I first saw the Alien Donut Man over four years ago, when M. and I took our first trip out to the Richmond for a little adventuring. He was on our 38 Geary: A tall man, sitting rigidly upright, thin white hair on a shrunken head.
There was something about him that made us stare at him. Maybe it was his demeanor but most likely it was the way he sat so perfectly still, staring straight ahead. He seemed so out of place and uncomfortable. Alien-like.
M. and I got out at 6th and wandered around, past the Irish pubs and Chinese restaurants that are now a symbol of home for me.
We passed an all night donut shop. Much to our surprise, the Alien Donut Man was sitting alone in the middle of the shop, with a donut and coffee in front of him. Again he was sitting upright and still. Unmoving.
We wondered if he had come all the way out to the Richmond just to get a donut and coffee. We decided he had.
That was it for a while. It wasn't until I moved out to the Richmond that I saw him again. He had a tendency to sit in the same place in the donut shop every evening. I would walk by and stare at him. He never moved.
Once I was going to the Castle for some fish and chips and I saw him in the lobby of the residential hotel across the street. I was with A. and I exclaimed, "Look, it's the Alien Donut Man!" I was excited to have discovered this latest bit of information: he lived in the hotel. He traveled on the bus for at least fifteen minutes each way to go to the donut shop. But why? I wanted to find out.
There's no answer yet, though. I still see him all the time at the donut shop. K. told me I shouldn't stare at him so I tried to stop, but it's really hard.
Lately, we have been catching each other's eyes when I pass by.
Thursday I nodded my head at him, slowly.
Yesterday he locked eyes with me as I crossed the street and I lifted my hand in a small, half-wave.