Two quick errors can be the DIFF

Caught near Crissy. Things started to unravel quickly. I sat down to take in the Bay and when I turned, someone have ripped off my big orange back filled with replaceable, but not easily so on my budget, items like a towel, sandals, gym trunks for after my swim, some food.

Gone. Who steals from the homeless?

This reminded me (this is ironic later on) of when I parked my Jeep along Golden Gate Park and homeless folk broke in a took my bags…one was a gym bag…the other was a “Mac Bag O’ Fun” which means it had an antique Bingo set (made out of steel and wooden balls). They broke a back side window to get in and I had to painstakingly replace it in the parking lot of the Youth Hostel I stayed in last night…about 7 years ago.

Two Mistakes Can Cost Your Life

Two errors. One was my phone going dead. Well, you cannot predict that. The second was be misdirected to the wrong bus stop.

So it is July the 4th and no one is leaving the City. Believe me I asked. Finally a bus driver told me I was at the wrong stop…but it was now too late to catch a bus over the bridge.

No phone…trapped in SF and it’s starting to get dark.

WARMTH

I have often said that one of the most underrated inventions of humanity is a hot clean shower. Think of it….for most of history this has not been available yet you can take one or two every day if you like.

I’m born under a water sign (Cancer) and I am drawn to it. True…I also tend toove sidewise…but that is another story for another day.

On this day all I wanted was to throw myself into the Bay and get really salty. That didn’t happen given the above.

But I remembered well the scuba training my son Thomas and I received years before when it comes to warmth. About 70 percent of the body’s heat escapes through the top of your head.

So when it becomes 1 a.m. in Golden Gate Park and you are dressed in swim trunks and a hoodie the most important think for survival is the hoodie covering your head.

The rest (at between 4-5 am) you must simply endure. It’s not pretty or for the squeamish.

Of course other bad things had happened in between 1 and 5 a.m

The worst was walking down a darkened path, tripping over a cypress burl and falling headlong with glasses thrown off into some distant bush never to be recovered.

So now you are blind (or at least blurry being nearsighted) in the dark in the park.

What can you do but move ahead?

Of course your chances of tripping again have now increased exponentially. And this happens about 30 minutes later.

But this time you have the good fortune to land in a 7 foot long by 5 foot wide small ravine.

Unharmed and surrounded by tall bushes. Wisely, you decide NOT to get up. No….here you will stay until the songbirds begin their warblings and the sky begins to turn slightly grey.

The COLD

But it is effing COLD as darkness gives way to dawn. I knew enough to keep my upper body warm and the hoodie saved me. But I had only a thin towel for my naked legs.

I have only been colder once. Art age 15 I hitchhiked to Yosemite and hiked way too high up with an inferior bag. Worse, I did not have the “natural” insulation I have now.

You do not wanna ever be that cold.

STARBUCKS

In New York the homeless ride the subways all night. In California you just wait for a Starbucks to open.

Being the High Tech Homeless Guy means that even without a phone I am drinking coffee and networking with folks all over the US by 5:45 a.m.

An ex-girlfriend lives a few blocks away. But let’s be clear: It is UTTERLY inappropriate for me to ring her doorbell at any time.

Still, I could have died (That morning’s SF Chronicle told of a homeless man who was stabbed 37 times not seven blocks from where I slept). So after coffee and networking I thought “um…hat in hand….and only three rings then walk away…be a gentleman.”

Gracious woman on ring  three as I prepared to walk away.

And she told me her story which I will never discuss with anyone xcept to say I learned a lot sitting and listening (for a change).

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