I spotted Cory going through one of those large commercial/residential trash bins and making a mess on the street near a signage shop on Van Ness.
Yes, I absolutely thought he was fishing for stuff he could use to steal someone’s identity or som’in’, because that is a thing that totally happens here in San Francisco, and yes, I was wrong. See, I already was feeling a little edgy because a few steps away, someone else had made and left a real muladar, complete with several uncapped needles – in front of an inn for youth.
Cory simply wanted to find art supplies, scraps of paper he could repurpose to keep busy and make something with his own two hands. Of course, I told him about the Thursday public-health activation on Willow, which is still happening again this Boxing Day, albeit with a skeleton crew. But that’s not today, so, I gifted him some Elmer’s glue and crafting scissors and a notebook for journaling (and an OJ), a tote to carry his new treasure, and a scarf to keep warm this Christmas because it’ll be days between now and Thursday.
Cory from Seattle, not that much younger than me.
He told me that he came to the Bay Area with his girl, I think I recall he called her his wife, but that didn’t work out too great for either of them. Jealousy and drugs kinda got in the way. He seems like he’s on the edge with it all right now. Clearly, he’s been using. I don’t doubt he will use again, but he also seemed like wants to find his way back to health, to himself, to his future.
He said he has access to a phone (he already knew about Hospitality House on Leavenworth) and that he’ll call his mom this week. He mentioned she won’t send him some of the personal documents he needs to get a California ID, that he thought she was doing it on purpose so he’d go home.
We chatted for a bit more. I learned he used to play the guitar. He told me he used to paint houses. I urged him to remember Thursday, then wrote it down in his new notebook. Who knows; perhaps, he’ll meet someone who can help him away from the edge later this week, and down the line, he can help someone else.