wednesday. ash wednesday walking in the mission.

Ash Wednesday.

Was walking down Valencia Street, San Francisco en route to teach some Yoga up in Bernal Heights. I turned down to Mission Street to loose the crowd in tight ill-fitting jeans and plaid shirts holding white coffee cups.

While walking down 22nd towards Mission I picked up a young arm waving follower – 4 blocks I was followed by the young fellow shouting “hey, hey you, you I just want to talk, you beautiful mama please please please…..!” The attention was a wee excessive for one moment of eye contact and a sorry after a bump of shoulders as we passed each other. I said naw, but I could hear his short wide strides to keep his ‘trousers-tightly-hung-low-under-his-bum-cheeks-so-his-checked-boxers-showed-in-full-shuffle’ behind me. As I neared 24th street he gave up and I heard his hands fall heavy by his sides as I walked into a crowd of folks with ash on their foreheads moving fast to catch the 14 Mission.

When the bus drove off with them there was one lone soul asleep on the bus stop bench. He was slouched over fast asleep; grimy hair over half his face, his puffy gunky nailed hands loosely laid across his splayed out thighs…peeking shyly and perhaps a bit sadly out of a hole in maroon corduroys was his willy. The very short shoe shine man in a cowboy hat was singing Spanish love ballads. A very round Jehovah’s Witness lady was searching for converts with booklets covered with hearts. Outside the Mc Donald’s there was a teen makeout session, ash on foreheads and Big Mac’s and fries to go in hands.

Continuing along mission towards Bernal I learned that pigeons like to poop on people from a man in a large large SUV, waved at friends zooming by on bikes and cars and nearly tripped over the feet of the waiter leaning on the wall outside Zante’s Indian Food and Pizza.

The sun was shining still as it had been all day.

Taught two classes. On way home back down Mission Street veered off to the Homestead Bar to see friends I hadn’t see in too long. They have the freshest Stella there and good rock n roll on the jukebox and peanuts and you can throw the shells on the floor while to talk and talk and talk.

Strolling home I met a woman I see every day on my trips down Valencia. Short longhaired Philippiana gal always looking this way and that. We’ve smiled that I know you’re a local round here smile many times morning, afternoon and night as we traverse the Mission for our various reasons. Today in the dark of night on a pretty empty street we walked together. I learned she stays at the SRO round the corner from my flat with her so-called-boy friend and she was waiting for him. We both admired the warm night and the sparkles in the sidewalk. She learned I had a son, I’d had a night out and that I didn’t have a penny or a cigarette to give her, no shit – she probably had more money than me.

This morning the fog has rolled in, perhaps it will burn away and expose another sunshine day in the mission.



~ by asmallfryup on February 18, 2010.

2 Responses to “wednesday. ash wednesday walking in the mission.”

  1. Megan, your writing is so poetically gorgeous! Loved this post- it totally captures those crazy walks through the mission, esp. around Bart stations. One night when I worked at Farallon my co-worker and I were walking to Powell street bart after work, around midnight, and I saw a guy pooping on the sidewalk. My co-worker just kept talking, and I thought how cool and tough he was for not even flinching. Then suddenly he noticed the pooping guy and sort of yelled, “Woah! What’s that guy doing?!” Not so cool…

    • aww thanks alanna! my mouth is watering thinking about the chai i am gonna make this weekend. p.s that poop story is quite something!

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