Golden Gate & Tank Hill

Allen's TreeToday was fucking cool. Started off not so great, arguments—old ones—and sullen moments and silent moments, but a nice day and our natural affinity for one another won out. We spent the whole day together, starting off with walking around Golden Gate Park, through the Fern Tree Grove, through the AIDS Memorial Grove. Allen’s tree is there. Back in July of 1996, a year after Allen died, I sponsored a Workday in his name. I was one of two people who had sponsored the day, and after several hours of uprooting cyprus seedlings and blackberry brambles around what is now the western end of the Grove’s Meadow, there was a little ceremony where we planted a seven-foot redwood tree in Allen’s name. I was still in a funk during that Workday, and come to think of it, it was a day much like today. Though since it was July, it was much colder than our February spectacle today. His tree now stands three times taller.

There was a Parks maintenance vehicle right near the Grove’s Circle of Friends monument, and Sam suggested playfully that we steal it. I laughed, said no, then went quiet again. I commented to Sam that this grove was the only real church for which I still had any natural or instinctive sense of the sacred.

Sany0033-3“So I guess I shouldn’t talk about us going into the bushes to do it, huh?” Sam asked.

I laughed again, told him that I thought the place wasn’t so much about being quiet and solemn as it was about still being alive to enjoy it, “so, it’s ok to talk about that kind of stuff.”

Sam wrapped his arms around me and we kissed. Ok, ok, we made out.

We did that a lot today…in the Fern Tree Grove, near a pond. Near the Conservatory. On JFK Drive. Later on top of Tank Hill.

We drove around Golden Gate Park for a while, then headed over towards Parnassus Heights, because it snows there every year, around this time of year, for a couple of days. We were a few days early, though.

I wanted Sam to see a few different houses that I’ve always loved, and we ended up above Cole Valley at the end of Belgrave Street. That’s when we discovered Tankhill Park. Who knew it was even there?

It was good to have found it together; together is good, whether in the park this afternoon, or greased up like pigs going at it in the shower this evening.

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