by Charles Davis
I was born in Vancouver, WA. We had relatives that lived over on Vashon Island so we’d spend a lot of time over there, weekends in Seattle. I had two sisters and one brother. My mom and dad got divorced when I was a kid. I like Seattle, I consider it my second home. Last time I was there, which wasn’t that long ago, it still felt the same even though it’s gotten a lot bigger. I like it cause there’s a lot of people up there.
I didn’t have it all too good growing up, my dad drank a lot so I was kind of his punching bag when he got drunk. I lived at home until I was about sixteen and then one day my dad came home drunk, I already knew what was going to happen. He’d come in the house, come straight at me and I already knew what he was going to do but I didn’t let him. Before he got a chance to, I stepped out of the way, he fell, and said he was going to call the police to say I’d hit him even though I didn’t touch him.
So after that I spent some time in juvenile hall then went and spent some time with an aunt and uncle in Castle Rock, WA which is all farm land. No skyscrapers, no city, really pretty. I stayed til I was about 17 and I’ve been on my own since. I’m 58 now and I think I’ve done pretty good so far — still here. A little older, but still here.
I’ve been in San Francisco this time for over a month now but I’ve been here before and worked for Street Sheet before. Twice before this, actually. First time I came was in ‘78 and then I traveled around for awhile. Time before this, I was in San Francisco in 2013 and I was on SSI like I am now, living in an SRO. After that I left, went back to Washington in 2014, and I found out my SSI had been cut out due to legal problems, but it’s been cleared up so now I can get my SSI again. Now I’m waiting to get my ID and once I get that, instead of an SRO I’m going to get a regular apartment. It’s going to be away from the city though, the closer you get to the city the more expensive stuff is so I’ll probably go to maybe the Haight-Ashbury Area. The rooms in SROs are small, I want a regular studio apartment. Once I get that money, any place that’s 24 hours I’m going to go eat! I love that restaurant called The Melt here in the city, I love all their macaroni and cheese. I tell everybody to go there, I recommend that place to a lot of people. They’re really nice there, a couple of them know what I usually get and they’ve got quick service. I know most of the good food spots down here.
I’ve worked for a landscape company, a construction company when I lived in North Carolina by the beach. I had a ‘71 Mustang, one of the first cars I’ve ever owned and a ‘57 Chevy too, both were in great condition! I worked for Subway when I lived in Nebraska, when I was in Seattle I worked on the waterfront at a restaurant called Ivars. Mostly, I’ve just done a lot of general labor to get by. I’ve come by a lot of helpful people, especially in the south, who help me find work to do to get by. I like travelling because I go where I want to go and don’t have any restrictions, but once I get my ID and everything I want to stay in San Francisco for a while. I need to find a place to call home, cause I’m too old for this at this point.