Friday, March 20, 2009


I wonder if I have enough energy to walk to the top of the hill again so I can sit in the sun at the time of day when it doesn’t bother me, but then I walk a half a block and already I’m too tired, searching for somewhere I can sit anyway. On that fire hydrant? No, it’s rounded. In that alley? No, there’s someone sitting in a car right there, and everything smells like garbage. Oh, up here by the parking lot, on that curb, as soon as I brush this glass away, okay -- it’s not as comfortable as the back steps of Mitchell Brothers those green steps, but it’s closer. But why are tourists so loud?

Maybe it’s just that I’m quiet -- people are looking at me like maybe I’m a junkie, and it’s true that I am kind of nodding off, into the sun. It’s nice that I can lean against this square pole, and I have my own little area next to the parking spot where the attendants keep moving cars, the three attendants in blue uniforms I’m glad they don’t harass me. Maybe it’s because I don’t look like a junkie, even if I’m nodding off, or maybe it’s because I look like a junkie, even though I’m not nodding off, or because I buy a Street Sheet when someone leans down, or because they don’t notice I buy a Street Sheet, or because they don’t care about any of this and that’s the best option. 5:30 pm is my favorite time in the sun, softening the features and lighting what’s inside and more tourists people keep saying there aren’t any tourists anymore so maybe that’s why they have to talk so loud, especially on this block the end of the strip, hotels say don’t go below O’Farrell -- that’s where I live. Now I’m one block up, on Geary. Tourists like Indian food, and there’s a lot of Indian food between Geary and O’Farrell, so maybe that’s why they say O’Farrell. It’s worse when you hear normal people repeat that shit like it’s actually good advice, like it actually means anything, like you can skip this area of seven square blocks and you’ll be okay, just hurry back to Union Square. Meanwhile, the hotels keep crawling further down and eventually there won’t be any don’t cross.

The sun is even better at 6 pm, especially now that the time changed but then I realize wait, I walked 2 blocks so Walgreens is right here, it’s important to get something practical in addition to sun on not-quite-sidewalk, even if it’s Walgreens that’s what we have in cities now. Two erasers, even though I only want one they only have a package of two. Clear tape that you can rip with your hands, a new product. Plastic hooks to help my plant grow in the right direction. White-Out, two again but the generic kind -- they don’t even have anything called White-Out anymore, I guess Liquid Paper took over the market and then outside I guess I’ll cross the street to the barbershop and ask them how much just to trim my sideburns, more than it should be but not enough to argue about and this place is trendy, there didn’t used to be anything trendy on this block now I’m a patron of gentrification, consumer tasks when I wasn’t even looking for them but somehow they make me feel better no maybe that was the sun yes the sun what would the sun be like somewhere else, without consumer tasks, without parking lots, without tourists although if I was there I would probably be one of those things. Even if I didn’t want to be. Back upstairs, I’m exhausted again.


Anonymous said...

Honey send us some sun when you are done with it at six. It's grey every day up here.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Yes yes I'll send some right away!!!

Love --