IMG_6269San Francisco

3:18 a.m. My phone jerks with a Dexcom alert. I pull it close to my face, blink to clear my eyes, tap the screen to get to the app. “LOW.” I call Nick. No answer. I call again. He picks up, says he has fast-acting, hangs up. I fall back asleep.

4:47 a.m. My phone jerks with a Dexcom alert. I pull it close to my face, blink to clear my eyes, tap the screen. “LOW.” I call Nick. No answer. I call again. I call 27 more times. He picks up. I have juice, he says. This time I keep him on the phone to make sure he drinks it. We exchange a few sentences about following up with a granola bar once his blood sugar comes up until I’m satisfied he’ll be okay. I lie in bed, phone in hand, mind racing ahead to the day. After a while of imagining doing all the things and solving all the problems, I see Nick’s blood sugar swing up. I close my eyes. The weight of the blankets pin me to the bed. I sleep.

7:34 a.m. I oversleep. Skip morning meditation and yoga and go straight for coffee. I sit in front of the computer, intending to work, looking at emails, in fact, but mostly fucking about until my head settles. How long the brain clearing takes annoys me.

9:30 a.m. I work in earnest except for a side text conversation about Bike Month, in which I’ve agreed to participate despite not having my bike with me and lacking an office to bike to. The downside of having friends, I guess.

11:30 a.m. My period announces itself with trumpets and angels. Despite this being year 37 of having a period, I find myself without tampons. I call my colleague while walking to the store. Over the rumbling of the bus and the screeching of the train, we talk desal, coastal erosion, priorities for the week. Thanks for being on top of things, I say as I hang up. I dash into Walgreens, buy tampons and a bottle of sparkly nail polish, walk back to the house.

Noon. I work in earnest except for checking for updates on any of my three people in various hospitals.

IMG_62613 p.m. Another call while walking, this time the two miles to the bike shop. At the intersections, the wind blasts me. Between the intersections, the rows of houses blocks the wind and, in the sun’s heat, I regret the layers. Fewer white caps dot the ocean than in the prior days and I wonder if surfing might be a possibility soon. I wrap the call, arrive at the bike shop, rent a bike for the next couple days. Do you want a basket? the guy asks. Sure, I say. Why not?

6 p.m. Tree roots have turned the Sunset bike path from a flat surface into one of bumps and ridges. The basket on the front of the bike rattles on its hooks and then off its hooks. I brake, pull onto the grass, retrieve the basket. Is your bike okay? asks a lady cyclist as she pedals past. Yes, thank you, I respond. I reattach the basket and use the lock to weigh it down. This works. What isn’t working is my navigation. I turn right too early in Redwood Park and end up on MLK instead of JFK. I correct, but then keep stopping to check the map to ensure I’m on the correct route. I zip through the Panhandle with a smile. Downtown, a driver fails to notice me in the bike lane between her and the turn she desires to make. I yell to keep her from crushing me.


7:05 p.m. I crack open a beer, the pop audible over the speaker giving an update to the room full of volunteers. I drink half, relishing the fizzy cold refreshment after the bike ride, then leave it aside as I’m technically avoiding beer (wine, whiskey) at the moment. I’m called up. I present, talk California policy and legislation. People ask questions. I’m less linear than I’d intended, but my enthusiasm appears to connect.

8:10 p.m. I duck out, map a route back on the bus system – can’t take bikes on the train – catch the first bus without hassle, almost miss my transfer stop because I’m eyeballs deep in my phone wondering why Strava would record only half my ride across the City and how I can adjust that on the Love To Ride site so that my team gets all the points we deserve, so that I get all the points I deserve. My phone slips from my grip into the gutter while I’m unloading my bike from the front of the bus.

IMG_62689:06 p.m. Google Maps says the stop for the next bus is across the side street, but no other stop can be found. I walk back and forth staring at my phone, trying to align the blue dot of me with where the bus stop shows on the map. Another bus, not mine, arrives at the stop where I’d disembarked and I ask the driver if the 23 comes here. Around the corner, he says. I wheel the bike around the corner and yes, a lonely bus stop sits hidden in the shadows. I step around the puddle of puke spreading across the sidewalk, hold my breath against the smell of piss. A bus flashes into my vision. It’s hurtling down the street I just walked away from. The 23. I run back around the corner, handlebars in hands, and the driver whips over to the curb. I stash the bike on the front, board. The rest of the evening is uneventful.