I am officially back on the east coast. I guess technically I was officially back at 8am this morning, when my red-eye flight landed at JFK, but now I’m home in my apartment and it feels more official that way.
The last 72 hours is literally a blur. This weekend crawled by at a snail’s pace and yet was over before I could blink. The days lasted forever and yet they are over already. I was in California less than 24 hours ago and it already seems like last year. It’s also weirdly only three degrees chillier here in NYC than in San Francisco. Not helping my sense of time and space, people!
So anyway. The Cali Boy visit was, in a word, awesome (is anyone surprised?). My flight was delayed two hours last Thursday night but somehow arrived only one hour late. Cali Boy was tracking my flight all day long (even before I was) so he was well up to speed on when I was set to arrive. Word to the wise: Virgin America flies into the International Terminal at SFO. This caused about five minutes of confusion when Cali Boy and I could not figure out why we were both at “Arrivals” and yet were not in the same place. I finally figured out where I was, he pulled up in his little red Subaru (Rex the WRX) and hopped out with a grin.
“You made it!” He said, grabbing my duffel and flinging it into his trunk. He gave me a huge hug and we drove back to his house. As opposed to earlier in the day, during which I could not have been freaking out more, at that point in the night I was so exhausted and disoriented from having traveled 3,000 miles and gained three hours of Thursday that any semblance of anxiety was entirely gone.
Of course, the exhaustion manifested itself into completely delusional speech and also caused me to immediately spill a large glass of water all over myself and his kitchen counter and floor within about 10 minutes of walking in the door. Luckily, he seemed to find these quirks endearing rather than red freak flags.
I didn’t really realize how well we’d gotten to know each other over the past two+ months. The background made everything easy; it was never awkward or uncomfortable. It felt natural to sit in the passenger seat, to have his arm around my waist, to catch his eye and grin about something we both overheard. The hardest thing, for me, was to accept it as my reality for the time being. My biggest challenge was remaining open with my guard down. I’m not sure I totally succeeded, but I do know I did a better job at it than I normally do.
We went to Pier 39 and saw sea lions. He bought me saltwater taffy that we ate as we wandered through a photography exhibit. We took a ferry to Alcatraz Island where we got a guided tour, watched a short Discovery Channel video, and did the head-set self-guided tour. We hiked all over the island in the sunny, salty air looking out at the views the prisoners had as they played baseball in their courtyard. We had pizza and beer and watched “When Harry Met Sally” and he told me I was never allowed to call it a non-chick-flick again. We drove down to Monterey and saw Cannery Row (à la John Steinbeck’s slice-of-life novel from 1945) and went to the aquarium where we saw sea otters and seahorses and hammerhead sharks and giant tuna fish. We walked down the rocky coast and found an empty bench that seemed placed there exactly for us. We found a beach entirely devoid of human life but over-crowded with spotted seals taking an evening nap. I met his friends who all gave him props for having a chick fly across the country to hang out with just him. (He gave me props, too.) We saw “Avatar” in 3-D and watched football in bed after sleeping till noon.
Overall, the weekend was intense and amazing and natural and sexy and comfortable and just all around great. B asked me today about my “emotional/mental state,” though, and I don’t have an answer yet. I’m still digesting everything. Cali Boy is really cool. He’s cute and we are compatible in a lot of ways. We have a lot of differences but most are complimentary instead of clashing. I’m attracted to him and we got along for 72 hours straight – most of the time in a one-on-one situation, always sober (a drastic change from the first weekend we spent together).
I’m going to visit B and Mama Bird this weekend and I’m counting on them to help me sort through my thoughts and feelings and hopefully I’ll be more in tune with my “emotional/mental state” soon. Until then – just know that until I crashed this afternoon and could barely keep my eyes open, I couldn’t stop grinning.