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Rent Control in San Francisco is a Golden Handcuff

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Image of Captain Cool from SF Gate.

It’s a hell of a thing to know
that once you have to move,
you can never come back again.
That this is the last place you will ever live,
in San Francisco,
the City
that you love and that you’ve given so much to.

Having already chosen a life of semi-austerity
where you skip many modern comforts
like washing machines,
and dishwashers,
in exchange for the low rumble of Mission Street mornings.

To live like you’re in a perpetual state of being a college student,
in the sense that,
you reside amongst mini generations of other people’s stuff.
Mixed matched spoons and cutlery;
a revolving door of roommates and their things.

Often times no one knows or remembers
where these droplets of ephemera even came from,
but now they are part of the house
and essentially part of your life,
because you can never leave.

Living in San Francisco,
and having rent control,
has become a sort of golden handcuff.
If you ever need to move,
or get evicted,
you have to essentially trade in your San Francisco citizenship.

The Visigoths are at the gates
and will gladly take your place,
thinking that they’ve moved into something special,
without realizing,
they are pushing out the specialness like spin art.

You are the drops of paint that make the color,
but the faster things spin,
all that’s left,
are the streaks showing where you used to be.


Like this piece? It’s in a collection of some of my best writing called Love Notes and Other Disasters. You can get it here for only $5.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

I've been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York, but to those familiar with my work, I'm just "that douchebag who writes books about cheap stuff and drinks a lot".