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  • I stepped out my door this morning to find a grizzled man sleeping on a meticulously assembled pile of newspaper circular pages.

    I was surprised, scared. Not sure what to do. Step over him? Tell him to leave? Be kind or be unkind?

    I see these men every night, hunkering down in the outside foyers and stairwells of San Francisco. Others in this city fight 50 people at a time for shitty apartments, come prepared to open house interviews with checkbooks, credit reports, resumes and references in hand. A full dossier proving the most upstanding life possible is necessary just for the privilege of paying way too much for far too little personal space.

    The man grumbled out something I couldn't understand, and I stepped over him, letting the door slam behind me, leaving my good friend and gracious roommate behind to tell him to leave. Halfway down the block, I realized that I should have given him the banana I had in my bag, but I don't turn back. I just keep walking to my leased car, walking toward another terrible work day that gives me that thin coat of respectability; the one keeps me and the rest of us from sleeping on other people's front stoops.
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