yesterday i traveled across (or more accurately, under) the bay. i was going to see my long-lost pittsburgh friend aaryn, who lives in SF now, and to go to a collective tarot event at modern times bookstore. i was walking over the pedestrian bridge to get to aaryn’s house, shivering in the wind but admiring the colorful houses on the hillside, the fog rolling in, all the beautiful flowers growing everywhere, and was very happy to be where i was. then i saw aaryn on the street and i yelled his name and he yelled my name and we hugged the way only two old friends can.
we haven’t been close for the past few years due to us both being wrapped up in our own bullshit, and also because he’d moved to the burbs and neither one of us had a car. back when we were close, things were rough in both of our lives, we were both poor and dealing with some shit, but we were neighbors, we hung out a lot and shared what we could and it was great. now aaryn is living in the dungeon/playroom of some older gay dudes, mediating their arguments and cleaning up after the sex parties. he’s happy with this life, or happier than he was in pittsburgh anyway, and i am happy for him. we couldn’t get our words out fast enough. so much to catch up on.
we made our way to the mission for the event. it was a little bit scary. i love public speaking/performing but i am awful at parties, gatherings, groups. especially hipster events. i find hipsters scary and dare i say triggering? i know it’s silly. and a lot of people are fond of telling me that i look like a hipster. also, people often say that before they got to know me they assumed i thought i was too fucking cool for them. when really i am just tongue-tied and shy.
but anyway. the whole point of this post was to tell you that i saw one of my literary heroes in the audience. she was the first person i saw, and i knew it was her. she looks so much more radiant in person. and only two weeks ago i was reading an old, obscure zine by her on my living room floor in pittsburgh, reading a poem she’d written about being crazy but seeming like you’ve got your shit together because you’ve got a job and aren’t screaming in the street anymore, but you’re not fucking okay because once you’re broken you’re never really okay again. and i was having a bad day, such a bad triggered worthless crazy day, and i read this poem over and over again, sometimes to myself and sometimes aloud. and i sobbed because i understood perfectly, and i don’t want to. i don’t want her to and i don’t want me to and i don’t want you to, but a lot of us get it because a lot of us are just totally fucked up.
but anyway, that was two weeks ago. ancient history. and last night she and i sat in the bookstore together, as strangers. i didn’t say anything to her because what would i have said that wasn’t completely stupid? or creepy? or just not enough to express my thanks to her for putting it all into words, so powerfully and so beautifully? what the fuck can you even say. i didn’t say anything. and i think that’s okay.