Oakland, California

From way out here

Yesterday the sky was so very blue. It was the sort of day that’s impossible in England, a country where the blue is rare and on the occasion it does appear, it’s now faded somewhat to my eye. But just when I thought the color yesterday could not possibly improve here, that’s when a prolonged evening of dazzling colors crashed into one another and made a glorious mess everywhere. Evenings like this are yellowy-gold-explosion-blankets of color. A great fire-storm of orange and purples and yellows.

I mention the color of the sky because yesterday was the first normal day in a very long time. It was the sort of day where we could sit in a place with strangers and just think about the color of the sky without the looming threat of a virus upon us. Here we are so very lucky, so very privileged, I thought, to enjoy the color of this blue. To chat about future plans. To hug this funny weirdo I just met.

Before the colors exploded in the sky, we headed out across the bridge and over to Bernal to look at an apartment and the moment we stepped inside I knew it would make a beautiful home for us; striking white walls, enormous windows all over the place, and out there the whole time was that striking blue sky. It felt so very normal, so very obvious to me that we might live in a place like this.

As the realtor asked us questions I zoned out for a bit, thinking about what fun we’d have in this long hallway, what fun we’d have in the living room giggling about tomato frogs or baked beans. I thought about us here in this room; Celine playing a puzzle game in bed whilst I read a book or perhaps I’d still be ranting incoherently about how awful the ending of Castlevania was. “Oh this vampire dude was...Death? And Dracula’s charming wife was totally okay about her husband becoming a genocidal maniac? All is forgiven? Extremely cool!” I’d shout in an extremely un-cool way whilst Celine click-clacks houses and rivers and foxes together, soft piano music drifting along the corridor all the while.

The daydream stopped though when I entered one of the rooms. It was a special room. “Now here,” I whispered menacingly and looking out the window, "here I could write something beautiful.” Buckets of coffee and diet coke would be drunk at this desk and ten million blog posts would be typed out in a complete random fashion. Oh the furious blogging I could do this in room!

After the daydreams, we went to Roxie’s in the Inner Sunset for some British chocolates. I picked up Marmite and crouched for a picture with some baked beans as if I were praying to them.

We traveled back across the bridge to a beer garden in Berkeley. A BART line was suspended above—god how I’ve missed the sound of trains—and one of them zipped over us and rattled across the beer garden, making a lovely racket as it did. It all felt more like Berlin or Amsterdam than it did the Bay Area. And this trip into Berkeley had me thinking...perhaps I’d ignored it until now as a possibility; Berkeley has always been a place annoyingly far away, perhaps always a little too sleepy for my liking. But now I could see myself biking up and down these streets from one cafe to the next. I could see us renting a place on a quiet corner somewhere.

As we drove back home I spotted San Francisco on the horizon, across the water, and it showed me something new. From this distance SF looks like a towering utopia, a place of pure science fiction. It looked like the place you’d see in establishing shots in Star Trek and now I could see the appeal of why people live here. It’s the perfect distance to enjoy San Francisco because you can sit back and admire the city without having to live with all the limitations and foibles and structural terribleness of the real thing.

From way out here you could dream of San Francisco and dream it into something else, something better.

Reply via email Random post