I am so far past tired I am not sure if I will even stay awake past 8pm. All of a sudden the last ten months caught up with me and left me curled up in a ball on my blow up mattress in a stunned silence. The Boy went out to the shops for me, and returned with food and a dustpan and brush. I spent most of the time he was gone in a state of terror at him not being by my side: he has never been able to not be with me in the city. It is one thing to let him go off alone in campgrounds for a run, another letting him go down _____Street to the hardware store and Safeway. He trotted back, let himself in and made me lunch.
As the afternoon wound on, I picked up the guitar and sat on my window seat. The acoustics are great in this apartment – high ceilings, and wood floors. As I sang the words “and my best friend, the doctor, won’t even tell me what it is I’ve got” from Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, A man in blue scrubs, stethoscope around his neck, stood on the street opposite and lit a cigarette. He smoked it so fast I was kinda worried about him, then he lit the second cigarette on the embers of the first and carried on smoking. Three cigarettes later, he pulled a bag of chips from his bag, stuffed a few into his mouth, strode confidently across ___Street, and got into a very nice car with a sign in the windows saying “no valuables inside. Please don’t break my windows,” and drove off down the road. I wonder what kind of day he had had that drove him to chain smoke and dart across a busy road as if the good doctor had no regard for his own life at all. Perhaps he sees the results of fate and chance and bad fucking luck and decided to just live it up a little with tar, transfat and acrylamides and playing chicken with the San Francisco traffic. Maybe the poor Doc has had enough and is choosing reckless abandon as his antidepressant of choice. Perhaps he just likes salty lays chips, Marlboros and was n ot in the mood to wait for the walking green. I pitied him more than the resident junkie who sits outside my window shooting up. To be frank the junkie looked happier.
The same young man stops under the nice big tree outside my window, and iv’s his drugs. He only stops as long as he needs to flag and push the plunger. He looks as if he has migrated from the rougher blocks before mine, and comes to that tree to do his shots because it makes him happy. I considered taking him out a cup of tea and a sunbutter sandwich. Poor kid. He doesn’t have a chance of surviving this. A young man choosing his tree to die under in fractions. I swear I will be past furious if he turns blue out there. I can’t really take watching people shoot up, it makes me salivate and shake like pavlov’s dog. I turned my head, and then looked to make sure he was still up and at em. Kiddo pulled himself to his feet and managed a reasonably lively walk down the road, all things considering. I hope he is back tomorrow. Who would resent a kid sitting under a tree, let alone a kid who is dicing with death and street smack, that probably has enough fent in there to take out an elephant. Dear goddess give him the opiate tolerance of William Burroughs and the street smarts of Neal Cassady. Give him a chance to get out of this hole. Amun. Ra. Or something like that.
The night is drawing in on San Francisco. It is never truly dark out here. I spent most of last night cursing the fact I had positioned my bed so a street lamp shone at me every time I rolled over.
This block has different faces, different characters, a different feel to it than my previous home 20 minutes deeper into the ‘Loin. Up the street are nice apartments, and the cool little restaurants and shops a few blocks up. It is hipper here, cooler. Safer, but not without it’s teeth. The shouting is less English, the ‘heads are comparatively less trouble, at least so far. The dog walkers don’t run towards the western addition, they are more self assured and less terrified.
I’ve decided that I like this new window. It even has a good window seat to perch up on and peer out at the streets. As much as I want to say I feel as if this place will spit me out, I kinda feel at home here. Not too far away from where I came from, but far enough away to feel like I belong.