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Is This the Party to Whom I am Speaking?

Posted Aug 24 2010 12:37pm
The headline in the San Francisco Chronicle  today said “Summer is here, don’t blink. ” Very accurate reporting.  Summer arrived in San Francisco yesterday and it is supposed to last until tomorrow.  It is wonderful to see some blue sky and wear shorts, even if only for a couple of days! The world doesn’t need to see me in shorts any longer than that anyway.

I sported my shorts on an errand to the Hall of Justice yesterday. Tim was having trouble getting his traffic  school certificate accepted electronically, because, it turns out, we forgot to pay the fee that goes with it.  Mom to the rescue. Since I was going anyway, and he was nice enough to give me a ride down there, Steve asked me to get a court date for his recent ticket. (Scofflaws! All of them!)

I  told the guy at the window that I had two separate things to deal with, one for my son and one for my husband. He gave me a quizzical look. I told him they should all try to drive like me, but he didn’t seem interested. As he looked over Steve’s ticket he said, “You can’t do this for your husband. He has to come in himself or have a lawyer represent him.”  “Well,” I responded “I AM a lawyer”. He looked at my something less than professional garb and asked to see my bar card. I gave him a business card, but he didn’t look convinced. I gave him my bar number and I’m not sure if he looked me up or what, but then I was good to go.

Everything fixed, I left the Hall of Justice to find a bus home. I walked about 5 (long) blocks up 6th Street toward Market St. Anyone familiar with San Francisco knows this is a less than desirable place for a stroll. It is (what was once known as) skid row. I just kept moving and realized when I got to Market St. I had to go further to catch one of the many busses that come into my neighborhood. Now I was well into the Tenderloin. 

If the  6th street corridor is skid row, the Tenderloin is skid central.

I felt very conspicuous in my shorts and polka dot bag. I didn’t look like a lawyer in the Hall of Justice and I didn’t look like a bum on the corner of Junes and Turk Sts.  I just didn’t fit in anywhere.! I waited for the bus as a clearly mentally ill/drugged out woman SCREAMED at her companion.  It was lovely.

Once on the bus everything was calmer. The crazy lady decided not to board with her friend, which was fine with me. My phone rang . It was Janice, Maggie’s school nurse. She had already called once. Maggie is a bit “off” for lack of a better word. She’s not sick, but something may be brewing. When she called the second time, I became a bit concerned. However, it turned out Maggie just wanted to talk to me.

When Maggie “talks” to me on the phone, she just wants to hear my voice. She generally doesn’t use her talker in return, she just listens and responds using her  signs for “yes” and “no” as though I can see her.  I speak to her in the normal cadence of a conversation, saying something and then waiting for a response. Of course, I hear only silence, but she needs time to process whatever I say. We just “spoke” for a few minutes and then I said put Janice back on the phone.  Much to my surprise, she did. When Janice said hello, I said excitedly , “did she let you know to take the phone?” Janice said, “no, I could hear you. “  I laughed.

Of course there is zero privacy on a public bus and the man next to me was clearly curious about my phone call. I thought to myself, Boy, if he only knew there was no one responding to me, he would have thought I was the crazy woman.

Oh wait….
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