very bad things
HOMELESS MAN, SAN FRANCISCO, MAY 2007
"hi, how are you?" he says excitedly. he thinks he knows me for a moment.
name's dan; from billings, montana. left when he was 15. been on the street since then.
talks to his parents sometimes on the phone. mostly to his mom. but she just died three months ago. talked to his dad then; and to his sister. she's born again. has two other sisters too; no one knows where they are.
he was supposed to be flown back for the funeral; but that didn't happen.
tells me how he came to san francisco ten years back: "me and this..." he stops and looks at me. "do you hate gays?" he asks.
"k. me and this gay guy; we broke out of an institution; jumped the fence and hopped a train. came to san francisco. we were friends for a long time."
"you're not still together?" i ask.
"no. i wish we were though."
a man in his fifties walks by with a big smile disturbing the thought. he's looking at dan repeating like he's bursting: "the naked guy from the hotel! the naked guy from the hotel!"
he doesn't stop walking.
"he took pictures of me. naked pictures. i didn't like that."
asked how he gets by, says "i do what i have to do."
"what were you in the institution for?" i ask.
"my parents put me there when i was 9. they lied; said i did things i didn't do."
"it was 'cause of my father. he molested me. he did very bad things to me."