Jack Boulware

       It’s turning out to be another one of those days where it’s difficult to leave the house. Unexciting hours tick past. I move text around the computer, rearranging paragraphs. A cast member of the musical revue Co-Ed Prison Sluts calls, asking if I would like to perform the role of the prison warden for two shows this coming weekend. There is a grand total of two lines, plus one additional scene with a beagle named Sloopy. They rotate the role frequently, and for some reason would like to see me flail through it. I tell him I’d have to think it over, and immediately call someone else who has played the warden. I’m told to do it.
       A few errands are located over in the Haight/Ashbury, home to a petri dish of street urchins, from neo-hippies and neo-punks to young people showing their friends the city: “There’s a lot of good falafel places around here.” No sign of Letterman’s Manny the Hippie. Outside the Gap outlet sits a bum in the sun. His sunglasses look very dapper. In front of him sits what looks like one of those Big Chief tablets. He turns over another page and picks up a pencil. It’s been a busy day of sketching.
       Later in the evening, it’s time to drive a new female acquaintance across the bay to San Rafael for a performance of the National Theater of the Deranged, a veteran improvisational theater show, which I’ve been associated with in one form or another since I moved to California 14 years ago. The pre-show dinner is running late, so we dash to get some Thai food, and when we return, the theater owner has fear in her eyes. They’ve been waiting. Without me, they have no MC or music. I meekly slip backstage and the cast is more than relieved. We do the show, the audience is lethargic for the first half, but comes around, and by the end they’re completely into it.
       My friend then proceeds to drag me through a strange, noisy evening of San Francisco nightlife, from something called Uncle Stinky’s Peep Show–a bar of zaftig go-go dancers who serve jello shots from between their breasts–to what she calls “a jungle/trip-hop scene” at the Liquid Lounge, to yet another beer at The Make-Out Room, followed by a dubious breakfast in the Mission. I leave her house at 6:17 a.m. and drive home through the empty streets as the light begins to creep over the horizon. Some weeks are better than others.