Time time time, see what's become of me. When I look around, all my possibilities. I was so hard to please.

When I was in junior high and high school in Sebastopol, California, there was this store called Sprouse Reitz. Ah, Sprouse Reitz. I have no idea if I am even spelling your name correctly! But you were a crappy store. You were the kind of store I was embarrassed to be shopping at. You were the kind of store that sold cheap see-through shirts in the eighties when no one yet did that. No one but you. Because you were classy that way. Lots of people shoplifted there. Our local celebrity, Tom Waits, bought all of his clothes for his children there, and then we talked smack behind his back. Because that's how we were. Or that's how I was, to be more accurate. It was kind of like The Family Dollar is today. It was crap, but you could buy what you needed. I bought fabric there. I'm not ashamed. (That's because I'm grown up now; I was ashamed when I was twelve.)

Fast forward to 2011. All my old friends on Facebook- or, to be more accurate, some people I barely remember from high school on Facebook- are having this conversation on Facebook about how Sebastopol has gone to hell. About how all of the old "good" stores like Sprouse Reitz, like Tuttle Drugs, like AllyOops have all gone bottom up and the only stores in Sebastopol are hippy stores. Sebastopol has always had hippies, mind you, but now it is apparently completely overrun by them.

I participate in the conversation. You see, I'm friends with everyone on Facebook. I don't care. I'm alone a lot and need social contact. I'm friends with everyone except for friends of my mom and people whom I despise. Some of those even pass through. This makes me a part of many a meaningless discourse, the most recent of which is something about Sebastopol. Being taken over by hippies. Like this is a new thing!

"Sebastopol is the place," to quote my favorite teacher Patricia Hertz, "where old Volvos and old hippies go to die." This has always been true. Since to dawn of time. Do not argue. Patty is correct here.

All through this discussion of Sprous Rietz and the travesty of Sebastopol being overrun by hippies, all I can think of is the middle finger. (Is there an emoticon for the middle finger?) All I can think of is when Jen, aka Zgjenyue, worked at Sprous Reitz and she quit, after rising to management and becoming disillusioned with the dream. After she quit, every time she drove past the Sprous Reitz store, she would raise her middle finger quite prominently and shout,


and then she would go on with whatever she was saying.

I don't know what happened there. I don't want to judge. My friends are always beyond my judgements. I trust them with my life.

It was kind of like a facial tick or Tourrettes Syndrome or something. It didn't matter what was happening or what we were talking about. Sprouse Reitz was on the main drag of Sebastopol, so we passed it very often. Whatever we were talking about,

"But I think Derrida really meant that, when you were seeing reality behind this- FUCK YOU SPOUSE REITZ!!!! - third wall, you were seeing reality not as you see it, but through like the veil of the reality that others see and..."

Yeah. That was my dear friend Jen, whom I call Zgjenyue. She knows what happened there. It's all between her and Sprouse.

Facebook is so messed up, actually. If our former selves in high school knew what we were talking about now, the bathrooms of Analy High School would be full of vomiting teens. I'm not so sure about lamenting the death of Sprous Reitz. But I noticed Jen had no comment. Silence is *golden. (No pun intended.)

Jen's last name was Golden before she got married.

Footnote: I seem to be writing about Jen a lot lately. We all go through these stages. I'm sure I'll write about those other good friends sometime. She's easy to write about because she so obviously embraces her freakishness, and she's not especially sensitive. Admit it, my good friends. You are sensitive folk! It's hard to be written of. Count your blessings.


  1. Personally, I'm a fan of restaurants in Sebastopol. I'm sure they change, but whenever I go home and my Dad takes me to one, I love it! Of course I never drive by Analy without remembering how evil the students were (if you were a student at El Molino, that is).

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  3. What restaurants do you like? We always get take-out at this Tai (?) one I think that is fantastic. When I was in high school, there was this cafe on Main Street that made the greatest milkshakes, but I think they're gone now.

  4. Sprouse Reitz SUCKS. I can't believe people are lamenting it.
    BTW, sorry I'm suddenly commenting on your blog all at once. That's what happens when you make your blog login-protected and I can't see it in my blogroll.

  5. I really liked East West Cafe. Have you eaten there?
    I used to love Pomme de Terre, but you were about a year old when I used to eat there ;-)

  6. Yes, I do remember the East West Cafe! It was nice. I forgot about it until now.