Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Before I knew it I was back in San Francisco, living in the Sunset, my hand curled around one of the brass bedposts. I often spent nights like that, alone, in my daughter’s bedroom, listening to the quiet hum of the stereo as it merged with the static of the rain. I was sitting there again, near the foot of the bed, eyeing the many stacks of books I had given her, all unread, their covers gradually discoloring from the pots of dying plants she insisted on placing atop them. It wasn’t spite exactly, but a kind of dreamy inconsideration she dragged alongside her like a mist. I inched myself slowly to the other edge of the bed, near the pillows, and positioned my ear within millimeters of the window’s foggy pane. If I remained that way for ten minutes or so, listening intently, I could almost make out something moving through the neighborhood outside. This sound, or more accurately this almost-sound, was as near to real as my ear was to the chill of the glass. It was just beyond me, crisscrossing its slippery way up and down the hill, steadily moving closer to where the avenues meet the ocean. The listening had something to do with my daughter. She was out who-knows-where with friends doing who-knows-what. I had come to accept that. And if she knew I spent my time this way it didn’t bother her, just as it didn’t bother me if she didn’t. I too had grown weary of how a tall man lingers.

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