San Francisco, CA
3:34 pm: I scramble to get my backpack together. Computer, phone, headphones, ID, cigarettes (why are those in there? who bought those?) and water. Need water for this bus ride. I use a pink water bottle I bought at CVS a few months ago. I had stood in front of the aisle shelves for maybe five minutes with a rather loud internal monologue going to the tune of, '14.99 seems like a lot for a water bottle…but I do want a straw feature, but yet, I'm here at CVS buying a water bottle because I know I'll lose it and can't award myself a fancy San Francisco cooler.' I live in the Bay Area and am foreign to the tricks of this land - the all-white and wood Scandinavian everything against the backdrop of a hundred self driving car "test vehicles" (not convinced those are real people in the "drivers seat") is at once jarring and immediately very intuitive and comforting to live in a facade of technology and simplicity. These folk spend $30 on a water bottle, but do not lose it. I will work up to this. I work at a large tech company, and having come from working in fashion in New York and Detroit for years my thought is that it's sterile and boring AND I LOVE IT. Leaning in. But first, filling up this bottle with the cucumber water they provide to us in the kitchen.
3:45 pm: After running, nay, sprinting - because my natural pace is that of a sauntering couple getting to know each other in a romantic comedy - I board the earliest bus out of Silicon Valley that takes me back to San Francisco. Sometimes the bus smells like palm leaves and coco butter, a smell I associate with a childhood in Southern California. Once I asked the driver if the bus had just come from the beach and he said no, it came from the car wash. Oddly, it felt like the same thing. Flowing water has the same zen affect, regardless of its origin. Quote me on this. Today the bus smells like leather and sweat, since it is 90 degrees in the valley, meaning it's 60 degrees in San Francisco. Microclimates! You are the unpredictable New York subway temperature of San Francisco.
4:48 pm: My bus ride takes a whopping two hours because that's how long it takes! I listen to my Malcom Gladwell book on tape, fall asleep, then rewind back to where I was. Then I pause that and listen to Nicki Minaj for 30 minutes. I will work up to this.
5:30 pm: It is five freaking thirty when I roll in to town, a very young night, and I walk from the bus stop to home passing candy colored houses and women selling churros and fresh tortillas on the street. I buy a pack of tortillas, take them home, then irrationally sigh at no one because I open the fridge to see I'd bought fresh tortillas two days ago and had not finished them. I put almond butter on an old one, microwave it for 20 seconds, eat and then immediately feel better.
I sit at my kitchen table for about 20 minutes before I take my shoes off. I stare at the wall, and given that I've been thinking about the same nasty thing someone at work said to me for the last 20 minutes, I reach for my journal and write it down. I write "She needs to mind her damn business if you ask me." I say aloud, "mmm!" and then I'm done with it, eat another tortilla, and get ready for yoga.
7:59 pm : Again, I am RUNNING with my mat to yoga, because while I'm always on time, it's just the journey that is an adventure. On the way I pass a person I don't want to pass eating pasta al fresco with a woman he does not introduce to me, and I remember that those are his cigarettes in my bag. I am very friendly and make a joke about eating their pasta instead of going to yoga. For the 30 seconds I am running I panic that maybe they maybe thought from my joke that I wanted to stay and eat with them, and should I have? God no. I didn't even want them to see me! What are you even thinki--I arrive at yoga and the thought leaves my brain.
8:32 pm: I'm very over this yoga class and start thinking about what I'm going to wear later.
8:56 pm: I could use 20 more minutes of this yoga class! I still have not mentally decided what to wear.
9:00 pm: I see my friend Shruti and immediately cry, because we are both assault survivors and today Bill Cosby was convicted of three sexual assault allegations. We get so excited. I remember a line I wrote in my journal which was along the lines of telling myself to save celebrations and agony for quieter moments, in an attempt not to fling my emotions about like so many ex boyfriends have accused, but this has never really worked. We embrace, emote, and I invite her to drink with me instead of me meeting my date later. She declines.
9:08 pm: I return home and use a SHHHHower cap to take a body shower. I only wash my hair a few times a week. I'm not a monster. Today is not that day. While I'm in the shower I decide to exfoliate, because it is at this point in the night where I succumb to what might look like horrible time management, but what is actually genius and listening to your body. My body is telling me to scrub. Maybe tonight is the NIGHT! I have two scrubbing gloves and I put both of them on, and take a big scoop of Detroit Rose Coco Pomelo. I cover my body in it, breathe in, wash off, then feel smoothly ready for the night.
9:32 pm: I was about to leave the shower then suddenly decided to wash my hair so that was a whole thing. I use R&D Dallas for Texas size hair, but I don't blow dry it so it just kind of does its own thing.
9:47 pm: I meet my date on my stoop with wet hair, but he can't see because it's in a clip! I am truly a magician of style. A queen of personal elegance. I've applied a small amount of eye glitter and my favorite lip balm by Sugar that has sunscreen in it. No sun anywhere in sight, but I like the gloss effect. Look at me, California cool after years of living east. I can do this! It's cold, and I'm wearing a wool coat over some black pants and a white blouse. My date tells me my hoop earring is about to come out, and I feel thrown off, but then it passes because everything rolls off when you're wearing hoops.
10:08 pm: We have walked to a bar called The Lone Palm that is maybe two blocks away, and I am already three sips in to a very bad Negroni. I always order Negronis here because you would too after I describe this place, and who cares if they’re terrible? The Lone Palm has a pink and blue neon sign out front. Cute! Hip! But inside it is not tropical themed, it is EGYPTIAN themed. There is a giant clay sphinx sort of baked into the wall, and you can touch her. There is one actual lone palm at the end of the bar, and whenever I see it it looks like a patron. Something about it has…eyes. Behind the bar is a small shrine with a plastic pyramid and very small palm trees. And there is always a small dog roaming around, despite the fact that this place is about a 10 x 10 room. I take all my dates here.
10:09 pm: My date has revealed to me that he is in an open relationship. While I'd like to say I'm open minded when it comes to other people's preferences, I'm just not when it comes to me.
10:37 pm: My date has told me the entire trajectory of his relationship and it sounds abusive and terrible and I just keep thinking of how great the Cosby verdict is and slightly upset at how long it took to get there.
10:48 pm: I have engaged my date and seem to be helping him unpack this terrible mess he's in. We craft a text together to his girlfriend. Then when our phones are both open I order a Lyft and he says "don't you live two blocks away?" and that judgmental attitude right there is a deal breaker so I leave.
11:13 pm: Once home, I take off my clothes. I just moved in to this place and still sort of feel like I'm camping. There's no rugs or anything so it's not very warm. It's a night like this that makes me want warmth, not a body but comfort. I get in my coziest clothes and put on a hair-puller-backer I got at the Japanese dollar store. It has cat ears on it, and always makes me smile on the inside. I wash my face with a Clarisonic and play Nicki Minaj. I use Forest Oil with my jade roller, and I time myself for two minutes of jade massaging. I want to get the Negroni out of my face but it is still there. Today, several people have felt entitled to my time, including the last hour of my night. But it is mine. I finish by rubbing some oil on my ankle bottoms and made a note to get a pedicure.
11:16 pm: In bed, I mourn again that my mattress is on the floor, and wish I was farther along in the move. I text my girl squad who are on east coast time. I ask them if they also are using jade rollers, and did they know they were the best? Three of them responded, and I wondered what fun they must be having to be out at two in the morning on a Thursday. "What are you all doing up?" I asked. D said she had been scrolling instagram for two hours, M was working, and E was making cucumber water. For tomorrow.