I was in North Beach just drinking and walking around.
It was a bright and lovely day with people outside doing things
and feeling generally good about the world.
A scruffy young fellow on the sidewalk
outside a grocery store asked me for a few bucks
but I only had bills bigger than I was willing to give.
I felt bad because there was something about his face
that I liked, an earnestness in his voice that struck me.
I went to the neighborhood record shop and bought
some old Springsteen on vinyl, 9 bucks a pop,
and when I came out I passed the kid again and gave him
the few dollars I had left.
He thanked me profusely with his earnest voice
and I told him he was quite welcome and continued on.
I was two blocks away when he ran up behind me
and touched my arm. Hey, he said, hey!
I stopped and turned and he said,
I just wanna be straight with you bro,
all I’m gonna do is buy a beer!
I gave him a thumbs up and told him
that I planned to do the same.
He smiled and nodded, returned my thumbs up
and disappeared into Big Al’s liquor store.
I went home and drank a sixer of some new
hipster ale as I leaned back and listened
to the Boss tell it like it was.