San Francisco, Golden City, Enshrouded in her own mist. She beckons me, Mistress. I left part of myself there the first and every time. How mysterious that I should be lost in her:
Muni and Bart, siblings on wheels and children of hills, bow down to the Patriarch Trolley Car. The bus came by and I got on, spinning down to The Haight where it all began, where the air is spiked with history and hash, reeking of Lunacy and sound. Amoeba Records, that towering inferno, four walls bleeding music, appropriate on that street. The 24-hour bus, my bus, writhes and rolls down Divisadero where I eat alone, filling my face with lentils. I see families walking and I say, "Come with me to The Castro, where heathens dance wrapped in their rainbow flags. Where children sit on the steps of Hizzoner’s train station, drinking vodka from soda bottles, praying that the fog will lift. Where Leather Daddies and Mama’s Girls cross against the light with people like you." The owl bus, at 2:37 AM, rumbles down Mission Street, casting its yellow glow on Drunk Mexicans crying into bowls of menudo and plastic cups of horchata. Take me home, I tell the bus, to Bernal Hill, to the site of my Sight. To my neighbors, one in gold and the other in drag, and to their cat, mink-black and toothless. To my job that I had in a store filled with dykes buying pens and Post-Its. To the lazy-eyed Arab offering hummus that makes my tummy squeal with delight. To the Tweakers with their murderous dog who killed my mink-black pal. To spark-and-blaze nights on Bonview Street, my friends and I flying high, Baseball Tonight backdrop to our laughter. San Francisco, sensual Queen, the sky sheds its skin to cover you, but you resist. Your blue face an indelible memory at the center of the world. You wrap me up in your soft white arms, "come here, little one" you croon, your salty tongue lapping at my wheels, drawing me in, calling me home.
Jessica E. Lapidus is a writer originally from NYC.