Working in San Francisco & unearthing what I love in the Bay


I work in a city now, I work in San Francisco. Sounds fancy, huh? Hi, my name is Lis and I work in the city and life is grand, thank you very much!  I suppose saying “I work in the city” has a nice ring to it. Personally, I am indifferent about it. And it’s not because I am a conceited person or a major douchebag. I don’t have pockets full of money or anything. On the contrary Blog Land – I have barely any time for myself as I juggle 3-4 jobs and get home just in time for food scraps, an episode of House of Cards, and maybe some reading if I’m lucky. Writing? It happens on the Bart occasionally, but it’s not really safe in a crammed trained. I’m afraid of stabbing somebody with my ballpoint pen during sudden stop. So, is it nice working in the city? It is – you know, except for the extra expense of commuting and walking over human feces on Market Street. Usually I find solace when I am back home, writing in my torn up poetry notebook, and sometimes in the morning I wake up to find myself atop my copy of Haruki Murakami‘s novel, “1Q84,” which usually means I must have read the previous night. That’s always good. Anyways, what I’m trying to say (in a long winded way) is that I am indifferent because I am tired.

That being said, I’m having a kick ass time walking to work everyday because there are so many flipping amazing and interesting people all over the place.

Taking the Bart to work from Oakland makes me feel…what’s that annoying word people say now a days? Legit. I feel legit. I get to see bizarre business men on the Bart everyday, and pretty business women who can somehow walk in six inch heels without toppling over and screaming, “Holy sh*t!” – as I did once on a rainy day. I get to see green people gracefully tetris their way into a nonexistent empty spot in the train with their humongo bikes. They inspire me and I imagine a communal utopian cabin somewhere in Walnut Creek with moss filled walls and an  outdoor  fireplace in the backyard – – as a haven from the city’s noise and Starbucks Coffee spots. San Francisco has a charm that no other city has.

And even though I’ve been living in the Bay for about four years now, I still consider myself a tourist. Just yesterday I went into a sushi place off Union Square and found myself walking into an underground basement that transported me to another world. That’s what San Francisco feels like — secrets and portals all over the place, but you just have to know where to look. Of course I will never forget my favorite tourist spots — I suppose I don’t mind crowds of people because I am a people watcher. San Francisco, inspiration lies beneath your surface, and I will hold the following things forever in my corazon-zon-zon: the Bay — “Dock of the Bay” happened here, clam chowder gets consumed at fisherman’s wharf, part of you is a Little Italy, City Lights Bookstore will blow your mind, and the most delicious egg tarts in Chinatown ever come from the Golden Gate Bakery. Ah, I can go on for days with my touristy ways, but frankly it might annoy you.

This working in the city gives me one fear, though. This fear occurs on my way to and from work. I walk into the train usually listening to encouraging music like De Sol a Sol (sung by my tween crush, Salserín!), a nice pump-me-up morning tune, and I find myself surrounded by the most weighed down energy on the planet. I fear aliens might have something to do with this because it seems like nobody is aware of how they act in front of each other. People sit or stand looking like their soul have been sucked out of them. The morning coffee dangling from their fingertips promising a syrup of spark, fails them. Some of them sleep with their mouths wide open, and I can only imagine how horrible it could be waking up to find that you have missed your exit by three stops. No one wants to interrupt anybody. People look down, up, or straight ahead into a non existent space before them. Time stops as we go underwater from the east to the city. We are transported from our home lives into our work lives, and then suddenly everyone becomes erect and vertical.

Someday, years from now, if I never leave this side of the country I hope I never become that tiredI hope to that work will become something I do in appropriate hours, so that I may go to places like Vesuvio in SF in the evenings to enjoy a glass of wine and a private writing session. I want to relax and not think about anything but my novel and my characters (who constantly show up everywhere in my life to remind me to finish the book!). I don’t want to stay tired.

It’s dangerous, overworking, overanalyzing — it stops you and makes you stale and stagnant. I wish to forever keep the curious five year old child in me excited about the world around her. I would hate for her to die from boredom and ditch me to live by a tree somewhere. That would suck. The best ideas come from her and the dreams she gives me.


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