Dear San Francisco,
Yesterday I had one of those epiphanic moments, like in movies, when the protagonist’s life floats past his eyes and he realizes he’s been in love with his best friend all along. Everything he’s ever wanted has been right in front of him the whole time. You know, Hollywood bullshit like that.
I love you, San Francisco. But the timing is all wrong. We’re so different… at such different places in our lives. After almost two years trying to make it work, I think we should take a break.
Oh, let’s not kid ourselves. This is it. The end. Sure, we may see each other again, in casual passing, but it’s a safe bet we’ll never again be together in that special way. We’ve got to stop lying to ourselves. It’s not fair to either of us.
Of course there were good times. It felt good to be together. Comfortable. Without another friend in the world, there were moments—flashes—when I wanted nothing but you. Listening to music, riding the N Judah to the wind and waves of Ocean Beach. The sunny grime of a bench on the Panhandle. Wide-eyed tourists, stinking of chocolate ice cream, at Aquatic Park. Coffee and a book on Union Square. Coffee and a computer at Caffé Trieste. Coffee and a book at Bean There, Coffee to the People, Duboce Park. I’ll even look back fondly on the nauseating Golden Eagle. Everything about you was exciting. I always got a thrill writing my return address. “San Francisco, CA.” Yes, that San Francisco.
Remember the time we got wasted and watched It’s A Wonderful Life? The next day, you puked for 12 straight hours. You hadn’t seemed that drunk to me, but that might be because I was drunk.
You gave me the best live music I’ve ever seen. New Pornographers at The Warfield. The Submarines at The Independent, Slim’s, and Café du Nord. Architecture in Helsinki at Bimbo’s. The Comedians of Comedy at The Independent. Tilly and the Wall and The Pipettes at the Rickshaw Stop.
And then there’s your sweet, sweet Muni. Where would I have been without it? Others might complain about its ineffectiveness, but I say, if it only ruins your day one in 10 times, that’s still an A-. And that ain’t too shabby.
You’ve got the best weather. Almost always sunny, and with a breeze. Occasionally a chill that allows for killer accessorizing. I’m sorry I didn’t accessorize more. I just don’t have it in me. You deserve better. You deserve scarves.
That’s just one of many things that I can’t give you. We knew it all along, but we liked to pretend, didn’t we? We teased each other with little hints, like drunken text message confessions: ultimately inconsequential, but endearing nonetheless.
Now that I think of it, you seemed to be under the influence fairly often. I’m not trying to be vindictive when I suggest you reevaluate your lifestyle a bit. “Pride” should not be a euphemism for drunken stupidity and public nudity. But for you, everything is a euphemism for that. You’re 173 years old, for crying out loud, but you act like a city half your age!
…I’m sorry. I didn’t want this to turn bitter. I want us to remember the good times. The fun we had together. I’ll never forget 2007, my friend. The summer of love.