We used to cross the bridge on buses, in the afternoon and at night, when the city lights flashed across the bay. Once, we must have stayed late at a party and missed the last train. We went to the Transbay Terminal on 2nd street, waited for the bus under the building overhang, stood among the night shift workers and drunks. For some reason, it is the only time I ever remember riding the bus with her at night. She looked pretty, but tired, and she sat in the front of the bus, in a seat facing the back. It was the only seat available; every other seat had been taken. We must have done this several times, but I only remember that single time. I had to stand the entire way, and she nearly fell asleep on the forty five minute trip. It was 1am, and the city glowed, a perfect backdrop for photographs taken from Treasure Island. I remember a man with a bike, and a woman with tattoos, and older black men who looked exhausted, but not from drinking.
After the bus goes through Oakland, it drives up Telegraph Ave towards campus. You can see it from miles away – Barrows Hall is visible first, from 50th avenue, around thirty blocks away. As you reach Ashby, twenty blocks closer, the Campanile emerges. It is the defining campus building, built east of center, a long walk leading away from it downhill, to the west. Someone once joked that the walk was created so that the Campanile would have a place to fall in case of an earthquake. From the top of the tower, you can see the city, the ocean, a bit of the hills behind the campus if it isn’t foggy or raining.