I have been friends with Erica since 1989, when I moved here. She and Antoinette lived upstairs from Deedee and Paddy (and later Deedee and me when Paddy went to Poland with the Peace Corps) at 1456 Jones Street, on the top of Nob Hill.
Erica got me one of my first jobs, cocktail waiting in Savoy Tivoli in North Beach, where she was a bartender. We bought motorcycles the same time, saw each other through many boy issues, partied a lot, practiced our dirty looks on each other, giving each other critiques: "no, there was too much hurt in that one; remember, you hate me."
She has an iron grip; when you make her laugh, she's compelled to reach out and squeeze the living shit out of your arm or leg.
We used to meet for coffee at that place on Union Street with the sacks of coffee beans you sit on (is that still there?). I'd call her up on a Saturday morning, hungover, and persuade her to come to a matinee. We'd sit in the dark (Home Alone, My Blue Heaven), and talk about everything from our evil boss at Savoy to fouled spark plugs and how to clean them.
Eventually she met Steve, got married in a beautiful chocolate brown dress, and had the adorable Lili, future rock star, now four. Recently, she found an agent and is writing a book. She does pretty much whatever she puts her mind to. She's goofy and beautiful. I love that we're still friends after 18 years.
Here we are in her apartment circa 1992.