I got back to San Francisco from Europe with just a dollar in my pocket which was not even enough to take the Airporter bus into the City. Thankfully, my brother Jim, from my mom’s first marriage came and picked me up at the airport and brought me to his house in Hayward, which is about thirty miles outside of San Francisco in the East Bay.. Mom had left me some cash there and I was able to rest for a few days before going back to the City.
Leslie was still living at 1150 Sanchez Street when I got back and was kind enough to let me move back in with her temporarily. She was actually going to move to New Mexico to be with Paul, a schoolteacher she had met along the way and fell in love with. She wanted me to stay in teh apartment after she left and be room mates with a friend of hers, named Diane, but I had no intention of doing that. Diane was another druggy type and I was not interested in living that lifestyle by now. I had skills and I planned on getting back to work as soon as possble and getting my own place again.
By the time Leslie was packing for her move to New Mexico, I had got my job back at Saint Francis and one of the secretaries there, Kathleen, was moving from a flat she shared with several gay men and let me know her room was going to be available.
I moved to Guerrero street with Walter, his lover Michael and a physically disabled guy on crutches, named Dennis. I had a room overlooking Guerrero Street.
Walter also worked at Saint Francis as a nurses aid or orderly. Neither Michael or Dennis worked. Dennis was on disability and I think Michael just got food stamps. Even though Michael worked the least and brought in the least amount of money into the house, he wanted to dictate to others what groceries to buy and what household chores they should do. He was one of the most controlling and entitled people I had ever met. Walter and Dennis were pretty easy going but since Walter was Michaels lover, he would always support Michael in his tirades.
Walter and Dennis were both gong to “fashion” school in downtown San Francisco, near Uniton Square and visits to Britex fabrics was a common occurence. I bought several shirts from the two of them, partly to support their efforts but also partly because they did pretty good worrk and their creations were unique.
Eventually though, Michael made it impossible to go on living in the flat on Guerrero Street. He wanted me to buy the health foods that he liked which I think may have even been vegetarian and I had no interest in doing that. I was going to buy food with my money that I actually enjoyed eating. This totally frustrated him.
The Guerrero Street flat was a lovely, huge flat in the Mission District of San Francisco. The Mission has always been a predominately Hispanic neighborhood in all my years in San Francisco. This is when I first discovered La Cumbre burritos. At that time, it was one of the only places of it’s type in the Mission and certainly the best place to get a burrito. Over the years, dozens of places opened to compete with La Cumbre, but I have remained loyal to them and their fast food and still visit at least once a year.
I was still pining for Xavier in Europe and we were corresponding. One of the hot bars at the time was called “Alfies” and it was located on Market Street. It had a raised dance floor and was actually kind of dangerous if you were not carefully paying attention to where the edge of the dancefloor was. In those days, it was common for people to use “poppers” on the dance floor. This was amyl nitrate which sould sniff out of a small bottle and it would give you a bit of a rush. You would also use this same chemical when having sex. It was very popular in those days. It’s use on the dancefloor stopped with the AIDs epidemic as many thought there might be a connection to it and AIDS before it was discovered that a virus caused the disease.
Eventually, I met a hot man at Alfies that was deaf. I don’t remember his name but he was very cute and we had a brief affair while I was living in the flat on Guerrerro. I tried to learn a little sign language but the relationship was ultimately doomed because we just couldn’t communicate very well. We were also young and at that time, nobody was ready to settle down.
Michael would also make arbitrary household chore assignments. Since he didn’t work at all or really do much of anything, he had no understanding of why anyone that did work might want to relax or rest when they were not working. I think I might have been working nights at the time but I do remember that he had assigned me to do some housecleaning on a day that I was off and I felt that sleep was more important and so he went on one of his tirades. That was when I started looking for another place to live.