We want to thank you for your feedback, it means a lot to know your opinions. We are extremely happy for all the messages we got. To be honest, we didn’t expect this. In this article, we wanted to tell you more about who we are and what it means to start a tech business with no prior experience. But life happens, and because we embrace every bit of it, we decided to tell you something else.
Yesterday we met Tanya. A woman in her 50s, I think, sitting on Container Park’s entrance stairs. For the ones who don’t know the place, it’s in DTLV.
It was around 4 pm, and you could’ve fried eggs on those stairs. 100 and something degrees. Diana and I worked a bit at a coffee shop in downtown and we wanted to hit the road back home. We passed Tanya, but she marked my steps with her straight, sad, evil look. Diana said to me “oh, God, poor woman.” I stopped and asked Diana if we could go back to see if the woman wants water. I barely had the chance to finish my sentence and Diana said “let’s go.” We went back.
Tanya was in the same position looking at people. She wasn’t asking for money or something, she was just standing there. She was wearing a dirty white t-shirt, blue jeans and slippers. We approached her.
Diana: Hi, how are you?
(Tanya looked her straight in the eye, but she didn’t answer.)
Me: I was wondering if you’d like some water. I can give this bottle to you.
(Again, she didn’t respond.)
Me: I’m going to leave the bottle here, ok? It’s very hot. You need water.
(I put the bottle close to her – not very close because I was scared of her looks – and we left. After taking two steps, we stopped because we heard “Take your water back!” We looked at her without moving. She came towards us.)
Tanya: Take your water! I don’t need it!
Diana: But it’s very hot…
Tanya: No kidding! And you think this tiny bottle will keep me alive?
Me: We can buy you a bigger one.
Tanya: Cute. And what do you want?
Me: What do you mean? Nothing.
Tanya: Nothing, my ass. Everybody wants something. I want something too. I’m not standing here because I have nothing else to do.
Me: I can give you some change.
(And I already looked in my purse for money.)
Tanya: I don’t want money, honey. Keep it for yourself.
Me: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.
Tanya: You piss me off with this politeness. Are you tourists?
Diana: No, we just moved here.
Tanya: From where?
Diana: San Francisco.
(Tanya’s expression changed completely. From that evil look to a nostalgic one, like we were relatives and she hasn’t seen us in a while. There was silence between us for a few seconds, then she asked)
Tanya: How is San Francisco doing?
Diana: …good. It’s doing good, I think.
Tanya: Of course, it’s the most beautiful city on Earth… And expensive as hell. (She changed her mood again.) Shitty city.
Diana: Have you lived there?
Tanya: I didn’t live there. My life was there. 35 years.
Diana: Why have you left?
Tanya: I’m a painter. And painters can’t survive there anymore.
Me: How nice that you’re a painter. I’m an actress but I developed an app…
(I didn’t have the chance to finish my sentence.)
Tanya: This fucking technology and shit fucked up my life. Big time.
(I was hoping she didn’t hear what I said.)
Tanya: People kill for power! And technology is power, don’t you ever forget this! Right? If you’re not in the business, you die. Or you just hope to die. The sooner the better. That’s what I want. I want to piss someone off badly and be killed. Or maybe just die from the heat. That’s what I want! So your fucking water doesn’t help at all.
Diana: I’m sure there is another way… I mean, it’s sad to wait for your death.
Tanya: I won’t kill myself, honey.
Diana: No, what I wanted to say is that… it’s sad to wait for your death… I’m sure you can find reasons to be alive.
Tanya: Oh honey, you’re so cute. You want to save someone’s life today, right? I have no reasons left. I don’t have my paintings, I don’t have my place, I don’t have my family, nor my friends. Everything slipped away. I am already dead. What you see is flesh, that’s all. If you really want to do something for me, go buy me vodka. That one helps.
(I wasn’t expecting this. Her blond hair was dirty, but her face was beautiful and her blue eyes were crystal clear.)
Me: We can’t buy you vodka.
Tanya: Why not? Honey, if you want to help someone, give them what they want. Not what you think it’s good. Got it? Now get the fuck away. Good people you are, right? You have mercy, right? You want to feel better ‘cause you helped a woman today, right? You don’t even know my fucking name, right? But it doesn’t matter anyway. You’ll say “I helped a homeless woman today.” You won’t say “I helped Tanya!” ‘Cause you’ll be asked, “Who the fuck is Tanya?” “Oh, a homeless woman from Container-fucking-Park.” “Oh my god,, how come you know her name?” “Oh yeah, we had a great chat, poor woman. She’s blah blah blah” And you don’t know nothing. Nobody cares. That’s the fucking truth.
We were just standing there. Shocked and helpless. It’s funny to say that, because she was the helpless one. She was right. We couldn’t do much for her, except for water. And maybe something to eat, if she would’ve asked for it. We left because she screamed hysterically “Get the fuck away! You’re wasting my time! And don’t you say ‘that homeless woman!’ Say ‘Tanya’, you stupid bitches!”
I don’t know if she was crazy or not, or if she was a painter or not. Why did we stop to give her water, when in San Francisco we passed so many homeless without stopping? Maybe because it was too hot outside. Why are we telling you this? Maybe because our second article was supposed to be “What does failure mean?” Is it when you set a goal and you don’t achieve it, or is it when you feel that everything around you falls apart? I guess we will share our experience in our third article.
P.S. She still didn’t take the bottle.
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