The Woman In The Rose House (SF)

So I have this patient. We will call her Susan.

Susan hates me. I show up to her home, I shower her with compliments and fake smiles, and she tells me I am a waste to society. The visit to go see Susan is actually much like my visits home to see my family (although I like to think they are mostly joking). One time this week, Susan even threw a piece of asparagus at my head. Oddly enough, this was not the first time a patient had thrown a piece of food at my head so I was readily prepared to duck and catch. No asparagus was hurt in the process.

But what is so incredible about Susan (aside from her charming demeanor) is her home. The entire outside of her house is layered with fake roses that outline every curve and turn of the old San Francisco building. Inside, the molding is painted gold, there are high ceilings with murals painted on each one and every room is a different loud color, beaming with personality. What I find so particularly beautiful though, is the tiling. She has mosaic tiling on the baseboards around her entire home. Some of the tiling climb the sides of the walls, forming into flowers which stretch all the way to the sky. Susan lives in a fantasy home, kept immaculately clean with an impossibly cute puppy, but then throws asparagus at my head. Life is hilarious.

This past week, I tried to divert the hostile conversation to the tiling around her home. Hesitant at first to tell me about it, she eventually opened up and told me she did it all herself. Back when she was stronger, she was a large part of the street art scene in San Francisco, and back in 2003 was even a part of the committee for the Moraga Steps you ran up today. Susan was a baller.


I don’t have any life changing story about Susan, like how we suddenly became best friends and she started inviting me over for tea and cookies, but I love a challenge like Susan. Because if I can even sneak one smirk out of her, then I feel like I earned my pay for that entire week, especially because I am a waste to society.

That was my story.

Monday: Fort Mason, 6:24 AM.

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