50¢ worth of crime

Pushing the cart to Telegraph, the clouds were ominous. Might rain, might not. Either way, though, it was gonna be overcast, and that's usually enough to scare most of the customers away. And also, I just didn't feel like selling fish today, so midway there I stopped and turned around and decided to take the day off.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

On my way back from almost work, I stopped to scan the headlines in the news racks in front of a store. As always, there's no good news. Health care is still a luxury. Bus and BART service remains spotty. No charity has announced a blow job drive.

As I was reading the Chronicle's front page through the plastic, a banker-type man in an expensive suit said, "Excuse me." I stepped out of the way as he inserted some change into the machine to buy a paper, and then, holding the newsbox open, he looked back at me and said, "Want one?"

"Uh, no," I said, and he shrugged and slammed it shut and walked away. After he'd taken a few steps I had more to say, so I sorta shouted, "If I was gonna steal I'd rob a bank. I wouldn't rip off two quarters from some working stiff who's barely making a living."

He interrupted with a cheery "Fuck you," but stopped and looked at me like he was going to say more.

I took two quarters from my pocket and bought a Chronicle I didn't even want, just to make my point.

He sighed like a hiss, shook his head, and we both walked off in opposite directions with our newspapers.

What makes a person so shitty? It's not stealing from the Chronicle, man. It's stealing from the very low-paid guy who buys the papers and stocks the paperboxes. 

That man's suit was worth more than my life, and he wanted to steal 50¢.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Lugosi the dog was shredding the mail, so I checked to see in there was anything interesting among the confetti. Nope.

Zine mail comes to my maildrop, not this apartment, and my family doesn't have this address. I don't have any bills. A week ago I got the new Loompanics catalog, and occasionally there's porn addressed to me, but mostly I'm on the lookout for letters from Sarah-Katherine. Nothing today.

No word on her visit to New York last week. Not a card or letter since a few days before she was leaving. I wrote to her on Wednesday the 17th, Monday the 22nd, and again just now, but if she's moved who knows how long it'll take for those letters to follow her. Who knows whether she'll answer when they do.

And so it goes. Sure hope she's OK. I worry a little, but mostly I mourn. Whatever happened between us last summer, it's ending. Or it's ended. It would be wrong to call it a romance, but whatever it was, the ending always hurts.

From Pathetic Life #20
Friday, January 26, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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