DRIFTS

Sunday; B leaves tomorrow for Santa Cruz. He will probably live in a hotel; I will stay in Piedmont until December. Then, in December, everything will change. “Change is all the same” — heard yesterday at the 76 Station in Oakland. Somehow, the boxes I packed a month ago, boxes I thought contained the very essentials, now seem heavy with useless, filthy things, as if during the drive west, probably somewhere in Ohio, everything in them died. The things that would be of use to me in Piedmont–a zester? a microplane?– all would have survived had I had them to pack them in Providence. It’s sort of a problem of time travel? I don’t know.

On Friday, we walked with A through a neighborhood of warehouses toward the port, seeing fewer and fewer trees until we saw no trees, just piles of different shapes of scraps, and wooden poles in groupings of three, the poles swaying slightly in an otherwise undetectable breeze. The ground, the sidewalk where we walked, was gritty with trash decaying into smaller pieces of itself, which the wind was assembling into drifts that were taking on qualities associated with beauty, like order I guess. Also, the semis passing us revealed movement that was probably always in the still, shocked air, the way waves…the tide…that’s what the space before the port was like, a beach where waves bring only trash to the shore. It’s the ocean of us, the ocean of the city; we’re living on the bottom, eating from packages that wash up on the side of the road leading to the ocean.

Yesterday we went to the beach by Crissy Field. We watched sailboats, saw Alcatraz and the Presidio. Not able to read the waves, we made up names for the different sails and reasons for using each. Someone said that the best job would be to be ballast; full of sandwiches, we all agreed. On the surface of the water, which pelicans sometimes glided down from the air to see, was a resemblance that is life. I guess that’s overall what keeps me from being able to fully enter San Francisco–the city seems like a resemblance of itself, and any movement I make there is a movement in a mirror I’m no longer standing in front of. I don’t know where I really am when I’m there. But that feeling is nice on a Saturday afternoon at the beach.