These Things

Yesterday was one of those days when numerous simple things add up to a truly memorable day.

In almost daily fashion, I was in my local coffee shop by around 7am. Just a few minutes later, in walked my new pal Chuck and his dog Bella. Bella's eyes usually light up when she sees me. Or at least that's how I see it. Chuck's probably 75-years-old or so and we've become good pals as we've gotten to know each other. One of his daughters went to the same college as me.

By 10am I was on the local basketball court shooting jumpers. Any SF resident knows that yesterday was a spectacular day weather-wise. Unlike even the nicest days, there was very little wind; just sun and a near-perfect temperature. It's felt great getting back into playing basketball. And much to my surprise, I can still drain threes pretty consistently. (Yes, I just said that.) When I was a kid, basketball was my escape. Almost every single day, after school, I'd head across the street to the corner of the park and shoot alone. I'd pretend to be Michael Ray Richardson, Byron Scott, John Starks and Mark Jackson. I would stay until I could no longer see the rim. Yesterday reminded me of that. And what a stunning day. The sun had me soaking in sweat and full of reflection but still awash in the moments.

I then returned to the coffee shop for lunch. It was 11am. I talked with Mohammed and Greta for a while. Turns out Greta was playing a mix that included T. Rex, Holsapple and Stamey and other great stuff. For a 21-year-old, that's some mighty impressive taste. The sandwich was quite tasty. Some days I feel as though I could sit in this coffee shop for an entire day, and some days I guess I do. It really does feel like home: we laugh, play music, talk about whatever comes to mind. It's one of the main reasons that Alamo Square has become my favorite area of San Francisco. There's some grit in this neighborhood. We're kind of stuck in between The Western Addition, Hayes Valley and the Lower Haight. It's perfect. For me.

At around 230 I was heading to a doctors appointment. Windows open, sunroof open and Sam Cooke blasting at a volume that would've annoyed the crap out of me if it was another driver. But the spirit had hit me. And then one of those moments happened. I slowly edged up to a light, when two African-American fellas, one who had a striking resemblance to former Georgetown/Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, were singing along to the music in my car. After a few lines, Alonzo lookalike turned to me, shot a huge smile and gave a thumbs up. A chill ran down my back. Thanks, Sam.

Following my doctor's appt., I stopped by Yamo, my favorite restaurant in San Francisco. $5.25 for glorious Burmese food. After finishing dinner, I took a short napper, and then awoke to a surge of energy and worked out some more. I mean, I worked out twice in one day. Yes, me. I felt amazing. I was listening to a new record by Jason Lewis under the name Sad Iron Music, followed by a mix I made for my pal Armando. Not an hour later, Armando sent me a text saying that his wife loved my mix. These simple things.

At around 10pm, after finally finishing the book I've been reading for what seems like years, I went downstairs to take the garbage out. Instead of heading right back up, I walked to the building's backyard. What a spectacular night. Stars everywhere. The air was a bit crisp, but not cold. The plants and flowers were overflowing in our little backyard. Even in the darkness, I could see the red heads of a few of the plants. I stood outside, stretched and just looked around and listened. Some small noises from inside apartments. Trees, worn down fences and a sky that makes you believe.