July 4, 2019:

At the time it was all bikers and dogs and cheap eats. "We love our locked-down homeboys", read the graffito in the laundromat on Abbott Street. There was parking and there were drugs and the Spaceway wasn't closed and neither was The Strand. It was a funky little low-rent world that deserved to continue, but didn't.

In summer he'd ride his bike downhill to the Pier. Eat fries and study Althusser at the cafe there, elbows on a wooden table, ass on a bench. With his colored Flair pens and his impossible energy, knowing none but friends with all, while surf rocked gently and sun sparkled on stunning blue water.

Or he'd take a sandwich from Poma's down the coastline, read on the rocks. There were private little coves seemingly only he knew, or if the world was perfect there'd be two or three beauties in bikinis sunning.

It seemed large then, but it's truly tiny. Miniature of a world, four or five blocks, untouristed, largely unknown even to locals. Then it was the wrong side of the tracks, exactly where he wanted to be. Today it's gentrified and there are technology hipsters at outdoor tables. Back then it was impossible to imagine that anything so gauche could ever occur.