August 27, 2009


On a walk, take it with me friend,
Enter a door, not like those found,
On the entryways of those common.

Walk with me, up the brick path,
beneath our feet, a feat of clinker,
Marvellous, stupendous, sound.

Through a threshold milled to perfection,
glass hiding secrets and others unknown,
Glass made to hide faces both firm yet calm.

Feel the wood creak, beneath your feet,
smell the work of craftsmen past,
Carefully place your hat and coat away.

See our great hall, inlaid with precious things,
feel the glass hiding tomes of years past,
Sit with me, and feel the aura of glory.

Upstairs a runner, this path we should take,
riding high and low and silent it should make,
More secrets lie here, behind closed doors and locks.

Beyond the building, beyond the work,
the men here certainly do take,
The work to work by which is our sake.

Sweep and dust
Mop and wash
Hoe and till
Cut and dig

No longer are we friends,
since this journey we did take,
Blood brothers we are for this house's sake.

Home to many, and still to them all,
from past to still active,
Our home, Sigma Phi.

-Zach Wong.

August 09, 2009

Gumpo Sardines

Tonight was guys night out for me and the boys. We were going to get dinner over in north beach, and then head to south of market to find a club. Unless we would get sidetracked at Denza's Bar and grill for drinks. Which we always did. I looked at myself in the mirror, fixing the collar on my shirt and adjusting my hair just the way I always liked it. You know, I never had another barber touch my hair ever since I started going to Briggs over on fourth and mission. The guys, they didn't understand why I didn't get my hair done at a stylist like they did, but I didn't believe in them fancy things. I liked a haircut a man gets by a barber, not a stylist.

We all jumped on the 38L and alighted at Larkin. The four of us walked up Van Ness waiting for a long bus to come pick us up and whisk us away towards the north end of the city. As we stood waiting, the sun began to dimmer and the street began to light up. The long, articulated bus hissed as it stopped at the platform and we got on. It whirred to life with an electric sound, rushing us past apartment buildings, showrooms, and restaurants. There, we rumbled up bay street and got off again at Columbus. The sounds of North Beach were welcoming as we walked down the sidewalk. Jordan smelled of oil and cologne. We could catch a whiff of him as he walked before us. Jordan always was the looker, Italian parents, good school, lots of money, executive position. Only problem was, he wasn't good with the ladies. He'd have a girl one day then lose her the next cause he asked her something stupid. I ran into his last girl in the hallway of our building once. Macie was her name, she told me to tell that Jord-ass was a fuck face for asking her to participate in a threeway with another girl he had met on craigslist. I tried to apologize for him, explaning he's a caveman doing that ever since. Macie and I are friends now, every so often she comes over to share a bottle of wine and a cuddle if I provided a movie for us to watch.

Packie scooted himself in front of me as we filed past a street cafe. Packie or Patrick Ellis on his business cards, was a cool guy. He was pretty trendy, following every new hip thing that came out of Abercrombie and Fitch and all those other name brand stores. Ever two months, he would throw out his entire wardrobe and buy a new set of clothes. I never had to buy clothes for myself since I almost always ended up with his handmedowns. I wasn't complaining. This was the first time in three years that I managed to stay with current fashions as close as possible. Packie had good features, which was why he worked as a male model. He got clothes for free, but the things he wanted were beyond his means. How he managed to get them, I didn't ask for fear of risking free expensive clothes. One thing that Packie managed to do well in life was seduce people into doing things for him. I suppose that he had several sugar daddies and sugar mommas scattered throughout the city of San Francisco. He was damn charming, which was why I used to do his laundry for him for a month back in 2006.

Vijay Nahamatapul then scooted in front of me as we rounded another narrow pathway through a sidewalk cafe. Vijay is what the ladies describe as a "last call fuck". He usually wound up with average looking girls but once, we walked into a bar and this tall, leggy brunette came up to him, grabbed his crotch and then put her hand in front of her mouth in forced, fake shock. He gave her a sly look and the two of them then walked out. Just as we walked in! I swear, somewhere in his bloodline is a little bit of an African. Or at least some race known for large penises. I suppose where the other two get girls instantly, Vijay works by sowing the fields then reaping the wheat. Or in his case, raping the wheat.

We seated ourself at a small table with a white cloth, and four services. We ate, and had beers. The owner came by our table with a small metal tin on his platter. The four of us looked at it with some curiosity. The lid of the tin had been removed revealing four sardine fillets, glistening with oil and emitting a smell something like a rubber racing slick and a garlic bread stick. Packie, Jordan and Vijay all turned them down and then the owner looked at me. His round, balding head was rather happy looking as it beamed at me. I took the tin and thanked him. The guys looked at me with skepticism. Maybe they had smelled the racing slick as well. My silver fork glanced over them carefully, and speared a small chunk floating in oil near one of the rounded ends of the can. I raised it to my lips. It tasted good.

As we found ourselves in the club later, none of us seemed to have any luck. Jordan didn't seem to attract any girls. Packie was more interested in the lady bartender and she seemed more interested in draining Packie's wallet which she did quite well actually. Vijay also was striking out. Not even the last call girls would look at him. I laughed in my head at my friend's failures this evening. All of a sudden, I found myself surrounded by two brunettes, an asian and two blondes. They all looked and eyed me with suspucion. I was wondering what the hell was going on. I then noticed the asian's nose perking a little. The sardines! They must have been aprhodisiacs!

"You smell bad. Get out."