On a gloomy, fog covered day you can walk up to the top and look out onto the city and feel a little more at peace. You can sense the mist of the air on your face or the sweat on your brow, if you ran up, and look over the grass and the buildings and imagine the bay just beyond. How a dip into the water would freeze you instantly, no matter how fast you try to swim, and you think about the city as a lifeboat, a gentle palm of a cupped hand holding you in it's warmth so you don't have to fall into the turbulent waters. You can think beyond the work it takes to be here, the day to day drudgery of sitting behind a computer and doing whatever it is you do to earn a living, to pay your exorbitant rent, to purchase the amazing food. You let go of all the non-committal people that don't answer your calls or forget you had plans or flat out say they don't know yet because they don't know how they'll feel later, what they'll want to do. You pretend like you don't realize you are doing the same thing to everyone else. You deny the two-hour long waits for weekend brunch and the lines for handmade coffee or mediocre ice cream and the bicycle accidents you hear about all the time, that must be exaggerated. You dismiss the dates that never happened or the ones that went well and then never went anywhere else, or the people you've dated, the ones in which you invested your time and to whom you maybe even have opened up, the ones that you thought you could love that can never love you. You accept the randomness of the bars and the dichotomy of being so near everyone you've ever met, boxed in a 7x7 space, but still so far from everyone you've ever met, here. You may be alone or with a friend or with a lover. You tell yourself this is where you should go when you don't feel yourself, back to this spot when, on a gloomy, fog covered day, you feel hope and safety and a sense of place.
On a clear day, when you can see two bridges on either side connecting the top of the peninsula to other lands and infinite possibilities, when the sun is out and the wind is mild, you see a sea of people dressed or undressed, on blankets and pillows with tents and hula hoops and make-shift slip and slides. You see families and couples and big groups of friends drinking beer and wine and coconut water, with picnics of oysters or overpriced produce, Delfina pizza or those sandwiches from that place on the corner with the dutch crunch bread. People reading and smoking and writing and playing various instruments. Entertainers and entrepreneurs. You can't think because it is too loud. You can't sit because there is no space. You can't feel hope or safety because it is too infinite. You wonder why among so many things and people and possibilities you feel so alone. You wonder if you've ever really felt any different. If you'll ever really fit in. If you can ever accept your potential. You miss the lifeboat that held you safely and protected you from the unknown. You miss the fog and the gloom and the mist. You hope for rain.