I see a lot of strange people on my drive to work through San Francisco. I've been wishing for a while that I was really great at photography so that I could spend a few weeks just driving around, or walking around, and taking pictures of the people who live in this city.
The costumes I see every day are so vivid. Sometimes they're ultra hip, like the heroin-chic 20-somethings that hide behind huge sunglasses and punk rock t-shirt they bought from Hot Topic. Sometimes they're strange functional juxtapositions, such as the corporate biker gang I saw yesterday - multiple Honda motorcycles, each ridden by a man in space-age helmet and gray business suit. Their ties were flapping over their shoulders as they drove. And sometimes, the costumes are just inexplicable. Like the guy I saw today who must have been 60+ years old and was walking down the street with an "MSU" cheerleaders' uniform shirt tucked into his brown polyester science teacher pants.
Sometimes, you find people who accessorize their costumes. For some people, it's arms full of shopping bags or the ubiquitous Starbucks coffee drinks. For others, though, those accessories are little crazy props.
Today I saw a man walking towards the bus stop. He was dressed in perfectly laundered and well-taken care of tourist clothes - Hawaiian shirt, a pair of Oakleys, beige shorts and some nice sneakers. In his right arm, he carried a long skateboard.
With his left hand, though, the man was talking into a banana. Just holding a banana up to his ear and chatting away into it like it was a cellphone. At first I thought that I had to have been mistaken. Luckily, I had the opportunity to stop right next to him at a red light; and sure enough, the guy was talking into a mostly ripe banana. He seemed to really be enjoying his conversation, too. This wasn't some kind of angry schizophrenic rant full of curses and misplaced hatred. This was just some crazy man on vacation, phoning home on his banana probably to tell everyone all about the great sites he'd seen and how he'd just skateboarded down Lombard street.
I'm going to learn photography and document these people. They're too interesting to just let them slip by unnoticed.