A typical nineties child

I am deserted.

When we first moved here, we all came together. Friends, brothers, people of worth and character. I suppose the city was no different; it still smelled like piss and traffic, it was still cold every single god damn day, but we faced it with a wonderful, youthful solidarity. It was an adventure; our trials were challenges, our narrow escapes were golden triumphs. No more.

You come out of your house one day, you look around, and everyone worth a shit is gone. Gone to Europe, Israel, Patagonia, the Near East… and somehow I missed the boat.

Now what was once a righteous place of awesomeness and fun has returned to its original state of suck. The streets overflow with criminals, deviants and losers. Addicts, convicts, hipsters, communists, people from Boston… a whole menagerie of lowlifes has begun its occupation of San Francisco in earnest. The dollar is down, the future is bleak, and anyone with half a frontal lobe peaced out without so much as a look back over their shoulder. How the hell did I miss that memo.

I headed to the library to drown my troubles in literature, like a fool. The San Francisco library is terrible. Staffed by work-release mental patients and substitute teachers, the place is so disorganized it’s obscene. I make a list of 30-40 books hoping to find maybe two, if I’m lucky. The Third Chimpanzee? Stolen. Islands in the Stream? Gone. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Overdue by 11 months.

I near the bottom of my list, and walk into an aisle on the fourth floor to find a skinny junkie and an autistic woman twice his size fistfighting between two rows of books. Shrieking and drooling, the woman is beating the skeletal and outmatched junkie about the face and neck with the SFPL’s only copy of Urban Tribes.

“Mothafuck mang! Mothafuck!” The junkie shouts, bleeding thin, dark, dirty blood all over his tattered Buccaneers parka.

A lesser man would have run for his life, and rightly so, but this is the kind of fucking freakshow you learn to take in stride here in our fair city.

“Miss, can I have that book when you’re finished?” I ask politely.

“RAWR MOOOOOOOOOOOOAN.” She says, throwing the book over the banister down onto the mezzanine below. She proceeds to flip me off with both hands, giving the junkie a chance to scramble away into the Large Print section.

“Alright then. Thanks anyways.”

What do you do with that, you know? What’s the proper course of action there?

I need to get out of here.

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