Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Indulgent San Francisco

 
"Is that what I think it is?" I asked, stopping dead in my tracks on Fisherman's Wharf after feeling something plop from the sky and onto my shoulder.

Sean glanced down, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips.

"Yup, a bird just pooped on you."

"Fabulous."

Yesterday, I spent a small fortune and many hours washing clothes that had not been clean in months; jungle, ocean spray, sweat, and memories clung to the fabric and it took more than one spin cycle to wash Southeast Asia off of our measly wardrobes. But some things cannot be washed off.

"Whatever," I decided, and kept walking.


Like memories and experiences and new attitudes.

And appreciation for the things America does right, like bathrooms, cheese, and cleanliness.

So we strutted down the wharf, me with a newly decorated tee shirt covered in seagull crap, looking for that just right spot to sit down and sink our teeth into high cholesterol, high sodium, high fat, heavenly good old American grub. And we had assembled quite an assortment, if I did say so myself; in one hand I held a venti mocha and lemon pound cake and in the other balanced a plate with a bread bowl brimming over with beef chili slathered in cheddar cheese and chives.

I salivated every time I looked down at it. I hadn't had something so utterly unhealthy or delicious in months.

We settled on a bench above the board walk and sat in complete silence for twenty minutes, each having a love affair with our lunches. It was mutual so it was completely acceptable.


In fact, we had both jumped out of bed at noon (that's jet lag for you) the moment we heard the garbage truck tip over the dumpster outside our hotel and hastily threw on our freshly washed clothes with one thing on the mind: meat and cheese and bread NOW!


 Sated, I slumped back on the bench completely boneless titling my face to soak up the warm, golden sunshine. My shoulder muscles slowly loosened and I let it all go. There were no more planes, trains, buses, ferries, or tuk-tuks in our immediate future.

We made it.

We were home, finally.

Home.

We had many conversations trying to figure out what that word meant while curled up together in strange beds, wading in the ocean, sunbathing on beaches, wandering through jungles, and passing long hours on trains and buses.

Was it a country?

Was it a town?

Was it a building?



I grew up in the same house for 17 years. Then, within a five year period, I moved six times. I made great friends. I mean the kinds of friends who inspire you to keep pushing, keep going, until you're living your dream. They were homes scattered all around the world: New Zealand, Dominican Republic, France, South Korea, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Honolulu.

Home, at the moment, was a tiny hamlet on the Strait of Juan de Fuca: Port Townsend.

Port Townsend.

Slumped on the bench, we were vagabonds without a home. Port Townsend was not home. Washington State was not home. The United States was not home.

We'd known for a while.

With itchy feet, we set out to explore the world and try and find that elusive idea of home. The truth is we still have not found it but we're excited to keep looking, and in the meantime we will take full advantage of the sweet indulgence of the United States.


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