Apparently Not Every Person in San Francisco Is a Gay Man

A vendor was walking me through the install of a new piece of equipment at my place of employment earlier this week and because of circumstances beyond my control the aforementioned equipment install had to take place in a small, closet-like room.

Paul the Vendor: Well, that should do it.

Me: Great! And again, I’m really sorry that you had to spend your morning in a closet.

Paul the Vendor (chuckling): That's okay. I'm no stranger to closets.

Me (raising my eyebrows and offering up an exaggerated and knowning nod in his direction): I hear that, Paul.

A moment passes.

Me: So, are you from San Francisco originally?

Paul the Vendor: No.

A beat.

Paul the Vendor: My wife is though.

I think one important takeaway from my short chat with Paul the Vendor is that in some cultures closet actually means, like, a closet, as in a storage space for clothes or a terrible place to hide from a masked serial killer in movies directed by Wes Craven. Evidently, a case can be made that closet doesn't have to be a reference to, say, concealing your sexual identity from everyone you've ever met until your twenty-fourth birthday when you drunkenly slip the words "I'm gay." into a Gchat conversation with one of your childhood neighbors at 3:00am because he happens to be awake and online and also because he was already out so the odds of him calling you a faggot, logging off and never speaking to you again were relatively slim, for example. Sometimes a closet is just a tiny room to hang your coat in.