I don’t know of any other city where you can walk through so many culturally diverse neighborhoods, and you’re never out of sight of the wild hills. — Gary Snyder
I’ve been in San Francisco seven years and seven months now.
Memories have collected and grown like layers of rainstorm, darkening and rumbling, rolling. Ready to spill. Years and years of wildness beyond my imagination — the bright lights of Market Street so few and far between, beacons in a black, abandoned world. The moody Pacific crashing itself against Seal Rocks. Too-brief afternoons of smoke and goldenness in a hidden room above Jack Kerouac Alley. Concrete-deep percussion on buckets and glass bottles by the street corner. Nights of clenching hands with an eternal soul, high on absinthe and gut-wrenching poetry. The steaming and banging of brand new coffee shops behind old wood walls. Low tide salt air wetting those sweat-stained sidewalks of Polk, gulls gliding on a current above. The palm trees along Dolores, sentinels as we drive up the steepest hill and it dissolves underneath us until we’re at a height, rising, above the city.
But, most of all — the growing of self, compressed by a gray misty tingle of sky, a sense of cold barometric pressure and endlessness of heat rising outside the skin. Every time I look up, those wild hills grab me and I’m travelling in a new direction beyond my own sight. I’m twenty different people living twenty different lives in a multifaceted body of flesh and voice and a thousand stories in media res.
Have you ever loved one place so much that it consumed you? An inexplicable, unending want lives inside me, etching itself into my un-notable organs. Every morning I open my eyes and I am in San Francisco, breathless. Every morning I rise at the pull of the wild hills all around me.