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Incident on the 5

So she's bugging me to tell my story, the one about the "Missed Connections" ad I put in the paper. Oh, all right. But I'm not at my most amusing right now, what with the crappy work environment and the pain and my current sobriety and all, but I don't have anything else to write about, really, so I'll give it a shot.

And it's better as a performance piece than a narrative, but here I go.

I was at a bus stop about ten years ago in San Francisco. MUNI being what it is, the bus hadn't come for a long time, and a crowd had accumulated. The bus stop was outside a corner store, and the corner store had a large marble block in front of it, presumably for bus riders and homeless folks.

There was a homeless man on the block that day, passed out and sometimes twitching. No one paid much attention to him until someone noticed that he wasn't twitching anymore... and wasn't quite breathing, either.

A murmur went through the crowd as people started thinking about approaching the man.

Meanwhile, I was approached by an awfully cute boy who lived in the area and was on his way to the corner store to get lightbulbs. He asked me what all this was about, and we started talking about the situation. We listened to the murmuring together and found out that the guy was wearing a hospital bracelet that said he was a diabetic and people started yelling "Is there a diabetic in the house?"

Well, fuck me if I can't resist a shout-out like that. I said I was, but since he was already unconscious and maybe even dead, there really wasn't much we could do about it except call 911 and mention the D word (they tend to come quicker when you do that). I was prodded by some folks to "do something" but you know how mobs are. They just won't listen to a scientifically reasoned explanation of why bystanders really can't help an unconscious diabetic, so I just mumbled something about not having a syringe and returned to my cute boy.

Wouldn't you know the bus came just as we were really starting to flirt, so I asked him his name as I boarded the bus.

"Andrew," he called out and turned his attention to the paramedics who were unenthusiastically looking for vitals on the probably dead man. I waved as the bus lurched forward and he was gone.

Days passed and I couldn't stop thinking about my encounter with Andrew. Look, you'd be obsessing too - he was a Jake Gyllenhaal lookalike. So after discussing and discussing and discussing with my friends, I decided to run a Missed Connections ad:

ANDREW: You live near the corner of McAllister and Divisadero. We met near a dead guy. Bus came too soon.

I didn't really think I'd get a response, but sure enough, Andrew calls! I was, to use the slang of the day, TOTALLY STOKED. I called him and we chatted, and he didn't remember me. That's OK, I thought, I'm not memorable. And he didn't really remember the dead guy either, which was a little weirder. But it didn't matter, we were meeting at Cafe du Nord tomorrow night and oh my god what the FUCK am I gonna wear?

I got to the bar way early, as is my wont, and circled the bar like a moth. I didn't see him. I stayed there by myself for two hours. No one spoke to me. I didn't drink. I went home miserable.

He called me the next day and we said in unison "Where were you?"

Turns out? It was a different Andrew. He did live on McAllister, but he did not see the dead guy. I thought that was the larger of the two requirements, wouldn't you? I ended up meeting him anyway and he was cute in a short Brian Setzer kinda way, but it never went anywhere. I think he was bothered that I didn't look like Annabella from Bow Wow Wow.

So that's my dead guy story. I've been waiting 10 years to write it down, so thanks shannonk for making me do it. I hope it lived up to your expectations.

3:29 p.m. - 2003-10-06


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