Yesterday I woke up on Haight and hung out at a library off Clayton and wrote in this journal while charging my phone. I brushed my teeth and washed my face in their bathroom, and wrote a couple postcards. This dirty kid called Ruby who was walking their dog Star, showed me where the library is. I think it’s a good place to relax and be by myself.
At one point while I was sitting there and writing, this old guy yelled at a librarian because he thought she kicked out a sleeping homeless person a few days back. He shouted at her “You’re one of those burnt out hippies!” so she threatened to call the cops. He said “Do it.” but left the library right afterwards. I heard the librarian say to her co-worker “That wasn’t me. He was getting me mixed up with someone else. I wasn’t even working that day” or something to that effect.
I got bored of sitting around so I went to the entrance of Buena Vista and hung out with this dirty kid and his little dog ‘LK’ (Little Killer). I sat on the steps there calling a bunch of cafes and restaurants that the lady at the Engagement and Community Center said hired undocumented folks but most of them weren’t comfortable talking about it on the phone. One of them told me not to call again or they’ll contact ICE.
When I was through the list of cafes and restaurants I walked back down the Haight and heard “Jesse!” from across the street, and saw Jonah and Dev wave at me so I ran across the street to them and almost got hit by a UPS truck in the process. The dude in the truck was mad. Once I got to them they told me that they were headed to the Panhandle, and asked me to come. So we went to the Panhandle, and on the way found some discarded medicine bottles that were half full, but after Googling them and seeing that they were just antidepressants and bipolar meds we decided that they probably weren’t the best thing to get high off, and left them at the corner.
Dev was already high on mushrooms, and Jonah stoned. They wanted to smoke weed out of Dev’s new silicone pipe but didn’t have a lighter so tried to use matches as a substitute. I haven’t been smoking weed since I got out of the psych ward, so just sat there eating over-priced falafels that Sonya bought me instead.
I told them that I had been crashing on the Haight a couple nights, and they said that was super dangerous so would help me find a better spot. But first they took me to Golden Gate Park to see the Satanic Shrine that was made in the 80’s by Satanists who would spill pig blood over it as a purification rite curing the ‘bad blood’ of HIV/AIDS.
From there, we walked to Buena Vista, where this weird stoner hippie dude Bug went up to us and gave us weed. Because I’m not smoking weed, I just sat and watched. Bug’s dog jumped on me and Dev, and was super cute about it. Bug ranted and talked over anyone else trying to say things. He said that Jonah looks like his uncle, who was an Indigo Child, and that in a past life, he was one of the first Indigo Children of the 30’s. He’s also a self-proclaimed empath, and adopted his dog at a Rainbow Gathering. Jonah knew him from a Rainbow Gathering in Vermont. Bug was telling us all about the gatherings, and when I said that festivals aren’t for me he said “It’s not a festival, it’s a gathering.” He said that sometimes he takes a vow of silence at the gatherings because he doesn’t like to socialise or talk heaps, but usually ends up caving in.
He told us that last night he saw a UFO, and he’s seen many UFOs in his life, some covering whole city blocks, and some just little orbs of light. Apparently this past civilization that came from space uses human growth hormones as anti-aging cream, and in the next 10 years people will wake up and rebuild a society that takes the good parts of the past and renovate them. Atlantis will even be rebuilt. Apparently Bug’s mom swapped his pharmaceuticals with weed because it’s better. Bug the mystagogue left, and the three of us carried on up Buena Vista, seeing sites reserved for Anubis and his great scale of judgement and Memnon’s battle cries.
On our way, Dev asked Jonah if they wanted to sleep out tonight, and they said yes. I was elated, and thanked them profusely. We carried on to Corona Heights, and looked for a spot next to the Randall Museum. There’s a cliff there that Jonah apparently tried to climb during the morning, but only made it 1/3rd of the way before giving up because rocks were crumbling under his hands. He talked about the difference in terrain between California and his home South Carolina, which is thematic to his whole thing about the South being just more interesting geographically.
We decided this was a good spot, away from cruisers and tweakers, which are routinely kicked out of BV by dirty kids anyway. We head out of the park and back into the city to pick up Jonah and Dev’s bags. The houses in the suburbs are lit with Christmas ornaments, and there is an influx of people dressed up as Santa, running around the place. A man see’s the three of us walk down his street and we hear him lock his car doors.
Jonah is banned from La France Hotel, where Dev lives, so they had to wait outside while we grabbed Dev’s things. This is because a disgruntled tenant at La France lied and told the landlords that Jonah was keeping a gun in his SRO, which led him to fuck up his room out of anger, which honestly felt somewhat warranted if he was going to get 86’d anyway. Dev took me up to their room, and I guzzled water from their sink and was given an emergency blanket, Mikey and Luca from the HSRC knocked on the door, and Dev gave them mushrooms and weed. We headed back down and met up with Jonah. He said they saw someone threaten another person by saying they had a gun, over meth.
We walked towards Jonah’s and stopped at a Walgreens for snacks for later. Dev bought me a strawberry Snapple drink, and some cake flavoured protein bars or something. Once we left they complained about being hungry, so we headed to a Subway at 10th and Mission.
There weren’t any free chairs in the same spot, so Dev sat opposite the counter where people order food, and Jonah and I pulled out a couple chairs that were wardened off behind a group of tables pushed together, and blocking off the rest of the restaurant. I thought it was weird that the chairs and tables were already being set up for closing time, and was confused by the two men sitting behind them, and a man sitting in front (next to me) talking with them. This spun out guy asked the man next to me if he could use his phone to make a call, and the man said “No”. A minute later the same guy began screaming about how the employees are spitting in the food pointing out one in particular. He then pulled out a meth pipe, and smoked it out by the front door.
I heard a bang, and turned around to see this older guy right outside the Subway beating a younger dude’s ass, and then throwing his bike on the road. Apparently the younger guy called him “Grandpa”, and the guy flipped out and beat the shit out of him.
I noticed one of the dudes behind the makeshift table barrier walk up to the man who was sitting next to me and hand him a napkin with something in it. He then moved a table and went through the barrier, where the man who handed him the napkin gave him a key for the ‘Employees Only’ room. The man went inside for a couple minutes, and then came out again. He pulled out a couple square cubes of something covered in tin foil, and sat back next to me. The man behind the barrier opened the tinfoil cube, but I couldn’t see what was inside. He went into the ‘Employees Only’ room himself and he returned with one of the Subway employees. I saw him pull out a wad of cash, and put the wad of cash in her hand. She went back in and shut the door.
While Jonah and I were sitting together, we looked at the flickering lights, and the peeling wallpaper next to the ‘employees only door’. Jonah said he hates the Christmas music playing, and when I agreed, he continued to say that this place is ‘Evil’. This is what hell is like — Sitting in this Subway on 10th and Mission listening to the Christmas music from the 50’s. I said that Hell is making my back feel better. Dev got their sandwich, and we left.
The bus we were waiting for missed us, so we walked 25 minutes to Jonah’s hotel. The lady who let us in got pissed off and said no visitors after 9pm, but Jonah convinced her that we would only take 10 minutes. Dev and I gave her our IDs, and we went upstairs to Jonah’s room. I washed my face with facewash in Jonah’s sink, and Dev noticed the Subway worker shorted them a dollar in change. There were a pair of Nikes on Jonah’s floor, which he said belonged to this dude who apparently stole a bunch of his things.
We caught the bus back to BV, on which Jonah bumped into this kid that he hadn’t seen in 4 years. They traveled to North Carolina together or something. Jonah didn’t remember him at first, because the dude’s face was covered with a few sores and he was spun out. Later in the night Jonah was saying how fucked up it was, and that that guy used to tell Jonah not to let himself go with meth use. It sucked.
Dev bought an ounce of pot from this dirty kid called Zombie after convincing him to let them pay the family price. We then walked back to Corona Heights and found a spot next to a rock face. Before we slept, we had to kick all the discarded trash and pieces of trash away from the earth, and make sure to look out for needles. We found someone’s tarp and a suitcase next to us in a cove, and a picnic basket by some rocks. After that the two of them smoked weed while I got ready for bed, and Dev called me ‘extensive’ because I went through my routine of face wash and moisturizer.
I woke up at around 4 am to pee, and couldn’t get back to sleep. Once the two of them woke up we walked back down to the Haight, and Dev pulled out a $100 note to buy us all beverages at Coffee For The People. I told them that I wanted to hang out by myself for a bit, and we parted ways.
I went to a laundromat, and washed my dirty laundry, but didn’t have change for the dryer, so I spent 45 minutes walking to UCSF and back to find a Bank of America ATM. After drying them, I donated a bunch of boxers, socks, and a pair of leggings to the Goodwill on the Haight, and headed to the library to brush my teeth and put in my contacts. I stayed there for a while, charging my phone and when I left I saw the dirty kid who has that dog called ‘LK’ (Little Killer), this other dude I don’t know, and Daniel who were hanging out in the courtyard outside the library. The three Gorgons, one engraven on the pediment of the temple of Corfu.
I opened and closed the gate to get inside, and the dude I didn’t know started talking about how he needs to pull out a tooth. I tried to tell him to get one of the free clinics to do it but he said he tried, and they wouldn’t do it because he’s not an American citizen as he’s from the Cayman Islands. I told him I was undocumented and from New Zealand, and he tried to tell me New Zealand is a part of America. I told him it wasn’t. There is an image of a Gorgon found in the Knossos palace in Crete, which Kaiser Wilhelm II had a lifelong obsession, the Jew hating cunt.
He then went on about this smiley that was left by the library and the three of them rattled off their own extensive catalog of smileys. One of them reportedly used to have one called ‘Neckbreaker’, and another of them covered his with razor blades. The conversation moved to the three of them talking about how tough they were, and how many fights they’ve won. At one point I tried to join in by saying “you think that’s tough? One time I was getting the shit beaten out of me and I cried and asked the guy to stop, and he did”. They laughed, but the dude I don’t know didn’t get it, and told me I would “more than cry” if we were in a fight. I said “You are so cool!” and he thought I said “Cruel” and agreed. ‘The Gorgon existed as a ceramic mask in the Sesklo culture — A prototype of the Gorgoneion can be found in Neolithic art motifs, especially in anthropomorphic vases and terracotta masks inlaid with gold.’
The banter carried on, until Daniel started talking about a big-dick competition jokingly, and then they talked about how big their dicks are but I said “I have a tiny penis!” and they didn’t get that I was making fun of them.
This new guy said that he is 37, and apparently has 3 bullet wounds on his ass that his grandma gave him, as well as various knife-wounds around his corporeality. Most of what he talked was about how tough he is. It was pretty bizarre. Eventually he left, and I headed back to the Haight after a minute without his entertainment.
I grabbed a taco to eat and bussed to the hostel I’ve been occasionally staying at on Broadway called ‘The Green Tortoise.’ When I entered the room, this guy Simon started talking to me. He is an autoimmune researcher from Nepal and travelling the world. He said that I should invest in storage if I am worried about getting my things stolen in the shelters. I told him about how in New Zealand, our education shafts Sherpa Tenzing, and makes the story all about Sir Edmund Hilary. He was surprised, and said it was 50/50 for Nepalese education. Unsurprising their education practices being humble.
This hostel is flash. There was a lit menorah at reception, and a bunch of free food in a dining hall. The dish washing system is bizarrely simple with 3 sinks, the first on the left labeled ‘Wash your dishes’ and full of soupy, warm water, the second sink labelled ‘Rinse your dishes’ and full of warm water, and the third labelled ‘Cool your dishes’ and full of cold water. Next to the sinks is a drying rack to place these dishes. Very cool.
I am stressed, but bored. I don’t want to be living on the street. I want comfort, and safety. I’m on edge, and look like shit. At least my backpack is light. It’s been just over a month since I left home.