A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, a truck bed, and thou

bestdatenight

See the subtle arrow point the edges of the truck bed make? Above it is the Golden Gate bridge.

A slight variation on the love poem by Omar Khayyam (trans. E. FitzGerald), whose relevant stanza goes a little more like:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread–and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness–
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

For the beloved and me, on a warm enough date night, we add some cheese, grapes, olives, water, chocolate, and a blanket, and skedaddle about a mile and a half uphill from our place, to a parking lot up above Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science.  Prop up two lawn chairs in the back of the truck, pull out the picnic dinner, and watch the sun go down and the city lights wink on in a transformation as gradual as it is breathtaking.

In the springtime, there’s no fog coming in on little cat feet, which is much appreciated.  Wrote Carl Sandburg:

  • The fog comes
  • on little cat feet.
  • It sits looking
  • over harbor and city
  • on silent haunches
  • and then moves on.

Summertime, when that little cat feet fog moves on, it moves due east and settles down for the night right around your ankles, and keeps you nice and chilled.  As all us locals are quick to tell you, whether or not it’s true, that Mark Twain once quipped, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

But these spring nights, it’s gorgeous.  You can see container ships pilot underneath the Golden Gate bridge and disappear, eventually, out into the Pacific night. Temperatures in the fifties, perfect for a cozy blanket and a long, meandering conversation with your beloved, the scent of the hillside’s sun-warmed eucalyptus, bay, and sage still wafting in the air.  Just the sort of thing to remind you why you’re so damned lucky, over fifteen years into the journey together.

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