bodies at rest


Sarah Fran Wisby responds to San Francisco’s Sit/Lie proposition criminalizing homelessness.


I come not to bury the sponsors of the proposed Sit/Lie aka Civil Sidewalks ordinance, but to praise them, and to call attention to a potential side benefit of the ordinance—a revitalization of public health. We all know that a body at rest tends to stay at rest, while a body in motion has a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, you name it! But why should the poor, the transient, the marginalized—the visibly languorous—be the only ones to benefit from Newsom and Alioto-Pier’s proposed police-enforced exercise regime? What about those of us who—because we can afford to—languish all day in cafes and offices, even in our own homes? I fear this ordinance does not go far enough in addressing our common sloth.

Who among the leisure classes has not dreamed of a personal trainer, a tough but loveable, extremely handsome cop—not unlike Chief of Police George Gascon—to give us some much needed motivation to get moving and stay moving? The right to sit down, to lie down—these are rights we fight for at our own peril. I’ll rest when I’m dead should be the motto of all who want to accomplish great things in this life, like great glutes, quads, and abs.

That is why I’d like to take this opportunity to offer the key to my apartment to Mr. Gascon and his entire police force today. Please, officers, as I understand it you are pledged to uphold the law equally in regard to all citizens. Therefore, I beg you to enter my apartment at will, and should you find my body at rest, in any static position, be it prone or curved, for my own good and the good of society—of which I have long dreamed of being a productive member—please feel free to use whatever means necessary to get it to “move along.”

Sarah Fran Wisby is the author of Viva Loss. More from this author →