Sunday, July 5, 2009
Falling In --
Every now and then I have one of those absolutely perfect weekends. You know the kind: when you can stay up as late as you feel, and wake up whenever the light hits you right. When you are active and feel all the cells buzzing around inside you with the same electricity as that summer pulse that fills the air. When the moon is just nearly full, and you are just nearly infatuated with it all, or at the very least, the person laying next to you on the lawn. That was the kind of weekend I had.
It helped that it was the Fourth of July, and that Friday was a day off work, and that the Sacramento River was clean and clear just past noon. There are little clusters of swallow nests that bead the underside of the Knights Landing bridge, and they were all absent, empty. Instead, the birds filled the air, swooping in even arcs above us as we passed the fishermen with their lines cutting the water fresh.
It was hot, but not hazy, and the air hummed with cicadas and grasshoppers. Waterskiing is an exercise in defeating gravity. My favorite feeling is when the water is glassy smooth, and while speeding above the water, you can lean over and dip your fingers down into the spray. On days like Friday, clear water makes for a perfect mirror image.
Saturday was just as nice, between the bustling farmer's market and the bicycle races circling downtown Davis. It reminded me of the Triplets of Belleville, watching all these muscled men and women stream by in dizzying pelatons. Ryan and I drove back to San Francisco in time for the fireworks show down by Pier 39. We took the J Church MUNI downtown -- my favorite train, the one that reminds me of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood in the way it snakes over and through Dolores Park.
The Wharf was filled with tourists, vendors selling flashing wands and teenagers barely hiding their bags of alcohol. We wandered out onto the edge of the dock, the smell of churros and bacon-wrapped hot dogs overpowering the wafts of gunpowder. It was, by all means, an extraordinary evening. There were actually two dueling sets of fireworks: one above Pier 39, near the water, and one on the other side of Coit Tower, which we could barely make out on the other side of Telegraph Hill. For every bright explosion, we saw its cousin mirrored in the sky just beyond the hill.
The spirit of the Fourth was no less strong today. I woke up to the sound of firecrackers down the street. We biked down to see the San Francisco Mime Troupe perform "Too Big to Fail" at Dolores Park. The actors and musicians had set up a wooden stage adjacent to the tennis courts, and the sunlight did indeed finally peek through the mid-afternoon fog. The entire play seemed like the unlikely love child of NPR's "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!" news quiz and any kid-friendly PBS show. Basically, the writers pared down the 2008 economic meltdown to a greedy frenzy for credit, which was the best explanation of our current market that I've heard. That, and it involved musical numbers and a woman dressed as a huge shark.
And now, somehow, it's Sunday evening, and the spell of summer is beginning to lift. Work again tomorrow. Ryan is back home. The fog has rolled in. Rent due. Grocery shopping. Vacuuming the room, sweeping up remnants of the past few weeks--ticket stubs, photos, programs, postcards from Chile, Greece. I am reminded again of why I must always return to the keyboard: to remember it all, because none of it lasts long.