By Taylor Tarahteeff
Fog off San Francisco Bay doesn't embrace, it chokes. But people don't seem to notice. They wade through the smokescreen staring at their feet as shimmering pilons of steel and iron pierce through the top of the ghostly white veil. People in San Francisco like the fog, if only because it masks the needles, the vomit, the decay, the dull cities of camping tents, it all disappears in the fog. In a churn of confusion, I was separated from my family, left to roam the streets of the necropolis. I wished for fog. For in its absence I saw only danger and desperation lingering like mustard gas at the base of the astrally-reaching towers of affluence. I shuffled down streets looking for a friendly face, a ray of hope. I found myself staring at my feet, avoiding the sights of the place I traversed. I wandered into a doorway, drawing looks I did not return, waiting for an interloper like me, separate from this mess. Some businessman handed me his phone cautiously, expecting a con. He too stared at his shining black slip-ons. I held back relief like a bated breath until a silver sedan with fog lights beaming waded through the filth to get me. Then we, the reunited family, slunk out of the city past the hollow sunken faces, the houses made from pallets, and escaped down the coast while the fog slid in to choke San Francisco once more.
Taylor Tarahteeff was the editor of the 2020 issue of Baily’s Beads. He graduated last year with an interdisciplinary arts degree. The Door to Nowhere