Sophia and I had a ten year affair, most of it up on the top of Bernal Hill in San Francisco. This must have started sometime around eighty-five. Sonoma and I lived together for thirty years give or take, most all of it platonic. So I was always on the look-out for a girlfriend. Sonoma had few boy friends here and there, but I mostly did not have any girlfriends.
I would walk the dogs up on the hill, a city park bought from the Bernal Family, it was always said, with the stipulation that it would remain a park and not be used for private development and if were to be developed it would revert back to the Bernal family. I had been going up there since nineteen-seventy. Sonoma found a stray dog down on Market Street maybe while shopping at G&M Sales, where we usually bought our camping equipment at Market and Gough Street. She brought the dog home. It was a tan Staffordshire Terrier and Guy named her Pal. Some little time later when working in the pottery shop close to the fourth of July, and a lot of firecrackers popping off in the neighborhood the week before, a dog all freaked-out from the noise, came into my shop and hid under a table. It was another Staffordshire but a male, brindle in color, about the same size as Pal but more muscular. Guy named him Odie.
From the time I got Odie I started walking both dogs up on the hill, mornings and late afternoons. It was a regular route in the morning. From Winfield up Coso to Bonview Street, where on the south-west corner was a big vacant field with a path that led up to Bernal Heights Boulevard.
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