Monday, August 3, 2009


Eleven PM on the N Judah, I sat with my head against the window, half asleep. I closed my eyes, and startled myself alert, wondering where I was. I closed my eyes again and rested. I opened them again and a boy sitting lopsided in the sideways facing seats was blowing bubbles.

The couple in front of me batted them out of their faces. The man next to me was smirking. The bubbles grew thinner as they floated backwards in the train, getting sucked in to the ventilation system, popping in to a million tiny pieces of soap that fell on everyone's clothes.

The boy's bubble bottle ran out. He pulled a jug of water and another of dish soap out of his backpack and proceeded to pour, mix, and refill his bubble bottle. Right there on the N Judah.

He had tattoos on his arms, gauged ears, and was wearing a brass key on a neon pink cord around his neck.

How does this happen in real life? And how does it happen that it feels so fantastically odd and inspiring?

I once danced as part of a bubble fountain outside the De Young museum, which maybe others found just as wonderfully bizarre.

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