It was cold that night. Like most nights in San Francisco the cold fog rolls in just a few hours before dusk, the fog sticks as if attracted like a magnet to steel. As darkness dropped the night seemed colder then most, maybe it was or maybe it was the overwhelming despair of being 16 and not knowing what to do or where to go, regardless it was wet – it was cold.
The straps of my backpack stuffed with all I had in the world cut into my shoulders as I threaded down the empty gray sidewalks of the city in tattered department store sneakers that failed to warm my feet. As gray faded to black I walked passing homes whose windows illuminated with the warmth of light or danced with flickers of light from a television. I thought how nice it would be to sit in their warmth as the sound of my steps echoed in the corridor created by the houses each butted next to each other.
The walk was long but I hardly noticed; my brain was numb no longer wanting to think about why I was in the streets alone; I was just tired. Just ahead I could see the seawall and hear the crashing of the wave’s against the shore at Ocean Beach, home for at least tonight. At the base of the stairs, mostly covered now in sand from years of the oceans rise and retreat, I found a place against the wall facing the ocean and sat using my backpack as a barrier between my body and the cold concrete.
I was not alone, strange people wander the beach at night and eerie sound of the bays foghorn blowing in the distance didn’t help, I was scared to sleep for fear of what one of these people living in the shadows might try, but I tired with sort of one eye open. As the night went on the cold night air seemed to rip though my jacket and the layers of cloths I put on to try and stay warm. The shivering became uncontrollable so I abandoned my spot on the beach and wandered back out on the streets looking for shelter. As I walked I spotted a Laundromat, the kind that was coin operated and open all night. No one was there so I found a corner out of view of the windows and sat on the floor leaning sideways against my backpack; I was good to be warm. I woke to an angry Chinese guy kicking my leg telling me to get out. I was morning and like the day prior it simply started again.
I struggled tying to decide if I should post this snap shot in time from my life. But I decided I needed it out. I don’t even know what to say about it. I guess I should start another blog for these type of posts.