delivery. She's basically the second person to ever see me alive and her and my dad are still really good friends. I've known Sue, then, all of my life and am friends with her son who is a year older than me. Said son also met, and subsequently made out with, my stepsister at our big family party. Since they both live in the L.A. area, they hung out a couple times but nothing ever came of it. Still friends though.

Anyway, Sue had a bunch of brothers and sisters. One of those brothers was a guy named Bruce. Because, as I've pointed out countless times, SF is teeny tiny, Bruce would end up living at his wife's parents house on the same block that my grandparents live on. In fact, Bruce gave my dad the first dog we ever owned, an amazing pit bull named Brutus. Bruce had a couple of kids, that I undoubtably met and probably played with all those hours I spent over at my grandparent's house. Not that I remember these kids specifically, just toe headed kids playing on the street like we all did. They moved away and that was that, didn't give it much of a second thought.

But: dad's still good friends with Sue and has gone and visited Bruce way up in the northern part of the state a few times too. One of Bruce's kids became a CHP officer, so we now have the SF is small/everyone is a cop connection.

Yesterday, I'm over at my dad's house studying, headphones on, doing my thing and my dad's puttering around the house. Dad suddenly comes over and says, "Hey, Bruce's son? He was killed in an accident while working." Fuuuuu. Really? That's....I don't really have words for what that is. Sue's parents still live in that same house on 46th where Sue grew up. My dad, having moved a mere 8 blocks down the Great Highway from the house he grew up in says he's going to take a ride over, see if Sue is there, and offer his condolences. Besides, he's been through this before.

He's gone for several hours. When he returns he says the grandparents are handling it well, being old and having gone through a lot before, but he talked to Sue on the phone who is, understandably, a wreck. He said some other CHP officers came over, on their own time, while he was there and the grandparents were impressed. Dad said they have no idea what they are in for. Police funerals are quite a site to behold. I think those have been accurately depicted by TV, they really are of that scale.

I have been sending emails back and forth with the stepsis all week. Since she knows Sue's son, I let her know what happened. She emails back, "That's sad about his cousin- it's shit like that that makes us realize the actual danger in what our parents do..."

Couldn't have said it better my self.

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