Yesterday was mostly walking about. 'Cruising', as Speed Levitch put it. I decided to take him up on his offer, and plotted a course for my salvation. A pilgrimage across a bay; across a chasm holding me back from myself. I started on a bus, and then a train, and then another train, and finally another bus. I still considered this part of the cruise, because as my mind wandered to the music I had set aside for myself (side-note the Decemberist's new 'Hazards of Love' is fucking wonderful) my body stayed on its course. This dichotomy was a midnight blue on a pink stucco. I saw some pick stucco; somebody's house and lawn flamingo had a terrible scientific accident and merged before me in the hilly southern expanse of san fran.
The bus stopped suddenly and there was a mass exodus to Golden Gate Park. I followed, that is to say, my nose followed, and I was enslaved. I found my way through a rose garden, and met a bush named Betty Boop. I thought of my friend Heather, who is making her way in NYC as a fashion goddess. There were too many couples and small families at this park for my liking, however. They had too much of the pre-programmed cruise; the cruise that really isn't a freeing tarry, but rather a pre-scripted jaunt down invisible tracks. The park was a glorified Walmart parking lot, the task of getting the best parking spot akin to an orgasm, the walk to the store an awkward pillow talk while putting your shoes back on. After getting a street hotdog, something of a hobby for me while in larger cities than my own, I headed back for the bus.
This time I took line 28 all the way to Golden Gate Bridge. This is something of a boyish fantasy for me, when I was young watching Full House I wondered why the Tanner family didn't spend every waking moment on this red metal dynamo, defying the blue water and blue sky. Sticking out like a sore thumb that had always belonged there. After acquiring a new wallpaper for my phone in the form of a contrasting graffitied caution sign against the backdrop of the pristene bridge, it was back to the cruise.
The shapes and curves amazed me. People all around me were snapping pictures of the view of the bay. Pictures that may as well be postcards, worth every penny of the fifty cent price tag. Pictures that were beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as the real experience of walking across this bridge on a breezy day. Your shirt rippling in the wind, the sun keeping you oddly warm. I only snapped one picture on the walk, a juxtaposing shape of a street light against the bridge. The red, yellow, and blue coming together in a perfect geometric moment.
Once across the bridge, I realized that the little observation pen on the other side was decidedly anti-cruise. It was self-contained; requiring that you either escape by car or stay among the stones and old wood forever. I ended up walking down a bike trail, serendipitously following a group of Brits. The only lady in the group had cork wedges on, and I felt viscerally sorry for her. After a ways down the obvously pedestrian un-friendly highway, they went to the side to examine a hole in a fence, and I lost track of them.
Continuing on my illicit cruise down the hill, among the bikers (of which there were a great many), I came to a small town. I could tell by the cars in the driveways that these were very affluent folks. I worried for a time that my usual fallback plan of 'don't worry I work for the government' would not draw much water here. Then I noticed the time. My cruise had taken almost all day, and now it was in question whether or not the ferry's were still running. Now, with the possibility of being a poor vagrant tourist in the Western Cape Cod, my cruise had a singular purpose, escape.
Finding a small downtown area with cafes and shops (and the obligitory tourists), I made my way towards the water's edge. Here in this bay, the water was a deep green, and men with over-complicated T-shirt prints with women in seemingly early 90's wraps meandered among the rocks. Huddling in masses, the day travelers had the exact opposite goal of the locals with baby strollers. The ensuing foot traffic jam led to some very non-cruise moments... for which I am ashamed. However, I trodded on in hopes of finding the ferry and my survival.
Finally, I made my way to the dock. To find a very long line of bicycles. Aparently the myriad of bikers on the hills between the bridge and the bay also had to escape. Luckily, the ferry accomidated the lot of us. After a twenty minute ferry ride I was safely back in fisherman's wharf, known territory at this point in my journey.
My cruise concluded as I found my way back to the subway, the train, the bus. Having walked over six mile in that day, I was finally in a state where Speed Levitch had never commented on. I was so tired that my mind stopped racing. Finally.
PS - Also, I managed to write a poem. It came upon me somewhere in the middle as I was trying to fall asleep. The Romans believed that there were daemons in the walls called 'geniuses' that would bestow work onto artists, who were conduits for such insights. The genius in the Comfort Inn did not follow my sleep schedule...
They've turned the harsh overhead lights on in the train car.
it looks like the aftermath of a rock show; forgotten red party cups,
friends pulling each other to their feet,
and harsh florescent lights pointing out
all the pores and exits in the room.
this is the time of night when i miss you most
how trite to have that line there
when it should be obvious and unsaid
i'm sitting in the seat alone while the foursome in front of me
hides their coors lights in brown paper bags
"beer condoms" they laugh.
I am struggling to see outside of the car, something more than
dark blue outlines of palm trees and occasional neon lights.
this is the time of night when
the screens on the train ticket machines
are noticeable against the dark.
i'm looking for the dot on
the diagram of the line that leads me home,
or at least away from here.