I was happy to be there, happy to be alone, happy to just be in San Francisco. Flight was uneventful even though I couldn’t breath and getting myself onto BART was a breeze. I love BART and the fact that it goes all the way to the airport is magnificent. Why anyone would pay a cab or ride a shuttle (that will stop at ten hotels before it stops at yours) is beyond me when you can pay $8.10 and take BART. Okay, wait, I take that back. I would ride a shuttle if the hotel I was staying at was not within 2 miles of any of the BART stations. While public transportation is awesome in San Francisco the idea of riding BART downtown, getting off of it and then getting on the 30 Stockton to go to the Wharf may suck more than I am allowing for. Yea, it would suck. So lets just say my San Francisco tip of the day is 1) Stay downtown – off Van Ness, off Union Square, on Nob Hill around The Embarcadero — if you do that take BART and save yourself the hassle and expense of any other form of transportation — if you stay at the Wharf, in Pacific Heights, out in the Avenues, etc. — you’re on your own. Do what you must.
I stayed on Union Square so I took BART. From the second I got off the plane to the moment I sat down on the couch in my hotel room was less than an hour. I was supposed to have dinner with a friend but I had considered cancelling on her because I was tired and sick — she had called me however and left a message with undying excitement in her voice so I couldn’t cancel. I called her back and she said it would take her about 90 minutes to get to the City — I used that 90 minutes to sleep. I woke up right before she rang my room to let me know she was downstairs. We had a nice dinner together with lots of laughter and I was happy I hadn’t cancelled, I miss my San Francisco friends even though every time I go to San Francisco I consider cancelling on everyone because I really just miss San Francisco.
I was back in my room by 10 and although I considered going back out because it wasn’t raining and the lights and energy of the city were calling out to me, I just put myself in bed and went to sleep.
Monday morning I woke up and knew before I opened my eyes that I was getting ready to experience my WORST day of being sick. But I was in San Francisco so I had to get up. I got up, showered, dressed warmly and went for a walk. I walked straight up Powell to a favorite coffee shop that doesn’t sell Starbucks and got coffee and a scone and then I sat quietly surfing the internet while I tried to decide whether I was well enough to do what I had planned for the day. I decided while I may feel better later I did not feel good then and I was going to go back to the hotel and sleep some more.
When I got to the hotel I called my mom. When I’m sick I feel better when I call my mom. So I called her. She told me how cold and dreary it had turned in Michigan, which made me glad I wasn’t in Michigan, and then she asked me where I was. I told her I was in San Francisco and she said “and you’re sick.” Yep. Couldn’t get it past her. I complained to her about how I was in San Francisco and how I had all these plans, but I didn’t feel good. She said “who cares you’re in San Francisco, get in bed and go to sleep you’re sick!” I knew that, but I think I needed my mom to tell me to make it okay. I slept for 7 hours, waking up a couple of times. I woke up fully when my girlfriend called me about getting together as originally planned. I cancelled on her and went back to sleep for 3 more hours. When I got up it was almost 8 p.m. and I felt a little better. I didn’t feel like doing anything, so I cancelled on two other friends and then got myself together and went to the movies. It seemed an easy task, and it was then I came back to the hotel and went back to sleep.
On Tuesday I woke up early and felt a lot better. The weather forecast said it was supposed to rain but it wasn’t yet so I got out of the hotel early. I only had prior plans for the evening, the day was mine so I did my favorite thing in San Francisco and walked. I walked up and down hills, I walked into Pacific Heights, I walked down to the Wharf, I walked into North Beach, I walked up to Coit Tower, I walked down to Fort Mason, I walked the length of the Embarcadero and then I went to the Museum of Modern Art — my favorite San Francisco museum. It started raining while I was in the museum. Not your average misty rain, but serious, the sky is mad as hell rain. It kept getting harder and I started thinking that I was going to be forced to take a cab to my dinner date because walking would be messy. At precisely the moment that I had this cab thought one of my dinner dates texted me about the rain. I said as much about the cab and he responded by telling me if they decided to drive they would pick me up at the hotel. That made me very happy for lots of reasons that I can’t quite explain, but I’ll try.
My dinner date on Tuesday was, if I’m honest, the whole reason I came to San Francisco in the first place. I love San Francisco and miss it daily but what I miss even more than that are two people who live there. Two of the most spectacular people in my life. Two people who I lost in my divorce. My ex-brother-in-law and his partner.
I wanted to divorce my ex for years before I actually did. At least 3 years, possibly more. Every time I considered it I was stopped short because I knew it would put an end to my relationship with my BIL. (Who is another of the three coolest people I know: Jennifer, the Ex-BIL, and my little brother). I knew that my relationship with him would not die completely but I knew it would be different, very different because the Ex Husband is all about loyalty and if his brother had any contact with me he would view that as the most disloyal move in the history of marriage/divorce.
My relationship with my BIL was, aside from my children, my favorite part of being married to the Ex. He’s funny, interesting, smart, successful, happy with himself and incredibly trustworthy. Because he’s gay it wasn’t like what I imagine a normal brother/sister-in-law relationship might be — we were close, and we talked a lot — I think I spoke to him more often than his brother talked to him. I knew things I knew my Ex didn’t know and I loved that relationship. When he met his partner it was like I had died and gone to Heaven. He was the best too and I loved him instantly. The partner told me once if we had met in high school we would have been inseparable. I totally agreed, he became my “best girlfriend” in no time flat. These two men meant the world to me and I lost them, in a sense, when I said “I want a divorce.”
I didn’t lose them entirely. The partner and I still email periodically, and text, but its nothing like it use to be and it hurts a bit. My kids go and visit their uncle usually once or twice during the summer and I hang on every story they tell when they come home because I miss them so much. My brother-in-law will periodically like something I post on Facebook which is his way of letting me know he’s still paying attention, and I appreciate that, but it still hurts a bit.
When I decided to go to San Francisco I sent the partner an email and asked him if they would be in town — they travel a lot and the last time I was in San Francisco they were chasing tornadoes. He said they would be there and that they would take me to dinner. Joy of joys, that sealed my trip to San Francisco right there. All of the plans were made with the partner and I think that was a safety mechanism so that the BIL couldn’t say “he” had planned anything with me —
Tuesday night it was raining a ridiculous rain and they came and picked me up. The second I got in the car my trip to San Francisco began. One of the first things my BIL said to me was “I know I’m not supposed to say this but I miss you!” I could have cried to hear him say that. It was four hours of perfect. Four hours of laughing, talking, catching up. It was the best and as sick as I felt I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. It was the reason I came.
Ironically, my BIL is a runner, he is the one who encouraged me to run my first race and now he says I need intervention. 🙂 But he told me about a run that I will be scheduling another trip to San Francisco to attempt when I feel better. They live in a condo on Mission Street, close to the Embarcadero. He told me that starting at Mission and Embarcadero if you run all the way out the Embarcadero, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and come back it’s about 15 miles with very little hill. I have to try that. I think I’m going to plan a weekend just to do that, when its warmer of course.
They dropped me back at my hotel and I went right to bed so I could get up early and walk down to the Embarcardeo the next morning to say goodbye to San Francisco. Then I caught BART back to the airport, boarded a plane and came home. Blue Eyes picked me up at the airport sick as a dog. I felt bad since I knew I’d given him the illness, but he said he wouldn’t have changed anything — he knew I was sick going in and he accepted the risk.
He took me home and told me to go upstairs and get in bed. I knew he had intended to fix my garage door but he was sick and I told him not to worry about it. He didn’t listen to me but showed me to my room and then went back downstairs. I woke up a couple of hours later to him telling me he was leaving and that the garage door was fixed.
He fixed my garage door. I have never known a man so handy. I’ve seen them on television, know they exist, but I have never met one in person, until now.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do with him. . . .