Matt Santos. Fifty heart-eyes emojis. Matthew Vincente fucking Santos, fictional President of the United States. Texas-native Latino Democrat with the beautiful wife and the perfect children. Modeled after the then promising Senator Obama. Man of my dreams, intergenerational hottie, fucking Jimmy Smits bro.
It’s his fault if I can’t lift my ass from the comfy chair in the hostel and my eyes from Netflix. His fault and the weather’s, too. This is day two of my cold and I feel like reheated shit.
In early 2018, the West Wing reads as science fiction where everything that happens is somehow smarter and less dramatic than what actually happened in the real-life presidential campaign of 2016. Except maybe Leo dying.
Anyway, the hostel leather chair is comfy and Matt is about to be elected President and I can’t move.
Outside the sky is grey and the streets cold and uninviting. I need to go out to Mission one last time, I have a ticket for one last cable car ride… Goddamn you, Netflix. Across from me, a young dude is watching the exact same episode as I am. Ubiquitous Matt Santos.
I finally extract myself from the couch, put on my sparkly dress and running shoes because what is style? It is my last full day in San Francisco. My heart resembles the maudlin skies.
O’Farrell, BART, 16th street, Valencia. My head is a fishbowl, sound and movement make it to my brain distorted and slow. I should probably be in bed. Cute little shops, pirate merch, enamel pins and self-published zines. Books. Grey skies and good coffee at Ritual. My feet hurt.
I stop at Dolores Park. Damn, the view. I wish I could spend a sunny day of summer here. A group of teenagers are getting goodheartedly scolded by a cop for daydrinking out here in the open. Bunch of rebellious cuties.
I buy a pretzel and cookies at Bi-Rite and walk all of Valencia down to Market, then Market, passing Van Ness and Civic Center, all the way to Powell, with the setting sun and Beyoncé in my ears as the background to my power walk.
At Powell, I queue a surprisingly short time for a cable car ride to Hyde St Pier. This time I’m standing on the railing on the left side. At a stop, there’s a Belgian restaurant on a corner, well-lit and imposing. Life is so random.
At the Wharf, I buy a few souvenirs for my loved ones and in-laws and such and so and eat a crepe. Damn it’s cold. I don’t linger.
A totally empty old-school tram takes me to Embarcadero. I walk all the way back to the hostel, taking in the streets by night one last time.
I pack my bag with Netflix. Matt Santos is the cure for my I’m-leaving-soon-and-everyting-sucks depression. If I squeeze one more thing into this luggage it will explode.
Anyway. This is my last night in a hostel bed.
SONG CREDITS: Hold up – Beyoncé – Lemonade