Here We Go

I meet San Francisco in the middle of the night. Woozy. Bright-eyed. Thousands of miles away from everyone, and everything, I’ve ever known. My taxi driver squashes his hair under a baseball cap before cocking his head back. “You from the East Coast?”, he says. “No…” I say, “not at all”. The highway we’re hurtling down is almost empty. Nothing to watch except the lights. He pulls over, and spits my suitcase out at the curb. 


I meet Whitney for the first time at 1am. She leaves the lights on and waits for me. Opening the door, giving me a hug, helping me pull my suitcase up the stairs. How our lives have crossed in a world as big as this feels cosmic. The next morning I see this city for the first time in daylight. All the terrace houses pushed close to each other, and the water at the edge of town. Glittering. Strange. Unreal. And then, there’s Butchershop.


That building on 432 Clay St is the reason why. Why we’re here. Why we packed our bags. Why we met. The exterior is a grey-black, except for the ground floor window facing the street. It shifts in colour depending on where you’re standing— like a beautiful 3 metre tall oil slick. Inside the space is dotted with skylights, iterations of projects hung up with sticky tape, and black handwriting squiggled all over the walls. Oh, and dogs. Lots of dogs. Whitney and I share a desk on the second floor. On our first few days we receive just as many hugs, as we do handshakes. Everyday, brand new, going at hyper-speed.


Life changes at such a velocity I start singing all my words. In awe. Misty-eyed. Overwhelmed. Out of my mind. I lose my balance on the train. I get lost in the supermarket, and if not the supermarket, then on all the streets I don’t know the names of. I crash from the jet lag, and then get back up and do it all over again. Every string plucked out of my heart and restrung. Day after day. Night after night.  


I never thought my life could take a turn this bright. Neither of us did. All the dahlias in bloom. All the cars driving with the windows down and the sunroofs open. All the pilots flying Blue Angels overhead— so loud that everyone stands in the street with their hands over their ears. And the sun, at golden hour, like a slow motion camera flash, drifting through the buildings. Can all the people in this town see it? Can they feel what this feels like? The dream. The dream. The dream. Here it is. Here we go.




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