I had a day of errands yesterday, tedious, but necessary. Since the first item on the to-do list was dropping the car off for its checkup, said errands had to be done on foot and the always charming subway. At least, the transit people here claim it’s a subway; I think of it more as a very large petri dish growing ever more exotic contagions just waiting for me.
The weather was pissing. I have lived here for 30 years and still do not have a decent rain coat. Every winter, comes the rains and I am surprised once again. I have this windbreaker kind of vinyl thing that I think of as my rain coat, but it’s really more of a fog coat. Anytime the ambient water precipitates into more than the picturesque fog we’re famous for, the jacket immediately surrenders and I find myself wearing what is pretty much a wet garbage bag. I have finally ordered a real rain coat. I expect it to get here about the time the drought returns.
One of the few pluses to our adventures in soggy land, was that my path went past the old James Lick Baths. These were originally a Victorian era bathhouse where gentlemen could go for their monthly bath. I don’t think there were regular shenanigans, although, men naked together, how far off could shenanigans be? It now houses some fancy schmancy architecture firm, I think.
What charms me is that San Francisco in the late 1970s had an abundance of the kind of bathhouses run specifically for shenanigans and nothing else. R Man lived here then and had wildly sordid tales of the establishments, One specialized in fisting. its signage nothing but a drawing of a muscular arm with a stripe ominously far up it. One had the cab of a tractor-trailer truck where you could live out your trucker daddy fantasies. The tubs R Man was fondest of wound up being the Episcopal Sanctuary and Hospice for AIDS Victims. Of course, AIDS is what did in all those louche sex palaces.
Of course the tragedy of the plague is very clear to me. and the loss of all these naughty redoubts is just a small footnote along the way. But oh, how wonderful it would have been had some enterprising homo gotten the James Lick Baths and re-opened them as a fuck and suck under its original name.