The womens start to shakin, and the mens they start to fight.

Music – Queen – Another One Bites the Dust

“Wake up, Drew.”

My cousin, 19, is curled up in a white plastic chair out on the concrete patio behind the bar. It’s almost 3 AM. We’re out in the no man’s land of SOMA, somewhere out past 15th and Utah.

“We need to talk about Sunday.”

The bateria plays on inside the building, and the ground shakes in time with the people dancing. A group of Hondurans sit at a table across from us, smoking cheap cigarettes and murmuring in Spanish. A girl whose name I can’t remember, dressed in a full-on peacock feather head-dress, is passed out behind a pile of drums.

Drew shakes herself awake, and I hand her another Pacifico. My buddy Sapo pops his head out the nearby door, a martini in each hand. He’s half naked.

“YOU GUYS SEEN MY SHIRT?” We stare at him for a moment, silent. He goes back inside. That’s 3 AM at a Carnaval pre-party for ya.

“Yeah OK, what’s up?” Drew asks.

She’s mature for her age, and worldly despite her small-town Idaho upbringing. She’s smart, resourceful, and ruthlessly sarcastic. Of course. She is my cousin, after all. Still, I worry that she’s woefully unprepared for the harsh reality of the day to come. Hell, we all are.

I take a deep breath.

“Listen, Bay to Breakers is a fucking monster. It’s a living creature that devours the weak and destroys the timid. It has no heart and it has no eyes.”

“You’re drunk.” She says.

“Don’t let that detract from the wisdom of my words, Drew. This is serious. B2B is unlike anything you’ve ever seen or can even conceive of. It’s beautiful and horrible and will fucking break you if you turn your back on it.”

“Ok.” She nods.

“Some rules. Never, ever let go of your cell phone. Ever. Keep it on you at all times. Never leave the group by yourself. It’s unbelievably easy to get lost in a crowd of 100,000 moving people. Don’t pee in front of cops. Don’t take drinks from strangers.”

“Ok. Can do.”

“Good. Also don’t talk to boys or do drugs. And carry this ten-inch serrated hunting knife with you. Just in case.”

“Ok.” She takes the knife cautiously, holding it with two fingers, like it’s a dead, distasteful thing.

“And for Christ’s sake stay close to me. If anything happens to you, your mom will nail me to a tree in Montana and leave me for the grizzlies.”

She nods.

“One more thing.”

“What?”

“This is gonna be the greatest day of your life.”

———

Six AM Sunday and I’ve been awake all night, waiting for my alarm to go off. It’s so foggy outside I can’t see the next building over, in the twilight. I put on my costume and start packing stuff up, running up and down the hallway, unable to contain myself.

“WAKE THE HELL UP!” I shout, clapping and skipping around the apartment in my boardshorts. “WE’VE GOT A RACE TO DRINK.”

Shak and Drew appear at their respective doorways, bleary-eyed, confused by all the noise.

“WOOOOO.” I wave my hands around.
“WOOOOOOOOOO. Let’s go load up the float.” They ignore me and lurch to the kitchen in search of sustenance. They don’t understand.

Bay to Breakers is everything that is good about San Francisco. All the filth, the hypocrisy, the high rent, the white people, Critical Mass… B2B cancels all that bullshit out in one fell swoop. It’s a frenzied and glorious celebration of life and youth in San Francisco. It’s the polar opposite of retarded, campy, low-class shit like Burning Man, and Christmas. The weasel fuckers in charge of this town have thus-far ruined everything from Halloween to tailgating at the baseball game.

But not this.

It’s a perfect, out of control, seven mile long disaster area and I love it.

“PUT YOUR GAME FACES ON. WE’RE MAKING IT TO THE BEACH THIS YEAR.”

———

“and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Nietzsche

We stand around our float at the starting line, just after seven. We wait at the heart of it all. The roar of fifty thousand revellers is deafening, consuming, cleansing. Drew is wide-eyed, the rest of us feign nonchalance. Everything is in place. We’ve dragged our wheeled table up to the edge of the starting line. Mahesh and I play beirut against two girls dressed as boat captains, and wait for the gunshot. There are so many people. Bodies a thousand deep in every direction as far as the eye can see. Fifty Brazilians dressed in hazmat suits, their backpack pesticide spray tanks filled with tequila, dance by in a huge congo line.

Fuck yes.

A girl in a Richard Nixon mask, wearing a huge glossy pair of mylar wings, runs up and high-fives me. I look up to the gray sky, to where the skyscrapers disappear in the foggy shroud.

The gun goes off.

The race begins.

——–

Our party becomes a tempest. All the excitement and the anticipation becomes kinetic, and we surge forward, pressed up into the thousands ahead of us by the tens of thousands behind us.

“What’s with the tortillas?!” I hear Drew scream over the din. The sky is white with them. Several are caught in Mahesh’s afro.

“Tradition!”

I snatch one out of the air before it hits our triangle of beer cups, and toss it to Drew.

“Throw it!”

She lets it rip, and it sails off over the human sea.

“Well?” Somebody asks her. “Are you having fun yet?”

Mahesh and I keep playing as the table moves forward. Beirut on the move is damn near impossible, for the record. Two more boat girls dance ahead of us, blowing whistles and hussling the slow and confused out of our way. On the sides of the table, ten people shove our float forward with braced poles, like galley slaves in some ancient Norse ship. We creep forward, riding the slow wave of utter chaos around us.

Mahesh sinks the last cup. Everyone is cheering. Lilley and Ryan are manning the kegs, blasting beer into cup after cup. Somewhere up ahead a faux-lifeguard tower blasts techno music. Ten or so people dressed up as Mario Karts dash by, weaving their way through and around the slow floats.

Up ahead, the sea parts for a few yards. Two stone-faced, dead-eyed white men hold signs, standing fast and silent against the tide of humanity.

“MY GOD WHAT GREAT COSTUMES!” I shriek, running up to them. “YOU GUYS LOOK JUST LIKE REAL JESUS FREAKS COME TO HATE ON OUR FUN.” They say nothing, don’t even blink. Twenty naked girls form a ring around them, holding hands and dancing in circles.

I wonder what goes through their minds. They hold their signs, proclaiming the wrath of their ancient and vengeful god against us base sinners.

I toss my camera to a boat girl, and give my best shit-eating grin and double thumbs up, standing between the two zealots. The flash goes off. I lean in to the closer of the two fanatics. I whisper in his ear. He won’t look at me.

“Welcome to Babylon, motherfucker. We’re having an orgy and mass suicide at 31st and Balboa. I hope you can make it.”

Our float surges past, and I leap headlong on to the table, laughing like a jackal.

I see Drew and Lilley waving to a crowd of people in blue tights and capes, standing around fake voting booths. Superdelegates. Haha.

A girl stumbles by, carried by two teenagers in togas. She’s bleeding profusely from the face.

We push forward.

Ten minutes later, we reach the end of the first block.

———

Our float, including the two kegs, weighs upwards of five hundred pounds, but we find it surprisingly easy to plow forward through the chaos. It’s a beast, its plywood skin tattooed blue and yellow. Four by fours for bones, iron for muscle and beer for blood. It is strong. It is unstoppable. We are invincible.

With five of us on each side, the beast moves forward seemingly under its own power. We all touch it so lightly, yet it manifests such decisive, almost supernatural motion, like the guide on a ouija board.

The ground is a swamp of filth and spilled alcohol. We’re ankle deep in it, mashed tortillas and piss. We power onward, passing a flaming wreck of overturned shopping carts. A boat, an honest to god boat on a trailer, follows close behind us, pulled by three gargantuan weightlifters in rapelling harnesses. Two girls in bikinis dance on the sun deck.

We press forward, ever forward through the tempest. I hold up my cup for a screaming cheers with everyone around me, and friend and stranger alike, joins in.

We are unstoppable. We are immortal. We push onward, across Third street.

———

Disaster.

I am near to weeping. Fuck, how could this happen.

We cross Fifth at a quarter of our previous speed. We’ve shredded a tire. Our horse has gone lame. Lilley pries the opposite tire off, to level us out.

Fuck. FUCK. The old wheels we used for the rear tires, stolen from some ancient landscaping trailer, dissolved in the acidic, grimey bog of the race. After five damn blocks.

Now it’s just a fucking countdown. We’re riding on the rims, flimsy aluminum rims. We’ve got a centimeter, literally, of ground clearance. For now.

GOD FUCKING SHIT. CROM.

“CROM.” I scream, arms raised.

“CROM WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME IN MY HOUR NEED.”

“Are you ok?” A boat girl asks. I shake my head. We are supremely fucked, and we’re not even a quarter of the way to the end. Our float limps onward.

Deep breath, Trevor.

Sack up.

I grab Alcorn and Maneesh, pulling them aside from the body of our group.

“Listen, guys. We are fucked. Those fucking rims are gonna wear down in like two blocks, at the outside. We’re already scraping on every bump bigger than a pimple on a baby’s ass. We need to do something.”

“What do we do? We don’t have tools, or spare wheels.”

“We need something else to rest it on.” I say. “We need one of those fucking… roller… things you ride on to get under cars, to change your oil and shit. Or a fucking skateboard. I’d give my left nut for a skateboard right now.”

“I think all the auto parts stores around here are gonna be closed. It’s Sunday, and it’s B2B.” Maneesh says. “I’ll start calling them just in case.”

“Good man.”

“I’ll keep these guys pushing as far as I can.” Alcorn says.

“Grace under pressure, dudes. We can get past this.”

Suddenly there’s a shriek of grinding metal and wood, and the float swerves off towards a curb, crashing into a mailbox.

We’re dead in the water.

“Trevor, you better come look at this.”

———

“Well we’re double fucked now.”

The right wheel, what’s left of it, has a plastic syringe jammed between the wheel and the chassis. It won’t budge.

Deep breath. Everyone’s looking to me. You built the thing, their eyes say. You fix it.

Fucking shit fuck argh.

“Alright. Anybody have anything we can pry with?”

Ryan hands me a carabiner from his keychain. Mahesh, huge afro and all, is bent down over the wheel, car keys in hand. I hunker down with him.

“Hold up dude, this isn’t just some fucking trash here, this is a syringe. I don’t know about touching this thing.” I say.

“The needle part’s broken off.”

“Yeah.” We sit there and stare at it for a second.

“Fuck it, who wants to live forever?” I jam my hand into the wheel and start trying to get ahold of the disgusting syringe. Mahesh starts prying at it with his car keys while I work on it with Ryan’s carabiner.

Ten minutes later and the thing is halfway out, and Mahesh’s car key is folded in half. He shrugs it off like it’s no big deal, grabs a beer, and starts dancing with a bunch of girls dressed like Baywatch babes.

What a guy.

I keep prying at the thing, using all my inebriated strength. They say you get stronger in times of desperation. Moms lifting semi trucks off of their toddlers and shit, after a car wreck. Well it better fucking be true. Cuz this sombitch does not want to come out…

“Why are you guys stopped?” A girl dressed as a slutty Little Bo Peep tabs me on the shoulder. I look up, sweating and furious, my hands covered in unmentionable filth and disease.
“What are you dooooooooooing?” She asks.
I stare at her for a second, my hands wrapped around a used syringe and the axel of a broken down float. Fifty thousand people march around us, elated and hollering.

I can feel the earth turning beneath me. I can sense the twisting orbits of the galaxy around me. It’s an almost religious moment.

“Bitch what’s it look like I’m doing? I’m fucking rethinking my fucking life choices. I’m fucking thinking about how the fuck I ended up prying a god damn used syringe out of a tire under a five hundred pound float in the middle of this fucking unbelievable bullshit chaos. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU doing?!”

She leans down and kisses me on the top of the head.

“Good luck!”

What the fuck. Fucking bay to breakers.

I turn back and, using every ounce of strength I have, wrench the fucking syringe out of the wheel, collapsing in a heap in the gutter.

“Got it.”

———–

We hit Sixth street with a little luck and a lot of pushing. Mahesh and Ganesh, our two big ass Indians, strong as god damn draft horses, push from the back. The rear of the float is grinding on the pavement now. Our rims are gone.

“This fucking wing-and-a-prayer shit is not gonna work up Hayes Hill.” I tell Alcorn and Lilley. “We need a solution, or this heavy bitch is getting left on Van Ness, kegs and all.”

Maneesh runs up waving a cell phone. “Dude, there’s a Sports Authority at Thirteenth and Folsom. Maybe they have skateboards.”

“Are they open?” It’s now about 9:45.
“I fucking hope so. I fucking hope so.”

Maneesh, Drew and I set off at a dead run for Sports Authority.

———-

The employees open the door right as we arrive, and we skid through the entry way. Beer spills out of our red solo cups, which we set down next to the cash register.

“Please fucking tell me you sell skateboards.” Drew says to the cashier. I realize suddenly that the man the cashier’s talking to, the man we just cut in front of and interrupted in all our beer-soaked glory, is a cop. He stares at me, and I stare at him.

“We sure do. End of aisle six.”

“HALLELUJAH!” Maneesh high-fives the pig. We collect our beers and run off through the store. The cop just shakes his head.

Ten minutes and a hundred and twenty bucks later we’re sprinting across Market with four skateboards. Though we’re several blocks off from the main vein of the race, already the roar makes your ears hurt.

“WHERE ARE YOU GUYS.” Maneesh is screaming into his phone. “GOUGH AND WHAT? WHAT SIDE OF THE STREET.” We hit the edge of the crowd at a sprint, shoving and cursing and elbowing our way forward. It’s chaos, utter fucking chaos.

———

We round the corner onto Hayes just in time to find our float scraping along the side of a thrashed Integra. Mahesh and Ganesh, panting from their efforts, have manhandled our quarter-ton float almost a half mile by this point. They stand tall and imperious, though vaguely ridiculous in their basketball jersey and Mardis Gras beads, amidst the crowd of shorter white people.

“I can see Mahesh’s fro!” I shout, and we worm our way through the teeming hordes.

“ALRIGHT MOTHERFUCKERS!” I shout. A cheer goes up. “LIFT!” Grunting and shaking, Mahesh and Ganesh lift the rear end up off the pavement while Drew and I hastily jam the boards under the rear axels.

“Is this gonna work?” Somebody asks me.

“Fuck if I know. We’re about to find out.”

——-

“PUSH.” Somebody yells.

The float creaks, groans. The skateboards tremble under the strain. There are people on all sides of the table. My shoes slide backwards on the piss-slick asphalt.

“PUSH.”

We push.

The float lurches forward. We’re moving.

“FUCK AND YES.” Everyone’s leaping and hugging and whooping. We’re mobile again.

“THANK YOU CROM.” I shout. “I SHALL NOT FORGET THIS.”

“Who the fuck is Crom?”

——

We come around the last corner and the Hill stands before us.

“Oh my god.” I hear Drew say. “Look at that.”

The first half of the race is dead flat. You plow your way along the base of a manmade canyon, of garages and hotels and seedy bars. You can see the ten thousand or so people around you, but nothing beyond. There’s no real perspective.

When you hit the base of that hill, though. You can look up and see just how massive this shit is. A mile of people stretches off to the horizon. A MILE of people, packed sardine tight, up to the peak of the hill. Every color, every shape imaginable. So much vibrant, omni-directional motion can make you sea-sick if you watch it for too long. Your optic nerves burn with the sheer unbelievable scale of it all.

“Look at that.”

“Well the easy part’s over. Now we really need to start pushing.” A girl in a cowboy hat comes by and fills all our beers up.

“Let’s get this motherfucker up the hill.”

I look down at the wobbling, quivering skateboard and pray a little, under my breath.

——-

We crest the hill at top speed. No problem. I think we even caught air, for a second there.

No fucking problem.

The group’s energy and excitement has returned ten-fold now that we’re moving again, and everyone pushes with such giddy abandon that the once-intimidating hill flies by. People we didn’t even know, people we’d never seen before and will never see again ran up to help us push, grinning and laughing. To see such varied people, who would never make eye contact with you or hold open a door for you on a regular day, laboring by your side for no purpose other than general kindness and merriment… well, that’s a beautiful thing folks.

If Bay to Breakers is about anything, it’s about getting fucked up. But if it’s about any TWO things, it’s about getting fucked up and brotherly love.

I run into several friends, people I haven’t seen in years, at the top of the hill. Kevin, from the dorms. The other Kevin, from high school. Peter’s sister, Katie. The partying is redoubled at the top of the hill. After all, the hard part’s over. It’s all down hill from here.

Shak reappears.

“Where the hell did you go?” Drew asks.

“I went… to find a bathroom.”

“Bullfuckingshit!” I yell. “You took off so you wouldn’t have to push, don’t lie.” I laugh and give him a hug. “Lazy ass motherfucker.”

He shrugs and grins. He can’t deny it. We play some flipcup together against some guys dressed as Waldo.

——-

The downhill slope is a little tricky. Our float is fucking heavy. Inertia becomes our enemy. Well not our enemy, I guess, more the enemy of anyone too slow to get out of our way. We’re plowing fools down left and right.

“NO BRAKES.” I’m shouting, unheeded. “NO BRAKES.”

One of the boat girls tries desperately to clear a path for our out of control beirut table, shoving and hollering fruitlessly.

Alcorn and I hold the rear poles of the table, my shoes and his flipflops gliding ineffectually along the greasy asphalt. We might as well be waterskiing.

“MOVE OR DIE.” I yell.

Several people, drunk and unawares, caught a quarter-ton table in the small of the back that day. And that’s some unpleasant shit to say the least.

After a block I gave up trying to slow the monster down. It paid me no heed anyway. Let the thing kill people, whatever. Can’t make an omelette, and all that.

“Next year I’m building a god damn cattleguard on to the front. A big rebar bastard that’ll just scoop all these people right the hell out of the way.”

“Or shatter their ankles and leave them crying, bloody in the gutter.”

“Or that.”

I grabbed one of the spare skateboards and latched on to the back of the thing, whizzing down towards the Popeye’s at ludicrous speed.

——-

Around the turn on to Fell, things get out of hand. It’s like this every B2B, but this year seemed particularly insane. Driven mad by their drive up the hill, and drunk with the glory of being half-way through the race, people go a little whacko. On Divis, you’re close enough to the projects that a lot of Questionable Motherfuckers show up, and two ninety degree turns in one block are surprisingly difficult for fifty thousand drunks to navigate.

We were far behind the crest of the wave by this point. The delays with the wheels had put us far in the rear of the main race, back with the idiots and the drunkards who’d lost track of their groups and were stumbling along aimlessly, like costumed zombies.

The spearhead of the race was far down on Fell by this point, heading into the park, and here we were, mired in the back with the ditched retards and the abandoned floats.

“We need to speed this up. We need to get back with the main crowd, man.” I said to no one in particular. Moaning, disheveled guys with shredded costumes collapsed in the streets around us, pissing themselves. Outside of Popeyes, two cops tazered a guy in a little girl’s bumblebee costume.

He flailed around on the ground, saying with surprising calm and coherence, “I pissed on my tutu. Oh no. I pissed on my tutu.”

Alcorn rallied the troops and we shoved onward, faster and faster in hope of outrunning the awful wake around us.

——–

Fell street is where things really start to fall apart. Block after block of house parties, people dancing in their yards or passing out in the panhandle. Shopping carts are ditched, empty kegs tossed aside, drunk friends abandoned. A park ranger, an old lady with a goofy Smokey the Bear-looking khaki hat, yells ineffectually at the hundreds of people pissing on the eucalyptus trees. So much for enforcement.

That’s what happens when the city puts out ten portapotties every two miles. Talk about poor planning. It’s foul, but after four years of this you get a little inured. The sight and the smell doesn’t faze me.

We trudge ahead, plenty inebriated ourselves. Mahesh is out of control, dancing and leaping wildly. His afro slides down over his eyes. One of the boat chicks is in a fake wrestling ring float, taunting all comers. She dropkicks some fat guy who climbs up the side to take her photo. Ranjit and Nicola play flipcup with two naked dudes, one of which looks disturbingly like Karl Rove.

“WHERE’S DREW.” I glance around wildly, every twenty yards or so.

“Still here.” She waves. She stays close to the float, avoiding the crazies.

“Stick close, this is when shit gets a little insane. We’ll be safer once we get in to the park.”

——–

We run aground at the entrance to the Golden Gate Park. The skateboard slips out from beneath the chassis and our float grinds to an abrupt, crunching halt.

“Break time, apparently.” I wander around a bit, looking for Claire and Hillary’s group. They’re supposed to be around here somewhere.

“Anybody seen a whole bunch of Richard Simmonses?” I ask passersby. They all shake their heads. When I get back to the float, two orange-skinned Oompa Loompas are negotiating for beer from our kegs. They want to fill up their empty Jaeger bottles. Alcorn’s trying to get ten bucks a piece out of them.

I lay down in the grass, and close my eyes. I listen to the mayhem. Breaking glass, shouting. We’re never gonna catch the core. We’re too far back. Around me, people collapse in the gutters and in the bushes. I look over and see a guy dressed as a ninja turtle taking a dump inside a collapsed Rock Star Energy Drink tent. I give him a thumbs up, and he nods politely.

Back at the turn on to Fell, next to Popeye’s, some drunks had plowed down the fence, and without the barrier about half the race had blindly continued on Hayes. They ended up far off the race route, and now I see several of the disoriented groups dragging their floats through the grass, cross country from the other side of the park, seeking the main route.

“Fuck. No way are we making the beach.” I tell Drew.

The sun goes back behind the clouds.

It starts getting cold.

——

I get up to go play flipcup with Shak. The rest of the group is milling around, resting, drinking. The boat girls are lost, as is Ryan. Haven’t seen that dude in like three miles. Attrition is high after Hayes, and if you’re lost it’s damn hard to get found again.

A tall, six four at least, meatheaded dude stands drunkenly next to our float on Shak’s side. We set up the cups, ignoring him. Suddenly everything goes batshit.

Shak’s shoving the huge guy, cussing him out. “FUCK YOU MAN. GET THE FUCK OFF. FUCK OFF.” He shouts and shoves the guy, who collapses on the pavement before standing back up.

Those of us that are friends with Shak often forget that, underneath his genial and kindly teddy-bear demeanor, he’s one big fucking muscle, capable of insane feats of strength and destruction if provoked.

“WHOA WHOA WHOA.” I remember shouting, leaping up on to the table to try and get them apart. Shak was literally enraged, and this guy was gonna get ripped the fuck in half. I looked into Shak’s eyes, and saw this idiot’s death. Holy shit. The guy was big, but even if he wasn’t blackout drunk he wouldn’t stand a chance against Shak.

Shak was going to kill this guy.

“WHAT the fuck man.” I grab Shak by his shoulders. As I do, I realize what was going on. The drunk fucker was pissing on our float, right under the table and on to the kegs. Probably on to Shak, too.

Suddenly our whole group has the guy surrounded. Too drunk to speak, let alone to fight back, he swings blindly a couple times. Lilley and Alcorn shove him back on to the grass, and I keep myself between him and Shak.

Everyone’s shouting. It’s a melee. A big guy tromps out of the crowd to support the falling drunk. He pumps his fists. “Let’s at least make it fair.”

Alcorn shouts “HE FUCKING PISSED ON OUR KEGS.” The chivalrous big guy, our enemy’s temporary ally, looks at his stumbling drunk compatriot.

“Fuck that shit, that ain’t cool. You’re on your own.” He wanders off into the crowd.

The drunk takes another swing, and Alcorn, almost a foot shorter, jumps up and slaps him across the face. Regina, running in out of nowhere, kicks him in the balls so hard he lifts an inch up into the air.

Still, he doesn’t even blink.

“Wow.” Shak says, “If he didn’t feel that he is fucking wasted.”

Yelling and shoving, we drive the guy away into the bushes. Cooler heads prevail, lucky for the fucking moron.

I grab Drew and a couple beers.

“Listen, we’re getting the hell out. This shit’s getting too crazy. Get ready to make a run for it.” I snag Shak, who is shaking, startled no doubt by the extremely rare and dangerous loss of his temper. “C’mon brother. Fuck that guy, it’s time to peace out before the police show up. They start teargassing the rear of the race at like 12:30. We’ve got to get to Haight before they bring out the riot cops.” He nods, drunk and dazed.

We help the others get the float moving again. I shake hands with those continuing on.

As we cross Oak, I take Drew by the arm, and point.

The drunk dude, his head cracked and bleeding, lies unconscious next to a dumpster.

“Looks like he pissed on somebody a little less forgiving.”

We run off through the corpses and piles of burning trash. We must escape.

First we stop for pizza, though.

——-

With traffic a snarled disaster across the city and the buses packed to the brim with the remnants of the race, we’re forced to head cross-country back to my apartment, almost five miles. Hopping fences and climbing fire escapes, we work our way north up Masonic and east on Geary, hoping to avoid the police sweeps.

Clambering across a roof of one of the USF buildings, we stop for a second. Shak wobbles, much drunker than I had previously realized.

Looking back towards the park, I can see the line of smoke above the trees, and hear the screams and cries of the racers. They sound like the damned. Sirens and gunfire sound in the distance.

I look at Drew.

“Hell of a party, huh?”

——-

Epilogue:

The bulk of the group made it to 30th and Fulton three hours later, where I picked up the float, battered and bruised but not too much worse for wear. I’m told Mahesh and Ganesh made out with at least six girls a piece somewhere near the deYoung.

Regina disappeared around 21st, cursing the whole affair and threatening to “move the fuck out of this stupid state.”

She hasn’t been seen since.

Ryan, the girl in the Eagles jersey, and Kevin from the dorms are also still MIA, and presumed dead, or perhaps captured by white slavers.

The float was left on Lilley’s lawn in the Presidio, like a big ass blue monument, or tomb. It stands there to this day, because it’s too fucking heavy to move.

Alcorn woke up behind a Barnes and Noble in Pacifica three days later, with EAST COAST RULES tattooed on his stomach. Ranjit denies all knowledge of this, although snickers like a guilty bastard every time it’s brought up.

I managed to get Drew on her flight back to Idaho by doing 95 across the bridge and running several red lights. I got Shak on to CalTrain, where he promptly passed out and missed his stop by a half hour.

On the ride home from the airport, the sun setting, two teenagers tossed a huge length of metal pipe and an old car bumper onto 880 from a pedestrian overpass. It missed me by about three feet.

I was too burned out to care, although upon reflection, that was pretty fucked up.

-T.

Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/trevorgregg/BayToBreakers

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