there is no there there.


Yes, Ms. Stein, I believe you are correct.

A friend quoted that to me this evening when I related the news to him that I am moving back to San Francisco in September.

That while being at Graceland is love, East Oakland is not my flavor of cherry.

I need out.

And an out I was given today.

I went out to the Sunset and saw the in-law/studio in my friend’s house.

It is going to be just right.

I can’t quite see how every thing is going to fit together and it is not huge, but it will be all mine.  There will be a kitchen with gas range and a refrigerator and cupboards and tile, a finished separate bathroom and a living room/bedroom space with a full closet.  There will be a back deck and a door that opens out onto it.

There will be sunlight and the sound of the ocean roaring in the distance instead of the sound of cars drag racing and tires squealing.  There will be a place to put my bike, a place to hang my photographs, a place to put up my pictures.

There is space for a kitchen table/desk.

There is a room of my own.

There, just there, on 46th Avenue between Judah and Irving.

Two blocks to Golden Gate Park.

Two blocks to the beach.

Trouble Coffee, which I can already see being the best kind of trouble as my friend led me on a little tour of the neighborhood, where we popped into to grab Americanos.

We went by the new vegan/vegetarian raw food restaurant where she got an astounding fresh pressed super food smoothie.  And then to the co-op, that though just a little bit expensive, was like a small version of Rainbow.

Where we ran into a friend I had not seen in years, who hugged me, smiled, and said, welcome to the best neighborhood in the city.

I kept getting misty eyed today.

First coming into the city over the bridge with music playing on the stereo, the fog shrouding everything muffled in summer swag, the skyline of downtown, the Bay and all its glory flashing in places were the sun could still get through.

Then as I stood on the corner of 46th and Irving and smelled the sharp salt tang of the ocean, there she is, the sea, the beach, the waves cresting, breaking, the muffled roar of the water pounding the sand.


There is no there there.

There is not comfort in East Oakland for me.

I don’t feel safe.

There, I said it, I don’t feel safe.

I do when I am indoors, but I don’t feel safe anywhere but, and truth be told, I don’t always feel safe inside either.  The other day, mid-afternoon writing some e-mails out before heading into San Francisco there was a domestic dispute happening and a window pane was smashed and screaming was being done and on the side-walk there was screeching and bitch calling and ranting.

I was afraid to open the blind.

Just let me go on noticed.

I will continue to stay as long as I need to, but knowing I had an out was such a tremendous relief I could not stop the tears from falling when my friend and I worked out all the details.

The studio won’t be ready to move into for two more months, possibly a week or two longer, but that puts me right at coming back from Burning Man.

I have a September 1st move in.

I will get back from the event the 3rd or the 4th and I may need, will need, I am sure, to decompress a few days before moving into a new home.

That being said, I do not have a lot of things to move in.

“I have absolutely nothing, except the clothes on my back,” I said to my friend.

“You can borrow the chaise lounge in the garage and the blow up bed until you get stuff together,” she told me.

She also said that the space would be completed, that I would have a place to stay, that I would be able to do a month to month with her, she’s going to put it all down in writing.

And if it’s not finished, I can stay on her couch until it is, but it will be.

I believe her.

We talked yoga and surfing and running on the beach.

I don’t plan on jogging anytime soon, bad knees, but I do plan on taking walks on the beach.  And yoga sounds smashing.  And being in San Francisco.

It’s not that far either.

I can ride my bike from the Mission to Ocean Beach in about 25 minutes.

I have done it plenty of times.

It is also not that far to the Cole Valley nanny gig.

The gig that is currently one day a week, but will become three days a week after I get back from Burning Man, after we all get back from Burning Man–all my families are going.

I will let go the gig in Oakland.

I will let them know that when I have a full down load on the place.

I don’t want to commute to Oakland to nanny for them.

I love the little girl, she is such an amazing child, but part-time hours are not going to be a draw for me to get on my bike pedal from the Sunset to take a BART train to Oakland to nanny.

No thanks.

I may see if they are willing to come to SF.

And that is all in the future.

Granted, the near future, but it is not a conversation I need to have with them yet.

The only conversation that matter today was when I asked my friend, “will you have me?”

And she said yes.

So here is yes to moving back to San Francisco, Trouble coffee, foggy mornings, cute tattooed surfer boys, and the shush and thrum of falling asleep to the lullaby of the ocean.

Sunset here I come.

There is a there there.

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