The dope man changes shift
The previous evening's celebrants
Lay comatose or drift
Along the streets, they're seemingly
Lost or lost their rocks¹
And stumble on quite wearily
A beautiful little flock
The morning shift of functioners²
Make rapid buys and think
Themselves the better than the ones
Who stumble on the brink
The bars are selling morning drinks
To stiffen those who go
Off to work in the city's jobs
Along the city's roads
And here and there you see the kids
Walking off to school
I breathe and smile and go my way
The day has dawned anew.
¹ lost their rocks has two meanings here, first, it's a common sight to see crack cocaine addicts desperate and craving drifting along the sidewalks looking down in the hope that someone dropped a rock. Some tell me they've actually found them. In any case they're often willing to put random finds in their crack pipe and fire it up in hope. Second, of course, lost their rocks can mean insane. There's a lot of that too. Many are doubly represented since substance abuse is very high among the mentally ill. We Tenderloin denizens are the people thrown away.
² Functional addicts, those who can keep a job for now. Some manage to stay in this phase for a long time, some not so long.