Last time, Haight and Ashbury; this time, Page and Ashbury--a block away.
I pass a small, bespectacled boy with one of those backpacks on wheels, like a little stewardess bag, but backpack-shaped. He is standing on the corner rocking the backpack back and forth to make a "click-clock" noise while he waits for his nanny to catch up. Weirdly though, as I pass him, I am enveloped in a cloud of pot smoke, unusual among the kindergarten crowd. Then I see the bearded twenty-something guy sitting cross-legged on a dirty white duvet on the edge of the curb, about ten feet away from the kid, smoking a joint, staring absently at the parked cars directly in front of his face. Across the street, a man makes his unsteady way down the sidewalk with a futon mattress draped over his head and back. It extends to his knees on either side, almost entirely obscuring him, as though he is hiding or pretending to be a turtle.