How My Treo Put Me On the Streets

24 hours ago I couldn’t have predicted I’d be spending a rainy morning becoming intimately familiar with 5th Street south of market in San Francisco. I mean 5th “street.” For I spent 30 minutes head down walking 1 MPH down the sidewalk, head sweeping back and forth, in an attempt to find my Treo 600 antenna without which my $500 investment will be rendered useless.

When I discovered the missing antenna last night at Shalimar, it seemed obvious the antenna had fallen off at someone’s house I’d just been to. Then I realized that upon leaving, I’d seen email received. A few minutes later after walking under the I80 overpass, I’d pulled out my Treo to email my sister about a mastiff, guarding a used car lot, had taken the liberty of taking a massive dump next to one of the cars. Little did I know he’d have the last laugh.

Following some traumatic Internet searches that confirmed Treo doesn’t sell antenna replacements, I went to bed depressed but hopeful that I’d find the little bugger.

If losing the antenna was traumatic, observing the microcosm that is 5th street traumatized me even more. Bottles, random fresh puddles of blood, clothing, last night’s food. It had been raining all night yet the sidewalk did not have that freshness you’d expect. If piles of blood horrified me, I was not prepared for what lay ahead. The sight of a broom attached to a man vigorously sweeping the block between Folsom and Howard forced me to supress a scream. “Sweeping?!” I mean who ever has seen San Francisco blocks sweeped?

I explained the situation, decided to focus on searching the street, he wished me luck, and I moved on.

A homeless man asked if I’d lost something. I explained and he counseled that if I’d looked last night it might have been there but at this point it was fruitless. (I didn’t get his logic.) However he was sweet and as I thought to myself “I don’t even have a phone at home” I realized at least I have a phone and not to be so petty. It didn’t work. I thought about how horrible it must have been after Hurricane Katrina not to be able to communicate with your loved ones and that at least I had the wherewithall to buy a new phone that would work upon activation. That didn’t work either. I’m in a bad mood.

Back down the other way, I tried to focus less and look more generally, using the universal truth that if you look too hard for something you don’t find it.

PS: If you have lost a little black plastic cap with a screw in it, it is near the newspaper machines in front of the Chronicle building.

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