me and january 25. 2018 – san francisco part four

monday. july 25.

it’s 3:30pm in san francisco. i feel like a time-traveler.

it’s 5:30pm in san francisco. i’m able to get the first flight back to houston tomorrow morning.

it’s 6:30pm in san francisco. i was told to enjoy the city while i’m here. tonight i eat some vegan meatballs at a deli. i walk around until my legs hurt, up and down the hill-streets. i think about walking to the bridge. just to see it. but that’s a bad idea. i made you a promise – a promise i don’t know if i’ll keep if i wander up that way.

it’s 7:30pm in san francisco. you text me to ask if i’m still with you. i’m still with you. you tell me you love me. i tell you that i love you too.

8:30pm – “are you still with me?”

i’m still with you.

9:30pm – “are you still with me?”

i’m still with you.

and each hour afterward, to make sure that i’m safe. until i sleep.

tuesday. july 26.

6:00am – “are you still with me?”

i’m still with you.

i’ve showered. it took me two or three minutes to pack my bag. i leave housekeeping ten dollars, even though you could barely tell that anybody had stayed in this room. i go to the front desk and i tell the manager that there’s been an emergency – i have to cut my vacation short and go home. his cabinet of fucks to give is completely empty and he tells me that there are no refunds. i’ll be charged for tuesday night also. i don’t bother arguing, because he has no idea how lucky he just got. if he thinks that me leaving a day early is any kind of an inconvenience, it’s nothing compared to the inconvenience that would have hit him tomorrow if i stayed.

i don’t even care. i smoke four cigarettes while i stand on the street corner and wait for my uber to arrive.

he pulls up, and i crawl into the back seat. when he starts asking me questions i slip easily back into my lie. i tell him i came to san francisco for a short trip – just to get away for a couple of days. and he is telling me about his life, how he worked in the oil industry and when that started going south, he and his wife moved to san francisco. he’s been driving for uber for four or five months. he loves this city.

the more he shares with me, the worse i feel. i wish he would stop talking. i wish he would stop sharing this with me. and i wish i could be honest with him. i wish i could be honest with anybody. i’m staring out the window, and it’s now that i realize what i’m doing. i’m leaving. it’s happening. the comfort i’ve worn for the past two days is evaporating quickly and i’m headed back into the strewn guts of a life that i don’t know if i can handle. i never expected to see houston again. i’ve said my goodbyes to that city and to my friends and i came to california with an unusual amount of confidence in my decision.

right now, i shouldn’t be in this car. i shouldn’t be on my way to the airport. this is all wrong. i should be sitting in my hotel bed. i should be writing the letters that i had planned on writing. four of them. for certain people. i should be writing those letters and folding them twice and putting them in their own individual envelopes so that the police will know which person is supposed to get which letter. i should be planning my practice walk across the bridge. i should be staring at my spot – the spot i decided on after researching the most popular jumping point. the spot where i have the best chance of a hard splash and a fairly quick death – and if i’m lucky, a quiet and undisturbed burial at sea – and a smaller chance of just breaking enough bones where i am halfway paralyzed but still able to flop around in an awkward panic-dance while i cry and wait to get dragged onto a rescue boat by the U.S. Coast Guard.

my idea. my plan. all of my security and good intentions. i’m leaving all of this behind in a hotel room.

i come so close – close enough that i lean forward and clutch the front passenger seat. i want to tell him to forget the airport. i want to tell him to please turn the fuck around and take me to the golden gate bridge. this won’t be the detailed plan that i’ve put so much thought into – but that doesn’t matter any more. i want to tell him that i tried to keep my promise to you – my promise that i would call you if things got worse out here, and my promise that i would come home – but that unfortunately i cannot keep that promise. i want to tell him that i will give him two hundred dollars if he drops me half a mile from the bridge, drives away, and forgets that he ever saw me.

for a moment, i’m so close.

in my head, this is fucking possible.

in my head, i’m staring over the side of the bridge and i’m preparing to jump. i know at some point i’m being watched. i won’t know how to not look suspicious. maybe calls will start being made. maybe a nosy pedestrian will start following me. maybe they’ll grab me. maybe they’ll be too late. and maybe the last thing i will do in this life is give some poor good samaritan nightmares for the rest of their life.

and as quickly as it comes, my moment passes. i let go of the front seat and i sink back. i close my eyes, and all of life is unfortunately real again.

i give up. and i’m coming home.

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~ by alltheavenueslookugly on 2018/01/25.

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