Houseboats moored in the bay. The city hidden in morning fog, or shimmering in sunlight so singular you squeezed my shoulder to make sure we weren’t dreaming. We sped back and forth with romantic notions of redwood cathedrals, seals barking on the Farallons, sand dollars on the beach. We thrilled at the sight of headlands rising, the luscious landscapes unfolding beyond. And there was the bridge itself, an engineering marvel, a suspended wonder.
Didn’t we want to see it up close? We’d driven it countless times but never done the walk. It was about time, we said, and chose a day so brisk a gust tore away my favorite hat. It was taupe, polished cotton, with a two-inch brim decorated with a clump of plastic cherries. They looked good enough to eat as the hat twirled down to choppy water.
All the while cars, trucks, vans, buses and motorcycles burped, groaned and rattled by. The fumes made us gag, the sound compelled us to escape from a civilization always barging through, never still enough to find peace.
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