This morning the Bay water, between Alcatraz and Angel Island, rolled in testy, white-capped. The ferry lurched. We could not see the wave coming, but anyone could track its progress underneath. Hands popping out in a mimicking roll, out of their pockets for a rail, a pole, a table edge, a coffee cup bidding adieu.
And after that moment, a silence, as before thunderclap. No matter how many times you've felt that instance of an onset, you want to know everything you can about what's next. In such moments the mind actually waits. The pupils dilate, and a new light brings everyone in: the burnt red towers, the shadowy ocean liner under the Gate, the Eastern sunlight splashing against pier warehouses, the stoic pose of Coit Tower, the proud golden dome of the Palace of Fine Arts, the grey indifference of the Embarcadero towers, the jaunty point of the TransAmerica pyramid.
And here, on deck: you can see the same silence in each mind. That Aryan beauty wonders why the Irishman doesn't take a closer look. That tweeded professor solemnly reads the NY Times. That coven of chatters, the ones I call Graphic Designer Paolo, Career Lutheran Mary, Forlorn Mia, Night School Missy. All minds engaged on the moment before the one they wait for.
If we had thunder in this town I would never leave it.