Fog waited at the city’s edge that pink Spring blossom day ‘till blue black night accorded it permission to come in.
For gripmen on late cable cars it meant end of a shift… hot coffee…sandwiches…a beer unmoving floor and walls.
On Car 60, California Street sat…this night…the derby man starched shirt, wool suit, gloved hands and vacant eyes. He appeared to be listening to sounds magnified by night of buried cable buzzing
…a sound like angry bees… of hollow clank and gripping of Monterey fir brakes. Brass bell dingingechoed from the sides of stiff fronted houseslining all the street.
The gripman shook his head to clear an April 18th spell of Great Earthquake haunting… for he must complete an angled turn then clench the moving cable then coast toward the Muni barn. A strand of fog almost like smoke rose before him on the track… the derby man was gone.
Life films in the brain where all five senses support our starring role. Then as director…editor… we cut and splice the silent noise of thought so that an audience hears just selected words for characters we play.
One day in a garden Ditty shouted hieroglyphics
…much like the sound of garbled baseball scores… to row on row of daffodils drowsing in the sun. Next she charmed a school of carp …there lazing in a pond… to dance a koi ballet beneath the water lilies of plié…glissade…pirouette and swirling arabesque. And then she spied the cat and took evasive action …for only cats and Irish folk know how to truly see her… and floated to the branch of a cherry blossom tree. She sang sad songs and ballads
…“The Milkmaid’s Now A’ Weepin’” followed by “Oh, Danny Boy”… just to keep her spirits up as ascending all the while she flew from branch to branch. There at the top she caught the wing of a swooping nightingale
…who seemed to know the tunes… and together they flew far away one day in a garden.