Have any of you seen the “Wonder Years”? This show locks in a mood of our youth, I think, that everyone has. My wonder years took place in San Francisco, unfortunately on the streets. Still, this is the time period that certain smells are attributed deep memories and the force of the events from this period shaped me into the guy I am. I can still actually hear the vintage sounds of the voice of my childhood sweetheart.. with no effort. But my wonder yeas are the polar opposite of THE Wonder Years. I am the dysfunctional version of Fred Savage and instead of Danica McKellar, it was Sabrina. The picturesque world with “real life problems” on television is replaced with my life in San Fran-psycho and all the real life dangers.
Sabrina and I were an odd couple.. she was a “house girl” and I was a “gutter punk”. If you’ve seen the Outsiders, it was comparable to her being a Soc, and me being a Greaser. Hey, but it worked. Actually, we were all pretty protective of her. .. So.. a little story about a memory with lil’ miss Sabrina.
In the front of the Golden Gate park, we all hung out there, to just.. be. It was like a 9-5 job in the sense that we chilled and spent time with all the other gutter punks and tweekers by day, but at about 9 o’clock we all found different spots.. because if the cops caught you there, you’d get your ass beat for being homeless. …because being on the streets made it fair game for the cops to beat us up for sport. We’d find obscure spots, or we’d just wander around until 5 o’clock-ish, when the park would be safe to occupy once again. Pretty much, from dark to light, we found in the shadows our home. By day, it was the front of that park. One day, Sabrina and I are laying on our blanket, just as we usually did. It was a day where the cops decided to sweep the park. They would come in with patty wagons, motorcycles, and tons of cop cars. Narcotics officers and beat cops, you name it. They were scooping people up for imaginary crimes.. One of the guys being arrested was Howie. 🙂 Howie was a batshit crazy older guy who we believed to once have been a UC Berkeley professor who had done way too much LSD or meth. He looked like he was full blown out of his gourd at all times, but really, he was just messed up in the head. He always drank from an imaginary jug of orange juice.. it was classic Howie. Anyway, the cops figured he was high, and so they cuffed him up and tossed him into the patty wagon with several others… but not without a fight. Of course the cops roughed him up for resisting during this whole process. Finally he was in the back of the wagon.
This had all of us pissed off. He was actually sober, but when the cops see a guy wearing Albert Einstein’s haircut drinking from an invisible jug of juice, they tend to notice. This was our television.. watching the day unfold. Anyway, moments later, like a scene from a movie, Howie kicks the door of the patty wagon wide open. All we see are the doors being rocked apart.. in their previous spot, Howie stands like a crazed lunatic, still in handcuffs! Sabrina yells “HOWIE RUN!!!”. Howie jumps out of the patty wagon. “RUN HOWIE, RUN!” Howie can’t figure out what we’re saying, so he runs toward us so that he can hear us.. in case it’s important. Oh s#it! Now the cops finally see him. Keep in mind there are like 30 cops in the front of the park right now, all finally fixed on Howie. “RUN!”. Howie is troubled.. I can picture him thinking “what the heck do these guys want?
Maybe they have some juice..”. Then he notices the cops converging on him. He begins running away.. he dodges cop 1.. slips by cop 2. Rushes passed cop 3,4, and 5. “GO HOWIE!”. We’re all cheering him on. Howie’s thinking “what do these guys keep calling my name for. Can’t they see I’m running from the cops? ..might as well see what they want.”. So he runs toward us, passed more cops, like a badass football player. We’re like “NO HOWIE! RUN!!!”. so he’s darting back and forth toward us and away from us, over and over again. The cops couldn’t catch him. Finally, one cop had enough and hit him with his cop car. Howie down.. Cops jump out and stuff him back in the wagon. By now all the gutter punks are ready to riot. It was crazy. This is why we call it San Fran-psycho.
This was only one of my cool memories of my wonder years. Back then I was known as Jsyn. ..it was Jsyn and Sabrina