The consumption of legal stimulants cause my slow human specimen of a self to be whipped into a frenzy. On a warm, yet lonesome Monday night I ride my yellow 1980s Specialized Rock Hopper around San Luis Obispo. The air is kept comfortable by the cloud cover. A trip to deposit some loose change into my checking account becomes something greater.
Summertime is special in San Luis Obispo. Actually it is something special in any college town. With the onset of summer there isn’t much sexual energy pooling on the streets. As I get older, the highly sexual parade of bar scenes seems awkward like teenaged girls heavily made up in their prom dresses trying to play the part of a glamorous, sophisticated, affluent starlet. I never dared to play that role.
During my ride I feel the need to write in my little black moleskine. I stop at a late-night eatery. Trying to fool myself into thinking I’m better than sitting on the sidewalk late at night, I scrounge together a dollar and seven cents to loiter in a private space through the purchase of a cookie. I sit down at a metal table outside which faces Higuera Street, SLO’s main drag. A man with a five o’clock shadow and a weathered face is smoking a cigarette. I can’t tell if he’s homeless or a just some barfly taking a break from the fun of kareoke night next door. I offer him the cookie. He playfully asks me if I put anything on it. Not in the mood for much conversation I dryly tell him the true purpose of my cookie purchase. “I just want to sit out here without issues with the management.” He hesitantly takes the cookie and says thanks.
For a Monday night there is sufficient activity to meet my voyeuristic needs. MoTav has kareoke, Frog and Peach has an open jam night. Tourists and townies stroll up and down the street. I had just drank a 2/3’s of a small coffee, a rare indulgence for me, and can’t keep still. The pennies in my coffers funded these little purchases. I am confused as to why I have not been able to save money for the past 27 years of my life. I hypothesize it might have to do with my equal inability to master sobriety. I’m caught betwixt the fond memories of crazy nights and painful realities of the consequences of too much fun. Mistakes don’t come cheap. Tonight though, I keep my mirror clean and reflect because I’m on the flip side of a metamorphosis.
About two weeks before, I sat inebriated at the same eatery, in the same chair. Many mistakes had been made up to that point. Everything had reached critical mass. Sometimes letting the crust accrete in one’s eyes is what causes all the crust to come out in one big chunk. Suddenly you can see with some clarity. Without going into much detail of specific events, I was left feeling unlike myself. My moral compass was thrown off. I was behaving against my ethical framework. This caused my eye crust to rip from my tear ducts. I can see clearly. Lately I’ve been a beer and wine sipping kind of girl.
I scribble in my moleskine. A soiled vagrant wobbles into the eatery’s patio and sits behind me. He has a similar idea. Legal loitering through a purchase of a food item while consuming a caffeinated beverage. My shabby poncho from Tijuana, hiking sandals, dirtied yoga pants, messy hair, and journal writing doesn’t help separate us very much aesthetically. An outsider looking in would assume we are both in the same situation. A few minutes earlier I saw the same man spanging for some change. Maybe he wanted to join me for some passive Monday night voyeurism. After a few minutes of writing I look back at him. He is reading the New York Times. What is he looking for? Guess I might not be that far from him? What does he want to create, see, or destroy? Create, see, or destroy conventions, negative memories, or his body? Will I reinvent myself whilst destroying ill pasts? What type of hillbilly tucks his shirt in? Can I pay it forward through voyeuristic behavior on the streets?
We must work hard to get what was once easy. It is all part of getting older. Enjoy the pain. Get super fucking high from the pain.
Give your cookie away to someone you don’t know is homeless or not. Assure him of the truth. There is nothing on the cookie. Lose the pounds permanently. Make lists and get off on the feeling of drawing definitive lines through tasks and goals. Do not settle for less and fight to get more. Move the fuck around.
You are scared of getting your hair cut too short. I want to get my hair long again.
You didn’t know much about the benefits of trims.
There are no ends of eras. Just a continuous line infinitely looping into itself.