Wednesday, April 04, 2007

leave it to memory me

Let me take a breath. Let me take a moment to tell you that I am not completely falling apart. Maybe I am falling apart, but I am keeping it together, long enough, just long enough. And times like this, I wonder how I'll fare elsewhere. Because here's the secret about this part of country.

You'll be driving east, and you will note how majestic, how hulking the Bay Bridge is, how it stretches on and on, so that you wonder if it really ever ends. And this time of year, you marvel at the vivid, technicolor green hills, the hills that so often appear burnt in dull yellows and browns. The green vibrance will shout gloriously at you. And as the sun sets, the green grows deeper, and the sky yawns, tiny pink clouds streaking the canvas, the moon smudged by some unseen thumb.

Or you will turn a corner in Nob Hill, and at an intersection, you'll see the blue sky gradually darkening. And that deep hue stands at the perfect contrast, the perfect backdrop for the sleek, jutting TransAmerica, towering in front of you, as the lights on the Bay Bridge behind it have just started to twinkle.

Or you might drive South and it might be any other day, but the absurd radio stations will regale you with The Jets and Michael Jackson. And as you drive past Monster Park, and the light dancing on the water, you won't be able to resist Prince tickling you.

Or you might even be driving to the Marina, heaven forbid, and you might just wind your way through the Presidio to get there. And on most days, the fragrance from the tall, swaying eucalyptus trees will waft into the car, even if your windows are closed.

Or maybe you're just driving home to your neighborhood, as you must do, every day. And just when you think it is the most mundane, routine life you find yourself in, you pass a car parked to your right, its exterior covered in leopard print fur or in Lego's or dotted with baby doll heads.

Or maybe you've walked out your door one cool Saturday morning. And you look up into the hills and the fog is slowly, ever so gradually descending over, nudging its way to you. And you walk up further, and you can feel the fog on your face.

The convenience store clerk gives you his friendly, acknowledging nod. You and the homeless man have your usual exchange. The crazy dude who plays wild guitar in tucked-away stoops no longer surprises you. The woman at the bodega gives you the price in Spanish.

Big things and little things and everything in between. And will I ever feel this way again about a time or a place, I wonder.

"You can't take a picture of this-
it's already gone."

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