Today I had an appointment at UCSF medical in a beautiful new and glossy high tech downtown facility in San Francisco. I love this City, but not when  it is gray cloudy and drizzling day and not for doctors appointments. I always get a bit frazzled in the city when I drive. On the way to my appointment early this morning, my oil light came on. To my husband’s directive, I went to find an auto part store immediately after my appointment. Of course, one of the biggest challenges in the city is finding a parking space. By a miracle I spotted one on Potrero Ave. How lucky! Well, I quickly realized why parking spots were available. The sidewalk was “littered “ with homeless people. Shopping carts blocking sidewalk and parking spots. I saw an opening and I took it. I wasn’t going to be long anyway. What can happen in a short time!? As soon as I got out of the car, a nauseating smell of urine hit me. It felt like it immediately permeated every pore of my body. I ran across the street to O’Reilly auto part store, got my oil and ran back to my car. And guess what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing! The car was still there! No problem. Now the dilemma was, do I open the hood and add the oil here, surrounded by all these poor people staring at me, or do I drive somewhere else? I feel very uneasy as I open up the hood but my uneasiness has nothing to do with fearing for my safety. It comes from guilt and sorrow for this people. I hurry. I want to get the hell out of there. I slam the hood and get back in the car. My hands are greasy and somehow I managed to spill oil all over my favorite pants! How dare I be upset about that! How dare I even think this way, while people three feet away from me are sitting on sidewalks in filthy clothes stained with urine and dirt, all their belongings loaded in shopping carts.  How dare I look away from homelessness problem and shut myself in a car that drives me away to a nice clean home with food on the table. When I first came to this beautiful country- the land of the free and the home of the brave, the wealthiest country in the world and when I first saw how many homeless people live on the streets in every city from NY to San Francisco, it just didn’t make sense to me. Thirty years later, it still doesn’t. In Tahoe where I live, we don’t see much homelessness, here in the City it is staring at me on every corner. While I was dealing with my car, nobody bothered me. Nobody jumped on me, robbed me, raped me! That’s what we are afraid off, aren’t we?! Or are we just afraid and ashamed that we do nothing. I had a blanket and a towel in the back of the car and I gave it to one of the guys. He hardly looked at me, said nothing.  His eyes were dejected, hair a mess of greasy dreadlocks, teeth whatever was left of them were stained yellow and black. I think he’s numb to life. How could he not be?

In the meantime in the news: Harvey Weinstein’s finally got his fat ass arrested and president Trump pulled out of the summit with North Korea and is threatening them with nuclear weapons 

And so, the Life goes on

Alenka Vrecek