Saturday, January 19, 2008

Safety

Sometimes I think I hear gunshots, and sometimes it's definitely gunshots, dah dah dah-dah dah, punctuating the air maybe I mean puncture it sounds like it's right here this time makes me glad that I live on the seventh floor and more hopeless too since I'm so far away and so close. Some people get scared in this neighborhood where I feel most comfortable, even though the gunshots sounded so close the screaming sounds much farther away and then sirens even more distant but quickly right here I can see the flashing reflecting on the building just below the hotel sign, it used to say Hotel Verona or maybe Verona Hotel since it doesn't look like there's enough room below hotel for another word. Oh, there's the ambulance, right there I guess that's two blocks away I can only see as far as the roof of the ambulance and here come more cops I guess.

Before I moved back to San Francisco I went to visit Andee in Berlin, that's when I first realized I was so sensitive to smoke or when I first became so sensitive because everyone smoked everywhere and first I was sick for two weeks from the plane and then I got bronchitis. I tried to go to as many movies as possible because no one could smoke there. I watched some independent film that took place in San Francisco and the main character was living at the Hotel Verona with gorgeous woodwork in the lobby but bleak rooms with fluorescent lights and worn-out office carpet except the neon light came in from outside and the streetscape views added excitement. The movie invokes a supposedly violent and edgy gay SM world with train tracks and warehouses, really it looks more like Berlin than San Francisco and the main character is German he's researching some AIDS conspiracy and someone gets murdered at a sex club maybe even through crucifixion but still it’s San Francisco and I thought okay, I can live there. I mean I'm ready. Even if I have to live at the Hotel Verona.

When I hear gunshots in my neighborhood, I wonder if the violence is deliberate or random, I mean all violence is deliberate and all violence is random. Of course I worry sometimes that it might hit me, although I still worry more about getting hit by a car. Then there's the violence of all these notes going up in the lobby of my building: don't let anyone inside unless you know they live here, don't prop this door open after 6 p.m., don't buzz anyone in unless they're your visitor. Because everyone’s scared of people smoking crack on the roof. Or sleeping there. I mean I guarantee that on just about every Tenderloin roof, there's someone sleeping or there's someone smoking crack or maybe someone’s smoking crack and then they’re sleeping, and that seems much safer for everyone.

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