Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Commute

I moved to LA to escape a commute. Traffic in the Bay Area has gotten very congested over the past ten years. For the past year, I drove each day from Berkeley to San Mateo and back again, an hour each way.

I would get onto 80 at the Ashby exit and there the Bay would be, San Francisco glorious and Emerald City-like in the distance, and I'd get on 880 South past the warehouses of West Oakland, the modest buildings of downtown, the Fruitvale district of burritos and barrio and cheap photo studios with your choice of pillars or balloons in the background, then past the Hegenberger exit that I used to get off to visit Laura and Kevin who moved to Denver, and I listen to NPR until I cross over lanes to get in line for the San Mateo bridge.

Then I forget the smell of gas, the unnatural splay of my feet, my empty coffee thermos, as I drive that nine-kilometer bridge over water so wide and blue with an airplane just lifting off the runaway and creating an arc that defines the sky as separate from water. My cellphone coverage drops and then I just drive, radio off, from one side of the Bay to other, the car roaring before crossing over into Foster City, then the Delaware Street exit, yet another dreary strip mall, and then my office tucked into a cul-de-sac next to the 101.

The rubber plant was still alive after all those years, but finally I just left it on the sidewalk.

I left it all. I left that shaky ground held together by bridges. I left the misty redwood forests dotted with wireless connections. I left just like I did when I needed the rice terraces again, or the music of Africa. I left in case there was black magic there. I left because I was sick of everyone going to bed early and wearing hiking clothes. I left because I was bored and because love always ends.


Blogger telfair said...

Wherever you are, I'm so glad to see you back here, in the blogsphere...you have truly been missed.

6:51 PM  
Blogger joyfish said...

hey telfair,

great to hear from you. glad to be back too. now that i'm settling in venice, i need to go back and catch up on sixtenpine.

3:15 AM  

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