It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m here, let alone me. Without thought, driving along Old Mason Street, on a whim that never entered my mind until the last second when I could have turned left at the stop sign heading up the hill along Crissy Field Avenue to the bridge, I instead end up at the Warming Hut Cafe at the very end of the parking lot the road dead-ends into. It’s darker than dark; and black has new meaning. I walk outside blind for a bit past Torpedo Wharf along the San Francisco Bay Trail until my eyes could adjust, eventually leading me to a view of the magnificent bridge, the melodic sounds of The Bay, its crashing waves giving respite to my thoughts.
I’m all alone.
I like being on my own.
Just me, my thoughts, and the sea.
The city lives on one side letting me be.
The Golden Gate on the other, as I think of he.
A friend of mine passed away. I hadn’t seen him in years, Facebook connecting us in ways that would not have happened a decade ago. I couldn’t say we were close anymore, but any time I would visit my hometown in Indiana, if I would see him out at our normal haunts, he would greet me with a smile and a hearty cackle. Inevitably he would figuratively pound his chest that his mighty Miami Hurricanes would always be better than my Notre Dame Fighting Irish. College football season was a magical time for us.
Oh, Golden Gate, you are absolutely magnificent!
The city behind us is brilliantly resplendent.
Ah but yet why do I feel so very, very heavy?
My heart a far cry from merry.
A life cut short way too soon.
Every single moment, every morning, night, and afternoon,
A reminder to tell those we love
From sea-to-sea, the mountain tops above.
Those simple yet powerful words — I love you
Yes I do
(Later, when I get home, I post on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages: “Deep thoughts thinking about family and friends, life and death, birth, rebirth and loss. Our days and nights are not promised to us, each moment a gift to be cherished. Let us love each other, accept each other, look for the good, look for and celebrate what binds us instead of falling prey to what divides us. Yesterday is over. Today is a gift. Tomorrow is not promised. #GoLive #GoLove #AlwaysBeEpic #SanFrancisco #California #BayArea#GoldenGateBridge”)
It’s still dark, as I stand atop the concrete barrier against the log chains separating me from the rocks below. The beach is before me, as are the steady sounds of the powerful surf that many surfers from all over the world crave. If only I could swim. I smile to myself at the thought. A tanker slowly makes its way under the bridge. When I’ve had enough, I walk to the dock — Torpedo Wharf, and spot a fisherman, perhaps the only person more solitary than what I’m feeling at the moment. Just him and his fish.
I stand there for a good, long while. Stare even longer, hard as far as my eyes could see the city skyline. And then behind me back to the Golden Gate.
It’s cold and I believe I will leave soon.
I wish I could see the moon.
But not without one last look.
San Francisco, I’m in your book
Of simple, powerful words — I love you
Yes I do.
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ALWAYS BE EPIC.