Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

What you might learn if you climb through the trees to the top of Buena Vista Park in the middle of the night and try to catch your breath on the viewing bench, a love-hate relationship

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | August 11, 2007 3:46 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Buena Vista Park, cruising for sex, Noe Valley, pomegranate cosmo, San Francisco, San Quentin

This guy sits down next to me and starts talking about how he's going back to Australia because a friend from his childhood has a rare form of leukemia and he’s a doctor so he wants to go back and see if he can help, no not help but spend time with his friend and yes, maybe help because that's what he's trained to do, right?

Obviously this guy's tweaked, he says I bought a house in 1994 for 487,000, when I sold it in 2000 it went for 1.8 million, I mean we sold it -- I caught my lover of 14 years in bed with another guy, and to think I'd been loyal for all that time and he was propositioning coworkers of mine -- and I'm the kind of guy that finds it hard to keep $20 in my pocket but then I bought three houses in Las Vegas except that the tenants in one house turned out to be cooking speed so the house blew up but that was okay because of the insurance, except that I was on the city council, it's not a good thing to have tenants like that when you're on the city council -- I was just flipping those houses anyway I lived here in San Francisco from 1994 to 2000 and all of my friends were in the dot-com industry and after it crashed they left and San Francisco hasn't been the same since then, the other night I hooked up with a guy for sex at my house and he ripped me off blind, I've lived in a lot of cities and the guys here are really awful I think it's awful, really.

Some guy’s coming towards us, swaying like he's had way too much to drink, then he motions for us to make space on the bench so I move closer to my new friend, I'm eating the rest of my food now and the new guy notices my bottle -- is that water, he says. Like I'm going to give him some of my water -- it's gone anyway.

The tweaker continues: I knew I wanted to be a doctor when I was in high school so I took anatomy and physiology but then I've never ended up practicing in the hospital, I went to law school also because someone told me I could make a lot of money as an expert witness in court cases, then I spent a long time as the warden at San Quentin, you have to be a doctor in order to be a warden, in case of an emergency, but can you believe that I thought Noe Valley was another city I mean I spent so much time commuting to San Quentin and to Napa that when I got back I never left the Castro -- to think that Noe Valley was right around the corner, just the other day I discovered Union Street because my father sent me some money, it was waiting at a bank up there and then I thought oh, now I have money and there's all the shopping -- it was great.

But in high school I had the hottest chemistry teacher, this was 1977 in Santa Barbara there was still counterculture there -- this guy was so hot, and he asked me to be his assistant I was so excited just to spend time with him. Can you believe the first thing he did was teach me how to make G, then MDMA and crystal -- I went away to college, we grew apart, but then after college I went back to Santa Barbara, saw him at a party and I was crying my eyes out about how lonely I was and how much I missed him and then we got back together, he was my lover for 14 years and to think that he cheated on me like that, I walked in on him after 14 years, I'm going to Australia but I'll be back although I hate this town, I have a love-hate relationship I mean I'm a vodka snob -- I saw this recipe for a pomegranate Cosmo on Oprah, but I think she said to use Stoli and I don't drink anything less than Belvedere I like it crystal-clear the good thing about this park is that I get exercise, I had two heart attacks and then I needed more exercise.

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