It’s Sunday morning; I lay in bed cherishing the last few hours of morning. It’s summer in the Bay, which means the fog lingers till noon and the sun plays hide and seek with the clouds. It’s 65 degrees outside. I turn the heater on for comfort from these harsh condition.
Yesterday I took the Bart into the city for a work event. We donated 2,000 backpacks to the Salvation Army who distributed them along with other supplies at a community event in the Tenderloin. Kyle pleaded with me to take a taxi from the bart, down 3 blocks to the event. I scoffed at his request; I have traveled the world solo, worked in the roughest neighborhoods, dated the biggest idiots, I can handle any drunken bafoon or dimly lit street.
9:00 am I reconsider. The Tenderloin is alive with drifters and transients, still high off last night’s rush. Three men play dice on the sidewalk, a woman with no shirt twirls in a wheelchair, a crazed crack head shuffles quickly through the crowds mumbling on about who knows what. And I, bundled and caffeinated with my best bitch face on, power walk through the scene wondering why San Francisco is so romanticized.
Arriving at my destination, I am escorted through two separate caged metal doors, pass the line of low-income families who have been waiting outside for hours to be the first in line. Once in, I am handed the Salvation Army official uniform, a white nylon vest that fastens at the waist, and am given my orders. I am manning the thank you station, helping 4 year olds decorate cards. Most of them are pretty cute and thoughtful, thanking the Salvation Army for the backpacks and school supplies. I was am handed a piece of paper that reads ” I like summer”, and then there’s Tiffany, who gracefully scribed “Happy Birthday” on her thank you card. At least the spelling was correct.
After lunch with an old friend I navigated back to our Alameda flat via Oaklands finest public transportation. I haven’t taken the bus since I graduated. It’s an interesting world of mayonnaise finger lickers and Asians with large rolling carts here on the 51A bus. I clutch my purse and bury my head into it, dodging inquiries for change and sneezes from strangers.
I stopped writing more or less when I started working. Which is really a tragedy. I love looking back on my stories and seeing where my head was at, where my heart was at. I love that it’s documented. My future self probably wished I continued to document.
So here’s to that. Here’s to reflecting on trivial adventures and momentary feelings of bliss and understanding. To writing more often and deeply. Because there are so many stories to tell.