Under the fire escape

Haven't had a shower since (lemme think…) Sunday morning, and I'm beginning to have a scent about me, so after ascertaining that the hotel has running water today, I grabbed a towel and a bar of soap and trudged to the shower down the hall.

There's water, but no hot water. 

Silly me, thinking of a shower at 8AM, when early risers have already showered the tank to empty. I'm not stinky enough to endure a cold shower, so my odor will continue.

I'll need to shower earlier here, when there's still hot water in the tank. I'm an insomniac anyway, almost always wide awake for at least an hour between short bouts of sleep, so my shower-time will be whenever I'm awake in the dead of night.

It's all a part of getting to know the new digs, and it won't be a big inconvenience.

♦ ♦ ♦  

BARTed to Berkeley for a day of selling fish. The work part of the day was dull, but it was sunny out, so Telegraph Ave was a parade of beautiful women in t-shirts, short shorts, and summer dresses. 

I worked near Jacque, and he reminded me that I'm invited to his place, for more I, Claudius any night I want. And I do kinda want. I want more of Masterpiece Theatre, and more of his wife's good cooking, and if Jacque comes with the deal that's OK. But not until I'm a little more settled and finished unpacking, please.

Though I didn't say it, I do wonder what's up with this guy Jacque. Why is he in such a rush to be my buddy?

I live alone, work alone, I'm never outgoing, and he and I haven't had any scintillating conversations really, not on the Ave and not at his house when I've been there, twice. I don't dislike him, but he's not best-buddy material.

And it's barely been a week and a half since the last time I was at his place, but this is the second time he's asked when's the next time.

I don't know, man. The next time is whenever the next time is, but if you want to be my friend, don't start by being a nag.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Back home... (It still feels weird calling the hotel 'home'. No place is home until you stop thinking, hey, I live here.)

Anyway, back home I was preparing four peanut butter & fake cheese sandwiches, when I heard the shouting. There've been a few liquor- and testosterone-fueled arguments down the hall, but this wasn't another. This was protest-hollering, coming from the street, so I pantsed-up and went to the fire escape to see what was the ruckus.

One of the things I love about San Francisco is that you don't have to go to political rallies. They come to you.

Like, the day those four LA cops were found not guilty in the beating of Rodney King, I didn't have to wonder how to get involved in a protest. It came right down Mission Street outside my window, and what-the-hell-I-wasn't-doing-anything so I joined in, not knowing it would evolve into a riot. That was a wild night.

And then a few days later, when the police chief suspended the Bill of Rights, I didn't have to call a hotline to find out where to rally. It's San Francisco, and more specifically it's the Mission, so I just waited for the noise to come, and then laced up my shoes and joined in.

Tonight, standing on the fire escape, I saw hundreds of angry people four stories below. One of them was shouting slogans into a battery-powered bullhorn, but she must've bought it at Radio Shack, because only the cadence came through, never the words. A few banners said things like, "Stop racist police attacks," so they were presumably pissed about those four cops caught on camera a few days ago, beating some people after a chase.

"Police beatings" is a redundancy, like "ATM machine." Beatings is what police do. That, and getting away with it.

I'm strongly opposed to the beatings and the police, but I'm eating dinner here.

And more urgently, there are lots of cops out the window, watching the protesters, and you know how that's going to mean. When the march begins winding down and the crowd breaks up, cops will corner some of the protesters and baton their heads to mush, and then arrest them for assaulting an officer.

Protesting is your American right, and hooray for that, but cops love beating up protesters. Nobody talks about it but it happens, reliably, and it's guaranteed at protests against police brutality.

Nothing but respect for the marchers, but I'm not up for it tonight. If I put my sandwiches down for later the bread will get hard to chew, and I'm enjoying the zine I'm reading right now, and there's hot water at the tap so I'm gonna take a shower.

From Pathetic Life #23
Friday, April 5, 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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