On a chilly San Francisco night, James Roberts steps out of his customary Union Square pub. He lights a final smoke before his nightly walk to a Chinatown apartment where he will invariably drink himself into oblivion in his living room club chair. As he smokes, a girl emerges from the bay fog, gesturing for a cigarette. In the flare of the lighter, he sees a blue and green bruise on her face, but before he can ask, she vanishes.
In the coming weeks, he encounters her as before, giving her a bite of food or a smoke; their street exchanges, wordless. Then one night, he is awakened from his scotch-induced stupor to find her at his window. Frantic. Terrified. She needs shelter. He needs a reason to live.