“Do you wanna go for a walk?” Porter asked, slipping on her sneakers.

“Sure, I’m down.” I said.

“Cool, I have to move my car anyway.” She responded, leading towards the front door.

Porter and I shuffled down her front steps onto the dimly-lit sidewalk. I immediately veered right, aiming in the direction of her parked car.

“Let’s go this way. I’m bored of the other way,” She insisted, turning in the opposite direction.

I followed–I could care less which way we went. ¬†We cut onto Page Street and started east, away from her car. Page Street encompasses the iconic Victorian-style row-homes, including some adorned with modern remodeling. Although the homes aren’t enormous or overly lavish, they remain stunning. By far, it’s my favorite architectural aesthetics within the city.

“I wonder how much the rent of these homes run at?” I tossed out, admiring them as my eyes peered from one to the next.

Well, this conversation spiraled downward into the uncomfortable subject of money, specifically, my lack of it. The conversation rolled as each of us jabbed indirect shots at each other: her ignorance of money, my unemployment, etc. We passed block after block, lost in a financial miscommunication in the U.S’ most expensive city.

Eventually we settled down on a bench, keeping silent and staring off in opposite directions, reflecting our different viewpoints. Joggers and dog-walkers passed by, dodging our tension. This scene is common in San Francisco. Moreover, everyone in San Francisco seems to be financially burdened; whether it’s the Silicon Valley CEOs ceaselessly investing in start-ups or the homeless people on Market Street begging for change. What you have is never enough.

Minutes later, I stung the tension with the facts of what is: unemployment expires in April, my heavy bills, etc. And after a little back and forth, we settled on hope. Hope that I will land a livable-salary job at a university, so in turn, I can enroll in classes as well.

Hope. Hope is what Obama preached to the wretched U.S population in 2008. Trump advocated change, “Make America Great Again,” but basically, he insinuated hope. Hope is what downhearted America clenches to, and what leaders and motivational-speakers sell, promoting infinite possibilities. Along with reality, this sales pitch may just be an illusion, nonetheless, life is merely a ride.