if i tell you it won't come true

san francisco is a small town. whoever it is you're conflicted about seeing, you'll bump into them eventually. i saw mine today...he was skateboarding across market street near montgomery bart station. i recognized the shape and movements of his body first, then i recognized his shoes. something about the shoes got me. i stood there at the top of the stairs down into the bart station for a moment, people streaming by on either side of me. i think i was holding my breath.

it affected me more than i would have liked. but that's the thing about this stuff. it scars over so it's harder to get to, but when something finally touches that hurt place, it feels as bad as it ever did. and i felt alone, and i have been alone, and maybe i'm getting a little tired of alone. i think i am more than this.

and i wanted to go home and dissolve, and i could have. but instead i decided to be around people so i went to this bbq and there the universe provided what i needed in the form of atsuko. she is an old japanese woman and i have had several talks with her and i think she's fabulous. so tonight she asked me when school starts and then she talked to me at length about how she keeps a diary and recently she was looking through and counting her blessings (she has 12 currently) and realized that she can attribute them all to her higher education. and that she can attribute that in turn to her grandmother, who raised her. and she talked about what higher education had given her: a center, a self. she said it doesn't even matter if you get married, if you stay single, or if you divorce...if you learn something, study something, strive for something, your life has purpose.

afterwards i went to school to pick up my first grading work. this big packet of papers that i know some kids poured their hearts into and suddenly the job of evaluating them seems weighty, and a little daunting. but it was so great to walk across a dark moonlit campus and use my own keys to get into the building, to get into my office. "i am a grad student!" i proclaimed to empty air.

at 11:11 a.s said "make a wish" and i did.