From San Francisco to You
My first plane ride brought me here; hungover at night (two Jacks, one coke, to soothe my first-flight nerves), but still, I forced a visit to the Mission District for a carnitas burrito. It was a busy, bustling, sticky scene, even at 1 A.M. We awoke the next morning on top of a hill. It was breathtaking; it’s nothing but flat land back home.
A bakery for breakfast. One I’ve read about, but never imagined I’d visit. The bakers filled a white pastry box with my choices: a morning bun, a chocolate chip cookie, and a little round cookie studded with walnuts and rolled in powdered sugar.
A walk to Dolores Park. We find a bench to watch people from, and start in on our pastry box. Each bite brings me joy, but I save the little nut ball for last. We called them wedding cookies. Pop-Pop baked them for Christmas every year. I’ve attempted to duplicate them many times. I’ve tried every variation I’ve come across in search of the perfect one. One that tastes like childhood when it was good, before it was very bad. I took a bite, and tears filled my eyes. I only had to travel 3,000 miles to find the one.
I felt pure and blissful as we walked back to our car. The air was special here. I stopped to admire a flower bed full of succulents that I had never seen before. The owner of the flower bed, a man with a denim jacket and long white hair, stepped down from his porch. He asked, “You like those?” I replied that I did, very much. He asked where I lived (Florida). “Awfully hot and wet there. But it might survive.” He knelt into the soil and gently uprooted a tiny piece of the cluster. He placed the cutting into my hand, smiling softly. “From San Francisco to you.”