Walking to work
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Part of the time I was a 'Field Service Supervisor' (glorified clerk) at a market research firm in San Francisco I was living in a residential hotel the Tenderloin (where the poor or disreputable lived). In the course of my five block walked to work I walked out of the domain of hookers and dealers, past the ritziest hotel in SF and into masses of tourists and offices workers.
One day I walked passed a doorway that had a bunch of bloody teeth lying in front of it. That day the unthinkable happened. I felt that I'd gotten all I'd wanted out of my years of living in some of the big cities in America and decided to move to North Carolina.
I probably wouldn't have done it if I hadn't thought I'd found the love of my life. By the time she left me I was part owner of a used bookshop and wouldn't trade the freedom that gave me for metropolitan life.
For a few years I had lots of dreams about moving back to Manhattan or San Francisco. Given my shop's location and the kind of people Durham and Chapel Hill have attracted I can still see the kind of artsy, boho folks I used to know. And the rest of the world is easily laughed at from any part of the world with an ISP.