Originally published in newsgroup gen.opinions 1992, one of many stories from my Taxi Diaries indexed as "Muskat Muses."
They had almost reach McDonald's in the Upper Haight, just before The Street disappears into Camp Golden Gate Park. I first noticed them at the corner of Cole; boots, leather jackets, short hair, they could have been anyone. Except they were singing "Deutchland Upper Ellis" and doing little seig heil stiff arm numbers punctuating space quickly emptying before them.
They were clearly all business and not to be messed with or taken lightly. Telling them to "Chill Out" would have been like telling the Pope to kick back in bed Sunday morning, Palm Sunday at that. They were drunk & could have been easily taken out - sucker-punched, if you will - and there were clearly enough people on The Street of Love capable of accomplishing this and quickly disappearing into shadows, or taxi's.
But it was curious the way an interracial crowd in front of Cha Cha's had simply parted - slow motion & Nile like - into The Street and against the storefront as the two approached, laughing, swaggering & singing their song. No one else was laughing. They added Kill Niggers & Jews every once in a while for effect and I had all I could to do containing myself and controlling my cab. They were causing a minor disruption and some major agitation. But no action.
It would have been easy not to notice the other people on The Street if it hadn't been for their all too obvious inability to disappear which actually presented them to be larger than life. While the scene played out in at least half time, these larger than life human mannequins stared, glared or just backed away & froze. Dislike, distaste, annoyance and confusion seemed to be the feelings I could see underlined and embraced by Fear. Lots of Fear.
One woman, her eyes, so intense they may have burned the two into the pavement, was restrained by those around her. Another looked away, bothered. A man near the corner flipped them off and seemed to continue his intimate conversation, but the woman he held against the wall squeezed away, took him by the hand and led him in an opposite direction. An old drunk assisting a sign pole provided the reponse of most value by puking in the gutter as the nazis passed.
Normally, by 2:15 a.m. The Street is emptying; crowds remaining just around club doorways & bus stops. There are always cops around. A cruiser is often stationed on the corners of The Street and Shrader and Cole. Others with lights flashing, are always cruising. Undercover narcs in VW vans and vehicles other then Chrysler's are the norm. This night, not a cop to be seen. Two drunk nazi's, a couple dozen couldn't care less and/or freightened observers, perhaps a dozen others as outraged as I and no cops to be seen. It was almost too good to be true. But for whom?
When the pair reached the back of McDonald's, they disappeared into the large cab of a pick up truck that, lacking license plates, sped hastily out Waller & up Stanyan with out headlights. I responded to a flag at the corner of The Street & Stanyan and made my way back through The Castro to a moon lit Mission District. I still had more than an hour on the shift, no more appetite for breakfast, or whatever meal I sometimes eat at that time, and too many questions dangling. I also felt scared. Time to get off the streets.