The heat and the smoke and the uncus and Pemphigus- we needed to get away from it. So we piled into a car and went to old favorites, unearthed a new treasure (a scoop of cinnamon with snickerdoodles!?!), disrupted hipster-haven, and sat in Dolores Park watching the preparations for a tranny march. Hot by San Francisco standards, cool, breezy perfection by my new ones.
Those I had brought along said foolish things in Dolores Park, the sort of foolish things uttered by people who have not lived in San Francisco, somehow have no understanding of it. Then they balked when I had not been to some deli in North Beach. It did not bother me though, since I was sitting there on such a beautiful day, watching the Twin Peaks tower shrouded in fog. And later, they no longer questioned me, when I found them a parking spot downtown where no tourist would have thought to look.
They only asked, "Did you love living here?"
I said, "Of course I did."
But I didn't explain. I didn't wax nostalgic about it. I can see now that I sort of don't have to anymore. There are things about San Francisco that I love that have stayed with me. A friendly man walking his dog stopped to take our picture when he saw us fumbling around. I stopped to give directions to a pair of clueless out-of-towners huddled by a hotel with a map unfolded in front of them (note to other visitors- while SF is safe, this is still a very foolish thing to do in any city). In the mission, the usual hilarity- an old white man dressed up like Juan Valdez (not on purpose) and a white woman wearing a sari and a poncho. Seemingly punk-rock hipster men with piercings and tattoos carrying... a baby Bjorn with a little hipster-in-the-making snugly inside.
Other things about San Francisco change. Old landmarks give way to new places to experience. What seemed like it would never finish does. Murals are repainted, re-imagined. The music list at Aquarius Records has a new set of bands you ought to hear.
It's what keeps me warm and, in my current home, keeps me cool. The thought that, while I change and San Francisco changes, I'll always carry a little bit of it with me, the little bit that will, hopefully, remain there always.