Behold the Leavers

B and I visited Dan and Steve’s casa in Cloverdale last weekend where the four of us spent two days tasting wine and taking walks. During one such walk I divulged to Dan that I’d been struggling as of late with the mass exodus of my friends from San Francisco. Jamie’d moved to Portland a few years ago and Sam to London last fall, Kelly and Trevor packed up their shit for Seattle at the beginning of this year and then, much to my surprise, Blazer bailed for Walnut Creek last week, which while technically is in the Bay Area might as well be in Wakanda for how often we’ll see each other.

“Of my first group of friends in San Francisco,” I told Dan, “three remain.”

And then last night happened.

While dining together at Nopa Marf broke the news that he and Marlowe had “made the decision” to move to Mill Valley sometime next summer.

“Ryan has a better shot of getting into a good school there,” he told me.

I nearly barfed my over-priced French fries into his hair.

But I understood, of course.

After dinner I picked my heavy heart up off the floor and Marf helped me drag it down to The Page for a nightcap. We were near Kari’s apartment so I called her and she texted Ray and suddenly we had an impromptu party going. While sipping beers and snacking on slices the four of us teased each other about the silly shit we did when we were young, dumb and broke.

Like old times.

“What’s everybody up to this weekend?” I asked during a lull in the conversation, my mood having been bolstered enough by the encouragement of very many beers to let Marf’s nasty news slip away for a while.

“Ray and I are going apartment hunting,” Kari said.

“Oh yeah?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “In what neighborhood?”

“Um, in Oakland.”

This morning, shortly after waking, I sent Kari, Marf and Ray a cute photo I’d snapped at the bar to show that I wasn’t harboring any hard feelings about their impending abandonment of me and the City of our youth.

Then I realized that I was, in fact, harboring hard feelings about their impending abandonment of me and the City of our youth and decided to follow the aforementioned cute photo up with a less cute text message.

An Accidental Half

I ran a half marathon this morning.

Accidentally.

I woke up with every intention of doing no more than three miles and then climbing back into bed, but I was in a good place with my thoughts and my tunes as I reached the end of the Panhandle and decided to keep going.

I was somewhere around the Conservatory of Flowers when I realized Gay Running Club would be gathering for First Circle at about the time I'd arrive at Stowe Lake if I kept heading that way so that's what I did. Once there I stopped briefly to join the group for introductions and to welcome new and visiting runners and then ran the five-mile course to the ocean with Nick and Jamie. Instead of making a return to the boathouse afterwards, however, I continued on through the park toward the Divisadero Corridor where I looped back into the Panhandle, made my way through the Castro, past the tennis players in Dolores Park, to the edge of the Mission before turning around to wrap up the last half mile by doing laps up and down Waller.

Later in the morning I was stretching and foam-rolling my legs while catching up with Kari on FaceTime when I said to her, half-jokingly, that after our encounter on Thursday evening I thought I'd see her running today.

"I saw you," she said. "I was on my way home from the grocery store when a massive blur of hot pink went by and knew immediately who it was."

That seems true.

Thursday in the Park with Kari

I was rocking embarrassingly hard to an all-female pop playlist titled "Pow-Her" as I made my way through the Panhandle earlier tonight when I ran, almost literally, into Kari who was also out getting some exercise.

Once the initial shock wore off we sweaty-hugged and then jogged a few miles together, making our way at a chat pace so we could catch each other up on life happenings since our last meeting, on Sunday at Team Brunch.

After I'd left her at her apartment and was traversing the two or so blocks toward home I started to think about how this big city is often just a small town in disguise and how seven and a half years of the loveliest little moments can sometimes get lost in a handful of huge, heavy, horrible ones.