1/31/13, a hat shop in North Beach, San Francisco
I assumed the man was speaking gibberish. The sound had come from behind me and I ignored it for a while in the hope that it might go away.
The gibberish became more insistent, with discernible repeated syllables, and I turned around because this was a music show and I can't bear the thought of a scene in an audience, even a very small scene in a small audience, in a hat shop half-filled by a very loud brass band.
"Aren't you Chinese?"
I had to explain to the man that I am not Chinese. He looked like Omar Sharif, if Omar Sharif was leached of all color and afflicted with a form of plastic surgery that tugged his eyebrows into points. He was carrying an enormous Pomeranian under one arm.
"Is that your boyfriend playing the trumpet?"
I had to explain to the man with the enormous Pomeranian that the fellow playing the trumpet was not my boyfriend. The man opened his eyes, very wide and very shiny, and everything in his face pulled up under his pointed eyebrows into a smile of delight.
"In that case," the man said, "I'd like you to meet Buddy. I think the two of you would get along fine."
The Pomeranian, which was much larger than I thought it possible for a Pomeranian to be, a giant slab of fluff beached on the length of the man's arm, extended a paw.