The Seagull Speaks

August 3- August 10

A new week! And you’re broke.

At least raspberries are perfectly cheap and a healthier alternative to popcorn or freeze burn ice cream that I would have paired with this glass of wine. Mondays suck already– a universal consensus– so reinforcing a ritual like a glass in the evening is calming. Not to mention the commute back home. When the Cable Car crosses your path downtown, you take it. Locals take the good old-fashioned trolley of SF; if it’s along your way home it’s just as efficient as any other bus in the city. Just get a Muni pass and avoid dressing in North Face vests and standing on the sides of the car to establish that this famous attraction is in fact your way around rather than a tourist trap you’ve been lured onto. Get creative.

YerbaBuenaG

The week starts off pretty lonely. It’s relaxing now after doing so much in the past weekend! Yet a familiar face is always a welcoming comfort. Like, my sister. Or my parents. Some family time right about now would be great– partially it’s my fault when I never want to go back to the East Bay on weekends. Sometimes when you’re alone, you should sight-see. It’s the easiest way to entertain yourself without spending any money and to lose yourself in the mass of strangers around you. Like when you go to the Yerba Buena Gardens after work. The sun shines gloriously high above the clear sky and skyscrapers cluttered to the northwest of the vast paved landscape before still waters that flow over the edge. For having known this place for so long, it is my favorite lookout spot in San Francisco. When you walk across the checkered-like floor and sit on the benches looking out to the garden below and up to the graces of the buildings above, it’s like you’re right dab in the middle of a focal point almost as great as Times Square or the Arc de Triomphe. The summit of a mountain except you’re not at the top. This is calmer. Much quieter. I prefer it that way, even with the collective of seagulls bathing intensely in the waters and disturbing its peace– wings flapping, bills biting and digging through ruffled white feathers as they too have every right to feel the freshness of a new start, even if in just appearances. Not the most admirable birds, certainly not perfect–  but here in this city because they’re adventurous souls living where they want and continually pushing those boundaries to make it all work.

Adventures aren’t always about destinations. It’s the memories, the feeling you try to get when you take yourself away to a particular place. Yerba Buena, like countless other locations across the Bay Area– has been the place I’ve always wanted to make work– not just for me, but me and another (insert friends or guy name here). My first real kiss happened here in 2009, and a few years after that I took a stroll through these fountains with an old friend before weird things like school and mutual friends split us apart. It was the scene of the crime for the last San Francisco monument I took my ex to before he returned to England. At this point I should start realizing that perhaps I should stop with this place in hopes that I find a better destination to have happy ending of sorts. I mean, happy endings can happen anywhere, you can’t necessarily choose where they’ll be. But missteps in your life– especially relationships– shouldn’t hinder you from giving it a shot. Yerba Buena’s views have their sentiments in me, and not the random faces I might bring to it. As hard as I try, these gardens will always be a part of me. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to start all over with new guys here. Every time.

If you do creativity in the right way, sight seeing here starts with taking a seat on a bench and popping in headphones to play the piano track “Photograph” from the 2013 film Her. It’s a soothing match of calm to contrast the skyline and bustle around you in the park. And then, sit awhile and try to look at each skyscraper together and all at once– try keeping the vision focus on all without blurring the other. Hard? Keeping trying– keep yourself in this mode and think about how far you’ve come and how frustrating it is to to just try and fixate on everything. You may or may not turn to see if anyone else is thinking in this same fashion, too. I did. Except now there is no one else. Just me. And only I’ve noticed these things and only I can appreciate such splendor alone and this memory will last to be perhaps the greatest adventure I’m still living.

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