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The Performance

September 19, 2012

His hood is on. His pants are sagged down low. He is in all black with a pre paid cell phone hanging from a lanyard around his neck. Pacing back and forth on the corner of McAllister and Jones, the man punches a fist into an open palm. He doesn’t make any moves or show any signs of leaving the corner, but he is anxious.

            To some, he is just another part of the hustle and bustle of downtown. He does not stand out from the rest and goes unnoticed, along with the trash and graffiti that surround him. However, there are those who do notice him and stop, as if they were looking for him. The people who do notice him are all very different: a frail old lady wearing slippers murmuring to herself, two gangsters wearing snapbacks and gold chains, a nervous college student carrying a heavy book bag.

            Few words are spoken. The hooded man reaches in his pocket, pulls out an orange pill bottle, and within a couple seconds the exchange is made. As the customer hurries along into the depths of the Tenderloin, the hooded man looks around, then continues to pace. They day seems slow for the drug dealer – there were only five or six customers in the thirty minutes on the corner. His phone rings and with a quick nod, the hooded man hurries North up Jones, on to the next corner.

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