It was the day of dead Christmas trees. They were on almost every street corner.
A guy with stylish glasses and shaggy black hair flagged me down at Market and Van Ness.
"24th and Church, please."
I wanted to say "Hey, that's my neighborhood!" but I didn't. In fact, I didn't say anything during the whole ride, and neither did he. But the radio was playing Radiohead, and I got the sense he appreciated and enjoyed that.
On 24th, right before Church, I said "Can I drop you off here?"
"Across the street, please," he said, so I crossed Church.
'I bet he works at the Shoe Biz,' I thought, so I stopped right in front of the Shoe Biz.
I watched him after he got out of the cab, and he walked across the street, to a new clothing store called Cary Lane. The store was still closed, and he unlocked it.
Since 24th Street is my neighborhood, I knew that Cary Lane had only been there for a month or two. I also knew that before the store was empty for a few months, there had been a small grocery store in there that I had loved going to until it went out of business. I still miss it. I wondered if my passenger knew about the grocery store and ever felt the ghosts of vegetables and loaves of bread.
A little later for lunch, I tried to go to the Indian restaurant another cabbie had recommended to me a while ago. Unfortunately it was no longer there, and a Thai restaurant was there instead. I decided to eat there, and the Tofu Prik King was actually really tasty. I wondered if the friendly girls working there ever felt the ghosts of Naan and Paneer Tikka Masala.