Across Continents

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Sixth street

Sixth Street. San Francisco. Shortcut to a local Outdoor Pursuits store. On the map at least. Late afternoon. At one end the local Sheriffs Department, vehicles parked up outside fitted with very visible immobilisers. Next door the Public Defenders Office. Probably not the place to be, but I was reluctant to make a lengthy detour.

Liquor stores, cashiers shielded from customers by heavy glass. A few charity offices offering advice to the unfortunate. Hotels. Of sorts. Nothing more than a doorway. A woman shuffled out of one. Much younger than her ravaged appearance. Her eyes glazed and pitiful. Further down the street a man sat on the pavement. Asked the time as I strode past. I ignored him. I had a watch. And wanted to keep it.

Small groups of men dotted about, their ages varied, bonded by substance abuse. A couple of women sharing the spoils of a purse stolen. No sign of the victim but then this was definitely the wrong part of town.

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