On Saturday night, I took a nap in my sleeping bag in Union Square, while watching Bullitt, a classic San Francisco film. When I awoke at 10:00 p.m., I marveled that I had fallen asleep without fear in public, because a friend was with me for purse watching, and a crowd of peaceful moviegoers was assembled around us.
After the movie, my friend drove me home. I put our uneaten food in my fridge, and our half-empty wine bottle at my kitchen counter's edge. I climbed into bed at 11:30 p.m., feeling content.
Four hours later, a violent force woke up the whole Bay Area but me. At 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, I logged into Facebook, to learn that all my local friends had been shaken out of slumber four hours before. Like the movie in Union Square, I had slept right through this earthquake. My wine bottle, still perched on the counter’s edge, revealed no signs of shifted earth.
In recent weeks, life’s fragility has been everywhere: my close friend Kristin died. Robin Williams, and then a colleague, quickly followed. The Ferguson police killed Michael Brown, and San Francisco news has featured a rash of mysterious deaths.
In that time, I celebrated a dear friend’s wedding; I stood on a chair for Robin Williams, with hundreds of bereft San Franciscans, as we watched the Dead Poets Society members do the same; I danced like mad to New Orleans brass; and I planned a road trip to San Diego, and train travel to Denver and Chicago, to visit loved ones this fall.