When I first moved to San Francisco, one of the jobs I had was working in an art store on a steep block of Powell Street near Union Square. The store was called Morgan Purcell, and it was owned by Morgan, a nice old man who was kind and funny. He was obsessed with the San Francisco Giants and wore a gold Giants jacket every day. I worked there for almost a year, selling pens and paints. (I sold a pen to Tom Hanks when the biggest movie he had under his belt was Big.)
Morgan Purcell was crammed with art supplies, dusty old office supplies, legal forms, and other stuff. There was also livestock; one day I left my bagel on the counter and when I turned back there was a cockroach the size of my thumb chewing on it.
The store was long and narrow, and went wayyy back into a room with an old busted Xerox machine and boxes of outdated calendars. One day, I heard noise and falling plaster back there - the crew who was working on the street outside had drilled through the road into the store. I ran back there and looked up through a hole at blue sky and a hard-hatted man peering through. When he saw me he yelled, "there's a girl down here!" with considerable alarm.
It must have been so strange for him, expecting to find pipes and dirt and whatever else is under streets, and instead he sees a pale Irish girl with curly hair and huge earrings looking up at him. I wonder did he think I was locked in a dungeon, imprisoned by a dragon or a serial killer.
The store is now a karaoke bar called Sotano. I often wonder what happened to dear old Morgan.