When I explore a city solo, I feel like James Bond.
Everywhere Bond goes, he gets chased and fired at by top-flight deadly operatives from all over the world. Everywhere I go, I cut corners, leave myself too little time and dress totally inappropriately for the task at hand. The rush of adrenalin is identical!
It was Thursday, the final day of my tag-along impromptu San Francisco trip. I woke up early. But not from the alarm. I was treated to a rousing reveille composed of: 1) my boyfriend hack-gag-gurgling phlegm, 2) splashes of flop sweat brought on by the ridiculously non-breathable comforter and 3) muscle soreness akin to a non-athletic person’s after trying Cross-Fit for the first time.
My flight left at 8p. I wanted to get some activity in during the precious pre-SFO hours. You know I was serious because I didn’t even go to the gym in the morning, as I had the previous days. It was time to work it out on the treadmill of LIFE.
I’d walked nearly 15 miles the previous day, stubbornly defying the kind Muni bus drivers who graciously swung open their doors when they saw me thundering up the city’s gluteally murderous hills.
“I’m … [huff] fine … [violent cough] thanks! [spew of vomit]” came the reply. My 10-year-old Converse low-stars, Uniqlo skinny jeans and costume jewelry were playing against type as workout wear. The next morning, I felt like Robin Williams-as-Genie when he finally popped out of his lamp after 10 millennia. “10,000 years will give you SUCH a crick in the neck!” Or 10,000 kilometers, 10,000 home liberateds, whatever.
Before his adventure, James Bond talks to Q, who outfits him with bleeding-edge gadgetry to fight the as-yet-unimaginable threats outside. As I stroll out of the hotel room in my sequined halter top, my Q (Deepak) physically yanks me back and shoves a t-shirt and Starbucks coupon at me. What’s that? I can’t hear his wardrobe objections over the seemingly amplified grumble of my empty stomach. In the event, I compromise and change into a lingerie top. It doesn’t look any more REI-ready than the halter did for my hike, but mobility is much better and the lace makes for good breathability, so he allows it.
As we know, Bond has to improvise and think creatively to make the most of his limited resources. Similarly, I’d purloined a decorative Granny Smith apple from the check-in bowl downstairs and pressed it into service as an incredibly acidic, sour gorp. Dressed for a key party among the redwoods. Borborygmi barely muffled. I was ready for my Bond-style San Francisco adventure.