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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The kite

With so many scenic streets to choose from, I didn’t realize I’d been avoiding Alamo Square.

It wasn’t until a friend wanted to see the San Francisco skyline from that famous hillside that I realized I’d been unconsciously walking along east and west alternatives. While I wanted to offer her a rational reason for skipping the view that day, mentioning a kite trapped in treetop didn’t seem like one such reason.

If I were to go there, no matter how hard I would try to avoid it, I knew I would have to look up to see if the kite was still there, still wrapped in the braches, around the branches. As soon as I thought of its black wingspan, I remembered the first time I saw it so many months ago. That day I wandered the city, trying to be loved by the buildings, the sidewalks, the storefronts, and cafés serving up company in a cup.

Even though it was just a wayward kite stuck in a tree in hilltop park, its presence punctured the ballooned-up emotion I discreetly carry around like a gut filled with gas. That kite is permanently trapped--like me--entangled with the distress of a single day that changed its course. I didn’t want to see it again, still there, still stuck, still dealing with the ramifications of the day the wind was too powerful or its owner was too careless.

While its nylon fabric has likely been brittled by the hours of a hundred sunrises and sunsets, what it meant to me remains solid, intact. My friend and I walked along Hayes Street instead that day. I'm sure I told her that I just didn't have the energy to climb the hill. I didn't tell her it was an emotional one.

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