When I first moved to San Francisco, I was 20 years old. This was almost ten years ago. I was, sadly, sad. I felt defeated and defective and I was realizing that a lot of things I thought I understood--like friendship, love, and personal ambition--were things that I couldn't even describe. I had barely any sense of well-being left in me, just a residual sense of self-preservation. For the first two years here, I pretty much just smoked pot and stared at the ocean and wondered if I would ever not be sad.
When I left San Francisco three years ago for New York, I kind of thought I would come back--but in this vague, hopeful way that existed mostly so I wouldn't feel so bad about leaving the place where I had learned to be happy. I knew that I would visit, but I didn't believe that I would ever live in San Francisco ever again.
Well, I'm back. I packed two bags full of clothes, got on an airplane, and now I am spending my hours writing in front of the same laptop with a different view. I have been back so many times that it will take some time before I feel like I am really back, and until then I am wandering about with the familiar sensation that I am neither here nor there.
I am working on my second book, which is a completely self-involved account of these last two years of my life. For the first time, I feel like I have something to share with people that would be best put in book form. It is a strange thought to feel like you have something deeply personal that is possibly entertaining enough to be worthy of sharing with the general public. But it is not pure entertainment. This book is really all about why it feels different to be in San Francisco this time around. It is about the things that have happened over the past few years, and how those things have changed me so much that I can come back to the same city with the same people and the same weather and feel as though I am in a completely different place altogether.
I wonder how long I will be here. The first time I came to San Francisco, I thought it would be for two or three years, and it ended up being seven.