By Taylor Tarahteeff
At the San Francisco Exploratorium, we fifth-graders crowd around the displays: an indoor tornado, raging within a massive crystal tube, searching for Kansas; a musical tesla coil, extending tendrils of light out into the arched ribs of the sprawling complex; a massive model steamship, puffing and squealing like the smooth ceramic teakettle Mother burned herself on this morning. Reid follows me. We look like a mirror exhibit with our identical face, gait, and bewildered expression of amazement. When he sees the cow-eye dissection— a gristly ball of muscle and foul liquid— he stands behind me (the second time that day) as if my presence alone sterilizes slimy gore. He follows me close as we pass down an eerily empty hallway. There's a simple door. The sign reads Optical Illusions. I shoulder through and into the antechamber, mirrors, checkerboards, fading lights in a dim gallery, hallways bent and warped. We push onward, to a room with concrete piers stretching out, an endless forest. Hopelessly lost, I spy an exit door to the outside. “Don't,” Reid says as I reach for the handle, and in his wide eyes I can barely see the reflections of the endless fog-soaked streets of San Francisco where a set of twins stumble alone.
Taylor Tarahteeff was the editor of the 2020 issue of Baily’s Beads. He graduated last year with an interdisciplinary arts degree. Why San Franciscans Like the Fog