Saturday, June 15, 2013

leaving the familiar

i wrote this post in the last week of may while i was in san francisco.  i decided to keep it in present tense since that is how it sounds best to me.  what do i know.  a lot!  i have since returned home after the Ride and i have to say that i had an amazing week--much better than any "traditional" vacation by a mile.  enjoy...

i am visiting san francisco for the first time in two years--and it is my first time in the city since i decided, last october, that i would not be moving here.  i came up here in preparation for the aids lifecycle, and when i participate in this event i like to be here a few days beforehand so that i can enjoy the city a bit.  i am staying at a friend's apartment in soma, which turns out to be just the right mix of glamour and grit.  actually, there is not much glamour, but i'm telling the story, so how are you going to know what the truth is?

soma is actually very similar to central hollywood, in that every street varies in affluence and amenities.  i discover that within walking distance of the apartment there is a whole foods and a trader joes, as well as the powerhouse bar.  not bad.  i am also offered a deal on marijuana on the street five minutes into my walk.  how is that for convenience?  naturally, i refuse, since i am not about to circumvent the union workers just to save a few bucks.

i am taking in san francisco somewhat differently this time.  previously, i would experience the city with the wonder of someone who needed fuel for the fantasy of moving.  look at the great buildings!  taste the great coffee!  look at the clean air and all the bicycles!  look at the men with beards!  now, in contrast, i am fueling a different fantasy--this being that i made the right decision to stay in los angeles and not relocate.  i don't really need fuel for this fantasy, since i am certain that i made the right choice for my career and my life at this time. but as humans are wont to do, i still look for evidence that supports my decisions and makes me secure in my thinking.  does that mean that you are now going to hear me trash san francisco after enduring years of the opposite within this very blog?  does that mean that you are going to question your own sanity as i rip the city from limb to limb, ranting on not only the expense of living here, but the entitlement of the citizens, and the complete lack of smooth faces?  is that what this has come to?

well, no.  i am NOT going to do that.  there is no reason to.  i still love this city.

i just don't want to live here right now.

well, i would want to live here right now IF i had the money and career to support myself in the city in the way that i am accustomed to living.  but that ain't the case!  i have neither the money nor the career right now to live the way i would want to in the bay area.  i DO have the the wherewithal to continue my usual lifestyle in los angeles, however, and that is no small consideration!  (as i like to say, it is no fun being at the buffet if you can't afford to eat!)

one thing that is very clear to me is that there are no more openings for "homeless person" in the city; in fact san francisco is experiencing a glut in this area.  there may still be opportunities available for "bat-shit crazy druggie", though, but those jobs seems to be filling up fast as well, especially in the evening hours. i do notice a few industrious types combining the two skills quite successfully, so perhaps one must think outside the box in order to win in the san francisco job market.

i also notice that many of the gays here are just too precious--i notice this.  it is odd--they seem way fancy to me.  their masculinity is not "forced" like it is with los angeles gay men, in contrast, it is more fragile, as though one look from me or a "BOO!" would shatter them into a million shards of glass.  there is an entitlement that i sense as well, which is easy to understand, because this city gets on its knees for the gays, and they know it.  but that level of special care can engender a false security--it is the same thing i see in west hollywood.  they walk like they own the streets but have a look in their eyes that suggests otherwise--i see caution when confidence would be the expected response.  to be honest, everyone, not just the gays, appears to be angry or depressed here to an extent, and when i catch their eyes, they seem to be blaming me for this state of mind.  or so it seems.  (or maybe i am just making it up.)  at least in los angeles i am outright ignored, and therefore out of the path of accusation.  i think i prefer the latter!

what would it have been like for me had i moved here?  i can't know, but i can imagine that i would have found new and different challenges to accompany the triumphs.  i like to think of it this way:  i pulled out of san francisco before committing to a relationship with the city.  had i moved here this year, it would have been way too soon, and we would probably have ended up fighting.  this does not mean that i hate it, it means that at this time, we are not a good match.  i remember one time, many years ago, when i did a dating experiment.  i started seeing a guy, and i told him that i didn't want us to have sex for at least a month.  gamely, he agreed to this proposition, and as the month went on and eventually concluded, i came to the realization that i did not want to continue seeing him.  at first i thought that the experiment had failed in that it took away the fuel that would keep the fire burning (sex). but the reality was that i simply discovered, without the gauze of sexual activity, that i was not really into this guy.  it has never failed to astound me how clearly we can think about things when we "bracket" our emotional response to the issue.

san francisco, i will always have a crush on you, but that is certainly not the same as being in love.  i really think that it would be best if we don't sleep together.  don't feel bad--it's not you.  this one is all me.