Here is a story from day 67, from my journal:
Tonight I was just standing on the Broadway Bridge. I was so high above the water. I turned around me and saw the sun setting the clouds on fire. I thought about all the beautiful things I had seen today. I thought about the ocean stretching out around me, waves licking the shore. I thought about the sky upside down. I thought about the burning clouds. I was standing there. I imagined just climbing the railing, letting myself fall off the bridge backwards. Not suicide but the freedom of being only on air, if only for a few seconds.
I imagined surfacing for oxygen. The current taking me, climbing out wet and the walk I would take back to my bike. I took a cell phone picture and sent it to Steele. I said, ‘I wish you were standing here with me.’ I decided that I would stand on the bridges whenever I was upset–the closest I can come to standing on air.
I got on my bike and rode down, then up, to Powell’s. And as I was walking up the steps to the Purple room, a girl glanced at the side braid hanging down the front of my shirt. I thought about this hair. I grow this hair, I buy this book, I scribble these words. I build up this person. I live inside this head. I make choice after choice, decide things, form opinions. I build this identity. But if you strip me raw, who am I? If you take everything away. My hair. My books. My camera. This pen, my words. Who am I? Who makes this, who decided this. How unthinkable, how impossible, to be sitting in this room with these strangers. To be so known, but to be such a stranger to them. We’re all really the center of our own universes.
August 19, 2012