I took the plunge. I remember falling. I wanted to keep my eyes opened until the Listerine-colored water engulfed me. It was a haze as the water rushed up my nose. A bitter taste of strong chlorine stayed on my tongue. I wish I was writing figuratively. For my 25th birthday, I flew up to San Francisco to see a childhood friend. We met in middle school, and for half of my life we’ve remained friends. I have this tendency of holding on to people. But I digress. There were so many moments I found picturesque throughout my travels. The best part, they were so mundane –nothing out of the ordinary, nothing spectacular. But it was oddly cinematic. That’s just my perspective. It was the middle of nowhere, on what seemed to be someone’s old farm. I can easily imagine one day a farmer got tired of the heat, and decided he wanted to create a water park in the middle of nowhere. And then he did. There was wake boarding, an artificial beach, and this obstacle course of floaties on this radioactive, murky water. Did I mention I’m terrified of water? I stood on the ledge, and I remember fuck it, just jump. I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere. This is coming from a person who is afraid of many things. The bubbles swirled about me. I couldn’t see, but this feeling of freedom overcame me. It was relief. It was excitement and I was clearly outside my comfort zone.
I took the last train to the airport. I sat in a shuttering cart alone for some time. This was after an unexpected detour. Passengers for the San Francisco Airport, please exit and transfer. Transfer? Transfer to what? Me and other disgruntled people are corralled down an escalator and a bus awaits us. A well-dressed blind man holds onto the arm of a construction worker. I’m thinking all of this is rather surreal. Somehow, I didn’t get off on the wrong stop. I wrote at the airport as I watched the zombies stumble from one end to the other. Eventually I joined them in their laps. It’s surprisingly cold in San Francisco in the middle of summer. The fluorescent lighting makes it hard to sleep, so I sleep with my hoodie backwards, covering my face.
We said goodbye so many times, and I think I’m doing all this to forget you. I’m sorry we had to end like this. I’m sorry I hurt you, and I know you’re sorry you hurt me. But this is the price for growth… I’m smoking seaside. I’m smoking on hilltops. And I’m smoking outside coffee shops.
It was a good trip.