“I wish I had your life.” I get that a lot. “Must be tough!” they say with a smile. And I can’t disagree. I have it incredibly good. Incomprehensibly good. Sometimes I can feel the weight of the billions of lives lived and living that would give anything for a fraction of the ease, privilege, and pleasure my life has. I don’t know how to give adequate thanks.
I can’t complain.
Today was another good day. Of friends, interest, safety and ease. And rain, musical on the windowpanes, while out in it it’s something harder, gusting to feel like stabs, only softening to water to run down inside your clothes.
A friend and I walked around San Francisco tonight, from Market Street up to Grace Cathedral, down for a meandering burble about Chinatown before finding ourselves in Long Beach and going with it, until we stood on Coit Tower’s promontory with the storm blown in off the Pacific. Back through the Financial District to drip on Bart trains, he went south, I came east.
Then a bike ride through streets like faucets open to any nook of me that was merely soggy not soaked, changing that.
For a moment, the unadulterated wind behind me, I was sailing with the vapor snakes that gave form to every vagary of wind. Grey writhing things that slid on the wet black pavement and made me feel like an windborn seaborn waterborne god.
The road curved out of that harmony, wind rocking my frame and tugging my handlebars, sticks invisible in the undertree rubble kicking my wheel out at sudden angles, tire lost in a mush of sodden leaves that my mind registered would make braking impossible under the bobbing red stoplights.
But I made it home, equally soaked and in love with the world. Moved a snail off my doorstep. And felt something unexpected and familiar.
Because I have it good. Really good. I love my life, my freedom, the fact that today I bought two plane tickets touching three continents. I don’t want to give this up. But standing in the stoop under a single yellow bulb
I realized that if I’d done things differently. Lived a little bit otherhow. There would be someone here when I got home. Someone to laugh at my soaked state, help me inside, take care of my clothes and set an old towel under my bicycle while I climb in the shower.
Instead I’ll do it for myself. And it’s fine. Really is. But here in these quiet moments after midnight, when it feels like everyone else is in bed with their paired each-others, I find myself looking over and “I wish I had your life.”