Refuge

Just home from the Revolution Cafe, which feels a lot like Paris only with a great deal more pot smoke and one fully open wall even though it's January and very cold. The band was fantastic (although every one of them had to blow on their freezing hands between songs). During the last hour some girls started dancing. One of them, Anna, could do a mean Charleston. We were delighted. And then she was delighted by our delight. "God it's good to be back in the Mission," she said. "Can I give you a hug?" And she did. "I was just in the Marina. Everyone was so blonde. And the attitude...." I knew just how she felt. No one is playing that music in the Marina and sure as hell no one's doing the Charleston. I said, "I know. I always feel absolutely hideous in the Marina." Anna further endeared herself to me by saying "You're so not. I wish I could rock bangs like you." So, ladies and gentleman, no longer am I "sporting the same haircut I've had since I was five." No. I am "rocking bangs" in 2009. I am also hugging Charleston-dancing fourth grade teachers who also purportedly teach 9-year-olds how to Jitterbug. I am hugging handsome, pot-smoking, anti-Christian, tile-laying, heavy metal drummers. I am hugging petite Japanese-American fiddle players. I am borrowing functional pens from the bartender so I can write a letter to Jules in Switzerland. And, as ever, I am smiling so much at the solos that my face hurts.

Thank you, gentlemen, for the music. Thank you, Revolution, for a glimpse into a happy 2009. I wasn't sure, but now I am.