August 26th 11:55pm - Vagrant on Market

Last year I came to the sporadic, intelligent decision to cease taking Spanish classes at USF and instead sign up for bar-tending class downtown. I have an extreme lack of aptitude in foreign languages, aka I-would-rather-stick-a-pencil-in-my-eye than attempt to learn the art of the exotic languages of the world. Despite the fact I live in California, where Caucasians are, in fact, a minority, I had absolutely no yearning to pursue the mysterious languages of the unknown. Thus, I claimed foreign language disability (that's right, a hindrance solely of foreign languages), dropped the class, and enrolled in the clearly-far-more-useful-let's-make-alcoholic-drinks class. The class times persisted from 6pm-9:30pm at night, Monday-Friday for two weeks. And the class was on Market Street. Downtown. One of the incalculable venues for the destitute and crazy to congregate. Walking to my bus-stop a woman approached me. Good lord did she have a vagabond existence. She donned male clothes, all numerous sizes too large for her petite frame. Her brown hair disheveled, her eyes slits, she marched towards me, determined. I eyed her warily, entirely uncertain as to what was to come. She stopped in front of me and subsequently asked me, voice strong and expression unabashed, if I had a tampon. She did a distressed dance with her legs crossed and hands clasped in front of her that undeniably resembled the traumatic dance of a four-year-old needing to desperately use the restroom. "I don't got nothing and It's running down my leg..." she declared, bobbing up and down. "Oh dear god," I replied, "let me see if I have one." After an intense rummage through my endless Mary Poppins purse, my search unearthed a spoon, deodorant, an assortment of pens and bobby pins... and three tampons. She jerked around wildly. I thrust the tampons at her and told her to take them. She thanked me profusely, told me I was amazing, and walked a total of four steps away from me. From there she proceeded to whip the wrapper off one of the tampons, pull open her pants, part her legs, and shove it into her. My mouth dropped open. The masses of people passing seemed not to notice. I'm really not sure why I didn't look away. But here I was, 9:40 at night, on arguably the busiest street in San Francisco, watching a homeless woman thrust a tampon into her. Definitely a new experience for me!

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