The Hill Billy Comes too Late

Nicholas Quirke was not surprised when plans went awry the morning of 22nd December. Far from home and his amenities, it seemed only typical that he should should knock his front tooth out, ironically, with his electric toothbrush. He mused that the ‘Hill Billy’ look would have suited him earlier in the week, but now he was in the metropolis it was not an image he wanted to rock.  He tried to call Amex who were providing his insurance and could not get through as the line kept cutting off. It was an irritating set back but he decided to try and get an appointment with a dentist anyway. Nicholas was determined not to put off the first item on his agenda after encountering the crowds yesterday. This was a really personal treat for him as he had located Macondray Lane, supposed to be the model for Anna Madrigals Barbary Lane home. He was glad he went early as there was no one around so he could commune with the area and imagine the ghosts of Anna Madrigal, Michael Toliver, Mary Ann and Mona moving around. He continued with the mornings plans and went to Sequoia Park which took him across the amazing Golden Gate bridge to deep into the amazing vista and  forest of Redwoods. Nicholas was initially horrified by the hordes of people moving around the paths. But he then took a longer walk which added an hour to his walk but was mostly solitary and also gave him the opportunity to go rogue and break off the established path and deeper among the beautiful towering trees. He admitted to himself that he had not always been enamoured of trees but once in their midst he felt their lure and could not refrain from touching and incessantly photographing. He was due to visit Alcatraz in the afternoon but sorting out his tooth, which would not look good in Hollywood, became a precedent and he had to forgo his ticket and succumb gratefully to the dentists ministrations. With nothing to do once he had regained his confident smile Nicholas again wandered the tea rooms and shops of Castro and was delighted when he stumbled upon a ‘Pottery Barn’ and in tribute to ‘Friends’ he wandered in and fairly quickly wandered out. He had dinner in ‘The Cove’ and enjoyed a delicious lentil soup with homemade soda bread and a long conversation with the waitress. It was then back to the motel to put the final touches to his final journey and Christmas in LA.



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