I would say it is getting better. I cannot say what ‘it’ actually is, but it has to do with this time of my life. And am I having the time of my life? Well, in a manner of speaking, yes.

This must be adulthood. No one ever explained that life can be stressful and rich at the same time.

Naturally, it all revolves around eating. That and a completely unexpected addition to the daily routine – driving. Yes, every day I have been hitting the road. Not necessarily hitting it very hard, such as this day’s journey into the Valley of the Shadow of Noe. I mean, it’s not even a mile away, is it? Well, maybe it is, if one adds vertical distance. And in San Francisco one must. And don’t forget that other urban dimension, parking.

What has me driving? Fear of battery flatness, for one thing. Fear of fear, for another. If I don’t the car enough to keep all of its disabled devices programmed and operable…I will have to have the thing towed another time to Fremont. Worse, I will have to have myself towed…out of the swamp of anxiety that so easily engulfs me these days. This is one of those other adult things no one warned about. That a bit of change can so easily tip a person into a round-the-clock state of mild terror. Addled, one is…all capacity for repose or relaxation gone.

But that is gone too, it seems, at least on this particular day. We were headed for one of the neighborhood landmarks…if one admits that Glen Park and Noe Valley constitute more or less one area. Jane and I needed lunch so, what the hell. Get lunch, I always say. And get out of Dodge when the gunslingers are slinging…even nail guns and saws. Yes, life in a construction zone is taking its toll. It tolls for thee, unfortunately. So lunch, coffee, anything can provide a moment’s peace.

Nothing personal, of course. We love our construction team. After all, we are now one big family, domiciled in the same place, five days a week, sharing more of our lives than we ever dreamed. The noise can do one in. I’m not sure what the guys were cutting today, possibly flagstone, but the screeching electric saw cut right through me.

Which brings us over the hill, down Church Street, and into a neighborhood replete with parking…and Eric’s. In this fair city, Chinese restaurants have names like this. Alice’s, slightly closer than Eric’s, turns out to be Szechwan fusion, according to the website. It’s in my sights, Alice’s is. But for today, it’s Eric’s. The place has standard fare in the tradition of Chinese food for white people. And it is nearby and I need to drive, and I need to park, and after wandering a few uncertain blocks hither and yon…my Dodge slides into a space on 26th Street. I hit the button for the wheelchair ramp, and an unfortunate buzzing sound ensues. Fortunately, Jane is there to spot the trouble. The metal ramp, as it extends and unfolds, slides into a small crack in the sidewalk…where it lodges.

Easy enough to dislodge. Also easy to forget about. Because after a perfectly pleasant Chinese, followed by a run up the street to Martha & Brothers Coffee…I return to my parked van. And I remember. Jane isn’t here, but the sidewalk and its crack still are. Sure enough, I deploy the wheelchair ramp, which gracefully unfolds and sticks awkwardly in a sidewalk fissure. Not to worry, for workmen are just arriving next door. They happily help. There are lots of people around. This is a city.

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