another pSecret pSociety pshort pstory
GLEN PARK GIRL by Mike Bozart (Agent 33) | SEP 2016
It was a sunny Monday afternoon in June of 1992 at the Glen Park BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station. The time was around four o’clock. I had just returned to the station via San Francisco Muni bus route 36 (Teresita), having done some hiking and scouting up on Mount Davidson. I was thinking of having a small 28th birthday party up there in a few weeks.
As soon as I cleared the turnstile to enter the fare area of the platform, a Japanese-appearing female with purple- highlighted hair, probably 21 to 24 years old, accosted me.
“Hey, you like get high?” [sic] she brazenly asked in chopped English. What the hell? Is this a setup by BART police? Or, is she a prostitute? Better answer carefully.
“Uh, maybe,” I mumbled, even though no one was in earshot. Hope this isn’t a sting. Was that recorded? Is she wearing a wire?
“If you help me to boyfriend, we get high,” [sic] she clarified. So, she has a stoner boyfriend, and is too stoned to figure out how to get to him.
“Ok, I’ll help you,” I stated. “Where does your boyfriend live?”
“We live in the Oakland,” [sic] she said while twirling her hair.
“What part of Oakland?” I asked, doubting a workable reply.
“In west of that Oakland,” [sic] she answered with a smile. She’s really cute. Lucky dude. I wonder how they met.
“Ok, you need to take a train to the West Oakland station.”
“Yes. Thank you, sir.”
Just then an eight-car Richmond-bound train slid into the station. A pressure wave of air from the tunnel blew her hair across her face. Such a cutie. A baked cutie.
“We can take this train,” I said.
She followed me and we boarded the seventh car. We sat down together in the third seat on the right. The car was only 25% full.
“Oh, by the way, my name is Mike,” I announced from the window seat. “What’s yours?”
“I’m Sayuri. My name means lily. I am from Okinawa. My boyfriend was in United States Navy. We marry very soon.” [sic] Oh, I get it now. She was probably a ‘base girl’.
“I see. Very nice. Congratulations in advance.”
“You’re most welcome, Sayuri.”
“Mike, is your red hair natural?” she then asked, seeming genuinely unsure.
“Yes, it’s natural. Irish genes. Is your purple shade natural?”
She laughed. “Of course not! You silly boy, Mike.” [sic]
“Many say that.”
Sayuri giggled. “I like a guy with sense of humor. Serious type no fun. [sic] My boyfriend is a joker like you.” Maybe he laughs as he shoots people. Why’d I think that?
The train slithered into the 24th Street Mission station. More people got on than got off. The train was now 32% full. Maybe 33%.
“Tell me, what does your boyfriend do in Oakland?” I asked as a Latino dude sat behind us.
“He grow weed.” [sic] Wow! She sure is loose with her tongue. Boyfriend needs to have a talk with her.
“Oh, I see. Green for green.” Huh?
“Green for green? What does that mean, Mike?”
“Oh, I don’t know, Sayuri. I just like playing with words.”
“You write book, Mike?” [sic]
“Maybe someday. Just phrases for now.” What?!
“Just phrases for now? Mike, you sound mental!” She then had another laugh as the train screeched into 16th Street Mission.
Once again, it was a net increase of passengers. Our car was now 42% full.
As the train rolled out, I suddenly thought about seismic activity. “It would suck if an earthquake happened right now, as we are underground,” I said.
“Yes, very terrible,” Sayuri replied. “We have earthquakes in Japan.”
We were then silent for a few minutes. Then the train zipped into Civic Center station. A net wash: The train remained 42% full.
“This is where I normally get off,” I said. “I live on Hyde Street, about halfway up Nob Hill. But, I’ll stay onboard with you to make sure that you get to the right station.”
“Oh, thanks, Mike. I still new to BART train. [sic] And, remember, we get high. It’s primo shit, man!” Spoken just like an Oaksterdammer. [sic]
I just smiled and the conversation died. A couple of minutes later we were pulling into Powell Street station. This was a big net gain. Our car was now 75% of capacity.
At the next station, Montgomery Street, all of the seats filled up. And at Embarcadero, they were standing in the aisle.
“Remember the long tunnel?” I asked Sayuri.
“Is this where we go under the water?”
“Yes, this is where we go under San Francisco Bay for two miles.” [3.2 kilometers]
“The worst time for earthquake,” Sayuri said with a frightened face.
“But, since we thought of it happening, it won’t.”
“What kind of philosophy is that, Mike?”
“I don’t know, Sayuri, but so far it has worked.”
“Are you superstitious, Mike?”
“Only in this Transbay Tube.”
“Look. I cross my fingers like you Americans do.” What cute petite fingers. Ah, and there’s her engagement ring. I wonder where they’ll get married. Probably in a hot tub in Marin.
After a few minutes we shot out of the tunnel into the industrial west side of Oakland. It was still a sunny day as the train eased into the West Oakland station.
“Well, here’s your stop, Sayuri.”
“Yes, this it. [sic] I recognize it.”
“Listen, I’m just going to stay on the train.” Huh?
“You not like get high with us? [sic] You helped me. Now you get reward.”
“No, that’s ok. I’m going to take care of some business further up the line.” He’s lying. Why is he afraid to join us? / I wonder if she believed that. I don’t want to show up with the dude’s fiancée at some clandestine grow house. No, it’s just too risky. He would wonder how we met, and probably suspect some funny business.
“Well, here; have this, Mike,” Sayuri said as she handed me a lavender-colored, bulging, miniature envelope from her fuchsia purse.
I put it in my front pants pocket. “Thanks,” I said. I wonder what’s in there.
She stepped into the aisle and made her way off the crowded train. At the doorway she paused to wave goodbye. Then the doors slid shut. Well, that’s that.
The train soon took off for downtown Oakland. I waved as my car passed Sayuri, but I wasn’t sure if she saw me, as she had just turned for the steps. I wonder how life will turn out for her. Hope they don’t get busted. Hope they don’t overdo it and get addicted.
I stayed on the train to El Cerrito Plaza. There I got off and began walking west on Fairmont Avenue. I then plucked Sayuri’s envelope from my front jean pocket as I strided down the sidewalk. I carefully opened it. Ah, just as I suspected: a nice hydroponic bud. Need to get some rolling papers and a lighter.
At a corner convenient store (San Pablo Avenue), I got what I needed. I then continued to Carlson Boulevard, where I turned left. In a tenth of a mile (161 meters) I was going around a guardrail barricade and beginning the Cerrito Creek Path. I continued west through the eucalyptus trees to Creekside Park, where I was able to ford the shallow creek on stepping stones. On the other side, the trail led up Albany Hill, linking the dead ends of Jackson and Taft Streets.
My timing was propitious. When I arrived at the summit, I was the only one there. San Francisco Bay was glistening in the late afternoon sun. Though, a fog bank was already engulfing and passing the Golden Gate Bridge, grasping for Angel Island.
I rolled a joint (marijuana cigarette), sparked it, and took a deep draw. Man, it don’t get any better than this. [sic] This is super-sublime. What a view. Marvelously majestic.
I then opened up Sayuri’s homemade tiny envelope all the way. There was some Japanese on the inner side:
Itsu ka ima kamo shiremasen.
[translation: Sometime could be right now.]
I would take it all in until a troupe of mid-30s Asians and Caucasians arrived for the approaching sunset. I graciously yielded the prime spot to them. Never good to be a view hog. Time to get moving along.
The BART ride back to Civic Center station was a stream of pleasant thoughts. It’s not as insipid as it often appears. There’s still magic in this world. Jon Anderson [of Yes] once drove a milk truck. And, when you least expect it … Shazam! It leaps out. It’s not all mapped-out. Life’s mystery remains. Assumptions are inevitable, but boy can they be wrong. Beautifully wrong. Blissfully incorrect. Well, every once in a while. This day’s a keeper. Must make some notes.
Once back at my studio apartment at 737 Hyde Street, I placed Sayuri’s flattened envelope in a Zen koan book.
The author recounts a day in June of 1992 in the San Francisco Bay area, in which he suddenly meets a bold 'high as a kite' Japanese young lady at the Glen Park BART train station. He helps her on her way, and she gives him a just reward. Approximately 1500 words. No sex, violence, or bad language. If this little tale were a movie, it would probably be rated PG-13 for drug usage (marijuana only). No Mr. Malloy in this one.