Took BART back from the city. Public transit is much preferable to dealing with rush hour Friday night traffic bursting out of San Francisco's seams as the clock hits The Hour. Make my way down those familiar steps, down the hallway that echos with with the discordant harmonics of two warring musicians vying for donations at opposite ends of the corridor. Down the second set of steps to the train and then thunderrumblerattle through the tunnel that takes me across the bay and back to Oakland. There's a funny smell to the car I'm in, but it's too crowded to risk giving up my seat by shoving my way to another car with a less odoriferous character.
The train screeches to its halt at Lake Merritt. My brain is still in the semi-comatose state that a full convention day always seems to leave me in. Spending all day every day alone in my office and painting away doesn't give much opportunity to practice the more engaging social talents. I do enjoy the shows, and while at them there is no noticeable strain. But once I'm alone I feel the drain. Step step step up to emerge back into the night.
The scent pierces through the daze, and involuntarily I smile as the fragrance swims through me. I remember it from when I used to live at Lake Merritt and took BART every other day. The trees near the station exit are in bloom, and their sweet and delicate perfume makes my whole body sigh in relaxation. Like the breath I did not know I was holding while on the train (holding all winter) finally exhaling.
I forget about those trees every time, a day or two later. And then some time will pass. And then I'll take a late night train home. Usually from the city, packed into a car, people and old carpet smells, mechanical station announcements, lugging bags up the whirring escalators....
And then that all falls away when those outer glass doors open and I breathe in the scent of my old friends.
Dana's there to pick me up. We drive back to The Foxhole. A scant half hour to toss my convention bags in a corner, grab a hasty bite to eat, pull my mind back from its drifting orbit, and grab up the flamenco shoes and makeup kit. The day's not allowed to be over yet. Back to La Taza de Cafe for the second show of the evening with Bernadette, Monica, and Garnada. Fusion flamenco and belly dancing show. A wine glass gets overly excited with my footwork during our new bulerias number and decides to join in. It skirts to the edge of the table, and as I execute a turn, it emulates me with a somersault to the floor. Poor wineglass.
Poor Monica who has to continue the rest of the show still, barefoot belly dancer around invisible splinters. She manages to avoid mishap.
It is a small, but appreciative audience tonight. They seem to truly enjoy the show, engaging in it, watching us with the enchantment plain on their faces and in the occasional exclamations we overhear.