in the past few weeks, i've made trips to the city and it's been real. let me tell you about it...

duboce triangle, around 6 pm

about to cross the street, i see a 30-something asian man waving to me enthusiastically from the other side. the waves are as frequent as my dog's tail wags when he greets me after hoursss of separation. he smiles like we know each other. "Do i know him? is he that guy...that i...from...?" i wonder, trying to place him. i'm usually good with faces, names. he is dressed business casual, has glasses, combed hair, looks harmless, and like any other asian american male i have had the pleasure of knowing from back home. we walk towards each other because it's time to cross the street. "Hey! Nice to see you!" he says, still smiling, still like we have known each other years. but in that split second, when we are a step away from each other, i look at his eager face and i confirm that i don't know this smiley asian man. i nod and half smile, politely but say nothing. in the moment i take a step past him, i see the crazy in his eyes. i do not look back.

japan town, after 9 pm

eugene and i are walking to the car and this 20-something white male approaches us with urgency, almost running into us:

"can you please touch my arm right here, please!" he points to a spot on his right forearm. there is nothing visibly special about this spot he's pointing to. he's walking alongside eugene. i am protected, on the other side of eug, but i am still nervous.

"no, thank you" eugene says politely.

"oh come on! please. just touch it."

"no, really it's nothing against you. i don't even touch my own mother!" eugene says lightly. i laugh in my head, not out loud because i do not want to attract attention from this strange, jumpy man.

"what's the big deal!!!" he seems angry now, trying to keep up with us, eugene and i are both walking a little faster than we were before. "just touch it with your finger, right here!!" he raises his voice.

"sorry, sir."

finally he gives up and runs across the street, and as he does, shakes his head, lets out a bunch of grumbles and expletives that basically add up to WHAT THE FUCK I CANT BELIEVE THEY WOULDN'T TOUCH MY ARM!!! WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?!

nob hill, bright, beautiful sunday morning

jess and i are walking up a hill en route to huntington park, toting our pastrami sandwiches, a little breathless from the climb, when we are met with something odd: a pair of uncovered (naked), long, slender, (but still clearly) man legs. there is hair on these legs, it is blonde. these legs belong to a man who is lying on the ground in a little nook. we can see up to his thigh, far enough to confirm he is not wearing boxers, but not far enough to confirm that he is not wearing briefs or simply hanging out. his first leg is lying flat and the other is positioned, knee up. a little spread out. just as i take the step that will put me in view of everything, i turn away. jess does not. once we've passed him, i turn back. we are suppressing sounds, laughter, omgs.

"oh my god. ok, what did you see?" i ask.

"i saw balls."

in the end...

at least i did not experience a combination of these three stories: a familiar looking asian man i can't quite place running up to me naked, balls hanging asking me to PLEASE TOUCH IT! that. would be. just. too much.

Authorjustine lee