The necklace of a lost man What are you wearing?: The necklace of a lost man
By Chordata on Sunday, June 7, 1998 - 11:06 pm:
    I ride my bike home from work. It's about a mile-long journey to and from Ben and Jerry's and my home on the corner of Dwight and Telegraph in Berkeley. I live across from a famed park called "People's Park," which is possibly has the highest drug usage per square foot than any other field 500 by 500 feet in size.

    But I digress.

    Last night was one of these bike riding nights. We closed late and I rounded the corner of my street at about 1AM. My gate was coming to view when a man lept out on the sidewalk in front of me. "Help me! Please!" he cried as he jumped into my path. My brakes screeched as he threw himself down in front of me. He had greasy blonde hair and was wearing an old ratty suit and loosened red tie. I dismounted and helped him to his feet. He had a radio in his arms blaring opera music. He felt the sudden compulsion to rid himself of it, so he flung it into my neighbor's yard. "I need smack. You have it. I am fit to be tied." I denied any possession and pulled away from his grasp to get into my yard. He started to cry. He mumbled, "I'm Adam and I'm scared." I told him my name and asked him what he was doing on the street. He answered by taking me into his arms and kissing my face. I could smell his body odor and his hot breath, saturated with gin. The only sound was his radio, still blaring "Carmen" from my neighbor's bushes.

    As he held me, sobbing, he asked me where the nearest bar is. I started giving him directions, but he cut me off and started pulling me down the street. "Where are you taking me?" I asked, feeling an odd calm as my shoes dragged the pavement. He asked me to walk him to the bar. We lurched out onto Telegraph as a car horn blared and the driver swerved around us. Adam wiped his nose on his sleeve and kissed me again. He told me that I was free to go. I wished him luck and pushed my bike back towards my house.

    I went to bed and had an unrestful sleep (some other person broke into our yard last night, scaled the fire escape, and pounded his forehead into our bathroom window. Another story in itself). I left my home again at about noon to meet a friend at the cinema. As I wander down the street, I hear a car horn blare again as I see Adam staggering towards me, still in suit and tie. He runs to me with open arms. "They're going to rape me!" he screamed as he yanked at my shirt. "Who??" "Them." he said as he pointed at two boys about 7 years in age. As I tried to comfort him, he began to ramble circularly about the criteria for the men he fucks. He paused for a moment, looked at me, planted a kiss on my face, then started to cry again. "Please be my bodyguard. I can't be alone." he said. "I have to go to work," I said, "I'm going to get fired." After a few minutes of negotiations, hugging, and kissing, we decided I would walk him to 7-11. We crossed the street arm in arm. "Here we go," I said, turning to leave. "Wait!" He grabbed my shoulder. "I need to pay you." I insisted that this was not the case. He unbuttoned his shirt and unclasped a silver necklace. "Here," he said, and pushed it into my hand. I refused to accept it. He uncurled my hand, again placed the necklace in my palm, and pulled me to his chest. "Do you believe in God?" he asked. "Yes," I lied. "Then pray for the boys who were going to rape me. Ask God why he would do this to me. I hate money, don't you? It's a turn-off. I need a beer."

    He turned away and lurched toward the doors of the 7-11. I put on the necklace and climbed on my bike.

By Sheila on Tuesday, June 9, 1998 - 01:49 pm:
    ah, to be in Berkeley again. i probably knew this guy's grandfather.

By Chordata on Tuesday, June 9, 1998 - 05:15 pm:
    Last night, while I was attempting to work on a paper, our doorbell began to ring repetatively. It was 3AM, so I decided to stay within the safe confines of my room. The rings turned into desperate knocks. Before my housemate Jamil could make it all the way down the stairs, the man at the door threw himself against the frame, and the door opened with a loud crack. The power of his propulsion and sudden success left him skidding on our foyer floor. I heard Jamil scream, "What the fuck are you doing in our house?!" to which the man replied, "I need a quarter."

    I began to laugh. Jamil coaxed our guest out the door, and invited him to go fuck himself and never come through our gates again.

    We spent a little while fixing the door.

    I spent a lot of time scared in my bed.

    Ah, Berkeley.

By Antigones short hairs on Tuesday, June 9, 1998 - 05:54 pm:
    I'm thinking about moving to Berkeley. What's the rent like?

By Chordata on Tuesday, June 9, 1998 - 06:56 pm:
    Depending on what part of the town in which you live, it runs from expensive to astronomical.

    You can find a super shitty studio for $400. Without revealing my budget entirely, let's just say I live in a great house in a high-crime, but very exciting, part of town. I rent one big room with a porch. 14 people live in my house and share one kitchen and two bathrooms. I pay over $600 a month in rent. This also has a lot to do with the fact that my house is the oldest in Berkeley and a historic landmark. It's also a gorgeous house. But it is expensive. The owners paid almost a million for it. So I guess I can understand their need to make some of that back, fast.

By Chordata on Wednesday, June 10, 1998 - 01:32 am:
    An update:

    The man who broke through our door last night was Adam, the man I met in the first story. It turns out he knows where I live and came to our house looking for me to give him money.

    I didn't realize who he was in the big scuffle and shove out the door last night. Jamil later told me who he was.

    I'm sort of freaked out for the first time.

By Antigones short hairs on Wednesday, June 10, 1998 - 04:58 pm:
    Walk softly, and carry a big stick. Or pepper spray. Good running shoes are also a plus.

    So, from what you describe, for $400 I can't get running water, but I can get hot and cold running crack?

By Hal-1 on Wednesday, June 10, 1998 - 08:31 pm:
    I don't know about you but personally from what I know about people, Adam is a wee bit obsessed and well needs some help... ( I know, I am now a master of the ovious) But hey no one ever said that Adam couldn't be some insain psycopath killer who wants nothing more than to have your dead body hanging from his ( assuming he has one) living room wall....

    Oh... on another note; Are you saying that for $400 I could get myself a decent house, that just needs a big gun???

By Sheila on Wednesday, June 10, 1998 - 11:05 pm:
    Now i am certain i knew his grandfather. please be careful. Report this to someone other than us; it's important that you do so.

By Hal-1 on Thursday, June 11, 1998 - 10:15 am:
    Very, very, very important... If not for your safety, for ours... Hell if he knows you he might know us and then........ OH wait, got ahead of myself again on that one, how would he know who I am, I don't even know that one. Reminder: Tell someone who can help this fellow out.

By Chocolate on Thursday, June 18, 1998 - 12:18 pm:
    I'm really lost what are ya'll talking about?
    Can someone help me out?

By Antigone on Thursday, June 18, 1998 - 01:51 pm:
    What exactly do you want clarified?
    'Dat's a pretty broad question...

By Chordata on Thursday, June 18, 1998 - 02:52 pm:
    I haven't seen Adam since he spilled into my foyer.

    I am relieved.

    Still looking over my shoulder, though.

By Antigone on Friday, July 3, 1998 - 10:44 pm:
    I haven't seen Adam since he ate my fuckin' apple.

By (not quite) Adam on Saturday, August 1, 1998 - 04:23 pm:
    and i haven't seen Adam...
    but aah... i don't have a mirror...

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