My old friend Aidan & I went to China Beach today, to laugh & dance around in the water & tell each other stories & hang out with some ladybugs*. He snapped these perfect photos of me playing in the waves with my cane.

It was magical, like actually magical, like I’m getting choked up writing about it, like I say that with all the strega earnestness I can muster.

I was born & raised in the Bay Area, and I’ve lived in San Francisco since I was 8. That’s 23 years, all told. I have spent a lot of time over the last year feeling heartbroken & bitter, bitter, bitter! about what my home town is becoming. Worried about how long I’ll last here, how long my family of origin & my family of choice will be able to hold out. I’m blessed with rent control & finely-honed poverty skills & a hustler’s heart, and. Crippled & broke in a rapidly gentrifying city is just. fucking. hard.

And then I have a perfect day like this, and I feel so much love & hope for this place.

Here’s to springtime. Here’s to resilience. Abundanza.

* No, seriously, note the BEACH LADYBUG hanging out on my St. Julian tattoo! There are zillions (or, well, dozens) of ladybugs on China Beach. So weird — I’ve never met a ladybug at a beach before, let alone whole swarms of them — and so cool.