Something I wrote back in August 2015.
so saturday i spent my afternoon doing some graffiti. the participants and i walked to tony’s pizza where they were holding their beers in brown bags as i stood anxiously waiting for my slice. i could tell they were a little too buzzed and they walked towards the park. we sat in the middle and started chit chatting. somehow “what kind of food can you not live with out?” became the topic. cheese. bread. cheese. when the french girl asked me i said, wait for it, avocado. they burst out laughing. god you drunks laugh at everything. avocado is great. it’s a healthy fat and fucking delicious on its own. i don’t see how it was funny then again i guess i’m more healthy than them all.
we parted ways and i drove over to alamo square. i really needed to go to the bathroom. i even asked this security guard. “there’s no bathroom here,” he said. “yeah but do you know where i could find one?”
i asked. then he just stared at me like i was the foreign one. walking up steep hills then walking down hills i stumbled upon a church. i went inside and found the ladies room. there inside this overly excited lady asked me if i was here for worship. i said i was an out of towner. she wore brown 3 inch heels, black leggings, and a gray zip up. for a second i thought she was a prostitute, dressed down. her orange puffy hair, her quaint attitude, her sincere smile made me think i was in for a surprise – i thought she was going to rob me while i peed. realizing she was still there, i quickly flushed the toilet and washed my hands. it was then she said “have a nice day” and i swallowed my pitiful thoughts.
i entered the church and sat in the last row. suddenly a man came out of the secret side door and with some kind of pondering look, he walked over to me. “will you be joining us for worship?” he asked nicely. his voice was crisp and genuine. “sure but i want to sit in the back” i responded, folding my hands so he could not see the leftover spray paint. “okay feel free to sit closer. my name is pastor benny” he said. i put my hands back in my pocket. then he turned around and slowly walked towards the orange puffy hair lady.
a few people were talking behind me but i didn’t want to turn around. a man approached me from behind introducing himself as ezekiel. “hi are you joining us for worship?” his hand shake was firm and his grip wasn’t too strong. his hands were soft and there was some kindness to it as if he practiced it just for the women. “i..uh.. yes” i muttered. i looked at my hands. fucking spray paint. they know why i’m really here.
pastor benny quoted a prayer, a very long one for that matter. sometimes he would pause between words but he knew just where to do it. i thought he forgot his words as though he were improvising but he picked up his tempo and spoke with resonance. the prayer was about not giving up and to keep going and going. he talked about having to go through the pains of life every day and knowing that life can be so wrong sometimes and make you feel low. but that life can be rewarding and serve you happiness if you keep to your purpose and continue to believe and work hard. i forget the rest but i began to feel an overwhelming sadness in my mind as his soft words tried to keep me at ease.
“amen, amen, amen, amen” the worshipers sat in front said in unison. “amen” i said to myself.
i walked out of the church, half way through ezekiel’s prayer. i felt a little bit more at peace with myself. maybe they knew i was spray painting on san francisco’s property cause they noticed the blue paint on my hands but forgave me and believed i would never do it again. maybe i tricked them with the innocence in my voice and appearance. maybe they understood that people’s lives are full of interesting happenings but they don’t care about what you do as a person cause at the end of the day you should do what makes you happy.
alamo park is where the full houses were. i think the colors went blue, pink, yellow, orange. i sat on a hill facing away the houses. there were too many people laughing and enjoying themselves. i needed to be alone. i let the wind attack my hair and i didn’t bother to fix it. my hair settled over my face and i sat for awhile, reflecting what i had just experienced in the church.
i also sat on a green bench for a little while. it hurt my back so i relocated to the front of the full house houses behind a guy flying a kite and having a beer. i wondered if that was the person i was supposed to talk to. people came from behind me to talk pictures of the guy flying the kite. he must have known he was setting up a good landscape for the tourists. i kept to myself and stared at the man. the wind would be strong and the kite would soar higher but then there would be no breeze and the kite would crash to the ground. i thought to myself: “well that’s life”