It happens most nights, across most cities. Maybe it's just because we live on top of each other in such a specific fashion... Every porch is used as space, no matter how steep, dangerous, unfriendly or soaked in rain. Porches are viable real estate in this city - an extension of every living room. So, many of them are often covered in people clad in pajamas, shivering while they smoke and talking the most ridiculous stream of amazing nonsense as you'll find anywhere. I stole a tape recorder. And then I used it. At this point, there is next to no editing - I take almost nothing out. So, you may recognize the players. Don't share your suspicions or take nothin' personal - it's just a few steps up and some glorious shit-talk after all.
A: (laughing) Already?
B: (mumbling) Yes, I am.
A: Fucking guard rail.
B: You know what the wall says, it says nothing, because it’s not written…
A: It says caution, walk with care.
B: It doesn’t say such a thing.
Someone whispers “sssshhhh”
B: It says no such thing.
C:...and then I had a glass of wine...
B: There’s a lighter on the porch. Do you have a red lighter?
A: It’s C’s I think, or -‘s?
C: Somebody has a red lighter, and I think it might be me.
B: I think it’s -’s lighter probably.
C: No, that means it’s probably mine. Actually.
A: I don’t know man, I can only keep track my own (unintelligible).
B: One time I was down here smoking a cigarette w. boyfriend’s name and I had this ginger ale bottle, I brought home from work. And he liked kicked it with his foot accidentally and we saw it hit every single stair on the way down. And then hit the street and then hit the curb and roll into the gutter and it was still in one piece, and he was like ‘dude that’s a sturdy ass ginger ale bottle’
A: commercial announcer voice “Sturdy-Ass Ginger Ale”
B: And I was like motherfucker! It was like, all my ginger ale! It was all of it! It was a ginger ale trail...
A: We used to do that when we would sneak beers into the movie theatre in high school. (no one hears her)B: like a snail trail glistening in the moonlight, like you could have...
A: We used to do that when we could sneak beers into the movie theatre in high school.
B: And it’s spilled all over the stairs like you could have had this, but no. (pauses, hears what A had said.)
B: Leave a snail trail glistening in the moonlight? (laughter from C)
A: No! We’d accidentally knock a bottle over, and then hear it roll all the way from the back row to the front of the movie theatre. And you’re like “I’m 16 and drinking, leave me alone!” You just pop back up and then pop down in your seat, like…
In the background, you can hear a cat meowing.
B: singing softly.
D: What’s the easiest way to get to
A: The easiest way is to take the 22. Wait, what’s the cross street?
B: Guerrero? Guerrero and what?
D: What about if I’m in a car, ‘cause I can’t fit my car on the bus.
B: What’s the cross street?
D: I can’t fit my car on the bus.
C: Here’s what you do is take...
A: Take golden gate to fillmore...
C: Exactly. You go straight down
D: Okay, so I make a turn...
B: Yeah, it goes up and around the bend. You’re just basically following the 24 line.
C: And you’re gonna like cross Market on 16th, just staaay going that way. You know, don’t make any turns .. It’s just like straight, go straight on 16th.
B: All the way up Divis, past Haight, follow the hill...
A: It’s like a six-way intersection that when I moved to the city I would do anything to avoid. When I was there I was always sweating, ‘cause I never knew where my lane was. And I’m like “um….where am I driving?”
C: Just go straight.
B: I love your friend who was like “left turn muni only? well, I’m muni!”
A: (laughing) One time my evil stepbrother was visiting San Francisco with some friends of his and they were in a lane that was left turn muni only, and they were like “well I’m muni!” And just turned across on-coming traffic. And they’re visiting, so they don’t know what muni is, like everyone was like “nooooo”...
B: You’re not muni!
A: They were like watching the light, you know, like watching the cars come closer.
D: People, if you’re not a big bus, then people aren’t scared of you when you’re turning left.
A: Yeah, if you’re like six punk rock boys crowded into a fuckin’ hatchback, it is really not okay.
B: Chrissolla? That’s not even a car. Maybe a Corolla?
D: The Cirsola’s like … the explicit version of (fades out)
B: The Crist-ola!
A: The Cristal of Corollas!
B: The High Life of four-door!
A: (giggling) I like mine better.editor's note: in retrospect, everyone involved has agreed that the high life of four-door is much more clever than the cristal of corrollas
D: So I was meaning to ask, B, are you the girl, the same one strumming the guitar last week at the open mic doing a song called ‘burn ‘em down’ ?
B & A (in unison) : Yeah.
A: That’s her.
d: Word up, dude, I have a song with the same chorus.
B: Word up! Are you serious?
D: Yeah, yeah. It’s like ‘burn ‘em down, burn ‘em down’
B: Dude! We totally ripped off a Bloodhound Gang song, we were like playing guitar and..A, B and C laugh in unison
B: We didn’t know what to do there, and we were like ‘dude, the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire’
D: - ripped off that verse too, that verse...
B: - rips off a lot of my things.
A: He’s ripped off B like...
B: No, he’s ripped off me too many times. But he ripped off the, um, the Retroactivists.
A: Oh yeah, yeah that whole thing was B’s.
B: Going back in time to make things the way they are now.
A: (yawning) that was B.
C: I took the authentic generic.
B: Yeah you took that auth- I’m wearing authentic generic dude.
car rolls by
A: It is quite actually, realistically generic.
B: That’s right. Use ‘em because if I don’t, somebody should.
C: So then you second-lined that, it’s my roommate is wearing authentic generic karma-free thrift store finery...
B: Already broke ‘em in.
Man: Is the ashtray inside?
A: I guess.
B: Yeah I think it is, I think we forgot to bring it down.
A: Um, will you be careful for the cats? ‘Cause well, you know how they are.
B: Singing softly. “Candaaay…” That’s gonna be haunting me for like a week now.
A: Ooh, and I’m gonna hear it.
B: I’d totally forgotten but that song will haunt me. You’ll be on the bus like “Candaaay”
A: (resolutely) No, I won’t.
A: I will not do that, and if I do, I will immediately turn up the sound on my iPod.
top of a glass can rattles on marble stairs
C: We’re so lucky to have a front porch.
A: Yeah, that’s the one thing we were missing at 9th and Geary, for real.
B: It’s kinda a bummer dude (laughing)
A: But whatever, we don’t live there anymore.
B: I remember at 9th and Geary I had that one night stand with the dude who was in my class who turned out to be a horrible lay. He fucking screamed like a girl the entire time.
A: I hate that.
B: (laughing hard, words come strained) He screetched so much like a girl the neighbor leaned out of the window ‘cause our window was open and he was like ‘shut the fuck up.’
C: (laughing hard and silent, the kind that makes you grab your gut and hurts your throat)
B: And we were like ‘sorry dude, we’ll close the window.’ And he’s like “be quiet!”
A: That was you and -
B: No, that was me and dude.
A: Then you and - got yelled at by dude too though
B: (laughing) Me and dude, I-can’t-remember-dude’s-name-‘cause he was so horrible -dude.
A: Ugh, not worth remembering.
B: (high pitched) “uh, uh uh” it was like aaaaaaaaah!
A: (laughing hard) no… don’t...
B: uuuhh! quiet! the neighbor’s like ‘be quiet, shut the fuck up’ and I’m like ‘thank you! he will!’
A: Can I just gag you? I don’t know if you’re kinky but can I just get you to stop talking?
B: God! Shut the fuck up! (drags from cigarette) There’s nothing worse!
A: Oh, I can top that!
B: A guy groaning like a fucking girl the entire time, more moaning...
A: How ‘bout a dude who is prickly because he’s shaves his whole body? And in the middle of when he like (voice lowers to whisper) basically has his fingers inside of me, he starts talking about work, where you met him! And you’re like ‘dude, this is not the time!’ You might have to leave! I’m like, let’s get this straight!
B: (sighs with after laugher) This is not the time to be talking about the copier machine.
A: That was the worst.
B: No dude, nothing was better than (former roommate)’s girlfriends who you were like ‘what’s your name? wait, nevermind.
A: I just remember asking if you’d met one of them.
B: I don’t need to know because it’ll be irrelevant.
A: I remember asking if you’d met one of them, and you’re like ‘ah, I don’t bother to learn their names anymore.’
B: I didn’t bother to learn their names anymore, because...
C: They won’t be back.
B: One day you’re eating Coco Puffs on my couch, watching Ren & Stimpy, high outta your mind, next week…
A: Who knows?
C: You’re not there, tomorrow you’re not there.
B: And when he got drunk, he weighed like what like five hundred pounds! He all of a sudden became like lead stone monument- you couldn’t fuckin’move ‘im to save your life!
A: (crying and laughing)… never move ‘im
B: You’re like ‘why?!’ I know you’re not that heavy, you peanut-butter smellin’ motherfucker!
C: laughing hard and silent
B: (laughs chirpily) That one night we passed out at -‘s house, and we were the last two people to pass out and so I had to pass out on the floor next to motherfuckin’ name and I wake up the next morning covered in fuckin’ peanut butter! And I was like ‘what the hell dude?!’ And I lift up the blanket and name’s got an empty whiskey bottle in one hand and a fuckin’ half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the other hand! And I just like kicked him and I was like ‘you peanut-butter smellin’ motherfucker’ and then I had to walk home. I had to like catch a bus with my hair all fucked up, smellin’ like liquor and peanut butter and I was like ‘yeah, I’m goin’ home. that’s right’ (laughing hard)
A: (laughing hard, barely able to breathe) You no-island remembering motherfucker!
B: I walk into they café and they just look at me like ‘ ah-ha! Small coffee?’ and you’re just like... (car drives through, A laughing)
B: Like peanut butter in your hair. You’re like ‘dude, I’m just trying to get home.’ (giggles)
A: I need to be in the place where my bed is.
B: People on the bus are like, all in their like workman’s best, ‘cause they’re like heading off to work. And you’re just like 'I know, don’t say it.'
A: I totally see those people on the bus and I’m like I love you. I love those people, I’m like 'that’s great!'
B: I’m just trying to make it home, I’m just tryin’ to get home. I know you’re on your way to work.
C: All I have left is my fast pass.
B: I don’t know where my left shoe is, but nevermind me, I’m just trying to get home.
A: Careful for the cat.
group heading up stairs
C: I know it’s Wednesday morning...
A: Careful for...
B: I know it’s Wednesday morning at like 9am, but here I am and this is early for me.
A: Oh, and I hate being one of those people whose headed to work at 9am.
A: You and me both babe.
B: Nevermind me.
A: Alright, I’m going to bed y’all. It’s.. it’s like that.