February 14, 2021 ➳ Word of the day
The Saturday protocol was simple: open your eyes to an interrogative text, slow motion stumble out of bed, into a clean t-shirt, and directly to the end of a queue, 50 hipsters deep. Brunch in the Mission. Somebody heard this place was good, (“I heard this place was good”) so you print your name on a clipboard and issue a short, secular, prayer that the spent-the-night-in-the-Sunset straggler rounding out your party of five figures out her Uber before you are summoned by the host. (“Has anyone heard from Katie?”)
Then it is time to wait. Outside the restaurant, it’s a murmuration of retrospectives and kickoffs: “What happened to you last night? What should we do today?” Questions existential and practical but unanswerable. Every mind is crisp as fog and nobody’s had coffee except for the late-30s athleisure-clad couple near the top of the list, who’ve already clambered up and down Bernal Hill, with their doodle, hours ago.
The brunch wait is a hypoglycemic affair. I’m one of those who won’t look at a menu until I am seated. I can’t and won’t consider the blueberry pancake special unless I am a) holding a hot mug of mediocre coffee and b) epistemologically certain that I am dining at this restaurant today. Not unlike the Hollandaise bubbling somewhere inside, I have been burned too many times.
Your blood sugar plunge is resolved with mimosas, particularly the bottomless varietal. A mere $16 gets you a pint of cava and a shooting headache by 2:45pm. You shed the resultant hangover (your second of the day) in a cloud of THC on a blanket on Dolores Park. Rock breaks scissors, and paper covers rock, but can smoke smother firewater?
The shadows grow long and the Park drops 12 degrees. Everything anyone’s wearing is no match for San Francisco twilight. You saunter home for a disco nap of indefinite length, resting up for indefinite plans. The kickoff question was never answered. On the march back to our respective roommates, there are innocent bids (“Lone Palm?”), meaningless rebuttals (“It’s always busy”), and nebulous proposals (“Let’s go dancing!”). Something always ends up happening, and it’s rarely what you expect.
This was the Saturday protocol. It’s the easiest one of the week. There is one question and the question is brunch. Answer the call and bring patience. You’ll be rewarded with a $22 omelet, Millionaire’s bacon, and the frenetic blur that encircles our most ostentacious form of repast. Also known as youth.