Dolores Park on Friday: I see my first naked man after hearing about sightings for years. He is face down, belly spreading out to either side, meager buttock cheeks pinking in the sun.
The wind is whips and chains, but if you sit on the grass, you can duck below it, find the still place where sun cooks in. I roll up my pant legs and lean back on my elbows.
A group just behind and to my right speak French. In front of me is a crowd on blankets. Two girls have taken off their shirts, daring in bras. Between them and a boy in shorts lies another girl. I see just bare legs and shoulders, and wonder if she has stripped everything away, her friends acting as minimal screen, thrillingly half-seen.
A gaggle of gay boys is behind and to my left. One of the girls in her bra squeals, one hand over her mouth. A train has just pulled in. The girl gathers up her things, breasts swinging, no time to dress, she scrambles in her black boots and jeans up the hill, shouting again and again as the train closes its doors, rolls away without her.
"You go, girl," yells one of the boys behind me.
I see the friend wasn't naked after all, revealed now in a bikini with the straps down.
Another blanket island of people to my left. Men and a luscious woman, overflowing her tank top, long eyes looking demurely to one side. She lifts to her knees. "I am not a tranny!" she says loudly enough for all to hear. "I may have balls and a dick, but I am NOT a tranny."
"Tranny!" yells the boy from the peanut gallery. The woman laughs and falls back onto the blanket.
Saturday, Washington Square: The grass is full of people. A white guy with a sad little beard holds a glass ball in blackened fingers. He stands and rests the ball on the back of his hand, curved slightly backward to cradle it. He juggles the ball, spindly arms turning long and full of purpose, the ball shooting sunlight across his face.
A set of geekish kids practice backbends, leaning into each other, ankles wobbling. One falls, bringing the rest into a giggling heap beside her.
Sunday, Yerba Buena: I'm having tea with a friend, sunlight sluicing across one arm, the left side of my face. I wonder if I'll burn. A woman appears beside our table, staring stolidly. "Do you have something." Her lips are cracked. We shake our heads, slowly. "I'm sorry," I say, but she stares for a long accusing moment before turning away, pushing into a young couple's space until they have to look up, have to engage.
There are toddlers in flowered springtime church dresses. A mother holds her daughter's hands, crab-walking behind her while she balance-beams along the edge of the fountain.
Another woman raises one hand against the sun, pinching her face away from its light.
I want to absorb every drop of sun, store it in my bones so that tomorrow, in the office, it will radiate heat and grass and hiked up skirts and lazy leaning into shoulders and the quiet rustling of pages in a novel carried to the park.