we arrived late monday afternoon and unpacked the rental car, shedding three days worth of inhabitance and shaking the lint and dust off our jeans. i lost my debit card in the debrief, but i would not know this until later.
i stretched my arms out fully and widened my shoulders. i grabbed my bags, and we walked out into a sunny San Francisco.
"let's take a look in here," my friends said. every shop we stopped in was busy, flush with tourists and natives, off for President's Day.
my knees ached and my calves seized. i sat in a chair as they shopped. i took off my sunglasses and without a prescription, i saw shapes and hair, nothing concrete.
i confused a stranger for a friend and admitted that i'd never felt more in tune with a city's style. every shirt being sold looked like something i'd already owned.
we got in the car and went down the curviest road in the world. the curves reminded me of the parking garage at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a place where i spent a lot of time as a child.
my mom would gun the gas, likely topping out at 30 MPH. but for me this was a roller coaster ride, the best part of the trip.
we'd get happy meals after, and this too allowed me to tune out the negatives of these visits and focus only on simple, childhood rewards.
ten years after my last visit to CHOP, and i miss that garage, that time with my mother.
i woke up yesterday in a strange bed, in a new place.
i walked to the bank and then to coffee and i bought myself a blueberry pancake. and i felt so warm, sitting there, reading a book that i must review by tomorrow.
this is my favorite part of being a nomad: finding a piece of an unknown city that feels like mine, and settling in there, if only for a moment.
san francisco makes me feel like things are possible. that it's another place that i feel home, that i could possibly be one day.
i've felt this way about new york, and paris, and los angeles.
and there is still so much more to see.