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I’m Dating Karl the Fog And It’s Going Really Well

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The Golden Gate Bridge.

Karl the Fog giving the Golden Gate a kiss. (Casey Horner)


The Bay Area has received a pounding from multiple atmospheric rivers and a bomb cyclone this past month. We’ve experienced a flying couch, downed trees, and more blackouts than an annual pass to Disneyland. After all this hardship,  I’d like to remind you of our kinder, perennial weather: Karl the Fog. Specifically, I’d like to announce that I’ve been dating Karl for a few years now. And it’s going really well. 

We met on my first pilgrimage to San Francisco. I was a closeted 21 year old, visiting for Pride, and enamored with the sparkle of a city that felt free and a little dangerous. Pride is somehow always sunny, but that night, as I commandeered a wine bar bathroom line while wearing a ratty Amy Winehouse wig, I looked out the window and saw Karl drifting in on the street. He was cold and aloof. It was love at first sight. 

Karl has always been there for me, when he feels like showing up, playing to my Brontë-esque appreciation for gloom. He’s the quintessential San Francisco dude: gentle, sensitive, and completely unreliable. Sometimes, when I’m really down because of a warm sunny day, Karl sweeps into Dolores Park at 4 p.m., punishing any partiers who forgot to pack a light layer. He really reminds me to stay present and plan ahead. 

The last three years have been tough, though, I won’t lie. California has been in a megadrought and Karl is particular about his surroundings. It’s no coincidence that the markers of drought intensity — abnormally dry to exceptional drought — are an apt metaphor for lack of arousal. I learned that fog enjoys warm air over cold moisture, so I threw some ice cubes into the ocean and remembered I have no sense of scale. Nothing happened and the dry spell continued, Karl and I separated by the cruel vagaries of climate change. 

But now he’s back! The increased moisture in the area has led to increased chances of Karl. I’m ready to throw on a woolen cloak and hike Twin Peaks, living my Wuthering Heights fantasy. And if you’re also in a relationship with Karl, that’s wonderful. After all, what’s more Bay Area than a polyamorous suspension of ice crystals with an avoidant-attachment style? Fog is a cloud that’s touched ground and Karl is a fog that’s touched my heart. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go treat my vitamin D deficiency. 

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