Hostel change day. It seemed like a good idea at the time, to book one hostel in North Beach and a different one downtown, especially as the latter is more convenient to the south-western neighbourhoods. But I was very comfortable at the Green Tortoise, in my wooden bunk. My body wailed at the change, demanding both first and second lunch, and then later it raced to a burrito place like it was the last bastion of humanity in a zombie apocalypse. The booklet the Krishna people in Berkeley gave me claims that “we are not these bodies”, but I see no evidence of this. Right now I don’t have a body so much as my body is having me. And getting it to do the work I needed to do today was like herding cats. “Come on now, what’s the next point to make?” I coaxed in my best first-grade-teacher voice, My inner brat narrowed its eyes at me: “Ok maybe. But I’m keeping Twitter open.” So maybe there’s actually three of us in here: me, my body and the brat. I am hopelessly outnumbered. “They evolved. They rebelled. And they have a plan.” … I really hope so. All I know for sure is that they want us to be alone. I had company on my walk up to Grace Cathedral at the top of Nob Hill tonight, and the brat really didn’t like that one bit. It seems I am no longer in charge of the operation.
So, a window seat in Starbucks, next to an electrical outlet, with a massive iced coffee through a straw. Why people give Starbucks such a hard time I will never understand, as they are a very, very safe pair of hands. This is especially true when I have to get work done, and today the brat was quiet, subdued by a lie-in and leftover burrito, so I finished my writing at mid-afternoon. And I thought, what I want is to go look at the Golden Gate Bridge from underneath.
It turned into a bit of a bridge-gorging day in the end, as the skies were clear and the afternoon free of fog. I went to the Presidio, out to Fort Point where the bridge soars out into the strait over your head. This was where Kim Novak seemingly met her end in Vertigo, a phenomenon I got to experience for myself as I walked out onto the bridge. It’s made from loose segments, this bridge, suspended from the towers, and you can feel them rattle as the traffic races by. It’s an incredible feat of engineering. The fence is only chest-height, aiding in record suicide rates for jumpers, and spinning heads for those who’d like to live. Hanging on to the railing I looked up at the staggeringly tall masts, shining boldly in the colour called International Orange. I leaned against the tower, looking up, out, over and then back up again. This bridge is one of my favourite things in the world.
I hiked out to Baker Beach afterwards, a bit of a trek through the Presidio but worth it as it’s one of the loveliest spots in the city. I made it out there just as the yellow fireball was starting to sink into the ocean, with only a few other people out there, walking their dogs or letting it all flap in the breeze. Bare-assed hippies aside, Baker Beach offers the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge in the city, and that is gospel.