I love you, San Francisco.
Sometimes I hate you, sometimes I’m indifferent, but I always come back to you. It’s not just because I work in the heart of you, in Union Square. It’s not because I spent 20ish years moving around you, from apartment to apartment, trying to figure out your mysteries as I rushed to catch MUNI, so I wouldn’t be late for work. It’s not because I fell in love in the flat at 19th Ave and Judah, that I moved into out of the USF dorms in 1989. I did fall in love in that flat, but he was never your rival, you always came first.
Every time I tried to leave you, out of desperation or heartbreak, I could not stand to think of you. But as soon as I came back to you for a visit, I always moved back to start again, did I not?
I miss you most at night, walking down your streets, or riding the bus towards the bridge onramp. I really think I miss you most when I think of the years I had nothing to do but ride around with the bad-boy true love and see you at your grittiest. It wasn’t always a fun ride, and my heart got broken more than once, but the safety of being in San Francisco always made me bold enough to keep my head up, and keep going.
Now that I live away from you, and have to keep coming to you and leaving, I feel at peace with my decision to keep a separate space for myself. Frankly, my dear, being with you 24/7 was making me broke. And it was making me pretty batty and anxious. I didn’t like the way you were changing, you were letting outsiders influence you, and it was affecting the sanctity of our bond.
I know your argument, that I should consider coming back, that I’m the last in the family to be here, the others have all died or moved away. We have been San Fransiscans since the late 1800s, how could I do this to you? But you had changed so much, you aren’t the City I fell for as a child, and, frankly, one more artisan coffee shop, and I will puke. But I can love you on a daily basis now.
I enjoy your charms from across the bay, and my love for you has only grown. Sure, there are places and people we will never see or talk to again, but we remember them as if they were here only just last week.
That’s part of the charm you hold, your ever-changing people and trends. You’ve been morphing ever since the Gold Rush, and you may have completely changed, but I can still see the true you under all your modernity and new-highrise- building shine.
And that’s why, San Francisco, I will always consider you to be my messy but gold leafed, always foggy at the right moment, Valentine. I think at this point in my life, you need not fear, your history is within my blood, and our future will be fine.
But the traffic you let hang around! You’d think you never wanted me to leave you. As long as I can, I’ll be here for you. Who else will always love you, what have I to lose? I know you’ll always be there too, I know I will always get on that bridge and be coming back to you.
Love doesn’t begin to explain it.
See ya soon…
XX Faithfully Yours OO
Roar of the Four