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Saturday, October 16, 2010

"The coldest winter I ever spent--"

I was at the bank yesterday. The bank and I are getting real friendly. I heard a voice behind me, "Have you been to San Francisco?" My head whips around, yes, that man is definitely talking to me. It is, of course, the vinyl black & white bag on my shoulder that prompted his observation. So I smile, and affirm his speculation, and he talks. About how he's never been, but he's heard it's lovely, just a wonderful climate, such a wonderful corner of the world.

He talks and I think of what Oscar Wilde said, "It is an odd thing, but every one who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world." He asks me if it's true what he's heard, and I tell him the week in June I spent there was the coldest June of my life, but that the clement year-round weather is the reason it's the homeless capital of the States. It's my turn at the counter now, but before I go he asks why I was there, I tell him I went with my youth group to do homeless ministry.

And then I walk into a pole.

True story.

I wonder if there's any San Francisco in my future. I only spent six days there, but I feel as though I know it on an intimate level, and I miss it. [Have I forgotten . . . ?] Boston, DC, Providence, Williamsburg, I love me some East Coast. No place has charmed me more than New England and my own backyard. But it's possible I left a little of my heart in San Francisco.

I know the kind of people who talk to strangers at the bank about places they've never been. In my cynicism I try not to get excited. But oh it was nice to have a conversation, even if he was only talking to hear his own voice!

4 comments:

Art said...

"But oh it was nice to have a conversation, even if he was only talking to hear his own voice!" makes me smile in agreement. =)

Michael said...

"But it's possible I left a little of my heart in San Francisco." Judging from your nanowrimo novel, I think you did. :)

I enjoyed this story. (Tell it again!)

L.E. Fiore said...

This tugs at my heart, Hayley.

Meagan said...

Funny that you would write about this, because I've been thinking a lot of San Francisco too. Hmm, God-sized coincidence?