Nine years ago this morning, I woke up in Winnemucca, had breakfast at the McDonald’s next to the Motel 6, and got in my car, headed for my new home in San Francisco. It was a temporary home, a studio I was sharing with two friends from North Carolina who’d moved a year or so earlier. A month later, I’d move into the place I still occupy today, with yet another recent transplant.

It had been a great trip: my first cross-country drive and only my third trip ever to the west coast. I’d spent nights in Nashville, Kansas City, Denver (3 nights), and Salt Lake City. I had sex at a bookstore in Denver, and I’d even ditched a guy in a bar in Kansas City only to re-encounter him a few nights later in a club in Salt Lake City. When I found a cassette copy of Laurie Anderson’s “Big Science” in a thrift store along the way, I realized everything would probably turn out all right.

The last day, though, was really stressful. I was really about to “do it” and, even worse, I couldn’t get in touch with the people I’d be staying with. I finally stopped at a Kinko’s in Reno and faxed one of them at work and I think I finally made voice contact from a shopping center in Vallejo. From there, it was across the Bay Bridge (at rush hour, of course) and into the city where I drove straight to the Market Street Safeway for the rendezvous.

Nine years later, I’m still here even though I ask myself why almost every day. I haven’t accomplished many of the goals I arrived with, although I’ve set a few new ones here. I think I would have developed into a somehwat different person if I hadn’t come to San Francisco, although I’m not sure if I would have turned out better, worse, or just slightly different.

Anyhow, this is year ten for whatever it’s worth. In honor of the anniversary, here are some never-before seen (at least not here) pictures from that lost period between my arrival in San Francisco in 1992 and the start of all this web stuff in 1996. These are scanned from actual film prints. Imagine…