I Didn’t Call That Many People


From Paris.

I told my friend with an arched eyebrow.

He was one of the few I did call.

There was the fantasy land man.

Who lived in my fantasy land world, saying goodbye to that fantasy was probably more difficult than saying good bye to the actual man himself.

But saying good bye to my friend then, as in tonight, was much harder.

I don’t know that I ever told him that.

He asked what was hardest about leaving for Paris, as he is about to embark on a five month long journey across the Universe.

Not perhaps the universe as it pertains to leaving a country to live in another country, but the unfolding multi-layered, land of the unknown, and that is a universe.

Vast in scope.

The last time I saw my friend, I will not lie, he was my lover, and so too there was another layer of experience to entertwine with it all.

And fantasy too of course.

He told me once after I had just gotten back from Paris that he had hoped I would never return.

Not in a mean way.

Not in that way of, I didn’t ever want to see you again, but in that, I was really rooting for you to make it there.

I left with all intentions of leaving.

He will be returning, he’s got a job to return to, a rent controlled pad in the Mission (which means he will never truly leave San Francisco), and a plethora of love for the city by the Bay.

Besides somebody who like food as much as he does just ain’t gonna be able to stay away.

That difference in our experience didn’t allow me to exactly be able to pin down for him the depth of feeling that  I was having as I said good bye to people and places San Francisco (like, why did I wait this long to do this thing, go to that place, and now it’s too late).

“You were pretty wrecked by the time I showed up for your going away party,” he mentioned to me.

I was.

It was abysmal.

I remember talking to another dear friend that morning and telling her how much I was struggling with just showing up for it.

I would have prefered to have slunk off in the night.

Sometimes, though, certain things stay with you.

I took an actual photograph on my friend as he lazed on my chaise in the corner sipping tea and ponitificating on the experience of the experience, because I wanted to remember.

I am sure I will, but sometimes memory fades and a good photo remains to remind me.

The last time I saw him before I left for Paris was not when he kissed me good bye on the corner of Valencia and 14th Street.

About to roar off in another man’s car after having my tryst with my lover the night before.

No.

It was watching him walk into the gas station on Mission and 14th.

Maybe he was getting a soda.

Maybe a pack of cigarettes, though I don’t recall him smoking at the time.

I do recall driving the Audi convertible down 14th to hit the freeway heading back over to East Oakland where I had another night or two of getting what little I left to do done, and seeing him.

I wanted to holler.

I wanted to wave.

I wanted to freeze the moment in time.

And that is what I did instead of calling attention to him.

I was driving off, soon to be flying off, leaving on a jet plane, as the story goes.

He was turning the corner, shoulders hunched up just a bit, hands in the pockets of his sweatshirt, glasses on his face catching a splinter of sunlight, cabbie hat cocked sideways, brim pulled low.

I saw him as he reached for the door to the gas station across the street from the Armory, and then he as he stepped inside.

The light turned green.

“Goodbye lover,” I said out loud, not loud enough to be heard anywhere but inside my heart.

And then I drove off.

I remember hitting the on ramp and accelerating through the turn and whooping.

I felt so light.

So.

Aloft.

I had leapt.

I had not yet landed, but I had leapt and there was no going home now.

No home to go home to.

Only the future to move forward into.

Paris.

France.

Go baby go.

Of course that fantasy was squelched, but I did go and I will keep doing things like that, perhaps not so uprooting, I don’t know that I am supposed to do that again, but more letting go, baby go, of those fantasies.

There was one in which, many years, maybe seven, ten, I would hear from him and we would reunite and things would get wild and wooly and right.

But that fantasy.

Well is just that.

Fantasy.

What did happen is that I came back, the world moved on, he moved on, love happened then.

In the cusp between friendship and being lovers, something else grew, a knowing of the person and of myself.

I don’t expect anything else now from the relationship.

Well.

A postcard from the edge would be nice.

He’s got my address.

A story.

That’s what I would like, but that’s not a fantasy either, that’s getting to bear witness to someone elses experience and laugh or cry or commiserate with it and be tied to them in yet another way.

How fortunate I am to see my friend tonight before he embarks on his own life changing journey.

To say, “I love you,” and know it full in my heart and let it all go.

Not the love, not the friend, but the fantasy, the idea of the story that I tell myself.

My home.

Now.

Here.

In San Francisco at the edge of the city, the edge of the world, on the brink of the sea, is exactly where I am supposed to be.

The only geographic I will be pulling anytime soon is one with my hair.

I am here to stay.

If only to be here so I can say hello to my friend when he returns.

Bon Voyage my darling.

May your travels be safe.

But not too safe.

Go eat the world.

 

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: