I was crossing the Embarcadero, a cup of coffee in hand. Slowly, painfully, but surely, I have begun to settle in my little routine on the northeast tip of the land mass that is called the city of San Francisco.
Opposite to the promise of California Sunshine, it has mostly been rainy and cloudy the past 3 weeks. Sometime it poured. It felt darker and rainier for me. I was very alone, espeically when the crowd are smaller and more scattered. One feels more alone.
There are some light mist in the air, and some hint of Sunshine that is behind the cloud in the East. So it felt like dusk rather than early morning. At a moment, I was lost at the time and place that I was in, as if I was in a movie or a comick book. It was timeless and nameless and no background, I was simply here.
I saw the water through the opening of the Pier buildings. The water is full, violently and blueishly gray. The water is full of meaning and intentions. I felt slightly better in seeing them so alive. I long for energy, anything moving, hearty laughters, confidence of any sort, dogs that trot and look at you innocently.
There are much fewer dogs here than in New York.
F train finally arrived. A train for tourists but a few of us working people take it to the silent offices near Fisherman's Wharf. When I got on, the driver greeted me with a smile.
I have been the most fasionable thing on this train and I know it. It is crowded and I was trying to hold on to some rails. A Hispanic labor worker stood up and gave me his seat. I said thank you and took it. He seemed shy and painfully unease when I kept on looking at him after I sat down and when he later sat down again across me. The other day another professional looking banker tried to give me his seat as well.
Kindness and knighthood do exist. But they come only when you do not expect them. We all rely on stangers' kindness. The whole of Tennessee William's work is inspired by that reckoning as he floated from city to city, probably people to people.
Maybe I should have moved after the holidays, if at all. I wish I was with friends and New York. I missed the Holiday party, the session where the account we worked on all get free customized Jeans, and for a while here, I lost the feeling of control and ease that I have had for a while. And I did not expected the feeling and the state of loneliness, in this City of Sun and Hope.
Only it is Christmas. People light up trees and keep the picture of happiness intact. We all live with perceptions, some will prove true, some will prove false.
But I remember the smiles of my shoe shinners, my bus drivers, my doorman, the smiles of my cashiers in Safeway, the fake smiles of my nail polishers, but they are always fake, the smiles of my co-workers(fake and true), the hearty smiles of my friends who just came back from China and the sign of LOL from those travelling in Orlando--the young kind.
I remember the beautiful views from my window that framed the outlines of Baybridges and Embacadero centers, lighted up like an amusement park; my whitewashed kitchen that began to take on some purpose of producing home cookings, my books that reminded me of the moments when I first met them, many past that took me here.
It is a new start and it will just take me a little while to settle in, to re-adjust expectations and re-oreint the reality that yes I am here and now, and it is a city of blue oceans and street cars. It holds many secrets that can be discoverred and it will be intimate with me some day.
"Pier 39" The F train driver announced cheerfully. I got off, so was the Hispanic labor worker. He walked toward the pier. Maybe he is a busboy in one of the restaurants. A long day's of work, silence and wondering is await for him. A long day's of work, silence and wondering is await for me.
Our stroies are similar. They all are.
May life reward those who are brave and strong and gentle, and hold on when the ride is tough.
May all of you have a great holiday and New Year.
May the Sun come out soon and the Ocean takes on a bright and hopeful blue. May I see those colors and recongize them and name them.
May we laugh from our hearts, because it is always better to laugh trully and believe than to stand still paralysed by fear and doubt.
May we believe in love and find love.
May I fell in love with this now home city of mine and you stay in love with yours.
May we speak what we feel well and loud.
May we stay close and true with those who truly care for us and we care for.
May I remember the time difference bewteen here and that of Beijing, 16 hours, to home.