In six weeks, approximately, more or less, Iâ€™m leaving for Utah (and I suspect that sentence is going to be repeated often and oftener over the next six weeks, as the amount of time slowly dwindles and my stomach becomes a tinier little knot). I have not yet begun to pack, or think about packing, or consider the possibility of thinking about maybe beginning to plan to start to pack, but I sure have begun to panic.
Itâ€™s not a fear of going, because I want to go, I am looking forward to going, oh, Iâ€™m looking forward to going. Itâ€™s not a fear of leaving, because I think leaving is going to be good for me, and while Iâ€™m not done with San Francisco and San Francisco isnâ€™t done with me (itâ€™s got a couple more thumpings and some kisses left in it, I think), I could stand a break for awhile. But I think that is the thing that keeps catching me the most. Iâ€™m leaving San Francisco. I wanted so badly to live here, and now Iâ€™m leaving voluntarily, and what the hell am I thinking?
So before I leave, I want to do San Francisco things. Six weeks is not
a lot of time to cram all the San Francisco things I want to do into my
lifeâ€”itâ€™s probably not even enough time to think of all the absolutely
emblematic, canâ€™t miss San Francisco things Iâ€™m supposed to do to keep me
from sitting, shivering, in the middle of Utah, being flooded with
regret the way my limbs are being flooded with frostbite and Mormonism.
When pie said that I had to have a party, of course, to say goodbye and
farewell, I violently disagreed because I hate parties and am
uncomfortable at them, especially if they are made for me. They make me
itch and feel self-conscious. A party is a yeast infection of my soul.
That was possibly the worst metaphor I have ever come up with, and
please do not remind me that Iâ€™m leaving my job in order to write full-time? Thanks.
We have to do something, though, she said, and suddenly, shining
bright, was the opportunity to slug a bird and his buddy with just one
swing of my meaty fistâ€”I could do something emblematic of my life here
in beautiful San Francisco, as well as have a sort of party that
wouldnâ€™t be a party in any way, shape or form. So we went up to wine
country, yesterday, and oh my god, did we drink all of the wine that
exists in Napa. I apologize, but youâ€™re going to have to reschedule
your wine tasting field trips, tourists, because they are fresh out.
I was late, because my stomach is not my friend, but I made it to the
North Berkeley BART station eventually, and there our designated driver
was, and the rest of the crew (see picture, above. We are so pretty. Even though the soundtrack for that face I’m making is "Duuurrrrr…"),
and we were darting down the highway, reading the "Designated Driver
Wine Tours Presents: Napa History! Wine Tasting Tips!" souvenir brochure
that was handed out to us (the highlight: â€œLegs are metaphorical. If
you see a real little leg in your wine, notify someone else
immediately.â€) and ready to hit Dean and Deluca before we all
immediately tried to alcoholically poison ourselves.
Sandwiches, the best tour ever of Cakebread Winery (hereâ€™s some barrels
and things. Can I pour you more wine?), a new winery called Alpha and
Omega with a shark pond and synchronized swimming with Keith Richards
and swanky parties, and then Robert Sinskey and his delicious tartlets
served with his delicious wines, and then a lot of wines that sparkled
at Mumm, and then one more winery which lacked the appropriate vowels…Gnich? Something like that. And then, some of the best vegetarian food
in the history of vegetarianism, and then a ride home in the dark, and
the city in the distance all sparkling, except I accused it of being,
like, Sausalito or something.
This morning, I am not hungover, but I am groggy and slow-moving, every so often on the edge
of tears for no good reason at all. Itâ€™s what happens after you spend 8
hours drinking, I know. But it also feels a little bit like the day
after a hard goodbye. I donâ€™t know when Iâ€™m going to be back to wine
country. Thatâ€™s one thing down, and so many left to go, and I donâ€™t
want them to go, not yet.