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Photofictional for May 13, 2008 (162 of 341) <<-first last->> slideshow <-previous next->
The tour ended back at the wharf (409 views)
Electric Tour Company, Adventure Segway Tour
Photo Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008
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(2008) San Francisco, California

© 2008 Bryan Costales
Creative Commons License

James Dorfs had turned 64 just that summer, but his mind fled years before. Bad alcohol they thought. Or maybe siphoning gas. "Yes, yes. I'm wrong. I remember now. It was bowling balls. Yeah, that's it. Bowling balls."

His son, Hale, named after Nathan Hale, sold cars during the week. Sunday was his day to watch his Dad. "Okay, explain."

James waved his arm to indicate the huge ship tied to the dock where they stood behind Fisherman's Wharf. "See them dents. There at the bow. I made those myself during the war. I worked where they built them in Sausalito. Course I was stronger back then. I would throw the bowling balls at the ship and dent it."

"Dad! Don't you ever listen to yourself? You didn't build ships, you worked in the White House during the war. You answered phones at the switchboard."

In the silence Hale listened to the huge cables complain. A seagull swooped in and squawked.

"Yes, yes. I'm wrong. It's this noggin of mine." James tapped his balding head. "Blew a tire in there. No. It was on Route 66. No. I remember now. It was on 101 near Gilroy."

"You hungry Dad?"

A group of tourists on Segways pulled onto the wharf and parked. Hale wandered over to them and chatted for a bit. While he talked he kept his eye on his Dad.

His Dad would sometimes skip like a bad DVD. Stutter inside his mind and suddenly fast forward. Taking care of his Dad, Hale concluded, was like trying to balance on two wheels. Without modern technology, it wasn't possible.

Hale walked back to his Dad and took his arm. "Dad?"

"Yes, yes. Food sounds good. I ate a horse once. No. The enlisted men ate the horse. No. It wasn't a horse. I remember now, it was a deer. On a hunting trip. In Alaska."

Hale led his Dad back toward crowded Fisherman's Wharf. "I was thinking about crab."

Hale heard music. Tinkly, mechanical music. Then he heard folks speaking Chinese.

"Yes, yes. Crab sounds good. I remember now. It wasn't bowling balls, it was baseballs. We practiced pitching. It was the ball team. I remember now. I played second base. No. It was right field. No. I was catcher."

"Let's eat," Hale said. "Then I'll get you back to the home."

A man on the corner played inverted cans like drums. A man with a sign passed them, mumbling about the end of the world. Tourists chatted with each other and with distant friends glued to their ears.

Hale glanced at his Dad. He saw an old Ford whose engine caught fire every now and then. A previously owned lemon. He squeezed his Dad's arm. "I miss you Dad."

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