Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The great crack rock in the sky

It's only a matter of time before I run over a crack-head. They are everywhere near the office in SF, 6th and Market. They jump out of every possible hiding space unexpectedly, cross streets whenever the impulse suddenly takes them, and most of all they are trying to get your attention. No matter how fast or slow you are going, you are still a potential candidate for giving them $6. 

There must have been a giant crack-head conference in which they all agreed that $6 is the magic amount to ask somebody for. Not too much, not too little, but an amount that will raise no suspicions. Except that every crack-head universally asks for $6, always with an entertaining story about being out of gas, or needing money for the toll to get home, a lost wallet, their car is right around the corner... Would you like to come and see? It's that one, but I lost my keys. Eyes darting furiously in their sockets as they tell the story. It must seem believable to them. The immediate need for $6 both desperate and earnest. 

There are so many crack-heads in this part of SF that it's difficult to walk from the parking lot to the building sometimes. Many of them are missing an arm or a leg, or part of a hand. Perhaps that's why they congregate. It's nearly impossible for some of them to even smoke crack alone anymore. At some level it must require teamwork, and things must be fair. Two one-armed crack-heads could end up being best buddies. 

Together they would need $12.