xi. The End: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Town
Outside San Francisco, after 7pm, at a bus stop. On the Bay Area Rapid Transit system – ultra-new, techno-flash tubes. Problem: night in a big, strange city, known for the depths of its vices and problems. Big problem. At the station, Market and Eddy, on the phone for ages, trying to find a room. Yes! A cheap room – $20 for two… We rush around the corner, through the weirdo people, flashing neon night and cables cars to the hotel. We took it even though the price was more (!) than we’d planned. Fall on our feet.
Thus started a ten day romance. San Francisco is a great place, and we got to know (parts of) it pretty well. As you must have realised, our hotel – it had a really incongruous name, something like the Rutherford or the Stratford – was in a real down area, so far downtown it almost reached Hell. We were right in the heart of the Tenderloin. Junkies, drunks, gays of all descriptions; leather and chains; prostitutes of both sexes.