hear you

To the woman who yells, “Tax-EEEE!” on my street, one of the most taxi-ridden streets in San Francisco, because she must have waited a whole 30 seconds before seeing one: I hear you.

To the man who asks people for money on the corner and then makes snide comments about the size of their asses as they walk on by: I hear you.

To the car-alarm symphony at three in the morning: I hear you. Your owner does not hear you, not for maybe ten or fifteen minutes, but I hear you.

To the thick sound of the industrial clothes-press at the wash-and-fold, every minute and a half between the hours of 8 and 6: I hear you.

To the unusually articulate pimp explaining difficult economic concepts to inattentive yet captive audiences: I hear you.

To the taxi brakes shrieking to each other in their alien mating-call: I hear you.

To the drunk girls on the stoop who assert that this shit is indeed bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S: I hear you.

To those of the less than stellar parallel parking jobs, evoking honks and rejoinders and occasionally the crunch of a bumper: I hear you.

To the streetlights too weak to light more than the suggestion of urine on a curb yet somehow humming with current: I hear you.

To the tenant who forgot the building code and decided to try every single two-, three-, and four-number combination between bouts of raucous vomiting: I hear you. I so wish I hadn’t, but I hear you.

To the snuffling, snarling dog, unfamiliar with the smells of this place, upset and alone but too fierce to be caught and cared for: I hear you. I hear you most of all.

Published by Halsted M. Bernard

An ever-molting black swan. Reader, writer, library director, over-enunciator. Listening + Unlearning. Opinions are my own. She/her. #BlackLivesMatter

5 thoughts on “hear you

  1. I love this post! I especially like the pimp and dog (hear you’s). Hungry dogs tend to trust the hand that feeds them though so maybe all hope isn’t lost?

  2. I subletted a place years ago deep in the Mission in which my bedroom window was at the corner of the building and at an intersection. Between the hours of midnitght and 3:30am, there was the most interesting banter about the in’s and out’s of negiotating prices for the drugs they were dealing. It was an odd education. The best comment came from a customer who drove up, got her stuff and yelled out, “Sheaat, that’s what I call drive up service!”

  3. Hi Halsted —

    I’m looking forward to working with you for a few weeks before I retire on Feb. 29th. I’m so happy that a literate and energetic person will be joining the 5th Floor.


  4. A great post. I really like the rhythm of the piece. Reminds me of New York, too. Out here in the East Bay suburbs all I ever hear is the babbling brook (actually Interstate 80, but from up here I can pretend it’s a babbling brook) and the occasional embarrassingly cliche and overwrought screaming fits that one of our neighbors gets into with her children.

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