The following is an excerpt from Tom Dinard’s piece for the Summer, 2012 issue of Cartel, the FlipCollective e-magazine.
It’s a predictable day for San Francisco’s Lower Pacific Heights. Foggy. Cold.
It’s a predictable day for me, too. It’s high noon, and I don’t have to leave for work at the newspaper until 2:30, which means I won’t leave until about 3.
So I do what I always do: rip a few bong hits while watching Northern Exposure.
I congratulate myself on the productive day I’ve had so far. I summoned enough motivation to descend three flights of stairs and meander out onto Pacific Avenue. I turned right, ambled the length of two small apartment buildings, entered the deli owned by George, the Palestinian, and bought the same sandwich, chips and lemonade I buy every day. I went back to the apartment, laughed during the daily commercial for the personal-injury lawyer in which a woman starts a sentence by saying, “If you’re in a auto accident,” and did another bong hit.
It’s the spring of 1996 and I’m a 26-year-old journalist making $480 a week. This is my life, I’m thinking, and I’m pretty damned good at it.
But that thought is replaced by another in an instant as a bolt of heat shoots from one temple to the other.
I have to interview Jewel.
In one hour.
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