The quick walk before the storm, through the last wilds of Lafayette, felt like antwalk surfing the exhalation before the raindrops made their presence felt-- before their unified bodies could be heard clapping against the trees and pavement. Heart rate up, breathing the wet green air. An upturned oak stops me in my tracks, it's skin glossy like rusted copper, laying in a muddy stream.
Odd greetings with strangers, or usually not-- headphones and downturned eyes bumble down the trail and up and away from the hillock facing me next. Putting these walking shoes to the test, breathing through my nose in rhythm with my steps.
And now, after a film and brisk walk through town to the station, I am homeward bound.
Back to the City, back to my car in the lot I know. Back to the streets and the parks, the Eucalyptus and the Cypress, the ocean and shushing sand below the dunes. Back to the tiny, cluttered room, to my plant and creaky broken-down bed. The dust-coughing, discolored carpet and the boxes and clothes.
Back to work tomorrow and the pointed questions awaiting me there. Back to the static, to the damp predictable. Back I go to this place I dream of leaving just as soon as I finish just one more thing.
Yes, since you asked me, I do understand: you have your life over there and, sometimes, you don't want to share it.
There are steaks and bowls and private conversations before bed. There is alone time and being away time. A time for walking or driving away. A time to go inside after you've said your goodbyes. To hear the weather and see a girl through your hilltop bedroom window.
And now, it's the train, riding under Market Street, to the station that's called "Civic", then the car in the empty lot.
These things are different, and yet go back toward the familiar.