Quiet Days in Tenderloin *

As I write, the sun is falling. People at work are going to dinner. It’s been a pensive day filled with thoughts and doubts. I leave the building to walk home and air my thoughts. On the way out, I ran into an old friend who’s rushing away to nurse another conversation. Daniel Jr. kindly extends a warm “see you tomorrow” which portray his deep sense of humility.

It is the same type of day outside. The homeless is begging to those who are rushing home. Tourists take pictures of duck tours, and the cops cut tickets to people who’re blocking the sidewalk trying to buy a ticket to the show at the Moore theatre. These little observations murmur my sense of reflection.

I walk on the boulevard and pass by the immense number of shops and restaurants. I see no end of conversations around dinner tables. I think of friendships, romances, and separations that are formed around those tables. It all feels irrelevant to me as an individual, but it’s all relevant to my sense of curiosity. I can’t help but to think of the ongoing stories around me.

On quiet days in Tenderloin, I often find myself walking by the hotel where I had the first encounter with Taffy. I often look away because I have a deep desire to erase that memory, and the sense of regret attached to that scoop of life.

Tenderloin is lazy, indifferent, and somewhat rotten. It’s not glamorous as much as musing. On the days of wine and roses however, Tenderloin is glowing with a lurking flame which idealizes its sense of hope.

*Inspired by the opening chapter of Quiet Days in Clichy

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