she was almost luminescent. her smile was inspiring. staring up at her, i kept saying “you’re so pretty.”
there was a time, of course, i would have said nothing at all.
i think it happened on the 49, riding down Van Ness towards the Mission. i looked out the window and thought, “you’re okay.” and i was. i am.
you have to learn to work the room like a needle on vinyl. and once you find your rhythm, the dancing comes easily. i spent so much of my life shy, insecure, and scared it almost baffles me that i do what i do. that i have friends and parties and 468 followers on instagram.
how do we measure success? is it paying off debt (i did that this week) or losing weight (still trying) or making a beautiful whiskey sour?
i’ve never had much patience with unhappiness.
some years ago, we went to a terrible chinese restaurant to celebrate someone’s birthday. we sat around a large round table and drank flaming volcanoes from long, red straws. outside, we smoked parliament lights under a vinyl canopy. i’d just begun wearing halter tops, not quite comfortable going braless. justyn hated the way it looked.
between cigarettes, she reached down my back and unhooked the bra, throwing it on top of the vinyl canopy. i had to ask a homeless man to climb up and retrieve it. then, we went to Bar Pink (or was it The Eagle?) and drank blueberry presses.
that girl had yet to learn to work a room.
there’s a freedom in kissing and telling. there’s a reward in being yourself. i suppose these are the measures of success.