012521Fire engine red, thats the color of my nails Now, just like my strepped out tonsils from last week. Stacy, the cambodian refugee who runs the nail salon on haight, did them for me; we chatted about classical italian painting and autism while her aunt stole skin from my cuticles (you know they’re doing a good Job if it hurts!)
All of a sudden I was late to pick up Marc so I scarfed down the remnants of last night’s "bowl" (salmon kale orzo, Ori’s formula) and flipped aimlessly through a few pages of the art of looking sideways. I scooped Marc from the corner of duboce and guerrero and we rushed headlong into the perpetual bay bridge traffic, west on 80. We parked in temescal right on time, just a few minutes shy of plum, the next big thing to come out of oakland...but u didnt hear it from me! Catherine showed up with coffees for us - blue bottle - I asked her if she was pranking us and she laughed.
Porchfest was a hit, there were close to 60 people there peak, I’d guess, maybe more if you count the little gentrified toddlers on their trikes in the back and their aryan mommies and daddies. I recognized two guys from hinge, I took a seat next to one of them with classically hipster round glasses and earrings. he looked like he could be yet another Berkeley grad student but instead was a civil engineer who just happened to live on the block.
We idled as the band packed up their equipment and made haphazard plans to reconvene at a nearby bar, eating wavy ruffles and French onion sun chips as the sun waned on the picturesque lil neighborhood. We parked on telegraph and made our way to kingfish pub, my rainbow Mercedes parked behind Catherine’s mini like a sweet and unlikely friendship between two high school misfits.
over a pitcher of IPA we talked about nothing for a bit, then I dipped to swerve my way across the bridge to hit Antonio’s new place in the mission, a supremely touched-up victorian 4br/2ba on 24th and church that they furnished real swell— im Talking eucalyptus, area rug, framed posters, accent chairs, candles. the home decor was a level beyond what you’d expect from a group of twenty somethings, but in line with what you’d expect from a Facebook salary; the lighting in every room was just made for IG.
As we sipped our truly teas on the couch, a nascent pregame began to assemble in the kitchen (designed for entertaining, with both a nook and an island). one by one, two by two, three by three, people arrived at the door with just expensive enough hard liquor. I turned down a shot for maybe the first time in my life, I thought I’d take it easy on my poor little throat who'd gone through hell last week.
As we progressively got drunker and drunker, I asked Antonio if he had eyeshadow, which he didn’t. but he had glitter, which we dolled ourselves up with in the made-for-IG bathroom. all the girls said ‘You look like euphoria' and suddenly a desire was born in all their hearts to have a homosexual give them a glitter makeover, and a line formed out the door. I laughed at Tyler as he glittered up each of the bitches, one by one in the bathroom, and told them they looked pretty.
a boy came in with red around his eyes and asked if he looked good, all the girls told him he looked good. I was too drunk to be dishonest and told him it looked like he hadn't slept in days...I felt rude for outing his bad makeover but really it was because I was on his side. I re-did It with him in his bedroom and it looked much better.
on the couch I became engrossed in 30 minutes of conversation with a strawberry blonde who was doing her masters in ecology at UCLA about the politics of vaginal health and also did she think I got strep from the guy I hooked up with last weekend. she made me feel better by informing me with great and potentially misplaced confidence that I could have absolutely gotten strep from anywhere, a fact that I knew deep down but was neglecting to acknowledge in favor of scapegoating my poor guy for the crime of not being a total asshole.
Once we made it through the song and dance of calling rides to the cave rave, we filed out of the apartment one by one, into our begrudging Ubers. when we got to the west side, We stumbled down the stairs to the cave, where the party was bumping, tech house with a live sax, two PAs and a sub, classic renegade style. we swigged cheap red wine straight out of the bottle, seemed like no one cared that I had strep two days ago...when it made its way to me I made sure to get my fill, cuz god knows whose it was and when it would return. the girl from the couch and her Ashton-Kutcher-but-make-him-weird boyfriend danced suggestively off to the side. a nice girl friends with the DJ almost let me hop on the decks right then and there, I joked is it cuz im WOC, but like I mean i’ll take it. the beeps and boops echoed off the cavernous walls and every so often a tall guy would bump something and little cave crumbs would fall down on my head.
Antonio and Tyler left early ish, past midnight, to fuck (who can blame them?) but I stayed on, in competition with myself to be the roguest of the rogue. I talked more in one night than I did all week, I was on my A game, capping off 23 years of life. I ran into a girl from Berkeley who threw the plum show earlier in the day, into Michael along with his couple friends who I happened to hear calling my name aimlessly into the baths, and into a totally wasted farm, who apparently had been there for a long while looking for me. We drunkenly analyzed my text conversations with a booty call and went back in to dance. I felt suddenly a little covid stupid, and resolved to leave, it definitely had something to do with the fact that the music had gone from a solid vibe to cheesy trap and some overly gratuitous house. I high-tailed it out of there at around half past 1, climbing the sutro steps in the starry moonlight, thinking about how easy it was to descend them at the beginning of the night, and how much more unpleasant it was to leave. I looked out past the navy moonlit baths into the first floor of what used to be cliff house and remembered the sunset meal I had there with my dad just before he died, 18, and at the ruins of the baths where I walked silently with my mom on the first day of that fateful year, 17, and felt the same ground under me now, 23, exiting the cave rave on my own like a lone wolf, a modern girl.
I ran into a boy I’d met on the dancefloor getting our Ubers on point lobos, the DJ’s boyfriend, he was sweet and cute with an earring. We parted ways and I hopped in my car home, fastidiously communicating with my neighbor who I’ve been hooking up with, trying to calculate how much time it’d take me to touch up my makeup, pee, and put on some music before he showed up at my door at 2am.
the next day I made a extravagant brunch for myself of focaccia, kale, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, sharp cheddar, and ate it while watching breaking bad in the sun. I walked through the panhandle to meet up with Catherine at sightglass, where I hungover and exhausted sipped an iced chai (her, an iced tea), regaled her about my night, and talked about massive schlongs, comfortingly frank. We walked back in the sunset up Divis to her parked mini, she gave me a quick ride to Antonio’s where I’d left my car. I drove back in awe of the most beautiful city in the world, San Francisco in the waning light of a January sunset, pastel hued skies and a wistfulness unmatched by anywhere else. And of course, listening to bladee. When I parked on my block I got a ring from my grandma, who checked in on my strep, and told me to drink water boiled with honey, cardamom and cloves.
011921the acute pain of swallowing glass just prior to a diagnosis of strep in your early 20s is exacerbated only by the realization that you have been thrust into the scary world, alone, and are expected now to take care of yourself. I sat on the toilet and thought about the episode of sex and the city where miranda has a freakout about choking on Chinese and realizes if she dies alone in her apartment, no one will find her. I send my mom attention-seeking messages, like, 'I wonder if I should go the hospital', a desperately transparent plea to solicit some sort of maternal care that is no longer obligated to me. I feel indignant when she doesn't respond for several hours, but I guess that's what growing up is like. in just over a week I don't think I'm allowed to say im in my early 20s anymore. but honestly, I'm surprised it was still true til now anyway...
011721I sit calmly on the stairs of The Apothecarium Cannabis Dispensary, in the shadow of salesforce tower, and wait for the king to purchase some indica. they didn't let me in—not because I am in a ketamine- and dab-induced fugue, exacerbated by the previous night's lack of sleep, but because I inadvertently left without my wallet and ID. the king says they are bitchy and expensive and he won't return.
in the hazy red mood lighting of bar part time, we sway boredly to passé disco and scope for cute guys. a bartender with arm tattoos busses empty wine glasses in a Palestine shirt; tall white girls romp this way and that, their bangs swaying with every step; a guy who looks like he could only be from LA rocks a mullet and mustache and looks over his shoulder like he wants to be seen. everyone who's anyone and therefore is no one is sipping orange wine. the DJ spins Kraftwerk until they kick us out at midnight, into the forlorn, omicron-infested streets.
we idle through the fifth floor of SFMOMA looking at people looking at the joan Mitchell paintings. we make fun of them—"please, do tell what you are pretending to understand?" sometimes we say we like a color, a lime or a lilac, maybe a magenta. all the placards say 'she was in New York, and painted' then, 'she was in Paris, and painted' and hung out with her 'bohemian' circle of artists, poets, musicians. it strikes me as inappropriate to glorify such a brazenly privileged lifestyle, especially in 2022. my mom told me to go see the exhibit—not because she likes joan, at all, but because she says I should be like her, and surround myself with artists. I tell her—I don't know any artists, no one goes to uChicago to be an artist. she tells me to re-befriend my painter ex (aptly nicknamed 'the village idiot' by my doting friends), 'it's not like you have to date him, just keep him around...'
I wait patiently in line in a parking lot in Sausalito, lulled by the woman in front of me repeatedly counting '1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, now switch' as people swab their nostrils for a standard PCR. the dusky blue water peeks out from behind the community center, boats bobbing pleasantly. there is a light wind about, maybe 60 degrees. the woman in front of me is sent to san Anselmo, and suddenly it is my turn.
011321where the fuck are my AirPods?
and what the fuck is this music?
a week ago, we sat sipping on IPAs, mike's hard, and black cherry seltzers in farm's living room off Haight street. we discuss his proximity to (black-owned) dispensary Cookies. ketamine king has never been to cookies, he asks "are we talking sees candies or Godiva chocolatier?" we float plans to ingest large doses of prescription-grade ketamine at the king's high-rise apartment in SOMA.
farm's apartment is the archetype of a post-grad boy/man's living space. open plastic bags of red solo cups inhabit gridded ikea square shelves like squatters, a ping pong ball here and there. arbitrary bulk groceries sit exposed to the elements, instead of hidden away in some tasteful elevated cabinetry. the room is large enough only to accommodate a massive smart TV and equally massive beige sofa that is as comfy as it is worn. the only decorative elements are those placed intentionally by jack's mom — some sort of porous coral resembling kinetic sand sits on a oblong ceramic dish on the coffeetable with nothing else in it, save for some leaf and kief no doubt from a j long past. a numberless ornamental clock, decidedly not for telling time, hangs above the TV, which currently has on inoffensive r&b via the Spotify app. an oversized floor lamp with three offset glowing lanterns lights the otherwise dim space—a bohemian design element that farm says they found for free on the side of the street. they drink tap water that tastes of varied minerals and use stringy rags instead of paper towels.
sayed our Lyft driver listens to us patiently as we discuss psychedelics, benzodiazepines, and prescription anti-depressants all the way to SOMA. ketamine king's apartment is straight out of the 70s. eggshell pink walls, a retro ceiling fan, asbestos popcorn ceiling, broken blinds. the complex has a jacuzzi—groovy. an orange tabby prowls around around as the king sips an anonymous beverage from a solo cup with a neon green bendy straw. he says the only thing in the apartment that doesn't reek with age is the ice machine in the freezer. as I enter the bathroom I am momentarily taken aback by the hundreds of skincare products lining the round ceramic sink. AHA and BHA exfoliants, water- and oil-based cleansers, centella asiatica serums, benzoyl peroxide gels, Korean mineral sunscreen, two hand soaps. the king went to an extremely conservative zionist high school in west LA but is so fucking gay. we listen to Lana del rey and Katy Perry while coming down from peach-flavored k in his bed.
ketamine king's real name is Michael, but it doesn't suit him. he rolls a j for us to smoke on his balcony which overlooks at&t (now oracle) park. we discuss Photon, an 80 year old man who has been a Berkeley physics student for as long as anyone can remember. I met him several times at funk night before covid, where he loved to dance with pretty undergraduate girls. one time, he invited us to a winter solstice afterparty-potluck in Berkeley where ten or so geriatric white hippies sang pagan chants and smoked copious amounts of marijuana. we agree that photon is pervy, and I think of that uber we took together, him in the passenger seat, white-haired, troll-like, and me in the back, slutty, harmonically seat-belted en route to the function.
at sociale over mediocre pappardelle we loudly discuss rape play. I come to a weak conclusion that rape play is acceptable but race play is not. we sip barolo and listen intently as Jeffrey advises us to be more sexually exploratory, and brags about his tight asshole. the server thinks we are under 21 and and politely pretends not to hear. Jeffrey wears margiela and Hermes and complains out one side of his mouth about being poor. his hairdresser did the bottega fashion show and gave him curtain bangs. I have war flashbacks to summer in New York as I dissociate enough to sign my name under a $100 charge for middling italian, my eyes unfocused and blank. I resolve to read an article on 'SF's best cheap eats' when I get home. we drink orange pinot Grigio from champagne flutes and play dominion into the night—Jeffrey is on level 41, he plays every day with his lover from Mexico City.
after taking a round of tequila shots at lucky strike, we hit the dab and hop in an uber to the marina in the heat of omicron, silently sanctioned by everyone despite being an obviously awful idea on all fronts. I gladly sit in the passenger seat and heavy-breathe through my mask, blinded by the hazy green lights that tell me to go-go-go and the perpetual folly of youth.
I feel ill from weeks of not eating a vegetable. linguine alle vongole, orange wine, pizza melanzana, oysters on the half shell (miyagi, Chesapeake bay), wings, martinis, Dungeness crab, Mac and cheese bites, croissants, pizza, multiple orders of lamb biang-biang and liang-pi, vodka shots, dim sum, processed juice-box coconut milk, midnight cereal, bowling alley nachos, trulys, doordash sushirrito, cheap wine, and tiramisu swirl around my stomach in an ungodly stew. tonight I will eat broccoli and God will level me up, based.
010321I take a seat by the window at the Sightglass on divisadero, with a small rosemary mocha (seasonal) that cost me $7. across the natural-wood table sits an ambiguously pretty girl, green-eyed, tall, skinny, with a Stanford crewneck sweatshirt peeking conspicuously out of her puffer jacket. she talks at her date—her generically handsome boyfriend, coiffed blonde hair, equally generic beige sweater—of her New Years resolutions with great earnesty. 'reaching out to old friends,' 'financial planning', 'tofu soup'.
the vibe is pleasant and upbeat. airy, high-ceiling'ed; hazy, inoffensive indie comfortably dated to a 2011, 2012. perhaps an interior style that might be referred to as 'New American,' not as cold as an 'industrial chic.' patrons of the local San Francisco chain sit against black leather booths, not glossy but not matte, more of a washed quality, with a sheen, surrounded by a handful of non-native plants and tasteful light fixtures comprised of several mid-size orbs.
on a winter morning, the first sunday of the year, beige sweaters, puffer jackets, and white sneakers abound. the beige sweaters come in many types: fleece, crewneck, tan. the puffers, too: Patagonia, hooded, black. the white sneakers traverse a wide range: vejas here, converse there. it seems that most people got the memo that black leggings were a must today—everyone side-eyes the one girl in distressed blue mom jeans, and I wonder if the bullying will make her leave.
everyone is either ambiguously or generically attractive, and rich. a boy with an exaggerated anime haircut dons noise-cancelling AirPods and works on his computer. a girl enters to pick up her mobile order with a black fannypack worn across her body—for style. a couple of middle-aged men wait for their drinks in matching hoodies, asics, and black technical-fabric sweatpants. a yellow puffer walks in with a New Yorker tote. every so often, someone will assert their individuality with a sneaker in a bold color, like tan, or gray.
I look across a girl wearing thin-frame tortoiseshell eyeglasses. I reflexively wonder if she notices that I am also wearing thin-frame tortoiseshell eyeglasses. internally, I recoil in shame.
surprisingly, there are many couples, and many people with dogs. it's as if they did not read the 2022 trend forecast that monogamy, marriage, and pets were out. I wonder if the dogs realize they are but a cheat, a temporary cure for human loneliness, and as such are performing a disservice to humankind. a dad walks in, stocky in his army green puffer and brown sweatpants. behind him trails a pathetic tiny dog that he could have easily crushed with a single Adidas.
as I idle, allowing my dissatisfying mocha to cool further, eyes to the floor, I see a pair of retro purple sneakers that look like they could be a child's. up a couple inches, dark green socks. up a couple inches more, navy pinstriped dress pants, creased. then, a structured purple corduroy jacket with green embroidery, a maroon beanie with a blue and white tribal print, wireless headphones around his neck. he's carrying a gray crossbody with blue stars on it, a curious white rope wrapped haphazardly around the strap, function unclear. he is vaguely wasian-looking, with short cropped hair just past the ears. i can't tell what (if any) subculture he is referencing. he carries in a black shiny plastic bag filled with—what? postmodern fiction? anime on dvd? what could be in the bag...
I gave him a break from being surveilled and landed my desultory gaze on another young man's white sneakers, half-trying to figure out if they were golden goose ($$). the red leather star matched his jumbo red hydroflask, which sat politely next to his MacBook Air on the table in front of him. he was wearing wired earphones that didn't gel with his puffer, which would have warranted at least AirPods, if not some expensive headphones. maybe he works at a nonprofit... meanwhile, a flurry on my right periphery: a broad-shouldered young man hurried in and made his way straight to the bathroom, beige tote bouncing urgently on his arm. he was wearing a huge tan fur coat cropped to the waist and bright blue chubbies, crew socks and white sneakers, guess he really had to pee.
finally my mystery man opened his mysterious black bag, removed his mask (to reveal a tasteful thin mustache). he flipped through the pages of the Mystical Qabalah as I pondered whether he would consider western mysticism religion (in) or spirituality (out). I realized I was experiencing a delayed reaction to exposure to so many tech workers, and booked it out of there, the hipsters and goths traversing the lower haight a welcome respite from the monoculture, however amusing.
things I read today of varying worth:
JOAN DIDION: ONLY DISCONNECT
Joe Biden’s niece Caroline gets no jail time after DUI guilty plea
The Femcel Revolution
SF’s 116-Year-Old Mochi Spot Set to Close Forever
THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL: PERSONA (PART I)
Wikipedia entry for egregore
7PM IN LISBON
FKA twigs Sues Shia LaBeouf, Citing ‘Relentless’ Abusive Relationship
Karen Bass paints herself as an activist. Is she really?
010121HARK! a new day—a new year!
in many ways, it feels like nothing has happened in the past year, that a 2022 isn't warranted, at least not yet. but when I look at the pictures, my worms from January 2021 I feel that things could not be more different. around that time we were covid'ed up, the walls of my room were not yet white, I had a half-painted SUV. I asked myself questions like—"what kind of people do i like? what does it take for me to be interested in someone? how does dating even work?" things I gleefully feel I have some semblance of answers to now. people? I said to a guy the other day, some sort of countercultural desire, some yearning to break free of the mundane, to question life itself, an intellectual curiosity. I am not interested in someone if I am not having fun, if I am not having a new experience, if I'm not learning. I think I am more in touch with my feelings now, but still getting there. dating works in no specific one way, and that's the fun of it all...
I said I wanted everything around me to feel rich, and I didn't feel that about my iPhone, my credit card. I embrace those things now, it matters not that they aren't scarlet, or silk, or royal, I feel attachment to them because they are mine, because they are of my world, and I put my own stickers on my new iPhone and a phone ring I bought from Etsy, and in this way I get to claim these objects, and make them mine. things do not need to be old to be special—they only need to be intentional and mine—no time wasted desiring a different life, to be of a different time. anyway that distance is what makes us contemporary, what fuels our lives, and it wouldn't make sense to pick and choose, I was born in 1998 and I am along for the ride.
from a fragile 22 to a sexxxxxxy 24, that's the goal for this year. no time or youth to waste hating myself, depression is in but self-hatred is passé. politics is out, indulgence in, and figurative painting. gratitude is the name of the game to-day, listening to shades of blue in the shower while the generous sun warms our cold city, trying to muster up the energy to hopscotch this hangover. I cry all the time now, way more than last year, but I think its good for me, a constant catharsis. Stephen doesn't cry—I marveled. to sever the connection between the pain and the tears...incomprehensible to me!
the bleakness, desolation, and wickedness of life I wrote about then has only become clearer to me, but in that realization there is some solace, I don't fear it anymore and instead am at peace. any happiness I felt over the past year was only a momentary delusion, but an honest one, and that is OK with me.
last year i...
*got a new DJ board, and started throwing parties
*traveled to LA 5 times, denver, Calistoga and st. helena, spent a month on the east coast
*went to the French laundry
*took 2 electronic music production courses
*got vaxxed, 3 times
*took a ceramics class
*went camping, twice
*dated a guy, and broke my virginal streak
*got curtain bangs
*made tons of new friends
*went to the untz, and red rocks, and outside lands
*took a class at RISD
*saw the giants
*got Prada sunglasses
*threw a surprise party for my mom
*went to my first wedding
*took a creative writing class
*got a promotion and negotiated a raise
*went to at least 30 concerts