Thursday, November 10, 2011

Me For a Day

Wake up. Decide you can't tell what time it is based on the window light, then decide it doesn't matter because you have no one expecting anything from you. Then feel guilty for squandering one of your final days in beautiful SF by lying in bed. Then think about coffee. Wonder if anyone has sent any messages your way since you fell asleep last night. Reach for your phone. No messages. Think about how you have to leave this goddamned city. Then think about how it might not be any better anywhere else. Hug your pillow.

Consider your plan of action: shower, maybe trim the facial hair. Spring out of bed. Springing is better than any other method of leaving your bed. Walk to the bathroom. Decide that since it is Thursday, and your chances of being seen by lots of gay men are statistically much higher tonight than they were for the past several nights, you should definitely trim the facial hair. Once you are finished, hop into the shower. Hopping and jumping are your two means of entering the shower. Anything less active is not acceptable. Make funny little singsongy noises as you soap yourself, then realize people might think you're a freak if they overhear you. Decide not to care. But it's so hard not to care.

Contemplate breakfast. Opt for a sandwich somewhere, what with it already being 11:23 and all. Bring a book with you, wherever you go, so you don't look like the single most lonely kid in this city.

All things considered, days off kind of suck.

Walk to the coffee shop. Consider the sad-looking people walking around you. At least you don't look as sad as them. Pay no attention to the happy ones. They're fools.

Sit outside and eat your sandwich. Be happy you can buy yourself a sandwich. Those guys over there look like they want your sandwich. They aren't getting it. Stretch your legs out in the sun. Sun rules! Read your book and think about how quaint this moment of your life will look from the future. Just a young you and a book and the sun. Almost no worries. Almost.

Except for all the worries! Gahhh. Stifle them.

Walk up the street to pass time. Head into the comic book shop. If nothing else, bookstores of any kind make you feel right at home. Walk serendipitously to the graphic novel memoir that most closely aligns with your life at this moment. Buy it. Smile and be nice to the comic book guy. Wonder what his worries might be.

Walk to the vintage furniture store. See the coffee table you were meant to own. Talk yourself into spending $175 on it. Marvel that you are at a point in life when $175 on a coffee table, of all things, is not only feasible but exciting. Worry for yourself.

Go to the park. Sit on a bench in the sun and take turns staring at the cityscape and reading. Watch the people in the park laugh and socialize with their dogs. Wonder if you are making the right choices in life.

Happy. Sad. Ecstatic. Elated. Miserable. Angsty. Nostalgic. Psycho. Happy.

Meet up with your friend for a beer. Discuss the serendipitous nature of being at the exact spot drinking the exact beer with the exact person you did the exact same thing with exactly a year ago. Wonder what this could mean in terms of you and your choices. Contemplate the harsh reality of leaving a city that has such beautiful sunny days midway through November.

Head home. Make your usual dinner: chicken, black beans, broccoli. Think about how you spent over $200 today. Decide this was a responsible move, despite not having a job at the moment, because at least it wasn't $200 spent on drugs.

Get dressed for a party. Go to the party. It's a gay party! Not one of the guys is attractive. Think about how you've managed to live 16 months in the gayest city on the planet only to spend one of your final Thursday nights at one of the least attended, least attractive get-togethers ever. Consider the sad nature of this situation. Think about the guy from your previous relationship and what all his exceptionally handsome friends must be doing at this same moment, probably less than a mile away.

Take lots of jello shots. Pretend not to care. But also you don't really care. It's more like you think you should be concerned about this situation rather than you really feel concerned, and you don't like the way you let what other people think of you control so much of your life. Realize no one outside of the party knows how ugly the party itself is. Realize your own perceptions are what will continue to bring you down. Tell yourself you are only 24 and you have so much more time to make it right. Then wonder what making it right means.

Exit the apartment. Walk down Haight street to get home. Consider the very act of walking down Haight Street. Realize that you finally feel comfortable in this giant magical city and that you are actually one of the very few people on the planet who has the privilege of casually walking down Haight Street after a gay party to get back to your own apartment in San Francisco. Think of all the men in the world who lay alone at night wishing, in all their separate languages, to be in San Francisco. Many would probably literally kill to be in your shoes. Are you an asshole for wanting to give this up? You're here, goddamit. It doesn't get better than this.

Enter your own apartment. Fall onto the couch. Stay up until 2 reading your graphic novel memoir. Realize most people who move to big cities at 24 feel the way you do. If you could just hunker down and make it another year, you'll probably be transformed enough to manage for good. But at what cost? Will you be the empty husk of the idealistic person you once were, or a new version altogether? Is the past at 24 something worth holding onto? Should you really be trying so hard not to change, to harden? Is this plain old growing up, or is this growing up unhappily? Where do you expect to find better conditions for happiness? Is substituting palm trees and Victorian architecture for rain and moldy housing really going to help? Will you end up worse off there than here? Should you just grin and bear it? At what point will it be too late to make these kinds of decisions? How many more years do you have when decisions like this can still be pulled off? Why are you so insane? How does everyone else just go about their lives as if they don't think these things? What's satisfying about a life without way too much contemplative thought? Are you ever going to change for the better? Will you ever be happy with a respectable career? If you turn tail and run from a writing position, what won't you run from? When is anything going to make sense? At what point is grasping for straws here versus there going to make no difference in terms of how it all turns out? How? Why? What?


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