“Dublin is a big pretender: the city is one bright lightning strike of change after another but the suburbs are an oozing static.” -Sarah Griff, The Last City I Loved: Dublin
The above is a giant, flattened jellyfish found on the shores of Ocean beach. Look at the wee tentacles coming out the side–lovely! I wanted to push my finger into it, but I did that once before and my skin tingled for the next two days. But just look at the texture–how could you not want to poke that sucker?
Weekend quick recap: Friday night sushi & grocery shopping, Saturday design class, lunch at Chipotle, a lounge-ful afternoon, garlic grab noodles, Target, ParaNorman (good but felt as if true quirkiness of story was being muffled), Sunday dog park, Home Depot (twice), Costco, Crate & Barrel, Cole Hardware, laundry, yard work, org. of art supplies, and watched “Shameless” for a few hours. Astonishing how much we did, and yet at the same time, how much remains to be done! We have some major house projects coming up this year. Much to do.
I realize that the little summary above is not so satisfying. It’s unable to encompass the weekend; it’s brittle and small. Such is, I think, the inevitable tone of diaries that are just the grim recounting of event after event. All of the dimensions disappear and it becomes a dry list, and in a few days or weeks, I won’t be able to tell apart my memories of this weekend from any other. What I need is something more vivid to help me remember a few choice moments. Unhappily this means I won’t be able to capture everything: time and memory forbid it. Still, something startling and clear is better than a dry list.
Saturday & Sunday
August 25 & 26, 2012.
There was sunshine, unnatural sunshine, and it spread across San Francisco like a biblical plague, licking into dark corners and denuding the painted ladies, leaving them immodestly beautiful in the revealing light. For their morning walks, Chinese grandmothers tucked fans into their pockets, and the nimble-footed dogs in Stern Grove slowed to an amble, tongues lolling even at the indelicate hour of seven.
The sly sun slipped even into our bedchamber, easing between the slats of the wooden shades, painting long fingers of light onto our duvet. I heaved out of bed first, and Carter followed not one hour after, the scent of coffee rising from the kitchen counter like an invisible cloud. We remarked on the unseasonal brightness over croissants, sweet jam and caffeine. Already everything seemed to be melting ever so slightly; the heat, so rarely felt, was altering the chemical composition of the city of fog: there was now liquid in its body, a certain moral negligence, a glimmer of metamorphosis.
A few hours later the sun had abandoned subtlety, having climbed overhead it wiped away every shadow. Carter and I had donned hats, broad-brimmed and unfashionable, and this gave us our briefest relief. We were slinging wood chips across the front lawn of Chez Roux (chez nous!), our shirts and pants brindled with dust and dirt.
In brief pauses between splinters and rakes and squatting over the dirt, I marveled at the city’s transformation. I’m back in Los Angeles, I thought to myself, and if all I did was to stare at the blue sky and the way the light illuminated the bone-white sidewalk, I could believe it. San Francisco was unaccustomed to being so bare, so underdressed, and unlike her southern sister, she was unsure of her own beauty. With my eyes I tracked the black, spindly drape of the electrical wires that drooped over our street; the houses leaning one against the other like shy grade-schoolers crowded together. Today there was no hiding anything.
currently reading: My Life in France, by Julia Child; Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman.