I keep realizing, over and over, that this is actually happening.
– We get onto Angel Island and we hike up the hill. Elmer, Dralle, Hannah, Erin, Pat look out at the North Bay. Elmer asks, “Is there any reason that sail boats are usually all white?” We spitball possible answers.
– The owner of Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Indian Restaurant (a favorite over the past three years) asks us out front to take a picture for the photo wall. We’re wearing the following shirts. Nick: Three ants with prison escape gear (snorkels, pick axes, shovels, white+black stripes) and “The Rock” written below. Alex: “San Francisco” crappily embroidered in technicolor front and center. Me: “I <3 SF” in the neon-ist colors you’ve ever seen (on black). Kennedy’s wants our picture?
– I crawl into the quaterberth the night before we head out. Trying to squeeze into the small space without disturbing an already asleep Hannah and smiling at her closed eyes and slow breath.
– We’re sailing out of the harbor after just saying good bye to everyone and I stare back vacantly at the t-shirt store and think about Hard Rock and Bubba Gump Shrimp and the Currency Exchange and the squall of tourists and realize we’ll never have to walk through that Disneyland again.
– We’re most of the way to Half Moon Bay and I look back at the city again and again, every time thinking the city will disappear into the fog…but the damn bridge just won’t disappear. We’re already motoring into Half Moon Bay and I look back, finally thinking it will be gone…but tiny and fuzzy, the Golden Gate stares back. What a gorgeous day.
And then there are the moments when I can’t comprehend we’re leaving:
– Eating at our favorite local restaurant, Mario’s, a couple days ago with an acquaintance from Junior High.
– We sail out to Angel Island with twelve people aboard. I can’t help feeling that I’m just having a party unrelated to anything. I keep thinking, “God, this is really fun, it’s awesome to party with all these different people at once,” but can’t quite connect why it’s happening.
– Staring at such an astounding showing of Nick and Alex’s family, and nearly all of my best friends (and my sister), while Nick and Alex and I walk around the dock in a daze trying to finish all the things that need to get done and somehow adequately say goodbye to everyone we know. We can’t quite do either.
I keep thinking of all the moments when I realized this was happening, and all the moments I couldn’t, but I guess none of that truly matters now. It is happening.
Goodbye everyone. The next time we meet, this will just be a story we tell.