As I Take My Time and Realign

When we left our SF apartment, it was empty. But even with just the white walls and wood floors, it still felt like home.

As we drove across the Bay Bridge, Mr. WholeHog asked me what my favorite memories were of our Castro apartment, and I thought about the day we moved in.

I’d felt almost embarrassed because our apartment seemed too nice for a couple’s first place together. Weren’t we supposed to be crammed into a basement apartment with no windows? Instead, we had a flat with tall, coved ceilings, wainscoating lined halls, a pantry off the kitchen, and a sweet little deck with a view of downtown San Francisco. (Of course, we didn’t know then that the place would also come with so much drama. We didn’t know that we’d be woken up by violent arguments above us, or amorous efforts below us.)

collingwood-hall

Thinking about when we moved into the Castro together made me feel a little badly for our new East Bay home. It has its charms, of course, but moving in, I didn’t feel any of the anticipation or excitement I felt three years ago. This time, I mostly just felt sad about all we were leaving behind.

_________

It’s too early to say much about this move. I try not to say much about it at all. I still feel deeply in transition and transitions are difficult for me, as they are for most of us, I suppose.

I’m a creature of habit and in the East Bay, I have no habits. I don’t know the streets or the neighborhoods. I don’t have any favorite places. None of the things that in San Francisco gave me a sense of having a life or a sense of permanence.

mcauley-side

I asked my cousin how she adapted to life outside the City, and she said she focused on waking up and hearing birds rather than hearing MUNI. When I wake up in the East Bay, I hear almost nothing. And this feels like an appropriate metaphor for how it feels so far to live outside San Francisco: it’s a big blank right now.

_________

Moving across the Bay has forced me to be a little more present in my daily life, if you’ll forgive the New Age-y sentiment. I could practically sleep walk from our Castro apartment to MUNI, but now I have to pay attention when I leave the house. Even at home, I’m not on autopilot. I have to think about where we put things when we unpacked or if that box ever got unpacked at all.

_________

On my commute into the City on BART, some of the riders sleep, but I stare out the windows. The views are still unfamiliar to me. I’m sure it will bore me eventually but right now, it makes me happy to see the graffiti on the side of a building that said “IRA GLASS!”.

_________

In the weeks before we moved, Mr. WholeHog often mentioned living in the Inner Sunset again. Finally, I said, “If you really think we are going to prefer living in the Inner Sunset, why are we moving across the Bay?”

“Because it’s an adventure,” he said.

I try to keep that in mind.

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One Response to “As I Take My Time and Realign”

  1. sarah Says:

    It looks great and you’ll find all kinds of things you like. Even if you don’t end up staying there i’m sure it will be worth the experience. I’m googling Ira Glass right now. I find it hilarious that in the other town (blotter) people are spraypainting “meat.” In the bay area people are spraypainting “Ira Glass.” That says something in itself.

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