Here’s me with 226 pg/mL of estradiol and Double Mint Chip ice cream (semi-sweet chocolate chips in a base brightened with spearmint AND peppermint) coursing through my body at the tail end of my 28th birthday. This is the only one of 8 shots Katya snapped through the window of Smitten on Valencia Street where my expression isn’t dismal.1
I’ve been burnt out and gnawing on a heap of stressors that’ve bubbled over the past few days. There’s an expectation of certain jubilation on birthdays because usually those who care about you pay extra care and attention on your day. I wanted today to be different, but still wasn’t really feeling it.2
Katya and I hiked 26 kilometers diagonally across the San Francisco peninsula because I needed a reachable goal to keep my mind off of unpleasant things. This post is also something I’m doing to feel like I’ve done something worthwhile on a day I see as an opportunity to reflect.
- Bull’s Blood perfume by Imaginary Authors. A single spray lasts a day or longer. The original formula contained a banned ingredient that led to its eventual reformulation. It’s lusty and particular and controversial. I loved it on first sniff.
- A heart-shaped blush stamp that looks like a blob when applied. The butt portion of the heart should be more pronounced. Or I just haven’t figured out how to use it yet.
- An illustrated version of one of my favorite photographs of myself, except the artist gave me comically (because it was unintentional) dark skin.
- A book about K2 accompanied by a card that says Gay Icon on the front.
- Cleaning by MUJI.
- One (1x) Rocky Talkie outdoor radio. Unfortunately two would have been too expensive. I have to hope my future climbing buddies will have their own. I tried scanning channels in my kitchen but no one answered.
I didn’t intend for this post to be so scattered. I was going to call it Bull’s Blood and had some fantastic metaphor cooked up. Seems my bitter mood’s gotten the best of me and I can’t remember the through line. I hope I’ll manage to squeeze out a separate writing within the following week to reflect on accomplishments and wisdom gained during this past year. Off the top of my head, this year I:
- Summited Mount Rainier.
- Didn’t summit Mount Shasta.
- Earned my scuba open water certification.
- Ran a 1/2 marathon in 1hr 45min.
- Bought my Royal Enfield and put 100s of miles on it.
- Acted in a professionally-produced adult film.
- Directed and acted in my own adult film.
- Visited Yosemite for the first time.
- Was a practice dummy for Katya’s massages.
- Came out to pretty much everyone who wasn’t already informed.
- Learned how to inject myself.
- Went sailing on the bay.
- Visited family on the east coast.
- Joined a social club.
- Saw Flume in concert.
- Dyed my hair pink.
There are a few more important moments that should be kept discrete, but I’ll hint at their existence lest they become lost to time.
Gah, this post is disappointingly vacant. I’d aspired to enshrine something meaningful for my future self, like I’d done at 25—but no, looking back, that writeup was similarly void of essence. To quote myself exactly three years ago to the day:
Told myself I’d do a writeup. Get introspective so I may look back in 25 years and see where my head was at. The day somewhat escaped me. Didn’t have as much time as I’d have liked for writing. Always the case, ain’t it? Relaxing nonetheless. Owe it to you to dig deep before the year’s up. Here’s a promise to publish words more coherent than these.
Always the case indeed. And that promise fell through, didn’t it! Maybe incoherence is the essence of these reflections. Because I spend the rest of my hours toiling towards some semblance of coherence, structure, meaning.3 The prophecy of last line of 25, though, has been fulfilled: “…in hope the shell will further shed.” That shell’s long gone… reckon I’m waiting for what was underneath to crystalize.4
4/5ths through my 20’s, but who’s counting? I’m just a girl with a single radio, waiting for someone out there to glissade into my channel. In more ways than one.
See you at 30. Or next year. Or this upcoming week for your New Year’s post. Or not because you’ll stay in a bloody mood. Or forget. Or get overwhelmed. Just please don’t be so hard on yourself. I love you.5 And you reading this, who’s not me.
Happy holidays. Or not. Feel what you feel. And be glad you’re capable of feeling anything at all, because that’s an incredible part of being alive.
Original syntax: This is the only one of 8 shots where my expression isn’t dismal that Katya snapped through the window of Smitten on Valencia Street. I’m tired and unsure which sounds more correct.↩︎
Fuck it’s hard to type with long fingernails.↩︎
Sure, let’s go with that. My modus operandi thus forth is the in-prefix. My instinctive worry is the probable conflation of in-as-the-anti with the creative industry’s disruption rhetoric. But self-labeled creatives disrupt for the sake of disruption in a very safe and conforming way. No, my method is distinctively against those traits thought to be good. Incoherent. Indefinite. Indescribable. Indecisive. Inanimate. Insubordinate. In no way cleverly using the opposite to accomplish the desired trait. I could get into examples, but that wouldn’t be staunchly inconclusive, would it?↩︎
Glitter gel helps.↩︎
My therapist recommended I practice affirmations and self love and acceptance. Feels both silly and narcissistic, but if it didn’t I suppose it’d be too easy and unnecessary.↩︎