January 17, 2003:

San Francisco girl, early twenties, jet black hair in a bob with bangs, blue sweatshirt, black pants, sits in a bay window inside a used CD store next to a Double Rainbow, West Portal Avenue. Listens intently in the headphones, making her decision.

Immigrant. You can tell from the seriousness which she invests in this simple task. San Francisco's a magnet city, drawing young grownups like her from less-urban and less-clued-in communities all over the western states. She probably came from Bakersfield, or Ashland, or Reno, or like me from San Diego. First flush of independence, deciding for herself how to spend her own money according to her own principles. I love her madly for her sense that her destiny now belongs to none but herself. There's a vicarious kinda buzz being near that exhilaration. I can feel it right now, right through the shop window.