I have just returned from San Francisco, where I spent the past few days with my dearest Claudia. And though I tried and tired of coming up with excuses not to go, I could say that I had some fun, if I were pressed for a bit of honesty. I don’t make a practice of telling the truth anymore.
It was a weekend of modest defiance, and slight flirtations that led nowhere. I drove over center dividers, because it got me to my destination faster. I stationed my car where I pleased, after I was prohibited by an unimposing man in an orange vest. I took fog into sore lungs, because it’s the only thing that city has to offer. I made one or ten advances on the kind of man I would usually ignore, but hungry eyes create desperate times. I was then told by Claudia to look away, because she has already been his lover.
We went to a bar, then another. There, a man serving overpriced drinks to a group of pseudo-intellectuals smiled at me. It was a revealing smile, worth ten psychology books, and a passionate kiss. But that kiss would not be given by me. His face was the kind that one immediately appreciates, and in the next beat, grows tired of.
It was at our third stop that I swooned for two men, both friends. I was driven away by the complications, only to be trapped by another man who claimed to have fallen in love with me. He did not leave my side, as a photographer snapped away at me, despite telling him that I do not like my picture taken. He didn’t leave my side, as another man asked me out on a date. And he held even tighter to my aching waist, as Claudia tried to pry him off me. He finally walked away, after I rejected his offer to move to Las Vegas, and get married.
All of that activity, left me feeling empty. Love seemed a fragile and elusive emotion. It could easily be pushed out by a new face. It could be prematurely abandoned for any number of reasons. Nothing could sustain it for long.
As we made our way to a hotel for the night, I looked at every person that passed. I wondered if it was possible for anyone not to leave behind their substance, because traveling through life is easier that way. And just then, a man, unlike any I met that night, looked at me. Not through, but into. Both nervous and surprised at having found each other, we could say nothing. But that wordless exchange, was far from nothing.
I spent the next day looking into the ocean. As if it was my only friend. As if it was the most important thing anyone could do with their life.