San Francisco. So many layers of memory, scenes and places, street names, scents, sensations. After two years since my last visit and seven since I uprooted from you, I came back in, driving a Lexus right into the heart of the Mission, leaving the car with friends in front of Good Vibrations, side stepping into Clarion Alley where I drifted and gazed at the murals new and faded. Such contrasts in this city. No wonder I wrote a whole novel about you, celebrating your enigmas, juxtapositions and boundless love … I pass the Lexington Club and remember.
There’s 826 Valencia, Paxton Gate. Elbo Room after work at Global Exchange, Sunflower Vietnamese Cuisine…Kilowatt-Shakespeare burlesque. zen friends at Forest Books. All those mornings sitting zazen on the street in front of the federal building, then tea and sweetness. Adobe Bookshop-when all your books were arranged by color. I hop the 22 Muni to Lower Haight… late night stops at the corner health food store. Love n’ Haight, Noc Noc. 410 Haight Street-medical mayhem mixing with all the mayhem of the streets, Underground SF beats vibrating into the Victorian decor after 2 am. San Francisco Zen Center-oh, not since teen goth phase had I worn so much black and silence.
Now, a rainbow of colors every day of the week including underwear except white on Sunday and hyper-stimulation in ornamental Atlantean sacred spaces, so different from your Japanese minimalism and vague dokusan answers about past lives, though I am still counting breaths and pulsing with the heart of now, with the present moment, which one after another brought me back into you, my wild divine golden dream of a city.