Golden Gate, C’mon Man!

“Dude! C’mon mang!”

The reformed cowboy turned hippy calls after his old black Lab mix, slowly making his way across my line of sight, tired and longing for home as his master beckons for him. He was dressed in all-cream-white linen pants and vest, a crisp brilliant white shirt and bolo underneath it, the suede tan of his cowboy boots providing a stark contrast to, not only his attire, but his long, grey-white braided hair growing from the middle of the back of his head, his long wispy goatee complementing it. He was a sight for sure.


His dog may have been feigning his tiredness just so he wouldn’t be associated with his man. They were in and out of my view and thoughts within moments. Behind the Callisto, Hooper, Nadine, as well as a host of other boats docked onto the harbor, my view was dominated by the resplendent Golden Gate Bridge on this particularly beautiful Sunday. Battery Yates was until three days ago an undiscovered spot in Marin, one of many to sit and gaze and appreciate this engineering marvel that graces my daily commute.

I’m particularly fascinated by the sailboats under the bridge. I’ve taken the ferry from Marin to San Francisco and back, but have never been on a sailboat in the bay. It’s a must-do activity and I must do it. Soon. Until then, I eat a Q-bin from Mike’s Deli in Sausalito.

A massive tanker – The Norient – passes underneath the bridge, accompanied by a tug boat, no doubt playing the heavy, protective of its stern. Toy cars pass along the bridge above it. A school of kayakers replace the sailboats. And every so often a helicopter whizzes on by.

This morning, I went on a hike at Tennessee Valley, spending about an hour on the beach watching the waves crash in slow motion. There are so many beautiful spots in the Bay Area, many within minutes of each other and me. It’s a heavenly lifestyle, and I wonder if I will be here forever, or if my destiny will take me elsewhere.

I wanted to be alone. I wanted to be left alone. More than most metropolitan areas, the Bay Area provides points of isolated perception particular to delve deep into the psyche of my soul. It’s also a great place to contemplate why the Cubs are not playing well, despite being at or near the top of the NL Central. The rubber match with the Yankees was on tonight, and I felt an 18-inning game on the horizon.

My mind wanders and I envision a Cubs team, lackluster up until this point in the season, listless through the first nine innings of the game, loading the bases with Rizzo up to plate, two outs. Chapman hits him, ties the game. That euphoria would last and end nine innings later. 

It’s not long before I finish my sandwich and find myself on the other side of the hill, poppies before my feet, sitting on the edge with a birds eye view of the entire bay. Small waves crash twenty feet below me. To my left is Angel Island as I turn my head to absorb Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, the city skyline with Coit Tower, the Transamerica Building, the new Salesforce Tower, and the Palace of Fine Arts dominating its views, before finally and happily resting my eyes upon the Golden Gate.

It’s windy now, and a bit cooler; though with shorts, flip flops and a vest on, it’s still pleasant. Amidst the howl of the winds, my mind is quiet, at peace on this Sunday afternoon. I’ll be in Chicago soon, but those are thoughts for another day, as I’m firmly in the San Francisco Bay.

Originally written 17 May 2017

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