The filthy streets of San Francisco are filled with surprises. It’s wise to watch your step. As you’d expect, my midwestern, good-samaritan tendencies still occasionally surface. I try to kick used needles into the storm sewer, pick up other people’s dog poop and sometimes I’ll gather the drunk litter that collects in front of our apartment. They’re small, lazy gestures that could potentially save someone else from a little unnecessary stress.
So the other day when I noticed a roofing nail along the curb in front of our place, sharp-end up, I grabbed it and put it in my jacket pocket. I didn’t want it to wind up in anyone’s tire (especially one of my own). Three days later, after the nail was long forgotten, Naomi and I were unloading the car along the curb. Bag of over-priced dog food. Bag of over-priced vegetables from Whole Foods. Bag of over-priced toiletries from Target. And my jacket. Feeling satisfied with the fact that our weekend errands were done, she gave me a little hug. And then spotted something troubling.
“What’s that on the ground? Under the car?” she said, leaning forward to take a closer look.
Apparently the nail I’d picked up a few days before had fallen out of my pocket and planted itself in the exact spot I’d found it the first time.
There’s no lesson here. Except be careful out there. Needles are sharp. Poop on your shoe can ruin your day. And nails are almost as good at finding their way to your car tires as they are at holding buildings together.