Ooh, headache. I'm gonna try a little OJ/coffee/advil mix and see what works.
Rewind, playback: the last few days have been so nice. I'm really into this summer thing so far. On Friday night Ghazy and I went to check out a party for a gallery opening in the Haight. We looked at paintings of cavemen, saw some kids we knew and danced to sick hip-hop by an mc named AO. Someone proposed to me? Sloshing vodka and coke and a sloppy kiss on the cheek--very romantic, exactly as I always hoped it would happen. Later I found four dollars on the ground at Haight and Steiner. What a score. I felt a bad taking it--as though I should have strewn the dollars around on trash cans and tree branches or hooked beneath window wipers for other people to find--so I gave it to the cab driver on the way home.
Saturday G and I kicked it at Nick's with bay friends. They played us beats, Adam taught me a lighter game and we missed the last 1 California bus at 3--oops. Five hours of sleep and one slice of momma's homemade wheat bread later, Nora and I hopped the 33 to Carnaval in the Mission. We missed the parade (who's up at 9 am on a Sunday, anyway?), so we grabbed some coffee at Ritual and headed to Dolores Park instead. So gorgeous there--I'm in love with these San Francisco days. We assembled and split our own avocado sandwich with materials from an organic deli, eating it cross-legged on the grass. Later some boys came through--Robin brought his big boy puppy, a Husky that sat on my feet and tried to eat someone's pot cookies. At home I lay on my bed for an hour and then went with baby to get dinner here:
Today I found a stapled paper booklet in the recycling. It had a cartoon drawing of an elderly couple and the word "CHANGING" on the front. I did some sleuthing and found out that it's a discarded informational packet from my brother's fifth-grade Puberty class. I don't know what's better--the fact that the booklet has a drawing of the elderly on its cover or that the class itself is called Puberty. Whatever happened to plain old, less awkward "Health"?
In the afternoon Ghazy had a memorial day barbecue in her garden--what a hostess. The guys brought beer and I brought cookies. Andreana came by for a bit, I've missed seeing that girl. We made strip steak sandwiches with avocado and gruyere on baguette--quality. Later we headed down to AP to play some basketball. I did my best but I'm kind of terrible--think I'll stick to the yoga.
Yesterday was a typical San Francisco day: ineffably lovely, climatically bipolar and filled with the sort of random discoveries that always win me over (lavender-flavored yogurt at the corner store; a crumpled bus receipt when I had no cash; an unopened jar of cinnamon, hiding behind the coffee maker.) Though by evening the sky was entirely foggy and dense with mist, at eleven-thirty it was clear and sunny. Nora and I brought each other presents (an avocado for her, an iced latte for me) and walked down to the beach, setting up camp beside a Hello Kitty kite. It felt so good to lie there in the warmth. When it got windy, we went back to her house. Bitty made rice-infused green tea and snap peas--mine!
Nora has a large chair I like to sit in.
Today I got up at eight-thirty in the morning, downed two cups of coffee, and went to meet Ghazy for a 10 am yoga class. Being up that early felt slightly unnatural and somehow a little bit exhilarating (maybe that part was the yoga.) I always forget that most of the world wakes up before noon on non-school or work days.
Want to do this with me? I call being the top.
In the afternoon Elana and I went to see Martina's show. It was so nice to be back with them. Excited for Chesnut time this weekend. I still can't get over how crazy it feels to think that I'll be here for so long--that I'm not going back to Vassar after a week-long break. The best part of my travel day was the sprinkle-topped you're-almost-there ice cream I bought from the Coldstone Creamery in the Phoenix airport. It was birthday cake remix, a size small, and seven dollars. Excuse me? How do they charge seven dollars for an ice cream? Was it the extra cookie dough? That goes on the "things I can't figure out" list, along with the obsession every 30+ woman in the Phoenix airport seemed to have with Shania Twain, whose "That Don't Impress Me Much" was playing on repeat in Terminal 2.
I'm sitting next to the most delicious honeydew candle. Being able to light candles in my room is a nice thing about home. This is the Virgin of Guadalupe devotional votive, Nora's favorite kind of candle. We buy them for her in the Mission.
Today I made a new discovery: Smart Water. I found it in the college store, sandwiched between a Starbucks Mint Frappuccino and eighty cases of red bull, and was intrigued. What could be smart about water? According to the label on my chicly cylindrical bottle, Smart Water is "vapor distilled so it is in its purest original state. But we don't stop there. We one-up the clouds by adding electrolytes. It's a difference you can taste....unless you have no taste buds." Hmm. I do have taste buds. And even though I don't really get how the water is vapor distilled, I kind of like the idea of a cloud in a bottle. The verdict? It tastes...like water. From an Evian bottle. Or a tap. Smart Water is like the Valentine's Day of water brands: sort of unnecessary and definitely commercialized, but tempting and a little bit sexy nonetheless.
I talked to Ty today. He told me that he's become interested in two new things: golf and immortality. I usually forget that he's 10.
Right now I am packing and listening to Nico. I am amused when she says "I can't help it if you might think I am odd." I miss some things already. Tomorrow I leave. It feels strange to think that this is the last night I'll spend here. Bittersweet. (Corny.) Outside six people are carrying a large floral couch across the quad. Nora time by the ocean on Saturday is a nice thing to think about.
Yesterday was the reading. I know it's silly of me to get so worked up and anxious, but that's what I do, so I couldn't really help it. It's a relief to have it over with, but I had the best, best time. Tuesday half of the class read and the rest of us went to support, so I kind of had a feel for how Wednesday would go. It's crazy how different the experience of hearing a story out loud is from reading it on your own--a lot of the pieces came alive for me in an entirely new way. On Wednesday we read in the Mug, which was smaller and more intimate than the big theater the class used on Tuesday. Anabel dimmed the lights and put on sick music; Liz and Christine set lit candles on the round tables and stools arranged diagonally throughout the space. I was on cookie duty and brought the yummiest thing the Retreat had to offer--those chewy chocolate-chip bad boys, courtesy of the Keebler elves. (Only the best.) I was really surprised by how many people came--there weren't enough seats, so most of us stood. Each person read in front of this incredibly bizarre sculpture, which was hanging from the ceiling (not ours)--an enormous tangled rope, hung with netting and wire and all kinds of objects. I took an inventory to distract myself when I got nervous: Trash bag. Coca-Cola can. Amputated doll arm? Hmm.
Even though I've been stressing for weeks, once I got up there I didn't feel anxious at all. Bernardo wrote the most beautiful introduction for me, which made me laugh and put me at ease. I didn't expect to feel anything but tense, but somehow I just really enjoyed it. This is corny, but it felt like such a gift to be able to read aloud what I've been working on this semester, and to have people there who cared enough to listen. I already miss our class--I feel like it's changed me, opened me up--made me both more internal and more connected to those around me, and certainly more exploratory.
Today it is overcast--weather.com says 77 degrees, but this is definitely a lie. Good news is that it's supposed to be sunny all around when I get to San Francisco next week. I am a little bit in shock that it's so soon. I feel like I have so much to do before then--papers and packing and finals, and how in the world am I going to move all of my shit out of my room and back to the west coast? I need yoga now, please. At least I have three hundred things at home to look forward to--Dolores Park with my bitties, my Fillmore crew, love with Mart and Elana, International Orange, Farmer's Market, being with my family inc. child genius younger brother Ty, the Japanese Tea Garden, Baker Beach, barbecues, big hills, sourdough bread, pounding that city pavement, and this one, of course (people get us confused):
Oh, San Francisco, you pretty thing. See you so soon.