M.C. asked us to send him our San Fransexiest stories, and the brightly painted Victorian he's erected houses Donna George Storey, PM White, Renatto Garcia, Adele Levin, Shanna Germain, Craig J. Sorensen, Theda Hudson, Jude Mason, Neve Black, Mykola Dementiuk, yours truly, and Anna Reed with Lily Penza.
I'm so delighted to be part of this West Coast wingding! Here's a San Fransample of my contribution, "Microminiclimates":
I knew it was an indefensible fancy of mine that Clara could only have existed in San Francisco. But it was a harmless one, and I clung to it like a teddy bear.
It was Clara who first explained to me about the microclimates—how, even within central SF, a damp, rainy day in one neighborhood could coexist with a warm, sunny day elsewhere, at the same moment... that, if she were to be believed, this sort of thing went on all the time. And venture farther afield around the Bay, she maintained, and a veritable “meteorology’s greatest hits” was on offer.
“You can’t really understand San Francisco unless you understand the microclimates.”
I didn’t doubt it. But I’d never said I intended to “understand” San Francisco. It seemed that to aspire to this might smack of hubris. After all, I wasn’t sure I would even claim to “understand” Erie, Pennsylvania, though I’d lived there my entire life.
My knee-jerk response, I’m sorry to report, was to dismiss the microclimate paradigm as “silly.” That was my typical reaction, in those days, to anything I was reluctant to make room for in my world. It wasn’t that I didn’t credit what Clara was telling me; I just didn’t feel any need to embrace the phenomenon. Clara was disappointed by this, and she vowed to seduce me with the charm of her beloved microclimates.
She began, early in my visit, by instructing me in area geography. This I was receptive to—especially the way she taught it, using her body. The left leg was Oakland; the right, San Francisco....