Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

small cafes, ordinary ways

After my meetings, I walked to my hotel and then called my friend Eric. Eric and I went to law school together. He never really wanted to be a lawyer, but just wanted the experience of the place. After we graduated, he went to grad school and got a master's in rhetoric. When he took some time off from his rhetoric PhD program at U Iowa, I invited him to kill some time helping me with a big case in LA for which I desperately needed paralegal help. He served the job well, and found he liked being a paralegal. If one does it right, one can work reasonable work hours and yet still make a living wage as a paralegal. He's worked for years at a mega-law-firm, which he enjoys doing. Eric is one of those people who lives reasonably modestly and literally travels the world every time he gets time off. He's just started working again in downtown SF after a six month time travelling and resting up.

He walked to my hotel, and took me to one of those little restaurants that only SF really seems to have--a dozen tables, a quiet, old-fashioned feel, a modern menu. He drank an iced tea while I had one of those steaks with an odd salad-y sauce on it, only I never ask just what the sauce might be, for fear my utter disinterest in the Food Channel will become clear.

We then went to his apartment, in an older multi-story building near downtown, where the furniture store people had that very day delivered his new Crate and Barrel furniture. We talked about old law school friends, old professors, the fundamental eccentricities of law firm life, using in particular some examples from my prior law firms, and about what a fun city Portland is. I really enjoyed spending a few hours with an old friend, and did not really mind that I did not get back to my hotel room until midnight. He sent me off with a Rumpole book I want to re-read and an odd thing by the fellow who does the very quirky Museum of Jurassic Technology, LA's satiric "faux museum". The book seems better than the museum is. Now I have a second day of meetings, and then must catch a "red eye" flight back to Texas. I feel rested, on less sleep, due to good conversation and an odd steak with salad dressing on it.

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