I saw myself scratching my shin again. I’ve consistently scratched this one spot raw since July. I think it started with a bug bite, but now I cross my legs and claw at it when I’m nervous.
I saw a group of muslim women together. They were giggling, chatting, splashing — all fully clothed, heads wrapped in various colored cloths. One sitting on their beach blanket called to them in a language I couldn’t understand. From the water, they cried in English, “I don’t care if I’m being loud! I’m having fun!” while one their phones blasted a rap song whose chorus begged them to shake their asses.
I saw a man and his child playing. The man knew it was time to go, with the sun falling behind the hills of Marin off in the distance. He cried to his son in Spanish, I could only make out a few words here and there. They flirted with each other: the boy running in circles around him, not ready to leave. He cried to him, “mijo oo mijo!”. The boy hid in the dunes a ways behind me. I could hear his laughter when he was caught. The man lifted him over his head. The boy’s cries began to fill with a playful fear as the man walked him to the beach and dunked him the water one more time to wash off the sand from the boy’s play.
I saw a lot of people on their phones, tablets, devices around me. Their glow caught my eyes now, as the light from the sun faded. I never want to forget what moving my hand over a page with a pen, pencil, or brush feels like.
I saw the brushed clouds over the hills of South San Francisco turn from orange to pink. I saw them fade into a light blue. My limbs began to feel cold, but I stayed until it was dark. I need to see all of it when I’m watching. I need to sit and be there for all of it.
From my Notebook, October 14th, 2014