I Left My Free Will In San Francisco

Four years ago in the oft forgotten metaphysical wonderland of Melbourne’s Wantirna, I had the pleasure of encountering a psychic soothsayer known to all in the know as Joan Starr. Petite and jovial, with an infectious laugh, neat teeth and Queen Anne furniture, the Starrwoman provided an enlightening experience and the prophecies she expounded proved intoxicating. According to visions permeating her mind’s eye, in years to come I would travel far and wide across this amazing globe successive times, whereby plans could change with the drop of a hat, wonderful, offbeat people would cross my path, and extraordinary experiences would be enjoyed and drunk up. With a gentle pause and glint in her pupil she declared softly – “I see you living in San Francisco…”.

This highly specific prophetic nugget never left me.

Be it the forces of destiny or just the power of suggestion, from this day onward the allure of San Francisco began to pervade my existence. A luscious dream was formed in my mind of this magical, far out city - its’ Golden Gate, its fog, the steep hills and vintage trams; Kerouac, Beatniks, hipsters, and boho carefreedom. Without ever having seen or tasted this far off nook something began to resonate within my intuitive innards that the Starrwoman’s oracular was bang on; her prophecies poised for vindication.

Synchronicities and odd events surrounding San Francisco began to show up in my life on a regular basis. Café’s I’d been ordering take away lattes for months suddenly brandished ‘San Francisco’ postcards behind their counters. Geezers with SF shirts kept arriving on cue whenever the Golden Gate was on my mind, and more and more people I met at the hostel would voluntarily inform me about the wonders of the magical bay city. Imagination was thrust and remained in a constant state of anticipation, waiting for the right cue from the cosmos to begin constructing this potential destiny into a surefire reality.

A Fine day in England…

A spate of typically stubborn English murk heaved chubby rain across the fields some twenty miles north of Heathrow, inconveniently positioned right through the guts of our designated flight path. An already solid ten and a half hour trip was about to be stretched to a sweaty, concyx-jarring twelve, as we sat motionless in the cabin for the duration of an entire in-flight film without having even left the tarmac. Because I’d booked a flight from LAX to San Francisco to connect with the scheduled LA arrival, this unexpected two hour delay was a particularly shite predicament.

A ruby red sun shone through the plane window. A spectrum of amazing colour and remarkable sunset horizon.

We made it off the ground and eventually set down in LA. Fearing additional delays at the potentially fruitless border control, I was amazed to find a friendly, fast and efficient procession in place and little allusion to any serious cavity searches. As my bags took their time in spurting forth from the deep blackness of the conveyor shute, I was immediately reminded me of the time I arrived here 14 years ago a an unaccompanied minor, discovering that my bags had boarded a flight to China without me or my consent. History wasn’t to repeat itself and my tired, Camino-smashed blue sack eventually emerged from the abyss, looking ugly and tired, not unlike it’s owner. After initial hope that I’d just make it after the speedy, latex-free transition through customs, I missed my connecting flight and was stuck in bloody LA.

I breathed my first gasps of sinfully sweet, hedonistic air and intoxicating bustle of Los Angles. A Sheryl Crow song began to fight its way into my brain and spoke “This is L..A..” It was all so glossy, so fast – so sweaty and musty. Black Lincolns and shiny Lexuses vied for lane space. Background characters from American films roamed before me in real life – the big bling momma with corn rows, a badass mofo with head-kerchief and T-shirt fourteen sizes too big for his bony frame. Borderline angina, a fat taxi driver leapt from his cab and spewed “Hurry Da Fock up Luis, Ya Too Fockin Goddam slow for Fock’s sake. Foooock!”, to an otherwise unsuspecting airport cab rank employee. I reckon the cabbie’s name must have been Bill, Billy, Mac or Buddy.

Dreading forking out for another plane fare after missing the flight to San Fran, my old mate Dick Branson’s Virgin America staff proved great sports and offered to put me down free of charge for the next morning’s red eye. Marred by an already visible case of red eye, lagged, clock-blown and ass-numbed from the trans-time zone air-trundle, I pulled up a section of rank departure lounge floor and bunked down for the night in chateau LAX airport.

With dreams of the orange tinted Gold Gate at the forefront of my zonked imagination, The San Fran prophecy would have to wait for yet another night…I ate my second Maccas meal in four months and hit the floor.

1 comment:

Lucas said...

Aha! Soon they shall be calling it "Cam Francisco".