Upstairs. Downstairs. I finally found my way through the maze of a building to the ticket counter. I waited in line, nervously checking my watch. It was gonna be one hell of a sprint back to Berkeley.
When I got to the window, I handed the man my ticket. He took one look at me and said, "First time in San Francisco?"
I almost burst into tears. "Yes, sir." I said. "And you wouldn't believe the day I've had."
"Hang in there, kid," he said, taking my 25 bucks. "It gets better."
He smiled. I smiled.
"You know," I said, "you're the nicest person I've met in San Francisco."
I walked out of there a new man a San Franciscan.
And in a flash I was back on the Bay Bridge, through the tunnel, into Berkeley, and into the hotel. I made the drive in 30 minutes. I don't think anyone has ever made it faster, especially in rush hour traffic.
I ran down the hall and into the room. I collapsed on the bed and let out a sigh. Just then I heard my dad's keys at the door.
"Hi," he said as he came in. "How was Berkeley?"
I rolled over on the bed. "Berkeley? Berkeley was fine, Dad."