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I Have Become A Local By Patrick Fenix

Tuesday December 27, 2005

I have become a local ... a West Berkeley resident of long standing ... all of a sudden that is given to me ... it has been happening delicately, almost imperceptibly, to be sure, but the realization is sudden, breathtaking ... 

Now as a local I go to walk on the pier with my dog and see things that only I can see ... one day just before sunset I saw two tall dark lovers kissing and pressing against each other out at the end of the pier ... She was wearing white satiny jogging pants and matching top, and their embrace was so hot and absorbing that they noticed my arrival not at all, and I left them as they were about to burst into flames ... Next day on my walk, also late in the afternoon, they were still there, but frozen motionless, somehow having become one ... I marveled and wondered fleetingly how it would end ... 

Anther day as I stood at the end of the pier happy and meditative in the last moment’s of that day’s sun, I saw a man in a gray suit and floppy brimmed straw hat striding toward me, a long silken gray umbrella rolled up tight in his swinging hand ... He strode past me, lips pressed together, determined, and walked right through the bars at the end of the pier, continuing airborne until he reached the old pilings that stretch halfway to San Francisco ... then he strode on, gingerly leaping from old piling to old piling, until he was almost out of sight. 

I couldn’t help but think with gratitude that I had truly become a local.i