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.


Earlier this week a dozen or so pianos were scattered throughout the grounds of the San Francisco Botanical Garden and tonight Marf and I strolled through a series of colorfully lit pathways to watch people play them.

Photo By Matoba

Whenever one of the professional musicians stepped away for a break someone from the crowd would sidle up and play a song, most of the time sans sheet music, and I kept thinking that I pass by hundreds of strangers every day and haven't the slightest clue the magic they're capable of.