I Sold Seeds, She Sold Pearls

Myself, Josephine and Vince
Myself, Josephine and Vince

I met Josephine in San Francisco while selling pearls from the oyster on Pier 39. She was visiting from the U.K., traveling around the US, and needed a place to stay. The 7 x 5 closet in my Geary & Polk flat, became her home away from home for a short time.

I moved to San Francisco from Philadelphia, drawn by the vivid music scene and dragged my then boyfriend Vince along for the ride. We lived 2 blocks away from Mitchell Brothers. (Photo from Wikipedia) in the Polk district.

Mitchel Brothers, San Francisco, California
Mitchell Brothers, San Francisco, California

Mitchell Bros

I quit my job selling pearls from the oyster for Pearl Factory shortly after Jo started, and began running a little seed and gardening shop also located on Pier 39.

By day Jo sold pearls and I sold seeds and by night we partied until dawn with the vibrant characters and sounds of the SF punk scene.

Josephine was but a short side note in my life full of music, madness and mayhem. California’s music scene of the 80s, was a debauch and wild ride one full of fantasy and heartbreak. Yet, my time with Jo, remains one of the more precious notes on the scale of my life and I have long cherished it.

Together we experienced the Butthole Surfers at the Ibeam, PIL in Berkeley, the Psychedelic Furs, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Cramps and really more bands than either of us can recall. (Keep in mind the debauch part and you’ll understand)

In less than a year after she’d returned home to the U.K., I was at her door at 49 Daisybank Rd in Longsight Manchester requesting a return of the favour… I haven’t stopped traveling since.

Miss Josephine
Miss Josephine

30+ years later, here we are heading to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in Manchester.

Time, distance and circumstance of life can never break the true bonds of friendship. Neither an ocean, nor the burdensome withering caused by age can cut the ties created in our youth.

I love you Jo!

Frothy Cup of Ire in JFK!

Panini Express JFK Airport
Panini Express JFK

After waiting for ten minutes the annoyed Indian lady looks at me as if my standing at her counter is a huge inconvenience. Or maybe more like I’m something she just scraped off of her shoe.

“I’d like a double cappuccino please!”

She looks at me with malice in her eyes.

“A what?” Her Indian accent is tinged with New Yawkerease. I know I’ve had this same sort of showdown with this ladies twin sister in the past.

I’m hesitant in my reply. “You know, uhm, a double, 2 shots of espresso!”

“We don’t got that. Only small, medium or large.” She sweeps her hand at the sign behind her head without looking at it, like she’s swiping at an annoying gnat and I’m the annoying gnat.

I hesitate once more. I saw the sign, but I don’t want a large or medium, I just want 2 shots.

“Hmmm, well what does that…” she rolls her eyes and cuts me off, turning to the sign.

“Small! Meeedium! Laaarge!

I stand there in silence. An easy minute passes with her just staring at me. It felt like an eternity.

“Small has one shot, Medium has 2, Large has 3”

Now I’m annoyed, she knew, she was just being a bitch. “Medium… please… a double!” She sighs audibly as she grabs the medium sized cup and I scoot down to the cashier to pay.

There are no other customers, just me and I pay, grateful that it’s less than $6.00 for this angry little cup of coffee.

The cashier is friendly. She smiles at me in a knowingly manner and I joke with her that this is almost the last of my American money! She sincerely wishes me a good flight and nice day and I stand there in wait for the frothy warm cup of ire.

Angry Indian Lady attempts to place the cup away from me, near the (previously unnoticed by me) sugar station. The cashier grabs it from her hand mid air. “She’s over here!” she says sweetly but with an edge. Looking at me in understanding “The sugar and milk is over there” she nods in the direction and smiles in obvious apology.

“See! I know!” spits out the Indian woman, as I scoot over to the sugar station. “I know where to put the coffee”

I walk away thinking I know where she can put that coffee too!