I disembarked from the bus stepping down into the asphalt of the ferry building's parking lot.  The sky was overcast- battleship gray above the strata of power-lines.  Coit tower stood on her hill like an angel smiling down upon me.  Cruelly smiling, she flaunted memory's kiss.  Unwanted visions of last year's love, a past life I couldn't stop reliving, blurred my eyes.  Ghosts of you swam about Coit tower in the double vision of tears.  "You've ruined this town for me," I said.
      "Hey honey, you o.k.?"
      The girl startled me.  She dressed like a fifteen-year-old girl, but her eyes were older.  Her figure had a healthy weight in those tight clothes.
      "Hey don't cry.  You'll get your heart back."  She smiled, and flirted.
      Not in the mood to chat, I entered the AmTrak depot.  I checked the times the bus left for the Emeryville station and my return train to Sacramento.  Three P.M. tomorrow looked good.  I had a job interview that morning.  Until then I would make the City mine again, replace memories of you.
      I crossed to Vallaincourt Fountain.  I saw the girl from the Ferry building.  She met a guy in a brown leather jacket.  The picture of the two of them together triggered something  in me- probably my intuition.  Intrigued I followed.
      I know them from somewhere, I thought.
      I watched her hips sway gently as she walked.  I had forgotten all about you.  Or maybe not.  Those might have merely been surrogate hips for yours.
      I carefully stalked them down Market.  At the corner of California, I got close enough to hear conversation.  They were talking about you.  Recognition came full circle.   I knew who they were.  She hugged him closely and laughed.
      "She didn't feel like this did she."  Her left hand slid down his back.  She brushed his ass on the down stroke, and hooked his arm on the way back up.  "Take me home," she said, staring straight into his eyes.
      He was your "ex".  He dumped you for her.  You dumped me for him, Gregoir Simms.  A surge of jealousy overtook me.  It was them.  It must be him, I thought.  I forgot all about her, and saw pictures of you and him kissing in the elevator of Coit tower.  How could he be better than me?  Yet you were completely taken with him.  I decided to steal something of his.  I looked at her brightly dressed and garish at his arm.  An irritating pain jabbed up from my crotch.  I adjusted my blue jeans and followed them, predatory.
      "Let's stop here first," he said abruptly, and turned right into a cafe.  She looked put out, but didn't say anything.  "Order a latte for me."
      "What?" she mouthed.
      "Don't worry.  I'll pay for everything," he said, laughingly pulling her inside.
      Some joke!  What a jerk, I thought.  But she laughed at his joke.  I was jealous again.  She's mine, I vowed.  A man in black leathers knocked me from behind, hitting my left shoulder.  The scent of cologne and Italian leather enveloped me.  I was angry.
      "Hey!" I said.  My voice sounded thin against the noise of the traffic, but I didn't care.  I knew I could back it up.  He was unconcerned.
      "Sorry," he said continuing on.  He barely turned his head towards me as he passed.  He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, a Hispanic, dark featured man.  He had a strong nose, slightly hooked, probably broken once in a past fight.  I'd break something else.
      Later, I thought, I've got more important things to do.  He disappeared into the pedestrian traffic.
      She hadn't noticed me yet, and Greg wasn't back from the bathroom either.  I slipped into the cafe, amongst the warmth of bodies.  The espresso machine hissed and burbled the foam for Gregoir's latte.  Greg's girl, soon to be mine, fidgeted at the counter opening and closing her purse.  I was hard with the thought of her wet around me.
      With crisp grace I stepped up behind her.  I pretended to read the prices on the wall, squinting for effect.  The middle-aged woman, next in line at my left, frowned disapprovingly.  I caught her eye and held it, assuring her that I wasn't cutting in line.  Meanwhile my right hand deftly slipped in and out of the girl's purse.  With that done, I casually walked out of the cafe, bait in hand.
      At an outdoor table, I pulled out a book and a pen.  I'm a romantic.  It was Wuthering Heights.  I tore out the title page and wrote, "The Radison.  Room 212.  Gregoir Simms isn't as considerate as I.  I'm the prince returning your kerchief.  If you'd like a bedtime story, drop by."
      I was confident that my good looks would be enough to get her to stop by.  As you know, I'm in excellent shape.  And I can be charming when I need to be.
      Greg and she sat down and he drank his latte slowly.  She waited patiently without a drink.  Her legs were parted enough for me to see her panties- pure white against her tan legs, a few hairs peeking out the sides.  I watched her hungrily through the pane.  She was mine.  Then, suddenly demure, she shut her thighs together.
      Greg's girl was more complex than I anticipated.  He wasn't looking at her.  He read the Guardian while sipping at his latte.  The little table cleanly separated them.  I couldn't tell why they were together.  While he ignored her, she looked around the cafe with sad eyes, eyes with more wisdom than her clothes revealed.  She watched a family happily sharing a moment together at one of the large tables.  A look of longing crossed her face for a moment.  Then the girlish veil was up again.  Greg said something, and she smiled coquettishly.  They got up to leave.
      Now was my chance.  I ducked out of sight.  When they walked out and down the street, I followed, Wuthering Heights in one hand, the kerchief in the other.  I tailed them slowly for five seconds then rapidly approached from behind.
      "Oh, Miss?  You dropped this," I held her handkerchief, with my note folded inside, out to her.  She was puzzled.
      "Here," I insisted non-challantly.  She took the handkerchief, eyes downcast.
      "Wuthering Heights, what a great book," she said.
      "Yes, I like it," I replied.  Our eyes met.  I smiled, holding her gaze a second too long.  Then I turned to Greg.  I locked my eyes on him, challenging the asshole.  Greg did not care.
      They turned to go, and a moment later so did I.  Then epiphany came again.  The Mexican in leather was at my side, threatening me about his sally.  "Don't harass her," he said, "Or I'll mess you up.  Got it?"  The guy was obviously crazy and wanted a fight.
      I obliged him and took him into an alley.  He busted my gut before I could land a punch.  This guy was obviously rough, but I trashed him.  I was captain of the wrestling team you know.  I hit his head against the alley bricks until he passed out.   Satisfied, I left to find the Radison.  The City was mine again.  During the walk I saw a pigeon explode in a cloud of feathers, dinner for a Peregrine falcon.  I wondered where you were.  I never saw the falcon.
      She showed up at my room that night.  She was good, real good.  Not even you were that good.  I kept it up for a few hours, until she cried out in pleasure, "You're right.  I've never had a john as considerate as you before."  Suddenly I realized what happened in the alley.  My dick deflated faster than the Hindenberg.
      The whore quickly pulled off me.  I slid out of her easily, leaving the condom behind.  Instinctively she pulled it out and threw it on the floor with the others- encapsulated orgasms.
      "You didn't know did you?" she said, "Well, that destroys the romance of the whole thing doesn't it."  She laughed bitterly to herself.
      I looked up at her.  Inspite of the day's events she looked beautiful.  I couldn't bring myself to meet her gaze.  Her bitterness, her strength, her individuality, and her large, slightly sagging breasts were to me in that moment the essence of womanhood.
      "This was free then.  Jeffe won't find out."
      I told her about the alleyway.