June 11, 2004

Emerging from the L Train tunnel into the fog. Ghostly and cool and swirling, pastel houses hidden behind the white and the grey. I jumped out to hear the waves and the wind and to feel the chill of the Pacific.

I all out gasped and laughed and clapped when I saw the giraffe peeking from behind the rocks, and the emu hopping beneath the trees, and the zebras wryly flicking their ears. And then there was the elephant tossing braches over her head, and the penguins standing in apparent confusion, flat little flippers sticking out, chests pushed forward.

The San Francisco Zoo is expansive and clean and well tended. I tramped into the Lion House with the masses at feeding time to see the big cats chomp on generous portions of meat and bone, stalking back and forth, purring, growling, quietly observing the people. I hunkered down with the meerkats, who looked back at me with a frank cross-eyed expression that kept me laughing. The lemurs made a racket and the baby capuchin was a little clown, jumping on her parents and then running away to hang upside down by her tail, only to return for more mischief. The tapir moved his nose around in a rather peculiar way, and the lone coyote pranced over the rocks while the otters slept soundly.

I moved quietly from enclosure to enclosure, delighted at the odd creatures around me, both human and beast, graceful, prideful, sleepy, comic, defensive, excited, perplexed, imposing, focused, uncaring, hungry, strong, familiar and familial. Nature does a heck of a job.

I dozed on the way home, legs weary form the walking and hands cold from the fog. Jarrod, Blodgett, Lieva, and I made a quick dinner, dancing in the kitchen, before heading off for the new Harry Potter movie. At night we climbed into Jarrod's bed and talked about theatre and Brown and crushes and the like before heading sleepily off to bed.

I have really super friends. While we rode the bus after the movie, I looked at the three of them, sitting across from me, and wondered what it would be like to not know them at all, to look at them as if they were strangers on the bus. But they were so vivid and animated and alive that I couldn't imagine not knowing them. And I think if I didn't know them I would nevertheless be drawn to watch them, goofy kids across the aisle, singing to each other and making funny faces.

Last night I found Ryan and Wendy on the corner, looking so cosmopolitan and beautiful. They both wore their little hip hugger jeans and fitted sweaters and caps. There were big hugs all around and it was just like it was when I saw them last August. I like picking up where I have left off. I love easy and effortless and caring relationships. I hope it will be this way forever with all of my friends, scattered around the country and across the globe.

We went out for veggie burgers at Barney's and gossiped for hours before heading off to the drug store to buy hair dye for Wendy. We met up with Hung back at the apartment, where we chatted and watched the MTV movie awards while Ryan dyed Wendy's hair. Ryan and I shared his bed and prattled on and on until we were speaking in tired half-sentences, drifting in and out of sleep. In the middle of the night I sneezed myself awake and Ryan sat bolt upright to politely offer me a tissue. I laughed myself back to sleep.

This morning San Francisco was cloudless and warm. I munched on a donut on the corner, and then Jarrod came to bring me to the airport. We listed to Lo Fine's music and then I hurried through the terminal to catch my overbooked flight.

I am currently at 20,00 feet, beginning the decent into Providence. I've only spent about 48 hours there since graduation, and this visit will be even shorter. Even so, I plan on walking the campus, remembering the energy of my four years there. Leah and I will eat dinner and then I will bring her back to the Bio Med Center to study for her med school boards.

We drove along the Pacific this morning, the sun illuminating the fog as we traversed the bay. And now I see the Atlantic, blue and grey and misty, reaching into the coast with a thousand lakes and rivers.