Tales For A City: a love affair with bricks: #prompt, #microcosms

Readers here will know I love my city – London – with its many failings not forgotten or ignored. I’ve been lucky to visit many others: friendly, coherent, stunning, beautiful, historic, quirky. None come close to holding my attention apart maybe from one. One on another continent, with a different character and where I’ve never lived, only visited. That one? San Francisco. I took part in a prompt last week, over at Microcosms, the prompt being a characetr: Professor, place: San Francisco, and genre: Romance. This little piece won it. Who knew I could do soppy?

Maybe it was the wild hair, the half moon glasses or the piecing stare that got him his moniker: the Professor. He was a fixture here, just as much as the vertiginous Russian Hill, the Presidio, that bridge, Ghiradelli’s and Boudin’s sourdough. He sat at the top of Lombard Street every Monday giving motorists advice in haiku form as they eased their hired cars down the impossible hairpin. Tuesdays and he took a spot in the shadow of the iconic Coit tower, where he serenaded visitors with a set of tankas set to Music that eulogised the union labour that inspired its creation. The rest of the week was variously spent: in Haight Ashbury celebrating diversity through sonnets; Chinatown and the power of multiculturalism via rhyming limericks; and Union Square and the dissonance of capitalist consumerism through blank verse.

No one knew where he went at weekends. Rough guides, who spoke of catching the Professor as a local character much like any attraction, were equally clueless.

What they didn’t realise, what no one knew was how the Professor changed. From the bodily odiferous shabby hobo, he morphed into James Pattison, clean cut, grey suited and passionate cheerleader for all things San Frankie. He attended town meetings, appeared on local TV, wrote blogs, rallied and protested and tweeted and posted. He loved his city, the City like no one before or since. And in those quiet moments of repose, between debating and proselytising, he composed his weekly poetry output, taking time to include, expressly or obliquely that love in his homages to his Golden City, the place that had accepted a broken, bereft loner, embraced him, fed him and given him hope. 

His job was indeed as a Professor – a Professer of his adoration to this great conurbation, his Olympus.

PS any errors in geography are mine and mine alone. I wanted to work from my memory of that splendid, beguiling place…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in creative writing, flash fiction, prompt, Romance, San Francisco and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Tales For A City: a love affair with bricks: #prompt, #microcosms

  1. Lovely! Well done on the win! Have never been to S.F. but want to. My WIP is set there and in Monterey, so I make up settings from photos and imaginings instead of memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congrats on the win Geoff! Beautifully written.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Erika Kind says:

    Wow, awesome! Congratulations, Geoff!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations on the win Geoff. I didn’t think this particularly soppy at all – I thought it wonderful that your vast imagination could house this guy too – there should be more like him in the world. And I think, maybe he’s a little bit you………

    Like

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Congratulations Geoff, very well done ..
    Soppy your the king of soppy 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Good that you worked from memory, to give life to the story. Editing (and correctness) goes back and gives shape. We must first start with life and you do such a good job giving a sense of place and people in your writing, Geoff.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. JT Twissel says:

    Congrats! SF is home to many such eccentrics. Maybe you should send this piece to the SF Chronicle.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This reminds me of the San Francisco I moved to in 1980. San Francisco was teeming with street theater and poetry; the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were everywhere: one of them running for Mayor against Dianne Feinstein. I never knew when I was going to be part of a scene. You did a great job of writing the city I love. https://cthompson952.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/san-francisco-politics-jello-biafra-and-sister-boom-boom/

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations, Geoff! I’ve been to San Francisco in real life and now you’ve taken me there again. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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