Ten Years Later


I just got home.  Well, not entirely true, I have been home long enough to change the cat box, eat a little snack, make a cup of tea, and send out an e-mail that had to go out.  So, half an hour.  But really, I just got home.

I was having a momentary flashback brought on by biking past the Coppola building on Kearney.

It was one of the first places I went to with my friend Bells.  He had picked me up at SFO and was driving me around the North Beach China Town area.  I was in awe.  I was in love.

Really, I was just in infatuation.

I am really, really, really good at having impossible relationships.  Let us to count the ways that Brian was a poor choice for me.  First, he was an ex-employee, I had been his boss, hard to be in a relationship with the boss.  Second, he lived in Berkeley, I lived in Madison, Wisconsin.  Third, oh, I don’t know, he had a girlfriend he was living with.

But I was a died in the wool romantic and I felt that there was something so wrong it was right about our unrequited status.  I have no idea if Brian ever really had romantic feelings for me.

Yes, we did eventually have sex.

Too bad I was in a grey out.  Damn you Packers in the Super Bowl, Shawn Wilkinson, and tequila shots.  Damn you.

Suffice to say, I was not at that point in my relationship with Brian.

Bah ha.  That’s funny, relationship.  I should say, I was not that far into my manipulation of other people.  I was still in the, “we can make this work”  some how portion of my life.

Let’s just rehash, not in the same state, not single, and not interested in me, so, yeah, I really see a viable future with this one.

What I did see however was the romance and the beauty of San Francisco.  He drove up and down the hills like a maniac in his Jeep Cherokee, red, and I was just in awe of this city.  I fell so hard-core for San Francisco.  I do not know what exactly possessed me, but I made him park by the Coppola building and we went in right before the cafe was closing.  I had an espresso romano and an aged tawny port.

I do not know who I was trying to impress more, Brian or myself.  I was not otherworldly, I was not sophisticated, but I wanted to be so badly.

I am remembering this fondly, by the way, I have moved on, I believe.  Oh, I’m still a bit of a romantic, but I don’t chase boys across country any more, especially ones that are in relationships.

Although I still do have the occasional fantasy relationship in my head.  Having one now.


Oh well, I get to be human today.  Let us to leave it at that.

Back to the unrequited love portion of our blog, shall we?

Brian and I closed out the cafe and proceeded back to the Jeep, but not before getting sucked into some dive bar in North Beach that had a rock-a-billy band playing.  I don’t know where we parked, but I do remember the bouncer made us go back to the Jeep to get my id.  Which I did and at some point in the walk back, past the Victorians smashed up against one another, I caught a private glimpse of a couple in an apartment and spun myself a fantasy.

One in which I am living in North Beach or above China Town in a one bedroom apartment with wood floors listening to jazz while my love, tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, walks down the hall bare-chested and bare foot in a pair of jeans while I’m on the couch with the Sunday crossword and a cup of coffee.  I of course thought, hoped, prayed, it would be me and Brian.

Brian, by the way is married with two kids living somewhere down the Peninsula and I haven’t talked to him in over six years.  Hope you’re still doing well my old friend.

I think I even wrote a poem to this effect at some point in my stay.  I was here for one week.  Well, I was in Berkeley for one week.  Brian and I came into the city one day later that week.  We walked all over the place.  Somebody asked me for directions.

I was a local already!

We climbed up California St.  We swung on the swings in Huntington Square Park.  We ran around China Town.  We rode the freaking cable cars to Fisherman’s Wharf.  We shared a sugar cookie with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles and we each had a hot chocolate with whipped cream.  We went to dinner at The Roxanne Cafe on Powell St. and had paella and a really horrible bottle of white wine.

Then we went back to Berkeley and his girlfriend picked us up from the Ashby Bart Station.

Gosh, I wonder again, why this just did not work out.

I had all this flash through my head as I raised my right foot up to position my pedal just so as I got ready for the light to change at the intersection of Kearney and Pacific.

I was riding my bike home, past the Coppola building, past North Beach, headed up into China Town, to Nob Hill, to my one bedroom.  With its wood floors.  I almost gasped out loud as I looked at the building all lit up with the San Francisco sky line dropped behind it.

The fantasy has happened.  It is for real.  It is entirely different from anything that I could have imagined.

There’s not jazz playing in the back ground, but old R & B, Bill Withers to be exact.

I got what I wanted so badly, love, self love, not unrequited, and an apartment in San Francisco with wood floors, a fireplace, a clawfoot tub, just a few blocks from Huntington Square Park.

How exactly did that happen?

Come have a cup of coffee with me, sans the port, we’ll read a book together, sit across my kitchen table, you and I, while the fog creeps on little cat feet through North Beach and I’ll explain it all.  I bet we have some  similar stories, yes, yes, I bet we do.

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2 Responses to “Ten Years Later”

  1. Derek Rock Says:

    The Fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on. ~Carl Sandburg~

    thanks for reminding me of that one, Carmen.

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