I don’t really remember how I got home. Technically speaking, I took 101 through Ukiah, then Marin County, a crawl through the stoplights of oceanside San Francisco, and then south on Interstate 280 to San Jose. Metaphorically speaking, I surfed the skyline and the hours vanished.
I remember only two clear images. The first was pure icon: the Golden Gate bridge as I hopped on its back, an evening delivery of fog layering through the orange stanchions. In the other, I am sledding down the San Mateo hills and look left to vast fields of lights necklacing the Bay. And now I stare into the evergreen face of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and then I look at one spot in the sky as if I am expecting it (the moon not yet risen, a blackboard waiting for equations). A meteorite runs a time exposure streak across my vision, chalk dust over the blue-black ceiling, homing in on Crystal Springs Reservoir.
And you know how they talk of shooting stars. When you see one, you must wish immediately and only once, before the grain of the streak vanishes from your corneas, else you will not get your wish. And why? The superstition is not there just so you can get your wish; it’s there so you will know what it is that you really want. My wish is clear – and now, I have to get home.
Photo by MJV