Per Skovkjær Sand

Journalist med speciale i fortællinger


Life happens in circles. I realized that the other night. We went to a hookah bar (water pipe) in one of the more sketchy neighborhoods of San Francisco called the Tenderloin (mørbradden :-)). My buddy, Afif, (you have a buddy when you start at SFSU, who kind of show you around and whom you can ask questions about life in San Francisco etc.) – well, my buddy Afif took me to this place with some other international guys. We smoked water pipe, and I had a Moroccan beer.

The other night we did the same thing. After the place closed I stood outside with Afif talking about how it al started here, and how it is like a circle.

But there is another circle. A circle which is much more undefined. You can see where it starts, but you don’t really know where it goes (other than in to the unknown – and maybe by rail road in to wild forests of Oregon. Or maybe just in to a big hallucinative crack addiction.)

This circle started around the same time as the water pipe circle. I had just moved to San Francisco, and I lived in the Tenderloin on Adelaide Hostel, when I met a young guy in the alley of my hostel. I wrote a blog post about him (in Danish though). I called him The Wounded Hitchhiker (En såret tomler). This night in the Tenderloin, four months after I came here the first time, I meet The Wounded Hitchhiker once again.

I walk with Christopher and Destiny. We have invented a song about T Rex’s and bumblebees and penguins, that we are trying to sing and record on my phone. We step out on the road, about to cross it, when The Wounded Hitchhiker approaches us. He has medium long hair and a beard. His face curves a bit like a sad moon throwing its weak beams over a desolate forrest way up north. Last time I talked to The Wounded Hitchhiker I gave him seven dollars to get a room for the night, just to see him walk in to the Tenderloin, where I think he spend the money for something else. Last time he told med that he had just split up with his girlfriend, and that he had just come to town to start all over. He also told med that his grand mother was about to send him 200 dollars the next day. And that is the thing. When I read my old post now, I see how naive I was. But when you stand face to face with people, you tend to believe what they say.

– I met you before, I tell The Wounded Hitchhiker.

He says, that he remembers my face, but not my name. His name is Timothy, he says. I ask him, what he has been up to. He tells me, that he jumped on a train to Oregon, where he spend time in the forests. He just came back, he says.

While we talk I wonder why his shoes are so nice and black and good looking, and his clothes seem pretty nice as well. I notice that he has small scratches in the face. Besides that – he could be me.

But there is a big difference. He smokes crack. Although in the first place he says that he doesn’t.

– You seemed high last time I met you, I say.

– Maybe from Marijuana, that – and cigarettes – is the only thing I do, Timothy says.

He asks me for a cigarette, and I give him the last one. He walks across the street to the other corner, turns 90 degrees and starts to walk to the next corner. Halfway across the street he stops and looks up in the night over San Francisco. He hesitates and walks directly across the intersection toward us.

– You wanna smoke some crack? It’s just down here, he says and looks down the street and in to the Tenderloin.

– No.

He accepts it and says something like, “well you never no”. Then – once again – The Wounded Hitchhiker, Timothy, walks in to the Tenderloin. And the edges of the circle vaporizes.


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1 reply


  1. Float – what happens when school stops and life begins | Per Skovkjær Sand – San Francisco

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