2003-06-11 7:41 p.m.
I am waiting at Kitsho restaurant in Cupertino for a bunch of friends to arrive. They were supposed to arrive at 7 PM for Andrei's going away party. After waiting in the lobby of the noisy sushi restaurant for 20 minutes, I figured something must have changed. I called Ray, and sure enough—things had changed. Some time after I left work—leaving my intravenous connection to the internet behind for the evening—they sent an email announcing that everything would get shifted until an hour later.
I had already arrived early to begin with. I couldn't stand to be at work anymore—I wasn't getting anything productive done. So, I got to the restaurant an hour early, parked my car, and went for a walk. You learn so much more about a neighborhood when you traverse it by foot. Automobiles and bicycles do not compare—they are too fast. But, on foot you can taste the air in front of each building, stop to peruse menus, and there is no reason to not stroll into that store you didn't even know existed until now.
So, I found some fun places I had never noticed before: a store that sells pre–packaged steaks, ready to barbecue, a combination pizza place and Korean noodle house, and a Japanese pastry shop. I bought a green onion/black pepper pastry to keep my hunger under control. It was like a Danish pastry, except it was softer and lighter. And, instead of sweet fruit or melted, creamy cheeses, the pocket in the middle was full of green onions and black pepper and just gobs and gobs of some tasty oil.
Peeing on the street is still (unfortunately) illegal, so I went in to use the restroom in the pizza/noodle place. The walls were dirty pink. Framed prints of terrible "art"—bought from a poster shop in the mall circa 1987—hung slightly off kilter across from the restroom doors. The light was not bright enough to be useful but unfortunately not dim enough to obscure the posters.
The men's room was locked, so I waited in the hallway. I turned away from the posters. Through the paper thin walls and the hollow core door I could hear two young teenage girls in the women's restroom together. They wanted to use the restroom together (because that is what girls do), but they were bashful (like young girls are). So, the one on the toilet had insisted that the other one turn away while she did whatever she was doing sitting on a toilet in a restroom. The other girl kept asking if she was done yet and if she could look now.
Then there were squeals of "gross" and "ewww" as they discovered what they knew was a "peep hole" in the wall. I wondered if they thought it was more disgusting that someone watch them, or if they were more repulsed by the thought of accidentally letting their eyes fall upon someone else in the throws of egestion or excretion or the other horrible things that happen in public restrooms (masturbation, hand washing, pimple popping, drug consumption, hurried sex).
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