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a particular kind of heaven

November 24, 2008

I guess I’m hungry, in a sense.

There’s something nice about the air today.  It smells clean and somehow familiar and reminds me of summers at my old old old house on Lakeview Terrace, sitting on the roof outside my window reading a book.  Smells can be really phenomenal this way.  I remember there used to be this Garden Botanika lotion that I had that reminded me instantly of watching Romeo + Juliet in 6th grade.  They just snap you back with some forgotten quality. 

I rode the bus to Potrero Hill on the Eastside of the city.  I had not yet seen it, but suspected it to be nice like anywhere in San Francisco on an immensely sunny day in November.  After getting off, I swing for a minute in a playground, and I call an old friend who is so kind as usual, and doesn’t laugh when I cry a little and complain about hating Sundays, suddenly overwhelmed by the city.  We hang up after a heated discussion about egg nog, and I drop down towards the water having not found this particular hill all that interesting.  It feels too high, too washed out for today.  The breeze off the bay is almost hypnotic in its gentle loveliness, and I am in the mood to be hypnotized.  I had said that I hated Sundays, but I realize I don’t need to hate Sundays, I just need to calm down a little. 

I’m looking at new apartments going up next to the port, and think how nice they look.  I’ve grown accustomed to this feeling of awe that I tend to get when on the outside looking in.  I can’t even imagine how nice their lives must be in there.  And I know it’s stupid, because no life was made complete by living in a condo on the water.  I don’t even like this building much.  It’s just that the outside holds such promise, the best moment always the one right before the lights go up.  I am reminded of a line from a poem I read in high school—I was much too far out all my life/not waving but drowning. 

It’s like this one time in college, years ago now, a fall afternoon, and my best friend and I had eaten some mushrooms and were wandering around our Bellingham neighborhood.  It was a beautiful day, and we were stopped at a short chain-link fence peering into what seemed like the most magical place imaginable—keep in mind that it was in a fact a retirement home behind our house—but at that moment it reminded me of the queen’s gardens from Alice in Wonderland: the grass so green, the roses so red.  We wanted desperately to go in, I mean we were in full-on longing at that short little fence and the gate was of course right next to us, but it seemed impossible to get past.  Finally, we passed through the gate and immediately Sara looks at me and says, “It seemed so much bigger from out there.”  And I nod, having been thinking the exact same thing, and if that ain’t a metaphor for life not to mention a testament to the utter hilarity of drugs then I don’t know what is.  

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