We’ve linked to I live here: SF stories by proud TenderLocals a few times before, but the one today by Jonathan is particularly close to our heart. Not only because we introduced him to the project during an interview we did for Tenderblog, or because he’s one of those people who sees poetry everywhere, or because he’s a truly likable guy full of cool ideas and projects in the neighborhood (The Tenderloin Reading Series or Black Gold Mondays at Koko, just to name a couple). All those things are true, but the reason why this story is so special and we loved, loved, loved it, and you will too, is because it’s full of truth.
There is the velocity of the neighborhood yes; the intensity: sometimes it feels like I’ve stepped inside a pressure cooker, and the rumbling heat from all sides nearly burns me alive; but when we dismiss the madness and destitution of a place like the TL we are overlooking one fundamental tenet of life: regardless of appearance we are all experiencing madness and destitution.
We walk around with a sense of propriety about our lives, that somehow we own something on this earth, some singular thing that we get to keep. We put our heads down, and bury ourselves in work. We accumulate all these things, they are on loan to us but we negotiate their false purchase: a car, a house, a family. So many of us are surprised when they are taken away, but we shouldn’t be. We’ve got it good folks, we’re alive.