For work, I commute into “the city”, for those of you not born, raised or currently living in the Bay Area, “the city” means San Francisco, we do not call it “Frisco” or “SF”, it is simply “the city”.
Anyway, I often travel to the city and a lot of times to Occupy Oakland or if I am really lucky into the killing fields of 14th and International (very bad part of Oakland). Anyway, it is on these trips when I schlep from office to office that I get to experience the entertainment of the streets. And before, all of you go all agro on me about why people are homeless, let’s just say that I know and I am sympathetic – I’ve bought them coffee, food, given them money and have listened patiently why they have told me their woes and yes, for those ones that weren’t too germy, I’ve even given a hug (once, then I poured an entire bottle of hand sanitizer on my clothes).
I even, albeit accidently told one that I would sleep with him. You see it just came out, and this is where I could take my non-working filter out and smash it into oblivion. I was minding my own business, trudging my ass down Spear Street, when I pass this homeless man in an alcove who is laying down with newspapers covering the majority of his body and part of his face. I think that I stared at him longer than most, as I was passing by; I was wondering if he was dead or alive so I was totally floored when he opened his eyes and looked right at me. Startled, we held eye contact.
That’s when he yelled at me in his best Charlton Heston voice, “Imma gonna get ya, and Imma gonna fuck ya!” Time froze, and everyone around me paused for a minute to see what I was going to say. All that came out of my mouth was, “Dude, you are so on if you can catch me”. Then the horrified feeling settled in the pit of my stomach, the suit passing by me totally gave me the look that said I either had big balls or was incredibly stupid. I settled on big balls, but walked VERY QUICKLY to the next block.
I called my husband on the phone as I hit the next intersection and he was cackling hysterically and said that he was glad that I didn’t cheat on him with the homeless man.
I’ve been around the homeless in Manhattan when I was in my early 20’s and other than them being incredibly rude and following you demanding money, or when you offer them a coffee and hamburger, asking why you didn’t get them creamer and ketchup, I wasn’t too impressed with their flair.
I once witnessed a guy falling to the concrete sidewalk where he was screaming and sobbing, as he picked up a nickel off the ground. He looked at his nickel lovingly, and then yelled, “WHY DID YOU DO DAT? WHAT DID I TELL YOU, STAY IN MA POCKET, I PUT YOU IN MA POCKET AND YOU DONE JUMPED OUT OF MA POCKET, STAY IN MA POCKET.” He put the nickel back in his pocket, and continued down the street.
I have also seen some crazy shit go down in the City – I once saw a homeless man shoot another homeless man in the SOMA area (South of Market Area), I also had some crazy homeless man chase me down the street on his bike while he was yelling some crazy shit – thankfully it was midafternoon and I was able to walk into a coffee bar while he continued to harass other people.
I also got stuck one time, in the middle of the Eighth Street Parade (Pride Parade) and witnessed a standing ovation from the homeless people for the ladies with strap on’s as they passed by.
It’s a sad, twisted way to live, and when my girlies ask about it – I find it hard to figure out what to say.
Except when they asked this guy, if he was gold all over – then I knew that I had to hustle them to safety before he showed us.