Sometimes, I miss San Francisco.
But its the magic that I miss.
Sometimes I would run through the Marin Headlands on a sunny day after the spring rain, the hills would be so green and the ocean would just stretch on and on and I would think: this must be what heaven looks like.
Sometimes I would go down to Ocean Beach with a friend or a lover and a six pack at sunset and watch the sky turn orange while a plump harvest moon rose over the city. I would be so bowled over that I could just do that–watch the sun set over the Pacific on any old day.
Sometimes I’d see this girl hula hooping with headphones in–but she was really hooping, jamming out like no one was watching–in Washington Square Park. People really know how to hula hoop in San Francisco.
Once I walked down the street in the mission in a yellow skirt and a yellow ribbon in my hair and a man called out, “Hello yellow, I’ll be your mellow fellow!” and we both burst out laughing and kept walking in our opposite directions.
On one weekend in May, you’d find adults dressed as pirates or salmon or in tutus or painted gold or downright naked at the train station and just smile and shrug.
I always had a reason to wear glitter and plop feathers in my hair.
You could just head out toward anywhere and find a totally unexpected adventure. I mean there’s a dutch windmill, a field of bison, and an indoor rainforest within half a mile of one another. You can watch the Blue Angels, see Emmy Lou Harris, and then slap on your fur and party with Burners over the course of 24 hours. My friend once called it “the San Francisco playground” and that’s really what it’s like–a playground for adults with all these crazy characters and things to do and rides to take. When you live there it’s like you and everyone around you are in on this great secret and you wink at each other and sometimes you hug a stranger because you both just. Get it.
I could go on forever like this.
One time, Dan and I went down to Ocean Beach for sunset. It was the weekend of Outside Lands–the huge music festival in Golden Gate Park. We could hear Thievery Corporation thumping behind us. And just as the sky blushed pink, humpback whales started breaching offshore. That’s the kind of magic I’m talking about–where somehow Thievery Corporation, an ocean sunset, and humpback whales come out to play in your backyard. It’s so beautiful it’s impossible–and yet there it is.