{ story by michelle compton }
{ photos by derek powazek }

An unassuming doorway lies at the top of Haight Street. I reach the last step and ring the bell. I'm jumpy and nervous. The voice on the intercom asks what I want and after the little game of trading code words, it buzzes me in.

I step in and climb the stairs. The walls gleam from a fresh coat of white paint. Bowls of candy-colored condoms, sitting on the newel post, catch my eyes. I pocket several, knowing they'll get put to use in our household of single women.

At the top of the stairs is the waiting room – once the dining room of this flat-turned-health clinic. I step inside and find a spot to sit. I try to relax and take deep breaths, but the circumstances leading me here are hard to forget.