« ZAMM | Main | Off-road in a 2011 Jeep in Oahu's Ho`omaluhia Botanical Gardens »

May 25, 2011

The Winds of San Francisco

The rain wants to leave the streets, only the wind won't let it. The winds blow the rain uphill, across the crown of the road. Through this I walk to the grocery store across the street.

The Honkey Nut trees don't seem to mind. They're blooming like crazy and beneath them, the homeless stalk the hapless pedestrians. Only now does it occur to me to wonder why the grocery store has a chain link fence around it. Probably to make it easier to defend the shopping cart motor pool. That's got to be a losing battle, I figure.

Behind the chain link fence, out of the rain's reach, a homeless army defends the ramparts of the grocery store. They're all different and they're all the same. This one is frozen in time, rolling a joint of marijuana, just still as a statue. The weed carefully laid out in his rolling paper. All he needs to do is twist his fingers like he's done countless times before be he's not here any more. His brain has just snapped and time has frozen in around him.

I walk past them, past security, and into the store and they're selling just big bins of things you can't know what they are. It looks as though the earth has been overrun by people 5 feet that speak English as a second language, if at all. And they're all rooting through these bins, holding up alien fruits and items to the light. I know not what they are, or on what basis they're selected. Only I try to stay out of their way and I walk through this store.

I pick out some sushi rolls and Tim's Cascade Style Potato Chips.

I think about going out to one of the homeless people and telling him that he has won a 3 minute shopping spree. Give him an empty cart and 3 minutes to fill it up. Film it and upload it to youtube and retire.

But that wouldn't be exciting enough. I'd have to get two homeless people and give them each a shopping cart and 3 minutes to fill it up, but with the catch that only one could win. That would turn it into more of a gladiator type of competition, with a lot more strategy. Like, first, you'd have to go find and incapacitate the other competitor, then load up your grocery cart, and stomp him down one last time for good measure on your way to the check-out counter. But I figure that this wouldn't be any better than Bumfights, and think the guys that filmed that ended up doing some time behind bars.

I get out of the store unmolested, slip past the security guard, and start back down the sidewalk but it's quit raining now and the homeless army is on the move. This is when they're most dangerous...when the rain stops and the sun comes out, they rise like zombies to roam the streets and now they're pushing their cardboard signs out into the traffic. Somehow, their signs are dry, so they're crazy, but not so crazy that their chief means of income got wet from the rain. They got that one figure out.

So this one...he's there all the time I think...he's about as crazy as they come and he's just screaming at the top of his lungs, but why and at whom, no one can know. I hear the word "California", but that's all I can get. And he's walking away from me, but now he doubles back toward me and I run into traffic to get away from him.

In a way, I'm jealous of him because, he's truly free. He can do whatever he wants, and no one messes with him. The police. Other people. No one bothers him. Period. He's crazy, but that's our perspective of him. That's how we see him. I'm not sure that he's not right where he wants to be.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 25, 2011 at 2:03 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)