Somehow I knew on a night where I was going to see a movie called Shadow that it would be inevitable to see him on the street tonight, lurking somewhere. As I made my way cautiously home, scanning every face in the crowd, it seemed my mind was playing tricks on me. He was nowhere to be seen.
Then I saw it. Him. My shadow. The Little Chinese Man was now coming toward me on a block we have haven't encountered one another before- Geary at Shannon- an alley full of despair and detritus. I gasped, but I had my camera at the ready. Would I be able to shoot my shot this time?
Thankfully, he was already stuffing his maw with some strange object, a thing once alive, that he had now crammed into a bag like a victim of Buffalo Bill, to devour as he minced his way through the Tenderloin. My neighborhood, my streets. I share them with him like a prison cell. Here he is, faithful readers, it's The Little Chinese Man:
My second shot was premature and my load hit the ground, landing on filthy cement. I regained my composure, and as the world grew hot with dread around me, I was able to capture his image as he passed me by, stuffing his face with who-knows-what. But I dared not make a sudden move.
The sporty sweater and pink hoodie were obviously the spoils of his previous kill, and the pants were looser than usual- perhaps from the earlier struggle, but here he is- and closer to me than he's ever been. And yet I live.