When I was a child, I lived in San Francisco until the age of five.
Visiting the city a few days ago, I noticed that:
* San Francisco is no longer covered in dog shit, like it was in the seventies. I normally say "poop", but when I am in San Francisco, I suddenly think in profanities, because my mother was the main person with whom I walked through the city, and she swears. As she was looking after me, if a pile of poop were on the side walk ahead, she would point to it and yell, "Ew! Shit!" which was my cue to avoid the spot. This has been my first thought upon seeing dog poop ever since, Ew! Shit! But it was gone! There was no shit on the side walks any more... Well, actually, just a tiny bit.
* The other thing that often made Mother swear was the presence of tourists, and most especially tourists waiting to ride a streetcar. Whenever we needed to get somewhere on a streetcar, and there were tourists lined up, she would say--- actually, never mind. She said something terrible, very loudly, about how tourists were ruining the city. Profanity. The tourists are still there- whether you think they are ruining things, or not- and I still couldn't get a seat on a streetcar, even though that was the quickest way home to the hotel. The trolly drove past without stopping, because it was full. Then I had the strangest thought: I am a tourist.
* Hipsters now exist, and punks are no longer. Are people living in the city ironically?
* Last week, Chinatown had a notable number of ladies' underpants hanging on hangers in the windows. They all seemed to be the same size, a size larger than my own. Do the ladies who own these underpants wear their underpants baggy? Or are they all one size larger than me? How many pairs of underpants do they own? Why do they hang only underpants, and not other items of clothing? Are the underpants some sort of a signal or a coded message? Perhaps there is some new sort of underground railroad, where people escape Chinatown- or do they escape a seedier place, via Chinatown? Perhaps businesspeople are escaping their drone-like existence downtown. No more commuting from the suburbs. No more sushi for lunch. It's just all become too much. Look for the panties in the window is whispered in dark allies. Bundles of rations are exchanged in elevators. I was never here.