Tue, 2 Jun 2009 18:04:31 -0700
Rather than the usual May summer sunshine, I walked off my plane back from Pennsylvania Sunday night into the cold fog more normally associated with freezing July evenings at Zeitgeist, with the Tamale Lady making her rounds in a parka and me in my gloves and leather jacket. I brought east with me three pairs of wool socks and my new Nepali rainbow yak-wool slippers (a present from a kind wayfarer, now returned from his travels), forgetting that it might be in the mid-70's there, sandal-weather, green-hills-and-cows-chewing-verdant-cud weather, drinking-whiskey-in-a-rocking-chair-on-a-farmhouse-porch-in-my-bare-feet weather. It feels normal by now, though, to be halfway into the summer's strawberry season and to still wear a down vest for my walk to the shuttle every morning.
It's telling that I'm more surprised by the warmth out east than I am by slightly-early fog here: Foggy is what San Francisco is, and it feels more like home -- rather, less tentative, less shockingly new, less make-believe -- every time I fly into SFO and hear the captain announce that it's overcast. Of course it is.
(Toby picked me up at the airport. I can't help but be pleased that he did.)
After four and a half years in the Bay Area -- slightly less than that at Google (I am, as of a few weeks ago, now fully vested) -- I think I've finally stopped believing that someone will pinch me and I'll wake up. I have a library card and a choir; I know how to shell the English peas that arrive in my CSA box and I know where to get my knives sharpened; my basement is full of camping gear and dusty Burning Man costumes; my favorite bartender knows how I like my cocktails and I have preferences among the diverse bottles of whiskey that dot the balcony at work on Thursdays; I still like my job and have now been promoted twice within the last year.
And finally, from this base of solidity, I can begin to take it slow with the city (as with another party). Self-care projects, such as the more-or-less complete fixing of my knee, fit easily within the purview of feeling like my time here is not finite. The things I don't know, I have the leisure to figure out. Nothing drastic, nothing sudden -- just an extended hello, deepened every foggy morning.