Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fighting with Feathers

Turns out it hurts.

One second you can be staring in a mirror with distaste at the ever-present zit that is so big it came right out of My So Called Life (aka the 90's when I should have started and stopped getting them), then you are going to the gym and grocery shopping and errand running like a good 24 year old should, and then, you get pulled back into a world where a stranger at the check out counter actually talks to you and asks how you are, even when you look like crap, and tells you to go to a pillow fight in the Embarcadero. I love San Francisco.

So you call up your good friend Kristen, who despite having a boyfriend of a lovely sort is willing to overlook the necessity to be with said lover for the entirety of the loverliest day of February, hop on a Muni at the corner of Dolores Park with the hipsters and pajama wearing pillow toting others, and make way to the water.

(I don't even know what tense I'm writing in at this point but it has to stop. Don't judge me).

When we walked the remaining block of Market, we were heading straight to the photographer/paparazzi line. Sometimes it feels less special to be just another lens in a sea of lenses.

I lifted to the tippiest top of my 8'5" tip toes and saw the blur of popcorning marshmellows as people slammed each other with pillows. Softness and acknowledged intention buffering what in any other circumstance would be such an awkward public blow. Part of me wanted to get right up close, like as if they were behind glass - and just see the slow motion impact of cotton to face. Talk about a way to get out aggression (I just remembered how to spell that word by reciting the cheer b-e-a-g-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e in my head. Not a good look). Every few minutes feathers would explode upward into the air as if a dove had been shot, and then rain down like snow. At one point some firecrackers went off in the crowd. The urban people ducked. Yes I said urban - the thing about blogs is you never know who's reading.

We stood chucks deep in feathers watching the weary emerge red faced, panting, and aged by white fluff. It only took one stray feather fighter molting in our direction to send us on our way. Luckily the fight followed beyond the battlefield as anyone walking down market with a pillow was automatically entered into a duel with a miniskirted, shrieking girl. Fiercer than you might imagine but just as annoying.

Then atop a 39th floor hotel with a cocktail view of our dearest city, Kristen and I discussed boxes. How intense the world would be if you had to think of every detail of every little thing from the table you're sitting at, to the person you're talking to, to the universe you're in. Like when you pass a homeless person and you wonder, what is your life like? Who were your parents and what crazy stories to do you have? What normal stories do you have. And when you take the time to let someone out of the careful box you packed them into, they always surprise you, in some way. You surprise yourself sometimes.

Ended the night with some Castro queenies, a Hot Cookie, well several, and an awkward phone call.

But you know how some days you just feel like you have a clean slate? Nothing really holding you back but you? I felt like that.

Happy Valentines Day!

P.S. I love Cherry Blossoms and Painted Ladies.


  1. Michelle!! This is Janet, your resident from way back when. I stumbled upon this wonderful virtual home of yours. I really, really, really love the last photo of the cherry blossoms, and I needed to leave you a comment to tell you that. It seriously makes me so happy. What kind of camera do you shoot with? Also, pillow fight on the Embarcadero? Awesome. I love SF also. It's such a great place. :)

  2. Hey lovely! At the moment I'm just using a regular ol point and shoot canon elph! Hopefully enrolling in a CE photography course soon and upgrading. Miss you, how's life?