The air is cold out in the street; it cuts into my face as I walk out. No one back home ever believes me when I tell them that it gets cold in The Mission. everyone back home in England thinks that California is like the SoCal beaches in Baywatch, but the Bay Area is not the OC. March in San Francisco is cold by most Californian standards, and windy evenings on 24th make leaving Carlos’s less appealing, but I have to get home.
Since Lottie moved out I have been staying later at Carlos’s, or The Phoenix, and it’s starting to show at the office. Being the ‘token Brit’ means that the State Department are ever present, their agenda unambiguous. If ever I was a candidate for “Visa Loss” then it was in the last three weeks. Greg is a cool guy, he knows I’m hurting. Still, I have to stop turning up at the office hung-over, unwashed and in dirty clothes.
As I head off down 24th towards my place, opposite the Francis Fountain Diner, I pull my jacket closed and almost walk right by her; she’s stood under a street lamp.