The Condor Club, San Francisco, 1970
(Wikipedia photo... by Michael Holley)
Hawk Season Notebook #336
Poison mushrooms. That kind of 1971 wariness. You stand belly-ill in front of a Chinatown window, stare at wood slat cages of mallard ducks. It is a touristy night. Your girlfriend is behind you, holding you, holding a good camera. North Beach is filled with orange and yellow lights, blues and hot-pinks. There is a wreck at Broadway and Columbus... two identical Ford Mavericks. A bloody-brow woman in a fur coat is at the sidewalk curb by the Condor Club... moaning. Your girlfriend has a basement apartment in the Marina where you sometimes sleep. She keeps a small garden. She likes paper lanterns. She asks, Want duck next Friday... without mushrooms? Two tow trucks pull up. The Condor Club's neon, outlining a famous stripper, blinks; Carol Doda, you say to your girlfriend, I met her before she got silicone. You will soon break up, so you stroll your girlfriend back into Chinatown and buy, to be romantic, another paper lantern... a space filler.