I am in Burlingame, CA. I would normally want to just say San Francisco, but it isn’t. I am in Burlingame for four days. I went for a walk along the bay. I was taking pictures of an unusual man against a wall of windows that reflected the other side of the bay. I turned to continue and Lisha said, can I ask you a question? You can if I can, I said, you first.
She said: Is it the reflection?
Yes, and the man. May I take your picture?
Lisha was walking along the bay because she had decided to skip a visit to her family on this side of the bay. We talked about how it can be hard to be with family. She wasn’t the only one talking. Lisha lives in Hayward, on the other side of the bay. She pointed. She is studying French in college. It’s easy for her because she speaks Spanish. I later passed her by on the walkway and she was on the phone speaking passionately, and her Spanish was beautiful with full rolling r’s.
I took French in high school and college. I don’t have many regrets in my life (although maybe I should) but trying to learn French instead of Spanish is one. I spent two summers in the Dominican Republic, lived in South Texas, and have a family full of Spanish speakers, so, of course, I had to try to learn French, an unspeakable language (ask Bobbi French). I never did learn French, mais non. I only fell in love with the teacher.
Meeting Lisha was the highlight of the day. I loved having the windows that reflected her side of the bay. The light was good. She has a really great smile, but this image spoke to me of her struggle in being on her family’s side of the bay but calling the other side home.
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