Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I have two more days of my internship left. So far, it's been good to me.

One aspect that has been not-so-good to me is the walk from the BART station to the Cinematheque offices. (Note: BART is a public transit system akin to your city's subway. One difference? This bitch goes underwater!) As I head to work, I walk on Mission Street, which is one of the most sincerely depressing stretches of pavement that God has put on this sincerely depressing earth. Smells of industrial paints and rotten food waft over every step - smells I force myself to ignore or otherwise, I'd get headaches and dry-heave. Postcards of pornography are strewn about the sidewalks. Cops stand around, referring to the citizens around them as "motherfuckers."

It is on this street where society's unwanted second cousins reside: The homeless. The crippled. The mentally ill. Or the most common: the crippled, mentally ill homeless.

One morning, I saw a woman with no legs pushing herself in a wheelchair, holding a cardboard sign that asked for money, food, anything. If that wasn't unsettling enough, she was crying. That's right. She was pushing herself in a wheelchair and crying at the same time. Another time, I saw a sewer grate open up in the middle of the sidewalk and a man crawl out. He was living underneath our feet.

It's not only depressing, but threatening. Yesterday morning, I walked past a man who, at the last moment that our bodies crossed each other, sent out a fake punch towards me, narrowly missing my face.

Every morning, I walk this street.

And every afternoon, I walk down one more block for my lunch break. It's only one block away from Mission Street, but it might as well be located on the moon's surface. This place is populated with fancy cars and popular chain stores... people in expensive clothes and kids in hipster fashions.

It's at these moments when I realize that I'm located squarely on the corner of the Have and Have-Nots.

Watching. Observing. Taking notes.

Wondering which side I belong to. Which side makes me more comfortable. Which side is "right."

And ultimately...

doing nothing whatsoever.

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