It feels strange to be back in San Francisco after our week on the road. It is hard to know how to approach things. We have planned our day in advance – we are to return to Haight-Ashbury so Nathan can purchase a lap-steel guitar and I can peruse the stock at Amoeba Records – but when you’ve an early flight the next day it’s hard to make the most of a situation like this.
We puzzle over which is the best route to take to Haight and decide to walk to town and catch what we can from there. We board a bus headed in the general direction, but it only takes us so far. It is very hot – too hot to be loitering for unsubstantiated buses, so we walk from somewhere near Mission to our intended destination. It’s a bothersome journey up steep hills, but we find our way to Haight-Ashbury and go about our business there – Nathan purchases his lap-steel (after some deliberation) and I buy a couple or records: Weird War's If You Can't Beat 'Em, Bite 'Em and Marriage on the Rocks by The Amboy Dukes. (Incidentally, the next time I see Max will be when Weird War play live at the Metro in London. Whereas I will have fully recovered from my American caper in the intervening period, Max will still be in remission after a particularly brutal climax to his journey that culminated in his trip to New York.)
The weight of Nathan’s newly acquired instrument demands that we get a taxi back to our hostel.
It’s a quiet evening, although maybe not as measured as it should be given we’ve ordered a taxi to take us to the airport for 6:00 the following morning. We sink a few beers in Vesuvio, and another in the bar where John Lennon’s cinema-going buddy accosted us, grab a pizza and head back to the common room of the Green Tortoise. There we will end up talking politics with a savvy American until one o’clock in the morning, hanging on to the last fragments of a trip we never want to end.