Long skeins of hair stream glistening out the passenger seat window of the vintage green BMW as it put-put-putters across the bridge between San Francisco and the rest of the world. Camera fixated on its prey, S. leans further out the window as our car pursues a white mammoth truck, its cargo seven rodeo bulls; they are big and brown, heads horn-heavy. They eyeball us through red wire, broncos not bucking wild, but sullen; in the destiny of each waits blue blood, tender flesh and bone to crush. The driver is a big bald white man, pale eyes glinting suspicious under a cowboy hat as we speed past once S.’s Nikon snapped the bull’s-eye.
What a noisy feast, the City; such delicious distraction for three girls toting paper and pen, to snag and snare color, texture, perfume. Label as you desire – by scientific name, emotion experienced, the memories induced.
As we thread through the Tenderloin, we cross intersection after intersection of histories and dreams and dislocations, past the halal butcher shop, many pho diners, the paint-chipped front door of the Indochinese Housing Association, the Battambang Market on Jones and Eddy.
We are (not) late. We are (not) lost. No map? ‘s okay, dear. We’ll use another sort of map, the short, clipped knowledge of pedestrians (passersby always, no matter how long they might linger as they cross one's lifeline) and memory, yours and mine, tho’ faultlines, (not) true.