San Francisco, California

Old Place, New Place, Reef

You know those documentaries where you see a tiny octopus on a reef and they’re getting completely annihilated by the crushing waves above and all around? They’ll clutch onto that tiny rock with all their tiny might and won’t ever let go, no matter how much their world rocks from side to side.

Well, that’s how it felt in San Francisco today as the trees crashed into one another and whipped the air up into a frenzy. And the sound! It felt as if the bay had rushed in from both sides of the peninsula—crept towards me in the night—and then bang! This morning a roaring green surf woke up, leaves lapping at the window, pummeling my apartment.

Well, my old apartment.

Now I’m writing this from the top of the park near my old place and I’m watching all these leaves slap together senselessly. Tomorrow I get the keys to my—our—new place and it's just on the other side of this park in the opposite direction over there. And so although I might currently feel like a tiny octupus on a reef as I huddle on this bench and type into my phone whilst the gods throw every gale my way, I’m still smiling.

In the past I’ve only had temporary homes—places where I feel like I’m pitching my tent for a few months or years at a time. My old place feels like that; a temporary shelter from the ravages of the pandemic. It’s a cute place, but I knew I wouldn’t live there long.

But this new place, just over there? I think it's going to be my first home. Our first home, I should say. I just hope it survives the night in these gales. Be gone, wind! Let me cling to my tiny reef in peace.

Our reef. Dammit.

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