“In 50 feet turn left” the female voice suggested through the phone mapping app as we were trying to make it to a restaurant by a predetermined time. A reservation time set in stone apparently, as it is a wildly popular place where hoardes come to consume vast quantities of beef. Not knowing a direct driving route, we had entrusted our guidance to the phone. We were commanded to turn left, turn right many times in what seemed like an erratic path through the Mission District of San Francisco.
As we made the left turn down a narrow alley-like street, an unkempt, wild-haired woman minus one leg was slowly but surely navigating the cluttered sidewalk in her wheelchair. Just past her was a couple, heads hunched together smoking something of questionable content. Both were costumed in skin-hugging garments of black leather with metal protrusions and various chains. Next in the lineup against the wall was a young man, cleaner and fresher and perhaps less authentic in his display of “wtf you lookin’ at?” defiance and disdain. Then, along the sleeping bag and plastic bag festooned sidewalk, a few more actors in walk-on roles passed by as we slowly passed by.
As my mind’s eye snapped a quick succession of interesting images, I thought how true Shakespeare’s derivative dictum that “all the world’s a stage”. And what an odd and interesting cast of characters are we all.