Fourth Morning, San Diego
This is how I want to live – exactly like this. Is that the best way to say it? Perhaps, this is what feels like the perfect life, as it is experienced in the moment – moment after moment. These last two days, pieces, parts, and times of the days. It’s all only one man’s opinion, of course – my opinion – of what perfection might look like. But who doesn’t live by their own opinion – their particular human filters – day in and day out.
But, I get it, all that maybe high-falutin’ crap, me trying to be all artsy and hip, when my better role as reporter, as a teller of stories – a storyteller – is just say it, like Walter Cronkite, “And that’s the way it is.”
Friday night, two days ago, Susan and I drove the borrowed car, her parents second, from the second-floor apartment we are renting in Ocean Beach, we drove high up over the Point Loma peninsula and down to North harbor Drive, south with the harbor on our right and the airport on our left, making a turn on Laurel at the edge of the one runway and then nearly almost straight up until we reached Sixth Ave, where we parked and paid a quarter to cover exactly the remaining eight minutes before 7pm and free parking. We then walked through a luscious park and over the Cabrillo Bridge into Balboa Park. We were on our way to the San Diego Museum of Art, which offers a $5 admission Friday nights between 5-8pm. Not quite free, but close, and the nearly free-of-charge payoff best described by Ferris Bueller – “See what a finsky can do for a guy’s attitude!”
A guy and a gal in our case, and entering the wide open plaza before the museum we were struck, as is so often the case in San Diego , with the international and multi-cultural and love-who-you-love color and human-gathering-together nature of the crowd – a Mexican salsa band with horns alive, people dancing before them, three women covered head-to-toe in colored berkas, laughing and talking and not one voice to be heard yelling “go home”. They were home. Asians, Latin-Americans, African-Americans, girls holding hands with girls, white Americans (not like ivory white, but you get it), families and kids, the abundance of freedom to just be out, rejoicing, in the warm, early evening sun.
And again, Saturday morning, at the India Street farmers’ market in the heart of San Diego, a similar cast of characters and including organic farmers and crafters of all kinds, and we talked with a heavily-accented man and his wife from whom I had bought a beautiful table cloth for Susan two years earlier. And the sun and the air and the day sparkled – sparkled the way they do on days you remember as your best days. And both Friday and Saturday afternoons we swam in the blessed salt waters of the Pacific, again with everyone, and later we drank good coffee and we read good books.
This is how I want to live.