I had to run out yesterday to pick up some paracetamol and a box of tissues. I appear to have caught a bad cold in all this terrible weather. It was about 3pm in the afternoon, finally dry for five minutes, and that cold winter sunlight was filling the streets with hope. That was until I tried to get back into my own home. A man and a woman were fucking on my doorstep, her face squished onto the San Franciscan sidewalk, his filthy white shit-streaked ass cheeks to the wind, mounting her from behind. The other side of them an elderly Asian woman looked at me in panic. She couldn’t get past them. They were blocking my doorway.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for young love and making hay while the sun shine, but to fuck on the sidewalk, blocking my only entrance to my home, in broad daylight, mid-afternoon is a step too far. Take that to an alleyway, to a bathroom, to a park behind some bushes. Fucking wait for darkness to fall, or get a damn tent, but do not fuck on my doorstep. I figured they were not planning on a lengthy liaison, and decided to hurry them up. The small older Asian lady stood there with her shopping cart, stuck like a bunny in some x-rated headlights. Damn the Tenderloin! Only here can you not get into your home because someone is getting some afternoon delight on your doorstep.
I’m a polite soul most of the time. I also felt curiously emboldened considering the dude has his pants down and was looking rather vulnerable, and as for his inamorata, she was at least temporarily engaged and unlikely to want to fight me. I ridiculously considered calling the police on this grimy, sallow, pale Romeo and Juliet. What exactly was I going to say? That they were fucking in public. I sounded like Mary Whitehouse, or some rabid Republican with too much blonde hair and spittle, as I practiced the words in my head. Meanwhile, they were still at it like a pair of locked dogs, and the Asian lady opposite was looking at me silently pleading with me to do something. So I did something. I coughed, and as casually as I could manage said, “Hey, I need to get into my house. You are blocking the doorway.” The Asian lady nodded furiously. They continued screwing. They could not possibly be having fun.
When you are homeless it is easy to let your standards slide – you live outside, in full view of others, and live you must, so there is a softening of what you find acceptable. I have wandered down campground paths in my pajamas, though it never crossed my mind to do so in the altogether. The world thanks me for that much, I am sure. I have pissed into bushes, but never shit, and never in view of anyone else. Any soul that ever made a cross country trip has had to piss into a bush. In my youth I may have fucked behind bushes under the cover of darkness. It is not like I am without passion or the vague memory left of the pure need for someone else’s body, but never in full view, on a sidewalk, let alone in the middle of the day. That is surely what public bathrooms are for, but I suppose even Maccy D’s has made sure that junkies and horndogs, whore and johns cannot use their toilets. The closest public bathrooms I can think of are all the way over in the Ferry Building. This couple’s desires I suppose, were immediate and they were not up to a long walk to the water’s edge.
I tried again, this time with an ounce more irritation in my voice. “Look, I need to get in my house. Can you MOVE!” The woman giggled. He finally withdrew. I felt cheap and used. Kink-meisters getting off on involving passersby in their whatever that was. I hope she gave him the syph and she got sidewalk road rash on her clit. They got up and walked away hugging, his ass still hanging out as he rearranged his shit into his inadequate clothing. It felt like an hour, though only five minutes or so had passed. A shiver of disgust came over me as I walked over their shadows, thankfully boots on over the scene of the crime and into the safety of my apartment building lobby.
Someone has put a photo of Charlie Chaplin on the entrance hall table. He is staring round the corner with a bunch of creepy kids. They were kind enough to also leave a plant on the table, though insane enough to blu-tak some hand painted kitschy pictures, minus frames all along the walls. It looks like a horror show, and makes me intensely uncomfortable every time I come home to it. I try and ignore the new decorations. I know which of my neighbors is subjecting me to this monstrosity, and live in hope the landlord will tire of their attempts at ‘brightening up the place’ and ask them to remove it all. I live in hope of a lot of things, and never thought that one of them would be a young scuzzy couple would finally climax or finish or whatever, and let me into my own apartment. The least they could do would have been to take it to a wall down the alleyway next to me, and do that shit standing up like any decent outdoor pursuer of orgasm, or five bucks or whatever that shit was. I didn’t realize how angry I was until I had to walk past one of the amateurish paintings on the stairwell wall. It involved some potato salad and a fairy. It was an affront to everything I consider art. I hated it. I hated the sidewalk fuckers, I hated the overdosers, and the dealers, the crack pipes and the needles. I hated the dope smoke and the rain and the people that stopped the poor people who live on this street from living in peace and quiet. I hated myself. I hated the day. I was so full of rage that I scared myself.
My apartment door popped open. It was the Boy. He stood their his arms open. “Hey Ma! You ok? I saw you were trapped out there by those two people…ahhh…arrrfgghhh….I mean…ya know…doing…it….on the doorstep…” I started laughing. Once I started laughing I could not stop. My nose running, the ache of the virus in my bones, the fever burning my head and making my everything hurt, all of it be damned. I shut the door, still laughing at everything, threw a couple of paracetamol down my throat along with a glass of water and a thc gummy and sat in my bed. We played gin rummy for an hour, until I finally passed out. When I woke up the rain was falling again like it was never planning on stopping, and I was grateful for it. Let it wash away all the stains from this City. Let it wash away my anger. Let it wash away all the fears and the days, and cool down the ardor of the lovers. Let it wash some good luck into my life, and bring me some happiness and peace. Let it rain. See if I care. Let it fucking pour.