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back in SF. glad to be here. happy is a strong word. quiet empty city is my city, at the USPS. me and the high school girl with her parents who shipped things to her college. her city, too, I guess. still jealous [of her]. but she'll never know the pain of the suburbs, or the thrill of the city. craving XLB, pork buns. ring up Jeffrey. can't be more creative than lamb biang-biang from terra cotta. (don't have to be creative all the time—only where it matters.) read more sexy books, not severance or uncanny valley. works of eros. not ranciere either...New Years: get Covid or mope. 2 options, still deciding.


[redacted] wants a boyfriend, she has him on call. it feels all so distant to me, like I would never be someone who would have that desire or do that. feels like a game that other people play, like the Gwen Stefani song.
hey baby - no doubt
I can't tell when I should leave [east bay]. if it were up to me I would leave ASAP. limiting exposure to triggers, or—hiding from the truth. I cry about it all over there too, though. here I have obligations that I dont want to do but to conceive of not doing them makes me guilty beyond belief. there I feel guilty but less because I dont see the repercussions. I can hide. I can just be away. am I disgustingly selfish? I can't imagine anyone telling me to do anything different. (because they're all disgustingly selfish and have never had to give...) I am learning from the world to be disgustingly selfish. I wasn't always like this. I was selfless and I used to help others. I did everything for others. the world fucked me... I could have been such a nice girl. but maybe I will be happier this way. happy, or nice—choose one...

so may thoughts. why do they come when I am sleeping. I am not sleeping, I guess. charese says—routine, important. body not ready for sleep. no ritual—tea, candles, read, write, ambient music. only cry, phone, thoughts, unfamiliar bed, no routine, dissociated. I slept well once—I remember. some things need to sit and boil in brain soup before you can realize they are stupid. covid and people dying exacerbate everything. atmosphere of stress and anxiety, no freedom. covid booster made me unwell. life complicated enough already without having to deal with this. stress, stress, stress. feels like nearing disaster. paint it all, keep making. people will envy your purpose...


journal from July 2012 (age 14)

122521 and 122621

being at home is at least as stressful as I thought it would be. mom cried because Dadi is mean, she feels so alone and wishes she could be free of responsibility, all I could do is hold her. how I wish I could do more, how I wish I could ease her everlasting pain. how selfish of me to escape and not help her, but also what am I to do? I am selfish, ruthless, I care about my own happiness, no one else does now or ever did, in many ways she never did either. so instead I hold her and I tell her she is strong, and she has options. no one should ever have to watch their mom cry like that. no one should ever have to endure something so cruel. I never let her see me cry like that and I think she tries her hardest to not let me see either. we live in our own worlds, AT fields, and we don't let anyone in because it's no one else's problem. lonely, lonely, lonely. everyone is so lonely. no one understands me, I'm so lonely, no one cares about what I'm going through, I'm so lonely. why do I have to go through this alone? everyone thinks that. everyone has it so hard...it seems like my friends have it OK and somehow I'm the one who got fucked. if they have it fucked they're surely doing a good job hiding it, or else they are good at dealing with it. this is no entry-level trauma, i've been to hell and back, tormented by my past, present, and future. to feel so distant makes all my friendships feel like a farce, on one hand. on the other, they're all I have, all I have to cling to as my connection to some normal life, some mortal coil, some respite from living hell. and so I lavish them in the hopes they won't leave me. dadi says, translated: I get bored, I have no one to talk to, that's why I make her cry... I was at a loss for words, what do I say to that? the world is so hopeless and cruel... I wish I could reach out like an angel and fix everyone's hurt, or at least those I care about. no money will bring him back, and even if he was here maybe everyone would still be hurting...maybe everyone is bound to hurt all the time, that's the human condition, pain, and exercising your pain on others. my mom tells me—your friends don't care about you. I ask her why? why would you say something like that, based on what? she says based on nothing, I take it back. but the damage is done, she asked me what do I mean when I call her 'insidious', it's all a fiction anyway...

dadi says, (translated): what's wrong with you, why are you sad, why is there a cloud over your head. you didn't always use to be like this. don't tell me you can't sleep, it doesn't sit right with me, you know papa could never sleep. she says she is dukhi (sorrowful, depressed). she tells no one—I said why? she said who to tell? who to make sad with your sad...I had nothing to say. she's right. who cares, who to tell, and even if they did would it help. we all sit alone with our sad and lonely and feel more lonely and there is no solution. he died and put it all on us, his pain multiplied for every person left alive. I can't bring myself to write that I hate him. now we carry his pain, our pain like a backpack as long as we are alive. dadi says all her old friends are racing to die. she says we will remember her, our only grandma. she waits to die to be free of her dukhi. how cruel—if I could take their pain and make it my own I would. they probably feel the same about me. life is so unfair but maybe I knew that already. it was my fool's errand to think that it would ever change for me. like all the women before me I will grit my teeth and bear it, eat it, and keep living, for all the people who need me, despite how painful it is to be me every single day.


Fishbone - Unyielding Conditioning

listening to Bladee in fremont with AirPods in. I feel guilty using noise cancellation here. why? if someone needs me or something, I wouldn't hear them...if my grandma calls me, I wouldn't be willfully ignoring her or delaying, I would have just not paid attention at all, and somehow that feels more cruel. or if my mom calls me and I dont come, she will be mad...or if something bad happens and I don't hear it, that's bad...why does varun get to zone out without this ever-present guilt? maybe that's why I like the night, it's safe...no one makes any demand of me, I don't have to feel guilty and besides, no one needs me anyway. I went to the Starbucks drive thru with megha, like always, for holiday drinks. their machines were all broken, and they didn't even give me a holiday cup. buggers. is that a slur? [...] why, everyone says, do you only date the weirdest guys...1st of all, how else is life gonna be interesting, but also, how can they understand me if they're normal? or maybe, how can I understand them? [...] I wonder if claudia would have been a documentary filmmaker, I wonder if Catherine would have written comedy...I actually think nikita and darren want to be a doctor and scientist, respectively...I hope Jeffrey pursues his dreams, because he can afford to. "if money were no object..." I mean, realistically, for us, its not. its more the fear of being poor, or unsuccessful, or something. I dont want to live my life like that...I want to be an artist, I want to be a painter, I want to immerse myself in the company of smart, creative people, and I want to share my work with the world. I want a weird and wonderful life....and god, how sad it'd be to have been too scared to really try and make that happen for myself. I have always only wanted that, since I was 14...I have made a lot of progress towards the life I always wanted, which always felt so clear when defined in opposition to the rigorous, autocratic environment of home. freedom! creativity! liberation! experimentation! counterculture! what more could you ask for...

in LA Jeffrey and I woke up in Cheryl's apartment in Fairfax and walked down ugly melrose to get a coffee
in Venice I would get day drunk on aperol spritzes and wander through the alleys looking up and getting lost
in Marghera I smoked a cigarette on Bryan's balcony with a coke hangover, idling before taking the bus to the ferry to the Mango where I window-shopped aimlessly until crashing for the whole day
in Brooklyn I walked from Ben's thinking about ethical nonmonogamy to the Barclays Center to do my makeup to Eric's apartment for stew
in Manhattan claudia and I walked to the high line in the summer heat and ran into two uchicago kids on the street
in Vegas I contemplated jumping from the balcony in my hotel room but was distracted by a knock at the door
in Stanley we did 2cb at our campsite and jumped on logs and I had the world's worst migraine
in Reno I went bowling with my cousins
in Miami we took Claudia's dads yacht out to Key Biscayne and then floated downtown
in Miami I blacked out for the first time in my life at the crazy party at Claudia's house where I flashed a tit and was severely bruised from soccer I only half-remember
in Fremont I get my cousin to take me to the Starbucks drive-thru and we order shameless holiday drinks

122121 (OWL TREE)

owl tree is the bar around the corner from my workplace, dark, cozy, dungeon-y watering hole with a gigantic mural of a grey owl painted on the outside. recurring strigine motifs haunt the place, printed on pillows, furry stuffed animals peering down from the ceiling. im stuck here because the pretty girl behind the bar convinced me to get another hot toddy, which she definitely just did because her shift was ending and she wanted another tip, but its OK, because I'll do anything for a pretty white girl, including but especially get drunk. im not too unhappy about it because the music is good—a perfectly curated bar playlist of pop-inspired hits that are hipster, but not too hipster, like Modern Girl by Sleater-Kinney, and Casio by Jungle, Canopée by Polo & Pan...said pretty girl behind the bar has a silly plastic headband with a miniature Santa hat, and if she was any less pretty her choice of accessory would have supremely annoyed me. she made me a perfectly sweet hot toddy, all taste of cheap house whiskey generously eradicated by tart lemon and honey like a warm hug on this rainy night. cloves, star anise, and bits of ginger float in my milky beige drink in such a precise formation you'd think it was a detail in a painting, the formal quality so profound. a baroque embroidery, burgundy brocade on red lining, adorns all the lounge chairs, a touch of understated luxury that elevates this bar a bit and explains how I managed to spend $30 on just two drinks. im sitting next to a cozy alcove that can only be occupied by main characters and somehow, despite my unsubtle narcissism, I would never qualify for—like the scarlet chair in the bay window at my house, which I never sit in, but only ever look at. instead, I sit adjacent, watching the muted, programmed flickers of the fake candles that sit in pier 1 imports candleholders on every table. my favorite song of the summer comes on the radio, and I am transported onto the hot pavement in NYC, the rotting stench of overflowing bags of garbage on the way to the subway, on the way to the Whitney with the inklings of a cold I got from some guy I used to hook up with (not COVID, tho). I down my second hot toddy, don my hat and new leather gloves, and proceed into the dark, rainy night, en route to a friend's nearby apartment to bid him a merry goodbye...


I walked into Pacific Cocktail Haven for an after-work drink, but to my horror it had been converted into a psychotic winter wonderland, replete with seizure-inducing christmas lights, white people and basic Asians in every direction, and the most egregious holiday music I've ever heard in my life. I felt so out of place there immediately upon entering. but thought maybe I'd stick it out as a sort of exercise in journalism, or in self-hatred, or that thing its called when you whip yourself. I waited in 'line' (no actual line, just an abstract writhing mass) and, horrified, looked at the extensive menu, filled with holiday takes on classic alcoholic drinks, or alcoholic takes of classic holiday drinks. to be honest, the drinks looked pretty delicious, but as I watched a tall skinny POC bartender with a hip ear piercing hobble about behind the bar in a literal felted christmas tree costume, his hefty bulk shifting left to right as he tried unsuccessfully to juggle everyone's incessant drinks, and averted my gaze only to accidentally meet the eyes of a marina boy in a Santa hat midway through slipping his meaty hand down his date's jeans, I felt such a terror in me that I had to put down the menu that said POC so kindly handed to me and hurry out the door. something about the place made me feel like I was in a lesser ring of hell, as if I stayed there too long I'd be turned into some unsavory creature, like Pinnochio on pleasure island. I tried recently to get into the 'holiday spirit,' whatever that means (I maintain its a white thing, and if you say its a Catholic thing, i say catholicism is a colonial project) but I gotta say it's not working for me. the extent I can handle it is the luxe-looking holiday lights in the lobby of the Palace Hotel, and the seasonal cocktails, like the hot toddy I'm sipping now as I sit around the corner at a bar close to my work. christmas isn't for me—no red, green, and gold—for me, the color of a cold winter is only a stark, bleak, icy blue, and there's no way out but through, by listening to sad music and resenting your family. it all just feels like it's for someone else—the red brocade fabrics, the expensive presents the assuredly abused workers wrap for you at Nordstrom with a feigned holiday cheer, the dressing up in cringe Santa outfits and parading around Union Square. this culture is not my own, surely, but even more than that this feeling is not my own, this claustrophobic and insincere joy. do people actually like the holidays? I thought everyone hated their family, everyone gets bored at home and bites their tongue around their reactionary uncle, or else starts a fight at the dinner table. isn't this a trope?
no bonuses this year, what's up with that? it was almost funny to listen to my bosses sing my praises and tell me how good I am at everything and end the call with nothing...I went to Nordstrom and, expecting to spend my bonus on a nice new pair of leather gloves, ended up eating through my dwindling savings with an ironic moue. all I do is spend money, but come on, my hands were cold...maybe I get a sugar daddy to buy me a tennis bracelet and we all come full circle.
why am I the only one left in the city? holidays are passé, I've decided, so two decades ago. I thought this was the year of disillusionment, or something...in some ways it kind of feels like the apocalypse, and maybe that is actually in the realm of possibility, who knows. it feels like, one by one, everyone is leaving the city, soon there will be no one left, just me, walking the empty streets and passing the abandoned farmers market stalls and wondering where everyone went. it doesn't feel like any of these people are coming back— and maybe they won't, maybe they will get trapped at home, maybe they will die. probably some will die. how insane. and me and the other Hinge boys who I've been texting, we are the last frontier, we will protect the city with our bare hands when the second coming happens... wait, armageddon? I need to read the Bible...anyway, me side by side with the local Hinge boys, chapped palms will defend the city, prevent it from going to the hounds...we'll hide behind forlorn christmas trees and use candy canes as weapons, joust with them. strangle them with string lights, boil them alive in giant vats of hot toddy... me and the hinge boys, the last men standing...


seems like the condition of my life will be to pine for recognition in obscurity. a small boy carried an empty plant pot across the street, I watched him from the window of the 5. another small boy roared east down Fulton in an open convertible, sunglasses, past st. Ignatius, towards city hall. I smiled out from the muni stop, it was a chilly 50 degrees. on the bus I stared at Maya Angelou for the #MuniShero ad campaign and listened to London Breed welcome me to San Francisco for the 100th time.


I observed nothing today except my career and job and self for my performance review. flicking through google fonts to waste time. cooking and eating elaborate meal to waste time. looking up luxury gifts to waste time. watching fishbone music video to waste time. drinking coffee to waste time. faceTiming Catherine to talk STDs with banana bread in the oven to waste time.


in December everyone leaves the city...empty, cold, kind...strangers at the farmers market exchange pleasantries while I amble about with my sonic youth Goo tote bag from the Mauerpark, emerging seeded baguette and tops of dried flowers, lavender, eucalyptus. an old Chinese lady pushed her cart, full of plastic bags of fruit, down Arguello so slowly, but with such focus and determination, it made me smile...I went to the CVS and was comforted by the familiar sight of Digiorno frozen pizzas, monster energy variants, Haagen daaz vanilla almond ice cream bars...I came back chilled by the winter, felt lonely and lonely and lonely. last night, I was ghosted unceremoniously. wonder what a ceremonious ghosting would look like.
I dont want to go back to the suburbs, im avoiding it. maybe that's why I didn't want to ski, I'd have to go to fremont and grab my shit. and im scared. maybe its just more comfortable and familiar to sit here in my sitness, listen to music, cry, hate myself, love myself, light candles, watch Eva, count down the days til I die. maybe there's a strange comfort in feeling so alone that im not ready to give up, its so comfy sitting here with no one around. nothing is happening, nothing happened, nothing happens.
fishbone, Eva, over-ripe bananas. maybe I can just write lists and that'll be my poetry. I wonder if I will go crazy if I am left alone. maybe it will make me brooding and hot. or does that only work for men? 10 min of free write and no juice. whats in the mind today? no juice at all, a dry noodley brain. I have too much pride to text [redacted], or maybe its just the ick. I could read hola papis. I could smoke weed, I could paint, I could do shrooms. I could even go down to the Whole Foods and buy a can of reddi whip and do nitrous alone all night if I wanted. the world is my oyster.
I got ghosted, but surely he is just as lonely as me, and maybe even more. life is one bad trip, I thought the other day. Stephen said—no expectations. I said—low expectations. it functions the same for me—at least I'm prepared...

little book for me to write my thoughts. maybe it will help me sleep. analog toy, paper trail. secret book. fits in pocket. [...] I am liked? I am invited. nice. and now I invite people. I made invites like a grade schooler. exactly how I would have done in 3rd grade and my mom would have said 'stop wasting time.' but this time she said 'nice.' maybe its domestic but somehow it feels part of my art/craft/life. insofar as my art is my life and my life is my art. I will throw this ridiculous shindig (expensive) and make it a frivolously big deal. everyone will get hand-typed, hand-illuminated invites. because they are special. because they are my friend, and I am grateful. because its my birthday and my party is important! but they are important too, because without them there would be no party, no one with whom to celebrate myself with. the ant hung from a dust string steadfast. a corpse of an ant on my old (but not antique) typewriter. it swung to and fro, ostensibly precariously, as I clacked out the letters. but when I blew on it, it did not fall, it clung. dead ant soul in that electric typewriter. invites blessed by dead ant soul. lots of ants in that room. mom did not tell me what to do. what do orphans do? how to figure out how to do anything...

121821 and 121921

Saturday—awake, sleep, more sleep, Doordash ramen, bed, Evangelion, Catherine, Stephen
Sunday—toothpaste, croissant, rain, more Evangelion, Sunset, noodles, stormy, Catherine
Monday—stomachache (noodles), more Evangelion, more noodles (pasta), Catherine (bye)
Tuesday—Union Square, Zoom holiday party, Sephora, crime scene, bus, mushrooms (psychedelic), Fishbone, Nephele
Wednesday—Reform LA Jails, Ploy Thai II, weed, mushrooms (pasta), more Fishbone, more Nephele
Thursday—IRL holiday party, Apple Store, lox, San Pellegrino, co-workers (Andrew), final Ripe Fruit, tunnel top, Stephen, meth man
Friday—sleep, 5R (leisure), Marriott Marquis, crime scene (memory), Christmas lights, seasonal cocktails, Palace Hotel, more Evangelion, melatonin, Jeffrey

thin, straggling, flavorless noodles of Marufuku ramen in a takeout container deflating with sogginess and heat; Evangelion like a blankie; laptop warming my bed as if it were another person; the cozy but sinister atmosphere of Foggy Notion, welcome haven from rain on clement, but vending egregious products like $30 hipster-branded hand soap; the joyous absence of a line at Arsicault on a Sunday morning, only ever due to an unforeseen circumstance like rain; the cloying sweetness of half a chocolate-almond croissant (other half saved for a later that never comes) that you purchased against your better judgment (which would have dutifully recommended a plain); the relief and comfort of walking into an almost-empty Xian restaurant in the Sunset on a gloomy night, when you just want to talk about sex without being eavesdropped on by the nosy couple to your right; the revenge of last night's oily noodles on your digestive system, which somehow only happens when you have an important work call to be on; the sweet frivolity of spending over an hour making an elaborate pasta when most nights you lack the energy to supersede Cheetos or cereal; the mind-numbing ride on a rogue Muni that decided of its own accord to not stop at the stop you thought it would stop at; the refreshing transparency of any and all Sephoras, where beautified sales associates impel you to buy costly designer makeup and then give them stellar performance reviews; Sephora like a best friend you can count on, where you know if you don't have time to run home and do your makeup you can pop in and use their testers, however unsanitary, and emerge looking glam; Sephora, soothing in its corporate-ness and anonymity, where you know exactly what to expect and always feel at home; the horrific sight of a man sitting against the Trader Joe's (or was it Old Navy?) with blood on his shirt, the aftermath of some tragic crime, with a gawking crowd gathering at 4th and Market, while I waited disconcertedly for a 15-to-the-Bayview that never came; the flip-flappy right hand of John Norwood Fisher on one of his seven basses, motion blur so over-exaggerated I couldn't tell if it was raw talent or just the mushrooms; a mousey haired girl, dirty blonde, with ballet posture and sunken, model-like features, dressed in art-school baggy clothes, blundstones, a pleated skirt, and fingerless gloves; sitting with my back against a wall at the Nordstrom Rack killing time on my phone, while smart out-of-towners peruse racks of discount designer clothes; a charming lunch nestled in the Victorian bay windows at Ploy Thai II, desultory glances down to the Haight Street passers-by; a succulent oyster mushroom fettuccine, followed by an equally succulent bright blue Japanese Fettuccine Gummi; a large sweaty man with a disgruntlingly handsome face (reminiscent of Aiden from sex in the city) who also attended both nights of Fishbone, and wanted to make it everyone else's problem


how I love the Big City...from the balcony of my workplace I see a boarded-up UPS store; some stranger's tidy whities hanging on a clothesline on the roof of a building; a tall 1930s looking skyscraper with a big star on top, like a hat; salesforce tower, blue with a piercing white glint; the sun setting over what was formerly known as Yerba buena, the first European settlement in San Francisco...walking up the hill up mason I was out of breath but gleeful, surrounded by the sounds of the metropolis, the millisecond faces of the downtown populace, the warmth of the December sun and the chill of the shadow...
I donned a new personality last month like a new pair of heels...listen to bladee, paint, write, lay in bed, eat takeout, watch Eva...if I were my old self I'd say maybe I was turning into chris, but my new egocentrism says its me, its all and only me(!) to fully embrace the nihilism of the world is to loose yourself of the restraints of others' opinions and desires, and I feel uniquely free in my misunderstoodness and solitude...in some ways, I feel so much like sam, but hotter, smarter, and more interesting...
in Eva they say you forget in order to keep going...that's what I BEEN saying...


up in Morrison canyon, past the tall grass, the lights of the bay glimmer as far you can see, the valley cut short only by the blackness of the bay, then of the sea. juxtaposed with the acrid nasal drip after a line of coke that appeared magically from someone's pocket, I dont know if I'd ever seen anything so beautiful. everyone for a moment was briefly silent as we looked over our beloved and hated town—gridded suburban streets turned into constellations of streetlights and lit-up bedroom windows. we'd driven up at dusk, on a whim, one fine day after school, probably in mid-winter, or maybe early spring. most of the others had been there before, but not me. I'm not sure who christened it one of the classic east bay weed-smoking spots—whether it predated us or whether it was discovered by one of my very own fair-weather friends. there isn't much up there at morrison canyon, except a bunch of wayward cows and an old barn at the end of the road, red but weathered with neglect. in the waning light, a bunch of the kids tried to climb a chain-link fence to get in and see what? I'm not sure, but there was barbed wire at the top and so I chickened out, along with another girl named desiree. when everyone who was bold enough climbed back down their hands were raw and bloody, reeked of rust and dirt. they promptly stuck these cut-up, red hands into bags of Doritos, donettes, and double-stuf Oreos, as we sat in a circle amid the levitated rush of the suburbs and waited for the night to pass.


stress...can't wait for the party, but also can't wait for it to be over. now, I want to paint! when painting stresses me, I distract by DJing. so it goes. I paint Catherine at don Angie, looking stylish in a houndstooth tweed jacket, sipping a cocktail with pizzazz. the faux outdoor dining-room red and suave. ori silly, Claudia on half an edible. we ate the lasagna—I read it came with bread. the lasagna mostly ricotta, little pasta. the bread, absent. in New York I felt like a little mouse, a congested mouse, running to and fro, a mouse among rats. I crave the anonymity, the dog-eat-dog. in New York, if you aren't fast enough, you don't get your pizza. in New York you must be gruff. I think in New York the men smell like cologne. here they are too outdoorsy, wimps. somehow I am not impressed by the masculinity of climbing, or snowboarding, or diving.
I have been having issues sleeping, as usual. somewhere in the middle it got better I thought, or maybe it was because I was consuming substances on a daily basis. mom says to meditate—I read farm's sleep book and feel a little better, if wide awake at 3am. I wonder if I am going through a manic phase, and if so, what are the signs. I still feel deeply sad. to think about the tragedy of life is too much for me to bear. to see things clearly, with eyes open, would mean for us to be in perpetual anxiety, permanent panic attack. so we, ever so brightly, dull, forget, distract. such is life. yesterday I cried and cried. today I ate dip, and hot dog, and we won trivia.
the holiday atmosphere at milk bar was pleasant. I gazed out the window past the neon bar signs across the street to amoeba music, remembering when that was my holy Mecca, when I was 14 and yearning to be free. I had no record player—only a love for music. I listened to 169 genres this year, according to my Spotify wrapped! an eclectic taste, indeed.
the neighbor was so kind in her instagram DM, the stranger at the bar complimented my hair. how to make the words stick? it seems unfair to let them float away. Kyle sent me an article on bandcamp, turned me on to April Magazine. I listened today in the rain, a silly rain, not even cold enough to be a winter rain, only maybe 60 degrees. I dropped off my packages at UPS, someone had paid for my parking meter, I got a pair of lavender earl grey tea lattes from the coffee shop on the corner that we were obsessed with in high school that now feels dated, 2010s minimalism gone out of style these days. a quiet rainy day on haight street, Catherine said it reminded her of when she first got to the city—how long ago that feels now. but how short a year ago feels! it occurs to me that someone should write a song, like Stephanie says, candy says—Catherine says...
my ego will be my fatality, my downfall, but all I would love to be is the modern Herb Caen. just like papi of hola papi Is the our chicano carrie Bradshaw, I too would love for people to read my words and feel something. to create! a most poetic beauty...
I will quit, and I will paint, and I will learn from the masters. I will write, and I will throw parties, and I will bring people together, to listen to music. to show myself at 13 what I have accomplished now...what I would give. she had no business being so sad, not when life is full of such surprises, some that are lovely, if some tragic.
I finished Homie last night, by Danez smith—something good to come of my insomnia. to dedicate your craft to your closest friends, the ones that make life worth living, what a sweet thing. I paint my friends because they are what I know, they are what I see, they are what I cherish, even if my mom says they don't care about me and I am wasting my time. like a puppy, docile, I will love them endlessly, their spirit, their marrow, the stuff of their soul I will immortalize, in my art, in my life, in my head. their imprint stays with me, molds me, infatuates me, even when I don't respond to their text messages. to be seen...another most poetic beauty.
ive been slacking on my writing—I haven't observed much of anything, recently. my sleep is weak and so I am on 50%, I feel a little dumb and slow, in my head I confused Huey p. newton with Fred Hampton, embarrassing. I don't want to get dumber—I want it to go up from here, but sometimes it is hard with so little stimulation, so little challenge. I think I need to go back to school...
I decided I won't be the type of girl who lets herself be abused, in fact—I refuse! I'm ghosting the flaneur, which to everyone else seems to be the most obvious thing to do, but to me somehow it felt vague and subjective. the poison that my upbringing has left in me...the first thing is to believe that I deserve better, a tough thing to do.
I like the name April magazine. march magazine, June magazine, September magazine. October magazine. they just dont have the same ring to it. I've been listening to my high school winter playlist and it makes me :') to listen to these songs again that carry such emotional weight, I know them by heart, but haven't listened to them in years and years. a few favorites: fall of '82 by the shins; the loneliness inside me is a place by empire! empire! (I was a lonely estate); where does the good go by Tegan and Sara; bobcaygeon by the tragically hip; highway patrol stun gun by youth lagoon; you're not the one by sky Ferreira. I remember when I was sad that the tragically hip guy was going to die; I looked it up today, he died in 2017. crazy...

San Francisco Ain't Dead

120221 (lunes)

three pumpkins I
counted. his nob hill apartment
sparse and adolescent.

union larder on
Hyde street. overheard yuppies chatting
europe and cryptocurrency.

not very loud
but still maddening is the hiss
from the pipe.

Catherine makes dinner
as we don gold face masks
curious, meandering, young.

I 'bad texter',
you 'bad texter', we will
never meet again.

dinner tonight: a
snickers bar from my backpack
half-eaten, chewy.

'your Mac will
sleep soon unless plugged into
a power outlet.'


in the afternoon sun, gleaming
lofty pillars of engraved gold
sacred Bethel of st. Ignatius

Jesuit students amble along Parker
backpacks and books in tow
on sunny weekdays in September.
St. Ignatius towers behind them
welcoming basilica for bright young things.

opposite the Carmelite monastery of Cristo Rey,
bricks roseate in the early morning light,
the bastion of Ignatius, saint's stalwart temple.

the 5 runs up and down fulton
I wait patiently in the chilly autumn,
gazing upwards at st. Ignatius—belfry, lantern, spire

through the nighttime Richmond fog,
the amber glow of recessed lights
guards the citadel of st. Ignatius

tearful to morning dew in my parked car on Parker
the reflection of st. Ignatius graces my windshield
a beacon of hope in the nightfall black

st. Ignatius, first a ramshackle construction of wood
on Market between 4th and 5th. then, brick—
to the corner of Hayes and Van Ness, until
its untimely demise in 1906. sepulchered at Davies,
then to Parker and Fulton in 1912— in 2021,
the clock tower dings on the hour, echoing
through my Victorian bay window.

smartly-dressed retirees file through the nave
on a crisp Sunday morning, taking their seats
for a cheerful st. Ignatius mass.

I plop onto a pew at st. ignatius
ruminate on the void
greedily search for something
worthy of a shrine

bald mouse man, sainted Ignatius of Loyola
beatified 53 years postmortem (victim of Roman Fever)
Basque native, presides over our 48 hills

white prep school kids from st Ignatius,
archidiocese of San Francisco, drink vodka sodas
out of solo cups at raucous high school parties
in gaudy mansions in pacific heights.

basking in the sun on the lawn east of st. ignatius
collegiate revelers enjoy their leisure, nostalgia looming
I envy their youth and naïveté from afar—wondering
how did i get so bitter, at only 23?

sometimes the doors at st. Ignatius are open, and
no one is around. I sidle into the westerly arcade
for a faint whiff of conviction, exposure to some anonymous faith.
I pray it rubs off on me—pray it imparts some wisdom,
that I can adopt an optimism foreign to my own.