ever have someone tell you to stand up straight? look you in the eye when they're talking?

but they don’t ever figure it out, do they?

We would hike up Telegraph Hill all the way to Coit Tower. We’d go past the parking lot to where you see the sweep of the Bay laid out and people clogging up the panorama posing for pictures.

We’d climb over the concrete barrier that kept the tourists from falling off the cliff while they posed, slide down through the succulents and scrub and pine tree roots there to keep the dirt from eroding away scoot down on our butts right to the edge of the cliff. There was a wire fence there, stretched and loose and then the city just dropped off two hundred feet. Once down there we’d smoke and share a tall beer and look out over the Bay at all that was ours. Tourists and their languages and stupid questions and ugly clothes stayed safe and boring up above us. All they did was show up where the icon on their colorful, cartoony map said to, not knowing why, but making sure to take plenty of photos should they figure it out some day before they die.

When we were done we’d toss the beer can over the edge of the cliff and strain to hear it hit so far below.

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