"I used to know," I say.
And beyond the fog, across the Bay, over the Sierras and then the Rockies still awaiting their first snow, on past the Mississippi winding its way to the Gulf, among the corn fields, the limestone buildings of a Midwest college town — at least two flights away — you agree.
"I knew once, as a teenager."
"It was so easy to know then, as a teenager."
"But each time after that one I was less certain."
The fog comes up off the ocean then silently slips though the streets. A stream of fog. A tributary leading nowhere. It overtakes the nostalgia peddlers down on Haight.
"Yes, each time a little less. That sounds right."
"In college I still knew — 95 percent maybe."
The city will soon disappear in the fog.
"And in my mid-twenties maybe 90."
"But as a teenager, like you say, it was easy to be certain."
"Yet there was so little to be certain about."
This old apartment is cold. A draft comes in through the window. Spring has passed and with it, the sky's violent storms. Summer is now over.
"When you came out here, when you were here, I sensed we felt the same."
"I'm not sure. There were distractions."
Out the window, fog.
"Well this is not San Francisco. And we knew I was moving from the start."
Winter will come and in the mountains the snow will pile high.
"Will we still talk? I mean, would you like to still talk?"
On the plains the wind will blow bitter cold.
"Yes. As people do who live apart."
The days get shorter. Summer's gone.
"And is that it?" you ask, from beyond the fog.
I don't know.
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