Normal head to San Francisco day. Sunny summer bliss. I get onto the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) at Fremont station. Watch the shadows and the people who get on and off. Normal head to San Francisco day. At Embarcadero station, the first in San Fran city, a couple of guys in women's lingerie (luckily the more modest kind) get on. Wait. This isn't normal, even for this flamboyant city. Then some women in lingerie (now you're talkin' ;) ) and finally a flood of colour and costumes and lace, all sexes, all orientations, all beliefs, all kinds of kinky squeezed into the train and pouring out onto the Civic Centre Station and finally out on Market Street.
There has to be something brewing. Overheard mentions of the phrase, 'love festival'. This sounds interesting. I follow the crowd. They're heading towards the San Francisco Civic Centre Park that lawns the City Hall and Supreme Court buildings. The flood becomes a tsunami that merges into an ocean of people at the square. Booming bass is reverberating beneath my feet. Like a homing pulse leading me down in the river to pray.
All along the streets circumventing the path, over two dozen huge party vehicles had been set up, DJs spinning, themes ranging from Military to psychedelic Hippie bus. All kinds of electronic music vibrate in a Monet-painting-like blur making sense to those who can step back. Way back. Jump from sound bubble to sound bubble, beat to beat, dancing girls to draw the crowds to..well you get the picture. The only thing that's common in every little party bubble? The dancing off course. Thousands and thousands of capering and flouncing, bounding and gyrating people in various stages and eras of dress and undress. Dirty old men in proverbial trench coats leering, nay drooling at lesbian lovers. Drag queens draped in colours aplently waltzing down the alley way. Pills a-popping, blots a-dropping, doobies a-blazing. While policemen stand with bemused expressions on the sidelines. One shrugs at the other, "hey, they're just having a good time."
It wasn't just a good time. There was a vibe that encompassed the whole shebang. It was love. Genuine expressive universal love. There were no frowns or exclusions. This wasn't just one big party. It was one big shout. Of "I love you" to the world. And it felt pretty damn great.
And rest in peace, Michael.