The Most Gullible Boy in the World!

That would be me, I guess. This past Tuesday, my sweetheart, Mona Caron, put one over on me, with the help of 25 of our close friends. It was my 48th birthday last Friday, March 11, so she was going to take me out to dinner Tuesday night, just the two of us. We started out, and I failed to register that she was uncharacteristically dragging her feet. We crossed 24th Street at Folsom and surprisingly ran into Med-o, Allyson and Ruby in front of the just-evicted La Luna restaurant. Chatted for a bit, and invited them to join us. A few steps later, there’s Steven Bodzin across the street with his bike and a friend, so we hail him and he comes over to say hello. On the corner of Shotwell, Anna and Suzahna are standing and talking, so we stop to say hello. We’re only a short block from home and already we’ve run into 6 friends. Weird!

A half block further, there was Lisa sitting in the donut shop at South Van Ness of all places (Lisa hasn’t eaten a donut in at least a decade I’m sure, not to mention the fact that no one has ever brought a laptop into that donut shop and sat there drinking a bubbly water!). Steven Black and Adrienne were taking pictures of graffiti in the old railroad right-of-way parking lot just before Capp on 24th. Caryn McKay suddenly appeared on her bicycle, and spontaneously decided to join us too. Now we were a dozen walking up 24th towards our original destination on Valencia… At BART Martin and Danny were discussing my novel. At La Boheme, Hugh and Mati and Minna and Deirdre were all having tea. Seth and Emily, then Jonathan and Russell went rolling down 24th, hailing us.

By now, I was completely laughing at the hilarity of it all. I suspected nothing, fully believing that we were accidentally running into all these friends. By the time we got to 24th and Valencia, where Marina was “waiting for a bus” I could no longer greet anyone. Dumbfounded, I would scribble their name on to my growing list and tell them what number they were and that I could NOT believe how many of my friends I’d “run in to” in the few blocks since we left home. Not everyone was sticking around, so it seemed quite plausible and natural to me, that a dozen or so were joining the party spontaneously while the rest were carrying on with their evenings. I conferred with Mona and agreed that we should cancel our reservation for 2, and then once that was done, I suggested we go back to El Delfin (someone had mentioned it earlier). Good idea, everyone thought.

We strolled down 24th to El Delfin, a good 15+ people, in small knots of 2-4, chatting. I was euphoric, totally enjoying the improbability of meeting so many friends and having a spontaneous dinner party with a bunch of ’em. We got to the restaurant and as we passed the window I glimpsed a very long table set in the middle, and thought to myself, “wow, that’s lucky! A big table is already set up, it can probably hold us all.” I entered the place and that’s when I noticed that the half dozen folks at the far end of the table were all friends whom I’d already greeted earlier. Then Mona led them all in “Happy Birthday” while I laughed my head off. It was SO obvious, and no one could believe that I hadn’t figured it out.

Thus, I earn the title above. Thanks to my friends, who took great pleasure in my pleasure at living in a San Francisco full of my friends, who I just run into wherever I go. Marina said she thought Mona had made a mural with us, orchestrated a living tapestry for me to wander into and somehow it never crossed my mind that it could be anything but natural and realistic. And though it was a surprise for my birthday, and it was arranged, it really was perfectly natural… as it should be!

3 comments to The Most Gullible Boy in the World!

  • Jon Christensen

    Wish I could have been there. Luckily, it was a moving mural, not standing still long enough for someone to piss on it. Happy birthday!

  • Hugh D'Apostrophe

    I think this is what they call an “ORGANIZED COINCIDENCE”. A really memorable night!

  • Hugh D'Apostrophe

    I think this is what they call an “ORGANIZED COINCIDENCE”. A really memorable night!

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