I have to tell you this story about me. I suppose the story is also about Juli. And about San Francisco a little bit. And a tiny bit about modern dating and stupid behavioral practices of liberal minded USA citizens. A small part of the story could be interpreted to be about the nature of time, temporal relationships, and the incredible briefness of our lives in the context of the vast cosmic existence. The last one I just sort of added in, but I think it kind of works.
Ok. So I woke up in a house on a morning in San Francisco in Hayes Valley on a bed halfway under the sheets with half of my clothes on. I was sort of confused for about ten seconds, then I understood my position. Then I quickly felt happy and proud and I looked at the girl next to me and she looked peaceful so this also made me feel peaceful. So right about at that time I was no longer feeling confused, but I felt happy, proud, and peaceful. These are nice feelings, so I also smiled as I lay there in the sun filled room on the sun soaked bed. Just smiling and feeling pretty good. I looked across the room and saw my shoes. I also saw my jeans and a little ball of feminine underwear. I checked the girl next to me and confirmed that she wasn't wearing underwear, so I assumed she wore those on the previous night.
Anyway I saw some more clothes kind of strewn about. The girl's name was Juli, I remembered at that point. I'm glad I remembered that, actually, because it could have been awkward if I had to talk to her in the morning. Right about at that time I realized that, given my position on the bed and all, and given the freedom of my limbs from her limbs, I could easily, albeit carefully, sneak out of the bed, grab my clothes, get on my bike, and leave. For some difficult-to-grasp reason, I always have this urge to like get up and go. I've had ideas of possible explanations (insecurity that she might think that she made a big mistake, fear that I made a big mistake, fear of commitment, fear that in nine months there might be a baby involved and I want to get as far away as possible and hope she doesn't remember my name, etc.) but I can't really say that I'm too convinced by any of these.
Two other things crossed my mind. 1) I should try to locate as many of my belongings as possible while still laying on the bed so as to minimize creeping around the room. 2) I hoped she didn't have a flatmate, or if she did, that he/she was not awake.
The sun really bathed this room. I could tell that it was still very early morning. The light sort of felt like baby light, kind of soft and still a little red/yellow. Also, the long drawn out shadows indicated that it was still early morning. I would get a coffee on my way home, I remember thinking right about then.
I got out of the bed and stood up. Perfect. I took my cell phone from the night stand, which, given the time of day and all, was really more of a day stand. I put on my socks and jeans, trying not to let my belt jingle too loudly. "Man," I thought, "this girls is a pretty good sleeper." I liked that about her. I took my keys and now had to open the door. It didn't creek, so that was nice. I started to walk out of the room, and I looked back one more time. Juli looked peaceful. One of her hands dangled from the side of the bed. She had on dark red nail polish. I also liked that about her. In the living room, I did not run into any roommates, so either she had none or they weren't awake yet or they were just sitting in their rooms or they were not in the apartment. I left through the front door.
I went around the corner and got on my bike. Well first I put on my headphones, and then I started to ride away. It was a beautiful, sunny, brisk morning in San Francisco. Usually it is foggy and cold, contrary to many peoples' beliefs about what California should be like. At that point, I felt really happy, proud, cool, comfortable, calm, and a little bit devious.
Anyway I cruised along Valencia listening to music and riding with no hands. This scenario allowed me to do a sort of drumming action on my handle bars with my fingers. People on the streets must have really been able to tell I was happy. I smiled and drummed and waved to strangers and stopped at stop signs and sometimes added some whistling to my drumming. I pretty much exuded happiness. I felt even happier when I imagined that these people would smile because they saw my being so happy. The sun still told me that it was pretty early, and so did the smell of the bay-water- filled air. I hoped the coffee shop was already open, so I checked my wrist for the exact time.
Fuck. I no longer exuded happiness. I probably looked terrified. I stopped in the middle of the street and almost got hit by a car. At that point, I thought it may have been better to have been hit. I forgot my watch at Juli's. I didn't remember too many details from the night, but I knew exactly where my watch was. It was in the bathroom. If you ever lose your watch, it's probably in the bathroom. It's because of washing your hands. Why didn't I look in there before I left? I turned around and started racing back, hoping she would still be asleep. Here is a ranking of possible scenarios for that day, from lest to most awkward: 1) I had stayed and seen her in the morning and talked and not have forgotten my watch in the first place; 2) I now abandoned my watch and either waited for her to call me, or called her for like a one time date or something and asked her to bring the watch; 3) she discovers me when she wakes up, and I'm fully clothed and sweating like a maniac rooting around her house. I decided to risk the last scenario, which also had the possibility of escaping again fully unnoticed. The shadows still seemed long enough that she might be asleep.
I must have looked pretty crazy, racing back. The ironic thing was that I had this happy music blasting in my hears still, but I certainly was not drumming. I more or less tuned out the music as I chugged up and down big SF hills to get back to Hayes Valley to find my watch.
It was a good thing she had forgotten her keys the night before, because I knew where her spare was. I slowly and quietly climbed the steps and went into Juli's apartment. Again, no roommates. Sweat streamed down my face and dripped onto the floor, and I tried not to breathe too loudly. I took a deep, quiet breath. This was it. Just had to last one more minute. I went into the bathroom but I kicked the fucking door in my anxious haste. Time froze but my face kept dripping. It was so quiet I could literally hear the drops hit the ground. One more minute went by, and she didn't move; I was lucky. I unfroze, grabbed my watch, and walked out the bathroom door as I looked down and strapped on the watch. I grabbed the front door's knob. Just then, at that time, I heard a soft, peaceful, "Good morning." This was not a choose your own adventure kind of story. 3) was the one that happened to me that day. Yesterday, I lost that watch in the park so now I don't have it anyway. I also don't talk to Juli anymore. I really wonder if all of these small dramas mean anything in the long run. I guess it's possible that they mean everything.