Last day depression.
After breakfast I check out and leave my luggage at the hostel for a last walk across the neighborhood. Down Van Ness I stop at Philz Coffee, an institution I am told. I ask for a latte and get an eye roll. The hip young baristas make me a cream coffee with minimal condescension. It’s heaven.
I walk around the Heart of the city Farmer’s market. I wish I could buy fruits and vegetables and another coffee and stay, for god’s sake. The sky is hanging low and grey overhead. Rain is in the forecast.
On the plaza, they are taking down the Christmas tree. It is the end of something. In front of City Hall, a group of Asian tourists take pictures of a married couple posing on the steps of the building. The bride is wearing a white wedding gown, her strawberry blond hair down. The groom’s in a grey suit. They look happy. Harvey Milk lost his life in that building. LGBT history was made here, good and horrifying.
A statue of Abraham Lincoln stares down at me as I listen to Yorktown.
Immigrants, we get the job done.
I start crying. The sky joins me. Evidently, the city is sad to see me go. It’s gonna miss me.
I walk around Hayes Valley one last time, take on the full meaning of gentrification. Trendy shop after trendy shop, bakeries that look like art nouveau tech offices. Everything is select and expensive and white. I am in the US of A for one last hour and I haven’t yet eaten a single pancake. I should change that. But I don’t have time.
I walk back up the hill to the hostel, take my bags and take my last, fully-loaded stroll down O’Farrell. I refrain from ugly crying in BART, which, in my humble opinion, shows incredible courage and strength. My “leaving SF” playlist starts with Børns…
So take me to the paradise it’s in your eyes: green like American money. You taste just right, sweet like Tennessee honey. And we can run away, swimming in the sunlight everyday
… and ends with Bon Iver.
This is not the sound of a new man or a crispy realization. It’s the sound of me unlocking and you lift away. Your love will be safe with me.
SONG CREDITS: Hamilton: An American Musical – Yorktown + Børns – American Money + Bon Iver – re: Stacks