“It never gets better and you never get used to it.”

“I Left My Heart” SF Timelapse Project from Marc Donahue.

I spent a week in the Bay area in January. I wanted to break myself open against it. Sink my teeth into life there. Accept its sly smile as a promise. It felt like the glossy magazine promise of the future is possible, obvious, and true and laid out in front of you, and even though there are many shadows, the core of everything seemed welcoming.

(It was a harder visit than it would be usually – a dear friend to many of my dear ones took his own life the day I arrived, scattering chaos and grief and anger in every direction, cutting my community down at the knee. So while I danced along streets, declaring, “I’m here!”, friends and friends of friends were coming together, many meeting for the first time, to clean away bone and blood and hair and mourn and grieve and scatter his ashes by the ocean. I was hopeless against the wave of sorrow that infected my community, (some of the people affected, oddly, were tied together by only me and him), so though I regret their absence, I was satisfied that I would see my friends when they were able to see me. Security fellow, burner, goth type, black nails and a brilliant, but depressed mind, I am extraordinarily sorry not to have met him. He must have been splendid, given the company he kept. I love them, after all, and they loved him, so he must be worth near anything.)

San Francisco was slightly more beautiful than I could easily bear. The planes of the bones of the city reminded me of fire, especially from above, while the bridges were splendid hooks that tugged at my heart, magnificent as fuck, the sculpture of lights like a good rhythm that urged on my footsteps as I walked, nudging me into dance, pushing me to sing. I only flinched away from thoughts of Canada, of returning North, so I avoided it as much as I could. I wanted the city to be everything, fill my entire field of vision from the inside out. The rows of bright buildings, the windows a hundred thousand eyes gazing out upon the hundred thousand people walking by, that’s what I wanted inside my head and heart. (The crowds were especially welcome after the sepia deserts of New Mexico.) It was like being in the middle of a massive, sparkling bubble bath where every bubble is another human life.

I forgot my wallet at home, I was cat-called while I walked through bad parts of town, a bottle was smashed from a passing car at my feet, but it was all part of the flow, all part of being there. Present, relaxed. Whatever the future held, it would be better for having done this trip, to have more context to hold up against the darkness of my life to the North, have evidence that there is better, that it exists. If I could have, I would have brought San Francisco to my lips for a kiss.

In San Fran, no less.

As some of you aware, there’s a initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot titled Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. It’s called Proposition 8, and it’s the most unfair and hate-filled bit of judicial intolerance I’ve heard of in awhile. As far as I can tell, it’s another example of the last desperate gasp of people who don’t like change, who want time to flow backward, and the world’s progressive trends on equality to hit hard into reverse. No less than the mayor of L.A. and the California Teachers Association and California School Boards Association have donated money to fight it – http://www.NoOnProp8.com

The following video was taken by my friend, musician and writer Meredith Yayanos, who encountered a group of Pro-Prop 8 protesters in Oakland, California. She turned on her camera-phone when the protesters began to assault a counter-protester, a quiet, polite, calm man with an anti Prop-8 sign, as is his right. Unfortunately, that’s when they turned on her.

“Something to keep in mind: when I hit the record button, I hadn’t said a single word to anyone, or interfered in the rally any way. I stood a fair distance away from all of the sign-wavers (remaining at least four feet away from all of them…until they approached me). But as soon as they noticed me filming them, I was greeted with curses and threats of violence. “Get that shit out of here. I’ll knock it out of your hand.” None of these folks knew me, yet they instantly knew they hated me …”

Which soon became, “That’s when she attacked, clawing, grabbing and then shoving. I didn’t fight back; she was much bigger than me.”

I think it’s very important that you press play, read the entirety of her story, which is posted here in her journal, and pass it on.

Quick brainwhacking clip before I go smother Ryan with a pillow for snoring.

Remember the ten thousand superballs sent pouring down Kearny Street in San Fransisco like a gleeful tide of bouncing doom?

Here’s the commercial they were making.

(For fun, the official site has making-of clips and little explanations about how incredibly wonderful they are for making all this and isn’t it imaginative?)

The music is that sweetly unreal Jose Gonzales cover of Heartbeats, originally a pop-crunchy song about a one night stand, by The Knife. At various times, I’ve been addicted to both, though mostly the original. I like the Gonzales cover mostly for the novelty and for how it reminds me of the little beach-house with Alastair, down in California.

Here is the original, here is the cover. Here are the lyrics.

Does anyone else think it’s an odd choice?

Also, as another odd SF piece of “art”: San Fransisco made of jell-o.