Thursday, April 13, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Twin Peaks (but not the David Lynch variety)

One of my favorite spots in San Francisco is a scenic overlook called Twin Peaks. When I first moved to the city, I was lucky enough to become friends with a gay couple who’d lived there for years. They showed me a lot of the city’s hidden treasures, including this gem. I was instantly smitten.

You get to Twin Peaks by winding through a residential neighborhood, and all of a sudden, the tightly packed buildings give way to open space. I’ve always thought that’s an interesting thing about San Francisco. It’s all completely built up, some of it along incredibly steep hills, but then there are a few high-up spots that have basically been left untouched. Twin Peaks is one of them.

Like anyplace in San Francisco, it gets crowded in the summer. But pick a random weeknight in the off-season and you just might have it to yourself. It’s pure magic then, when the only sound is the breeze rustling through the trees, and before you is this breathtaking, panoramic view of one of the most beautiful cities on earth.

I send my characters to Twin Peaks fairly often, because I know if I still lived in the city, I’d be up there all the time. It has particular meaning for Chance and Finn in Coming Home. Here’s a brief excerpt from their book, which is number nine in the series. Chance and Finn aren’t a couple yet at this point. They arranged a rendezvous up at Twin Peaks, but then Chance got spooked and took off, because he was afraid that Finn was getting too close to him:

After a few minutes, I realized the SUV hadn’t driven past me, and I started to wonder if Finn was alright. I shut off the engine and pocketed my keys, then walked back up to the parking lot. I’d barely driven two blocks before I’d pulled over.

My heart leapt when I saw him. He was standing on the retaining wall with his arms outstretched. My God, was he about to jump?

I yelled his name and took off at a sprint across the parking lot. At one point, I tripped over a pothole and came down hard on my hands and knees, but I was right back up in an instant, running for him. Finn turned to look at me, then stepped off the wall into the parking lot. 

He’d taken a couple steps toward me and when I reached him, I knocked him over in what basically turned into a flying tackle. He landed on his back with a surprised yelp, and I fell on top of him. I then sat up, straddling him, and grabbed the front of his jacket in my fists. “What the fuck were you thinking, Finn?” 

“About what?” He looked genuinely bewildered.

“About fucking jumping off Twin Peaks! What a horrible way to kill yourself! You probably wouldn’t even die you know, you’d just mangle yourself real good on the trees and bushes and shit down below. Not that I’m advocating finding a better way to kill yourself! Just, God, what the fuck?”

When my rant was over, Finn chuckled and said as he pulled me into a hug, “I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I was just enjoying the view and the breeze. I didn’t think I’d fucked up badly enough to warrant throwing myself off a cliff.”

“Oh. Well, good,” I said, putting my head on his chest.

He rubbed my back and said, “You were really worried.”

“Well, yeah.”

He kissed the top of my head and said, “Thank you for caring.”

“You’re welcome. I feel like a total idiot now, though.”

“Don’t. I love the fact that you tried to save me.”

“Of course I did. What do you think I’d do in that situation, sit back with some popcorn and watch you end it?”