Year of the Dragon
February 2000

Recently, the entire street level of a particular bank building in the Financial District was cleared out to make room for retail and restaurant space in real estate-starved San Francisco.
Maybe there haven't been many takers. It has stood empty for a while.
Just prior to Chinese New Year, they put in several parade dragons. Every day more pieces of dragon arrived and were assembled.
The obviousness of the photo op killed me, and I finally decided to take advantage of it on one of my lunch breaks.

You've got me: Why would anybody want to go shoot off a gun to celebrate New Years when one can wait another month and a half to see the Chinese New Year Parade? A few of these dragons come tricked out with more running lights than many shitkickers have custom installed on their Trucks. Hallucinatory.

In the Chinese Zodiac, the dragon comes fifth, after the rabbit. While Chinese ideas about rabbits compare well with those of Westerners, dragons are considered in a totally different light. Not only are they seen as the only thing around that could easily kick a tiger's ass, but they are also thought to be agelessly wise. Ideas of benevolence or malevolence might be misplaced, however. Anything that could shake a mountain or divert a monsoon would probably hold an incomprehensible agenda.

The sacred beast, holder of authority, power, and messenger of good fortune. Tempermental, moody, irascible. The dragon is the great wah-wah pedal of the universe, a clean, multicolored kundalini path orgasm AND a peck on the cheek, as far from a mom 'n' pop business as a multinational corporation can get, and much like a finely-tuned horde of ninjas performing an intricate and beautiful synchronized swimming routine, probably moving to a celestial wavelength. That's why they need so much fireworks to make for a proper dragon dance.
Hard to tell what the year of the dragon will bring, but it probably won't be boredom. Hope your lunar year is on the good fortune peck-on-the-cheek side.

Happy year of the dragon!


Everything copyright, 2000 Dave Benz

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