Tuesday, May 8, 2012

jumping off

I spent a long weekend in the Bay Area, visiting friends and going to my sister's bachelorette party. It was good, but shadowed by something I witnessed.

Friday morning I woke up early. My cousin happened to be in San Francisco too so we met up for breakfast. The morning was beautiful, sunny. We decided to take a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. We were happy, watching dolphins, enjoying the wind. Then we saw a man kill himself by jumping off the bridge. I was appalled, shocked and cried for the stranger. It was surreal, unreal and I think I went into a kind of shock. Seeing his body floating in the water while dolphins and seals surfaced near him is an image I'll never get out of my head, as long as I live. I stood, looking over the side of the bridge while the Coast guard boats raced to pul his body out of the water. The man was wearing a black t-shirt, it rode up his back, exposing his skin. I kept wondering what had gone through his head when he put the shirt on. Did he know he would die wearing that shirt? I cried thinking about his family or friends who were unaware he was gone. I cried because life is short and sadness eats away After we left I wanted to go back to my hotel and stay in bed and be sad but I knew I couldn't dwell on it.

I spent the afternoon in Berkeley with my beautiful friend Sharline and her precious baby girl. We spent the whole afternoon together, catching up, laughing, playing with her baby, But the man who jumped was still on my mind, sadly. I kept thinking that he was someone's baby once; someone fed him and picked him up when he cried. I had a wonderful time with my friend, was and am grateful for her friendship and love. I was even more appreciative that day than I think I would have been. 

Friday night I met up with friends who were in town from Mexico, by then I was exhausted and left them to slept poorly; sad for the stranger, sad that life can sucker-punch you in the heart when you least expect it. 

Bachelorette day was a good, solid time. 13 women, wine-tasting. getting drunk, eating good food. Making my sister play dumb games that involved 13 pair of panties and a phallus veil. I love my sister and she has wonderful, wonderful friends. I wish I had more female friends in town. I do have female friends but they're all married, or have kids, or both. I miss quality female time. We ate and drank and danced. I danced so much I wore the skin off of a couple of toes and haven't been able to wear real shoes since the weekend. 

It was good to see my sister so happy. I am really, really happy for her. Marriage is something she has always wanted and the man she's going to spend the rest of her is a good man who treats her well and makes her happy. I look forward to the wedding in a couple of weeks.

Last month a friend got me a copy of the new Lorna Dee Cervantes poetry collection "Ciento" and he gave it to me Sunday right before I left town. Holy crap. I love Lorna Dee. I love her writing. I've been savoring the book, dipping into it slowly. I decided to start a new habit. When I fall in love with the poem I writ the name of the poem down and the date I fall in love with it in the back of the book so I can have an emotional timeline of my response. I've read so much poetry over the years and different poems mean different things to me depending on where I am in my life. I'm looking forward to looking back.

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