Like all true San Diego natives, I bring the weather with me wherever I go. I went to England in the summer (which is actually a shit time to go, weather-wise) and it only rained once in three weeks: the day I was leaving. So, this morning it is sunny, 65 degrees and warming. My phone’s weather icon shows 53 degrees and cloudy, but it’s wrong: I’m in a bubble of perfect sunshine. Just as I was yesterday. Just as I will be tomorrow.
This is a Curse because it keeps us San Diegans naive about the world. We start thinking we can do things. We start thinking we could live in other places. Yesterday I started thinking I should live here. We walked out of the tenderloin. We walked through the Castro, and Haight Ashbury. We walked through the Farmers Market at the Civic Center where a yellow sign promised its daily presence (rain or shine!) and we bought and ate strawberries the size of apples. Then we went to the Mill, where racks of homemade bread filled up the place with that smell of racks of homemade bread. We went to the Rainbow, for which my only reference for similarity as a San Diegan is Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s also has a community board, but the Rainbow community board is actually used, with letters to and from the staff about BPA in receipts and why fruit ripens faster in bags. I waited for Katie to get out of the bathroom next to a bag of bat guano.
I didn’t think I was the kind of girl who could sit in a park and drink Kombucha, but we sat in Dolores park and I drank my first Kombucha. I thought to myself, this isn’t a bad fucking life. On a sunny Tuesday, parks back home are deserted but here, there wasn’t a person less than 10 feet away no matter where you sit. A man, possibly homeless, played “Three Little Birds,” which could have been irritating because it’s too obvious, but I thought to myself that he is self-regulating, he is getting a needed dose of happiness. He is soaking up this sun and pumping serotonin through his brain, dancing as he sits and singing along and pretending he is connecting with the people around him (they’re ignoring him).
At home we have plenty of crazies. I don’t see them often, because I don’t go downtown ever, but I know they’re there. These SF crazies don’t look at me twice just because I’m holding hands with a pretty girl. They look at me twice (rarely) because I’m a pretty girl, but not because I’m queer. I watch a man hold a fluffy white rose for another man to smell. A girl with buzzed hair smiles gently at me, knowingly.
I remind myself that every day isn’t like this. I remind myself grittiness is tasty in small bites, but I’ve never lived through a whole meal of it. I remind myself that back home I am disturbed by the crazies. San Diego perfect weather is relentless. San Francisco sunshine is just a little bit delirious. I know I can’t live here because in my heart of hearts I know how inconsolable I get on a “blustery” day. I know this, but the Curse tricked me into thinking I can do these things. So I am waiting in Katie’s apartment for her to get back with moleskin for my blistered feet, waiting for these 600 mg of Ibuprofen to kick in so I’ll go numb to my aching legs. It is quite lovely here, but I know it is only a vacation, and that I’m a San Diego princess, and goddamn why did I walk like 5 miles yesterday?