June 18, 2020:

Walking to visit my friend in the Mission. I loved this Castro joke: the fried chicken restaurant called "Cock-A-Doodle-Do", with its campy tagline, "The only taste of its kind." It felt so good-natured.

But there was ever an undercurrent of violence. In that city at that moment I felt, strongly, that I was the cause. Solipsism, sure, but it seemed to follow me.

At the corner of Noe and Market I stood next to a middle-aged African-American woman when a man in contemporary gay uniform — 501s, leather vest, leather cap, handlebar mustache — yelled from the patio of Lookout across the street, "It's a nigger! It's a nigger!" Over and over until the light changed and we were able to put him behind us. I felt that if I hadn't been there it wouldn't have happened.

Downtown a bike messenger sat bleeding on the sidewalk. His nose was broken. "He hit me," he said, disbelieving. Someone in the crowd had randomly punched him in the nose. I believed I caused that, too.

The apex and apogee came October 17, 1989, the day before my birthday, when in my rage and regret I caused the Loma Prieta earthquake. Lashing out at the entire region to punish it for the trainwreck of my life.