THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO

Here are two of my very first blog posts ever:

 

Working at a bar until after 2:00am in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco may have not been the best idea for a young girl lacking in street smarts, especially when having to walk to the bus all by my lonesome in the middle of the dark city night. One night, after getting off work around 3:00 am (I could not leave until all the dishes were done & the condiments refilled) I went and sat on a small, cement bench on Market Street and waited patiently for my bus. Across the street I saw a strange looking man walking in a zigzagged fashion; he was disheveled and obviously missing some marbles. I watched him as he fumbled around, seeming to be looking for some imaginary something. Then he started to cross the street and made a beeline directly to where I was sitting. I felt tense wondering what he was going to do. He walked right up to me and I looked him in the face. He stopped in front of me and held out is hand in the shape of a fist, finger-side-down. For some reason, I held out my hand under his, palm-side-up. He opened his fist and poured a pile of dollars and coins into my open palm and walked away. I closed my fingers around the money and said thank you.

 

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Walking home on a comfortable warm evening, I noticed a kid in his early 20’s going up to people on the sidewalk and saying something to them before they shook their heads and walked away. I overheard him ask one business lady dressed in a skirt, suit jacket and white tennis shoes, if she would buy him a camera. She shook her head and picked up her pace to get away from him. I walked passed him, but instead of speaking to me, he went up to an older man and asked him if he would buy him a leather wallet. The man of course said no and walked away. I lingered so that I would have another chance to walk by the kid in hopes he would speak to me. He was your run-of-the-mill white kid, medium height, mussed, brown hair and freckled face. As I walked passed him for the second time, he leaned my way and asked if I would buy him a Velvet Underground CD. I said: “sure”! I had a bunch of tip money burning a hole in my pocket anyway & I knew it would surprise the kid to get any takers. He said there was a record store a few blocks away, so we walked there together, exchanging names and humorous small talk. I started to fantasize that he would think I was so cool for going along with this and we would become fast friends. I thought about having him come home with me to hang out & get some lunch and explaining to my roommate how we met, having a good laugh over the whole thing. The store did not have any Velvet Underground CD’s, so he wanted to get a Deep Purple album instead. I said, sorry, I agreed to Velvet Underground. So then he asked if he could get a Lou Reed CD and I acquiesced, because it was close enough. After I bought him the CD, he said thanks and took off, our new-found friendship gone forever. I am just glad he did not ask me to buy him a stereo!

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7 Comments on “THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO”

  1. Desirée Says:

    Would you buy me a new pair of shoes?

  2. Eleanor Says:

    Oy. This is what being a grownup is all about, eh? I remember these stories when you first posted them. They’re still good ones, even the second time around.

  3. Megin Says:

    I once gave a homeless women at Fountain Square over $14 (one dollar bill at a time) because she spun me a beautiful and sad story about how she was a Jamaican queen and she was trying to get home to her daughter, the princess, who had grown up missing her mom. Maybe she used the money to buy booze or whatever but she worked for it. And it’s not like I, an overprivileged white middle class princess, would have done anything better with that money. And who knows? Maybe she really did get back to Jamaica.

  4. madwag Says:

    You have a cool life

  5. Sharnee Says:

    I was really nervous when I read that about you buying the guy a CD. I was thinking “no no no!” (like in horror movies when someone walks backwards into a darkened room), but I was pretty impressed that a) he asked for something like that and b) you didn’t stray too far from his original request!

    I also can’t believe you know about Home & Away and Neighbours! That’s super cool. xx

  6. webmiss Says:

    LOL I didn’t read the beginning of the post closely enough. I had such a profound sense of deja vu there for a moment.

  7. Kim Says:

    I love this. I miss the Tenderloin so much (used to live on the edge of it for so many years!)


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