From the crest of Russian Hill, in search of the perfect view of the Transamerica Pyramid.
I mountaineered down steep- to put it mildly- streets and steps until finding a cool park shaded by huge old umbrella pines. That’s where I found my perfect view of the skyscrapers of the Financial District.
I also found some mossy benches leaning at drunken, uncomfortable angles. I shoved my bag and jacket under myself, trying to get fairly level to paint.
That’s when I felt it: the shaking. My cup of water tumbled off my lap and spilled on the bricks of the sidewalk. Earthquake?
Not at all. The shaking was uncontrollable leg spasms. My wimpy muscles, apparently, are not adequately up to the challenge of San Francisco vertical- street-climbing.
How did I arrive in this sorry state?
Evil French tourists!
After climbing the lower part of the Himalayan slopes of Hyde Street, and getting tired, hot, and lazy, I thought, whatever, I’ll take a cable car. So I found a stop and then the cable car arrived. I was happy. No more lugging a bag of painting supplies up these hills.
I flagged down the cable car. The conductor waved. “4 people only!” he shouted. As I prepared to get on the car, a nimble French family sprinted in front of me and got on the car instead! A father, a mother, a daughter and a son with a camera. 4 people. There was no room for me. This was an evil act.
I shook my fists at them in impotent rage and just walked up the damn hill instead. And then I underwent a physical collapse. Eventually I finished the painting and went to a bar and had whiskey. The End.