My life is back to vacation within North America, road trips and domestic flights where I don’t need to pass through customs or have to exchange currency or get to eat street food on the other side.
This weekend in San Francisco will be about renting cars and packing duffels and booking hotels in the 3-figure price range (ugh). Eating at restaurants with tablecloths and probably shop during the day, not because San Francisco has shops that Los Angeles doesn’t, but because we will be in Vacation Mode and that’s what you do in Vacation Mode – you spend money.
(This sounds like I’m complaining, like I prefer my life in Southeast Asia where vacationing is less about spending money and more about collecting experiences – but I’m not. I love spending money, I fucking love the fucking shit out of it, which is why I go out and make it.
While living in Southeast Asia, the act of not making a shitload of money was an enormous stressor; I don’t mean not making enough to get by – which I did – but I mean making such an extravagant amount of money that I couldn’t possibly spend it all and so it went to my stock trading account where it would make even more fucking money. I also miss having 23 pairs of shoes.)
The last time I was in San Francisco was during New Year’s Eve 2007. I went through two breakups in one month, and this is how.
The first breakup was this girl with perfect teeth. She was a dental hygienist – one of the three I’ve dated, I don’t know why this occupation is trending for me – and so teeth was a priority for her. She wore invisalign when she didn’t have to and the result was her perfect teeth that matched the rest of her perfect face with sharp angles and deep tan.
Holy fucking shit, her face. Her outstanding Laotian face coupled with blunt bangs and large breasts and skinny legs and perfect teeth. Anyway, she cracked up on drugs and was sent to the mental hospital and shortly afterwards left Toronto back for Vancouver and I never saw her again.
I liked her so much. I liked her for so long, months before she even knew that I existed, from seeing her photos first. So although we dated for a short 3 months, I had maybe 8 months invested into her, 8 months of dreaming up the future with her, as I normally fucking do, like some goddamn teenager lying on her bed staring at the glow-in-the-dark star stickers affixed to her ceiling.
So I liked her so much but we were the worst match ever – she was a pothead, I was an alcoholic, which is also the dynamic of me and The Comedian, which is why we probably won’t work – and we had an explosive break up in a public park in Toronto’s Chinatown.
We were walking south on Spadina, holding hands. At this point I was already fed up with her, those selfish antics of most potheads. You know? Their brain is focused on one thing: finding somewhere to sit, getting stoned and eating chips. We had met up around the corner where she lived because I was on my way to run errands on Queen West. I called her up, asked if she wanted to come along.
Perfect Teeth Pothead showed up wearing dark sunglasses and a hoodie wrapped tightly around her face. She was obviously hungover and I was immediately irritated, knowing that she would slow me down, drag me with her into her black hole of marijuana-induced unproductivity.
“Stop walking so fast,” she said. I was walking so fast. “Where are we going, anyway?”
“I told you, I have to go to Queen West. I have to return a shirt at Zara and get some gear on John.”
“Wait, no. I just want to chill. Why can’t we just chill. Why can’t you just relax?”
“Because I told you I was running errands,” I said, pissed. “You don’t have to come. You can just go home now.”
“Ugh, you’re so by the book. You have so many fucking rules. Why can’t you just lighten up and …”
There’s this glare that I do when I’m exceptionally pissed. I don’t do it on purpose – my brain just tells my face to move this muscle here and this muscle there – so I have no idea what it looks like. But in the three times that I’ve ever done it in my life I can remember, because whichever girlfriend was arguing with me (and it was always girlfriends) would look at my face, widen and then divert her eyes from mine, and immediately shut up. All three times it would frighten the girl to shut the fuck up and take two steps back – and the girls I date are usually these loud, sassy and fearless girls who never back down. Except to this glare that I don’t know because I’m too pissed to register what my face is doing.
So I glared and we broke up and I got to finish running my errands.