“I’m the black sheep of the family.” said by a middle aged woman having brunch on a sidewalk café.
“Here come some more of them.” said by a disheveled white bearded man who might not have been homeless, but was definitely mentally ill as my friend and I walked by.
I could not help myself and asked, “Some more of what?”
“More fundamentalist Christians.”
I still could not stop myself. “Yes, praise Jesus.”
To which he yelled, “The only good Christian is a dead Christian.”
“Really, you’re a writer!” said by a woman on the bus after I answered her question of why I moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles years ago. In LA when you say you’re a writer it sounds as impressive and exotic as saying you’re a cotton picker in the antebellum South.
“Get in here. The ladies will love that tie.” said by the doorman of a North Beach strip club as I walked by his eye line. I was wearing a tie.
“Do you know where I could catch a bus to Pittsburg?” asked by a bespectacled twenty-five year old Asian at 2 in the morning.
Assuming he was drunk and meant the city in Western Pennsylvania I said, “You’ll probably have to go to the Grayhound station.”
“Do you know where that is?”
“Damn, I got to be at work in the morning.”
I then saw some people leave a locked office building. He squirmed his way in through the open door probably to spend the night. I later learned Pittsburg without an h is a city in the East Bay about an hour from San Francisco.
“Where are you going?” asked by a cab driver as he picked me up by Union Square.
“To North Beach.”
“The exact opposite place I want to go.”
“Sorry.” I said. “I guess there’s a lot of drunk drivers.”
“That’s the least of my worries.”
Somehow I mentioned I was from LA. He responded, “That place is terrible. You couldn’t pay me to live there.”
“It has got its downfalls, but it also has its charms.”
“The weather is better and there’s more diversity of people.”
“Diversity? We got all walks of life here in San Francisco.”
“Except for sane cab drivers.” I thought, but I tried to get on his good side. “There are things I miss about San Francisco like the redwoods. And the food here is out of control.”
“By out of control you mean good?”
“Yes.” We got to the front steps of my sister’s apartment.
He told me the fare and then pointed at a couple doing nothing more but kissing on the street. “See those two, they don’t even care who sees them. I’m going to call the cops on them.”