The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

I Slept in My Clothes


I slept in my clothes last night, ready to rush out the door. I have slept fully or partly clothed every night in the six weeks I have lived in this apartment. No, I do not wear the same clothes every day… well, not usually. I do not have a bed or bedroom here. My grandson’s bedroom is unused for sleeping, full of toys and clothes, with a diminutive bed so short as to require me to lie in the fetal position and a mattress so thin it would sink into itself with the weight of my body. Instead I sleep on the floor-sample sofa from the Hill District. It is the most incredibly comfortable, the most comfortable of any I have ever slept on in my life. When I sleep, I sleep fitfully covered by the afghans my mother-in-law crocheted, hoping they will last my lifetime.

Have you ever felt that ephemeral feeling of a traveler passing through a place on the way to somewhere as yet undiscovered? Have you ever felt as if someone took you in your sleep and plopped you down on a train with a ticket marked “Destination Unknown”? I find myself walking the sidewalks in this neighborhood in the afternoon after Cary comes home and late at night — a street-walker. I carry my camera always looking for the photo ops and for the graffiti that is the anonymous statement or story someone is trying to tell or just a shout-out that ‘I am’. Now in the winter that I detest, I am frigid fearing frostbite on my fingers and face. I pass someone who says, “It’s cold.” I reply, “I need a hat, but he does not offer me his.”


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