I was schlepping through Golden Gate Park yesterday carrying a treasure trove of pizza and a pecan roll from the fabulous Arizmendi Bakery when I decided to déjeuner sur l’herbe, (pardon my non-conjugation). The sun was shining, the grass was green, and there were second generation hippies splayed out everywhere, perfect for people watching and pizza munching.
It was a weekday so the transients and homeless outnumbered the yuppies who were presumably busy earning a paycheck. Most of the park denizens were white teenagers and young adults, dressed in scruffy,baggy clothes, their bodies pieced with metal and annointed with ink. There were enough dreadlocks and rasta hats to start a tribute to Bob Marley. Some were playing kickball, others were blissfully asleep under the sun, as if everyday was a lazy Sunday afternoon.
So I’m sitting there, on my own little patch of grass munching on a warm slice and just watching these colorful folks (literally and figuratively) and I notice this Asian guy walking quickly behind a black man in a dark blue hoodie. You know when you see something out of place and it just catches your attention (like when some yuppie Asian girl sits down to eat pizza a few yards from some fidgety guy talking incoherently to himself and the world)? This Asian guy, not some young kid, this man who looked like he was late twenties to mid thirties with a countenance, mannerism, and clothing, like he should be on Clement street and not hanging around hippie street kids.
The way the Asian man went after the hoodie guy was hesitant, tentative, eager, and hurried at the same time. He wasn’t just walking but he wasn’t running either. It was as if he was holding back the desire to chase at full speed, as if there was was a question burning in his soul he needed to ask but was afraid to. I thought perhaps they were friends but he didn’t call out his name, like you and I would when trying to stop a friend in his paces.
The man in the hoodie was walking away briskly, aviator shades covering his eyes and hood drawn closely around his face. It was hot and sunny and this guy is in a full blown sweater with a hood over his head. What’s he hiding from? So Asian guy gets about maybe two or three feet from his target and Hoodie stops and turns to his pursuer with and says with pained exasperation–
“Dude, I don’t have anymore weed.”
He repeats it one more time under the man’s questioning gaze, “I don’t have anymore weed” before hurrying off. The Asian man blinked, expressionless, and turned away.