Saturday, July 26, 2008

water damage

"you're drunk?" derek asked incredulously, and with a twinge more judgment than I could deem appropriate.

"that's funny, coming from someone who nearly got arrested at hustler club last night for refusing to pay a tab that you ran up while you were time traveling."

it was nine am.

I'd just returned from a surreal beginning of day that would prove to be as unusual as its predecessors. morning broke and I peacefully slept through it, only waking to the sounds of a couple beginning their morning routine at lydia's house, unaware of their audience in the guest room. the faucet started to run below me and I groggily came to consciousness.

"baby, will you hand me the rembrandt?"

"here." some scuffling followed.

"no, no, the mouthwash, the whitening stuff."


"it's right there, second shelf." I heard someone gurgling.

"babe, did you talk to greg?"

"yeah, he said that," the pause was filled with the sound of a vibrating uvula, "he was going to be in the studio on thursday, I know that it's longer than we wanted to wait but--"


"I know, I know, but,", he spit, "it's just the only way it's going to work out."




"my mom still wants to take us out for brunch, tomorrow. I was thinking maybe squat and gobble."

I heard another wad of minty spit hit the sink and then a door slam.

I became acutely aware of my leftover intoxication. I looked around for remnants and found a warm bottle of cooks. upon inspecting my cell phone I'd missed several texts from inquiring minds wondering why and where I had stolen off to without bidding anyone adieu. I felt as if explanations were cheap, but much more than I was willing to pay with a head swimming with emotional piranhas and turmoil.

the view from the 4th floor at lydia's apartment is nothing short of breathtaking, it's the sort of sight that can bring about love affairs with san francisco, hills sprawling freely and perfectly orchestrated, cotton candy hued houses plugged into the skyline like lego sculptures. I stood out on the roof balcony to survey the scene, as fastuous as the king of a pride, only momentarily numb to the melancholy I've been battling in recent weeks.

lydia found her way back to me with apologies for the promised spooning that didn't come to fruition. I agreed to be satisfied with a rain check, and then was called home by my roommates blowing up my phone like pearl harbor 2008. I knew that the basis of the frenzied phone calls was a suspicious leak in my ceiling that I'd noticed a few days before, but I hadn't fully realized the seriousness of the abnormality in my banana cream yellow ceiling that I'd come to affectionately call, "the bubble". the bubble ended up being of sinister nature.

when I stumbled up my stairs, I heard a hacksaw buzzing, and I knew that anything after that point was going to be a sight that my sore eyes would much rather never see. upon entering my room, I discovered a small mexican man atop a tall ladder that was planted squarely on a pile of my dirty underwear, diligently stabbing my ceiling with a power tool. a monsoon of plaster was falling from above, victorian particles falling sadly at my patent leather clad feet. I laughed.

it wasn't because I was happy, or because the situation was particularly funny. I laughed because of real-life absurdist humor, the satire of reality, and the fact that a migrant worker was punching a hole in my roof that led into my ex-boyfriend's empty room.

I opened a beer.

"you're drunk"?"

"that's funny, coming from someone who nearly got arrested at hustler club last night for refusing to pay a tab that you ran up while you were time traveling."


"yes, derek." I answered, lolling my head from side to side to punctuate my ridiculousness, "I... am drunk." I let my hair fall into my eyes. "and I've no intention of being otherwise."

"okay, then."

"do you want a pizza?"

"a pizza? now?"

"yes, a fucking pizza, do you want one?"

"well, yeah."

"I'm buying. what kind do you want?"

"I don't know..."

"pepperoni and feta?"

"pepperoni sometimes upsets my stomach, maybe we could--"

"ooh! cable car special. chicken. yeah. let's do that."

when the pizza came I gave the delivery man some attitude and a 30% tip, and then proceeded to eat the entire pizza except for the piece I relinquished to derek. fatty food guilt isn't necessarily unlike catholic guilt. it's been too long for me to have any educated estimation of how many rosaries I owe for a medium pizza and two canisters of ranch, but I choose denial.

I sat on derek's bed in a sunny spot, and we went through his old baby photos from a childhood in georgia. derek had the beautiful mug of a gerber baby, and even cooler 80's video game themed clothes. there were countless photos of him with his flaxen haired older brother, both of them sharing a icy, piercing gaze, although his brother had a mismatched pair of eyes with a hazel one offsetting the blue. derek never mentions his siblings, especially the likes of this phantom older brother, and I couldn't help but think it inherently odd. how can someone share a life and a bloodline with someone and end up only peripherally involved, at best? it struck me unsettlingly, as a person who is a self proclaimed penguin-esque, mate-for-life, type. is loyalty a pipe dream? in matters with brothers, lovers, corner store guys, there are bonds you just don't break, there are battle lines and boundaries to respect. I wouldn't cheat on a boyfriend or new star-ell liquors.

the pizza didn't sober me up enough to stop me from sending a barrage of pathetic text messages to jon. later on at work I made the dire mistake of taking a gander at my outbox and very soon after was tempted to stab myself in the eye with a chopstick. I don't want to play the hot and cold game anymore, but it never fails to keep my heartstrings tethered. (thanks, daddy issues!)

this week I've got to do some remodeling even aside from getting a new ceiling, some real heavy spring cleaning on my heart and mind. I want to try and write every day, I will start respecting my body and stop living off of barefoot bubbly, cigarettes, and goat cheese, and I am going to try and remember that It's Called a Break Up Because It's Broken.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

memory is a fickle siren song

oh, sweet, merciful christ.

I'm in such a pickle, but I can't think of the last time I wasn't fervently trying to make relish. when was the last time I wasn't managing a disaster? when weren't kosher sandwich slices of zesty misadventures assailing me with clammy, green passion, a passion that steadily builds and grows like an epic concerto conducted by an unrelenting deli maestro? I suppose I've always had a knack for manifesting unusual situations and wacky, once-in-a-lifetime, cinematic undertakings that give me material for my writing. it's uncannily reliable.

sunday night with my best friend at a gay bar suddenly becomes moonlighting as an art student from LES new york, leisurely relaxing in a penthouse suite on the top floor of the westin st. francis, surrounded by original picassos and two homosexual vintage san francisco socialites with an affinity for nose candy, persian cats, and kate moss's plastic surgeon. a birthday party at the clift turns into a hyphy phenomenon and when we're kicked out at three am, tripping over a veritable sea of empty bottles of korbel, we're singing as we're being manhandled by security into a misty tenderloin morning holding hands and twirling through the gutters in our evening gowns. everyone else's blockbuster nights are my precious gems of spontaneous and fantastic magic that I collect for my jewelry box of shocking tales. every corner in this city has a story, every day that I choose not to waste has the potential for extraordinary excavation. I claim these things with as little ego as possible, because I believe that these spectacles (wonderful and heartbreaking, respectfully) find me just as often as I seek them out.

what is the point of being satisfied with anything unremarkable? I don't go on dinner dates, I fall in love with my roommate. I don't eat peanut butter and jelly, I order a super al pastor burrito with extra cheese and black beans on a tomato tortilla. I want to live the shit out of my life, because I know all too well and have been taught all too painfully, you never know how long you've got. you could get cancer. (hell, I did.) you could go to a party with friends, have a fantastic time, and then never wake up. (jorge did.) you could jaywalk on mission street and get hit by a semi-truck. (I actually have never known anyone who pulled that one off.)

jon's father passed away last week and I've never felt so desperate to take care of someone in my life. I wanted to jump on a plane, flee to his side, wrap him up and hold him, keep him safe and take the pain and fix everything. unfortunately, none of the aforementioned rescue techniques could be executed, for several reasons not only limited to proximity and the nature of the source of emotional ruin. I couldn't bring his dad back. I love him, but I can't put us back together. but, oh god, how I wanted to. when he came home to pack for an extended stay down south with his bereaved family, watching him leave again felt like chewing blown glass christmas ornaments. my heart broke seventeen times. (give or take.) afterwards I laid in bed for hours, completely immobilized by sadness, listening to the sounds of our empty treehouse. there are so many things to mourn, and I can take those feelings and really iron them out, let them coarse through my veins and leave permanent traces like a tattoo. I thought to myself of a response to jon's querying my transparently sad eyes, months ago, and it's simply that some feelings never go away. I can't un-feel falling in love, just as I can't un-feel the loss of it. I can't un-feel constance. this relationship has swung to both ends of the spectrum just as everything else in my life has, there are highs and lows and I carry them with me with pride. I don't regret anything about the ballad of jonstina. we are real and flawed and human and beautiful, and also doomed. we've moved beyond beating the dead horse and now we're just hanging out at the glue factory.

the time for me to take my leave from treehouse is looming, but I'll look at it head on. a new chapter is on the horizon, maybe even an entirely new book that promises hundreds of crisp, blank pages, eagerly awaiting to be filled with san francisco fairytales and a tragedy or two.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


everything feels 110% unsure. I need to put down the club I've been beating myself up with in exchange for a bouquet of daisies and a cherry coke to walk through the park with. by summer's end, I expect to have landed on my feet, but I've still got a ways to go... this time spent alone is integral. no good ever comes of skipping the 3rd act.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

the funk

I'm downtrodden and can't shake the blues off... save for the internship, I feel as if I'm entertaining a 2 year losing streak. I'm trying to save money for "the move" that I'm starting to believe is never going to happen, but constantly have bills flying at me from every angle, not to mention a strong fondness for 10 dollar belgian beer. (I feel like a troubled teen for admitting this, but jamie stewart has a lyric about his true love drinking herself into not being able to pay rent that has always yanked my heartstrings a little.) yesterday I went out with friends to a fashion show and had a perfectly swell time and then brought home a fellow wholphin intern and his roommates to hang out at the treehouse, one of the friends being a dead ringer for jude law save for his rather small stature. jon came down to grab a drink from the fridge and casually invited me upstairs for a slumber party and I declined, opting to enjoy the reindeer games with my company. as the whiskey flowed and the conversations turned slurry and the space between jude's doppleganger and I diminished, suddenly our hips were touching side by side as we leaned on a banister in the dark and the other boys started to drift down the hallway to talk bikeshop with derek. he touched my fishnets and turned to me and I could feel his breath on my neck so I balked, wordlessly slinking away into the kitchen, and then up the stairs to jon's room. I crawled into his bed, demanded that he spoon me and passed out without saying goodbye to my friend or jude, or maintaining any sort of dignity. I know he's dating the girl he cheated on me with, (constance, ugh) and that he lies to both of us through his teeth for sport. I know he probably screws us both in the same day without showering and goes to soundly to sleep at night perfectly content with existing on a higher plane of evil and disregard for others. I know that she secretly comes to the house when he knows I'm out, a roulette of sorts, keeping fingers crossed that I don't get off of work early. she probably plays with my cat and peers into my bedroom, boiling with curiosity, examining enemy territory with her beady little eyes. I know all this, and I'm aware that he treats me like shit 98 percent of the time, but this morning I was lapping up every iota of attention and smiling at tender cutesy kisses and letting him take pictures of me topless on his stupid iphone. (whatever.) why do I do this to myself? why didn't I suck face with jude and go to sleep in my own bedroom?
I laid in his bed this morning, internally conflicted yet still knowing the Right Thing To Do and that I was failing miserably at doing it, any of it. he smiled at me and invited me into the shower to which I stretched languidly and told him that there was little to no chance of my moving any time soon. he told me to have it my way, I replied that I usually do, and as he shut the door his phone chirped. it was constance. it was a flirty text. my stomach lurched. I felt my blood rushing to my face. I put my party dress back on and retreated down the stairs, feeling lost in my own house. when I saw him on his way out to the post office he'd asked me what was wrong, as my demeanor had clearly gone from relaxed to bristly and removed. I said nothing, and he called me a liar. of course I am. my favorite person to lie to is myself. a few months ago my cousin told me that jon would destroy me, but in a good way. I'm starting to doubt the benefits of being wrecked.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

btw ftw

soooo, here's how my day began. I awoke at 4am and lurched to the fridge in the dark and ate my ex-boyfriend's leftover little star plain cheese chicago style deep dish pizza, after which I felt moderately painful pangs of guilt. my remorse was only for concern of what my actions would do to my waistline rather than regretting the rage that I knew it would evoke in jon as soon as he made it to the fridge for lunch. I left one crust, one symbolic crust, like a middle finger of lightly browned dough, waiting for its one triumphant moment of vengeance. that's right, fucker, I ate your pizza. AND IT WAS GOOD.

I went back to sleep for a spell, and ended up opening my eyes to stare at the ceiling on hourly intervals until nine when my cell phone alarm went off and rufus put his paws over his eyes in protest. (no kidding, kitty.) my morning routine proceeded as per usual, choosing out a dress, swirl-tap-buffing my way into bare escentuals flawlessness, listerine, toothbrush, cheerios, BM, chapstick, sunglasses, earbuds and out the door with my macbook slung over my shoulder in a totebag. this morning I was scheduled to have a meeting before reporting to wholphin HQ with a prospective new roommate for august first on haight and pierce in my favorite little corner of the lo-hay. amy was her name. I texted amy to let her know that, as she had mentioned her flexible schedule, that I was going to stop off for a cup of joe on my way over and that she should expect me at 10:30 rather than 10:15. I think I even offered to pick her up a croissant, or something equally as flaky, delicious, and considerate. I assumed that her lack of response equated to a silent acknowledgement of the ever-so-slight change in plans, and I was on my merry way. at 10:31, mocha in hand and beaming from ear to ear in preparation for selling myself harder than a QVC queen with 8 seconds left on an auction, I raised my finger to ring the doorbell and I saw that "Amy Haight & Pierce Apt. 3" was blowing up on my caller ID.

"well, helllooooo!" I chirped into my phone.
"is this christina?" she asked.
"why yeeeesss! I'm actually just right outsi--"
"I'm really sorry, I just got your text."
"it's alright, it's fine. I'm here now, actually."
"no, no," she said, starting to sound penitent, "I had thought that you were flaking when you weren't here at 10:15 and another girl that was supposed to interview at 10:45 came early, and..."
"and I really wanted to wait for you, you know, because your email was great and you sounded like such a great fit, and..."
"but then you weren't there and she was and I was like, look, girl, I like you but there's supposed to be another applicant, but she said she had to know today, so..."
"I just rented her the room. I'm really sorry."
"oh. so you didn't get the text."
"not until just now. I'm so sorry. wait, did you just say you were here?"
"no, no." I sighed, as my gaze fell upon the Apartment 3 buzzer.
"good luck in your search."
"thanks. I'll need it." I said, flipping my phone shut.

that 5 dollar beverage just cost me a place to live and a large piece of my dignity, as I had to hear myself tentatively query a barista about whether they used low fat whip. stolen pizza karma? past life trespass punishment? perhaps, just not the right place? at any rate, the days become numbered before one or both parts of the treehouse's dissolved couple is frantically asking jeeves the most effective way to hide a body. I try and live my life free of regret but this time, I may have effectively screwed the pooch. any way you dress it up, the cold truth remains, I have to leave my pink barbie dreamhouse that is the disneyland of san francisco victorians because I got my tail where I got my mail.

I'm in the basement at wholphin right now and taking a break from transcribing subtitles for issue no. 6, and the sound of the persistent whisper of laptop keys together with magnetic fields playing upstairs are as soothing as lapping waves or a twittering rainforest could ever be. be that as it may, as I stared off at the jumble of boxes lining the walls I focused on one with a logo on it that said "neenah neenah" and I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel like an emotional attack. I need a christmas miracle in july.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

welcome to the working week

my first day as an intern at wholphin was a momentous occasion that bore the weight and importance as one's first day of high school, and I behaved no differently. the night before I was all abuzz with butterflies rioting in my stomach and I laid out my Most Responsible Outfit with care after ironing everything to sleek, crisp finish and matching my accessories accordingly. (did the red beaded necklace say "business" or "floozy"? oh, fuck it. fuck it fuck it fuck it.) I expected everything and nothing, but mostly everything, and woke up every hour on the hour to ensure that I had not, in fact, slept through my alarm and blown the whole thing.

I was supposed to arrive the office at eleven, and having departed 15 minutes or so later than intended after initiating a battle with my flat iron that had not been factored into the preparation itinerary, ended up missing the 22. it rattled past me unsympathetically as I rounded the corner next to the stop and I briefly considered the pros and cons of flinging myself against the side of the bus as if I were wearing a suit made of suction cups the way the life or death muni-goers often do. I decided against it, if only to save face. dignity may be a illusion, but it's one I was willing to uphold to keep my confidence in peak condition.

ah, so this is how the other 80% lives, I thought to myself, strolling in the sunshine to my new office job, fully alert at ten AM and toting a macbook under my arm. autolux was booming through my earphones and I was trying not to obsess but failing miserably, my mind stuck in overdrive with oh god, july, rent is due. what if I forgot something? everything? what if I need a pencil? double stick tape? flash cards? shit. did I turn that stupid flat iron off? will my house burn down? what if it burns to the ground and I am responsible for murdering my cat, rufus, trapped inside, flames licking the walls, wondering why I've forsaken him? I'm a cat killer. christ. what if I don't find an apartment before... oh, and what if these people think I'm an idiot. I shouldn't have worn the red beads. I need more coffee. will they think it's irresponsible to show up with coffee? will they think I dilly-dallied? will they think that my iced latte implicates my irresponsible nature and that I couldn't go to bed early enough and I was just leisurely meandering my way to the first-day-of-the-rest-of-my-life unable to function in the normal adult world without the aide of a stimulant? do normal people do this?

no. the answer is no. but at 10:54 I found myself vis-à-vis with 846 valencia, and boldly swung the door open much more gallantly than I actually felt, in case anyone had been watching.

they weren't. the room was well-lit with high ceilings and was reminiscent of what I remember study hall to be like. the bookshelves were tall, loaded and lining the walls, collapsable poker tables set up at odd angles, ikea desks with occupants peering through their glasses at the screens of their laptops. it was silent except for whispering white noise of fingertips deftly dancing across keyboards, and there were perhaps 8 or 10 people inside, two looked up momentarily and then returned to their business. to my relief, no one had yet asked me if I was lost, and I looked askance at a copy machine as if it might be able to provide me with some answers only to find myself face to face with another bespectacled character with slightly unruly hair who raised his eyebrows and simply said, "mmyesss?"

"I'm looking for the," shit, I shouldn't have paused, now I am going to sound stupid, especially if I pronounce this wrong, "hole-fins." I bit my lip.

"ah yes." he answered. "the Wall-Fins are right down that stairway into the basement.

god damnit. I hope no one heard that.

"thanks." I muttered, turning to the concrete stairway that led underground. of course it's wall-fin. wholphin! hello! they're all going to know I didn't go to college.

I swished one last gulp of coffee down as I descended the stairs and noticed one solitary, antique looking mouse trap on the fourth step form the bottom, complete with a bit of cheese bait on the edge. this vermin catcher inexplicably lightened me up, and by the time I reached the basement I was wearing one of my show stopper grins and had my firm handshake ready for quickdraw like a six shooter. yes. here I am, wall-fins! I shall swim with you! eee-eeee! eeeee-eeee---eeeeee!

composure. decorum!

brent brought blackberries and comic relief, emily gave us a warm welcome to the team and some firmer ideas of what our roles would be, and the other two interns brought ambition as well. the initial inauguration speech was exciting and I stopped thinking about if I should've brought donuts and started thinking about all of the amazing opportunities I am about to have to explore art and express myself and be a part of the company that I've been obsessed with for years. the red beads are fine. they love me already. I'm not sure how I feel about the boy-intern's art fag mullet, but they'll love me. I am the kooky blonde they've been dreaming of.

our first task was to watch short film submissions and determine whether or not they are potential material for the quarterly or the website. I took notes on all of them that I screened even though I'm fairly sure that was not required. this was my favorite submission:

• Alex and Her Arse Truck by Sean Conway

This 15 minute film was a sexually perverse romp through the misadventures and deviant behavior of an underage blonde British gutterpunk named Alex and her boyfriend “Babyshoes”. Alex makes her living selling dirty underwear on her website and making amateur porn, spending her spare time soaking in the bathtub under the adoring watch of her equally skewed, yet lovable paramour.

“Even Marvin Gaye once said, “What’s going on?”. I feel the same way sometimes.” -Babyshoes

so, in short. this is awesome. this is amazing. I want to throw myself into the fray with as untainted of a heart that I came to this city with 4 years ago. I'm a believer. I'm a believer.

I think I might bring donuts tomorrow.