Down Post Avenue at Night, Alone

It's only a forty minutes' walk
But it's a lot for most Americans
Even I rarely walk that much in Paris
Here it's dangerous

I just saw Parasite
I don't know if it's because it's still lingering in my brain
But I feel like this is not real life
Like I'm not me
Like I'm playing role

No one here knows who I am
I could be one of those wealthy San Franciscans
Or one of those poor people
But really neither
I'm something in between
Lost in the nothingness of that inbetweenness

Walking alone, among these people
Only stopping at red lights
I feel like I know what it's like to be in the margins
To be slipping through the cracks

The streets are different than during the day
Even though they're the same
There's a different vibe
They're mostly empty, quiet somehow
Only a few homeless people here and there
I wonder if people think I'm one of them
Because of the way I'm dressed – a hoodie, converse shoes
Because I'm walking alone in the night

I don't want to seem like one of them
So I hold my head up high
And try to look curious and amused by my surroundings
To show how exotic it all is
And how I don't belong here, I'm just passing through
They're drunk, high, crazy
They can't walk straight
And I remind myself that I'm a girl, young, white, blond
People can see I'm not one of them

There's bread on the floor
Don't step on the bread, he says
The joke doesn't come at first
And then it's the English that doesn't
(We) don't wanna make it dirty, I say
I wonder if he heard my we,
Or if he just thought I was the subject in this sentence

Then I reach a richer place
Bars, music, people outside on the phone
Eating, drinking, having fun
I think of the flood in the movie
And the rich family's party on the next day
Two worlds apart, neatly separated
When they really are juxtaposed

A collage
The only way art can try to not be artificial
When it is being its most artificial
To reveal that all boundaries are artificial

You can try to stop things from overflowing into one another
You can draw lines
But you can never forget
That all things must converge
And so I make them converge
Because then I become the glue
That holds it all together
Then I'm not crazy
Merely post-modern

I think of my mind, my I/eye
As a filter
For some reason this reminds me of a cigarette
Are my thoughts my own poison?

People speak French
You tèking ze kèze?

I pass by the Academy of Art University
It looks fancy enough, like the other buildings here
There's a homeless guy sleeping at the entrance
I think that it really represents the city of SF
The violence of inequalities
Like in the movie
The way we constantly collide
How it will end badly
It's the only way
I see Hermès
And remember we are no different in Paris

I reach Montgomery Street
Finally
It's late

Having fed my hungry eyes
And worked up my restless mind
I made it to the bus
That'll take me safely
Back to Oakland