If you listen close enough you can hear the rhythm. Cables cars roar down hills, grey fog whispers past your ears, buildings everywhere house the noise of hipsters reading Kerouac, coffee cups hitting wooden table tops, and musicians bobbing to old jazz and Glenn Miller. This is the sound of San Francisco. This is the way my heart beats.
I grew up here going to Ocean Taqueria and taking walks to Alta Plaza Park where I fell in love for the first time and tried to write music. On crisp mornings I would take my dog on walks and crest the tops of concrete hills to see the Golden Gate Bridge glowing in all of her glory. Sunny days were often spent staring up at shifting clouds above Dolores Park. Stormy days were filled with trips to Toy Boat for double ice cream scoops on stale sugar cones. Humming horns lulled me to sleep when dense fog rolled in and blanketed the city streets. San Francisco is the place I call my home.
Now I am on the MUNI. People-packed buses that waft with smells of body odor, flowery perfume, and beer usually trigger my claustrophobia, but with the firm pull of a yellow cord I find relief. Stepping off at the intersection of Baker and California I walk up to a black gate and enter the same 5-digit code I’ve been typing in for the past 23 years. As I enter and catch one more look towards a street of uphill parked cars, a part of me wishes that San Francisco could close its gates behind me too and keep me here forever.