SFO > CHI

6 Jun

Finally told my roommate that I’m moving to Chicago. 50 days notice. Truthfully, I was more nervous to tell my roommate that I was moving than I was to break up with my last boyfriend. My roommate and I have been together for a year and a half, after all. Still, it’s done, and with that said, all aspects of my life have been informed. Parents. Friends. Work. Roommate. The four corners.

Things I’ll miss about my roommate (a heterosexual/bro/future lawyer):

  • The security (as an underweight gay man, it was nice sleeping in the room next to a gym-attending dude)
  • The odd comfort of his middle-of-the-night bathroom trips (I’ll probably never be able to explain the complacency I felt being awoken at 3am by the sound of him peeing across the hall)
  • The few times my friends and his friends would congregate and co-mingle in our apartment.
  • The smell of his cooking. He cooks!
  • The simple fact that we got along so easily – which hasn’t been the case with past roommates. He definitely annoyed me from time to time. And I have no doubt that I annoyed him right back. But there was never fighting, and more importantly, there was no passive aggression. We might not have ever truly been friends, but at the end of the day (or the end of the lease, rather), I really, really enjoyed my roommate as a person and have been extremely happy having him in my life.
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A Modern Day Katherine Heigl

15 Feb

Valentine’s Day. The day that made Katherine Heigl’s career possible. See? When I put it in that light, it doesn’t seem so worthwhile, does it?

I don’t think I mean to sound quite so jaded. Nor do I mean to sound like someone who says “I almost thought about thinking about almost doing something.” Think about it. Almost think about it. The reality is that four years ago I had somebody around close enough to think, “I’m glad I don’t have to think about this day right now.” Two days later I was breaking up with him. And a year later I was with somebody else thinking, “I’m glad I’m with someone who makes me think about this day in traditional terms.” It took me two months after that to find myself breaking up with him. And aside from a few “starter boyfriends,” I’ve been single ever since.

It’s two years later.

The reality is that I’m one of those people that’s mostly entirely OK with being single (see: “almost think about thinking about almost”…). I chose the almost suicidal creative career path of doing something creative with my life and while I’m 26 and living paycheck to paycheck, I’m legitimately doing something creative and NOT committing suicide (and while we’re on the bright side of things, I’m also debt-free and paying rent in what MUST BE the second most expensive city in the United States). The odds of me being able to turn a profit in a creative field without having dedicated myself entirely to said job are extremely low… and while most people look at me like I’m pathetic, stereotypical, or even Katherine Heigl-esque when I say that I’ve “been married to my job”… I really kind of have been. (ahem… “really kind of”… oh, really?)

[TBC]

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Distrito Federal: un e-mail.

1 Feb

So a few months ago I got to go to Mexico City for three weeks to merchandise the first [insert clothing company name here] in Mexico. It was a great professional opportunity blah blah blah but I was more glad to be getting out of the country for a while, especially since the company that doesn’t pay me enough to travel on my own was paying for the entire thing. And I didn’t even have to smuggle drugs back in return – something I’ve learned not to do after watching upwards of 17 hour of “Locked Up Abroad.”

Mexico City is filthy. It’s chaotic, and not in the sense of “controlled chaos” either. Looking at a street map of the MASSIVE city, it’s obvious that nothing was designed on purpose. All of the flaws are lack-of-a-plan fuck ups and none of the flaws are quirky little glitches – which is what I imagine Chicago’s ‘five corners’ is. There’s obviously something gravitational about this sort of grimy chaos that was, although at first jarring after spending almost two years in monotonous routine, a breath of smoggy fresh air.

The store and our hotel suites were located a bit removed from the epicenter – in a part of the city called Santa Fe. It’s a financial center-esque area with the newest buildings and most commercial shopping locations. Still, even here, one could assume the vast amounts of tequila consumed before planning out the area. It was clean-er but still dirty and safe-er but still not safe compared to downtown. Our first cab ride – which was from the airport to Santa Fe – had been chaotic and wild and almost entirely in the dark. Mexico City gives no allusion to the fact that it might be elegant and first world friendly. The airport is smack in the middle of the city and next door is pretty much the ghetto. There are lots of ghettos in Mexico City and thanks to construction on one of their major highways, we got to drive through several of them at night during that first cab ride. I had been warned about the dangers of this city before I left, of course, but driving through the areas my eyes were actually opening to the fact that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore – and that I probably never wanted to go back to Kansas. This being said, the relative sterility of Santa Fe, when I knew what the surrounding neighborhoods contained, bored me.

That first weekend we were finally given a day off. I went to the historic downtown with a local guy. His English was OK and my Spanish was bad but functional – this is a recipe for a certain exhaustive success that I assume a romantic relationship feels like. Anyways, we walked around some of the more tourist-y places where I saw no less than three gypsy women get abducted by police before we decided to go to a more bohemian, less tourist-trotted neighborhood. We grabbed a cab (which are outrageously cheap in Mexico) and began to drive. It was the middle of the day and warm outside so our windows were down as we were driving through a part of town. I want to use a descriptive like “bad” to describe the part of town – but in Mexico, I was never able to discern the bad from the good parts of town based on appearance.

We stop at a red light and a ragged looking homeless man stumbles up to the cab and offers to wash the cab’s windshield. In that moment, I remembered being young and in bed watching the opening scene of some “Law and Order”-esque show that began like this and ended with the driver being shot. Flash back to the present and the cab driver who is overweight, but in that tough James Gandolfini kind of way, is telling the homeless guy to fuck off. The transient takes a step away from the car before lifting his oversized shirt and pulling out a Michael Meyers-sized butcher knife. As fate would have it, this is all occurring on my side of the cab, directly outside of my open window. My hand flies to attempt to close the window before I freeze – the window rolls up via one of those turn-knob things and the odds of me being able to roll my window up in less time than it would take to get my throat sliced is slim to none. The homeless guy is, meanwhile, waving his butcher knife around threatening to kill the cab driver and then even threatening to kill himself if the cabbie doesn’t give him some money. James Gandolfini doesn’t even flinch (of course, it’s James fucking Gandolfini) and before I can catch his contagious Mexican apathy, a cop car a few cars behind us turns on his siren and comes on the speaker to tell the homeless guy to calm the fuck down, lay off the drugs, and move along. The guy complies, slides his butcher knife back in to his pantalones, and walks off. James calmly continues to drive when traffic light turns green.

It was all so “just another Sunday in Mexico” moment and I knew immediately afterwards that I was in love the city.

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elixir

30 Jan

elixir, n.

Being seventeen and drunk for one of the first times in my life was electric. Every feeling was amplified and, unlike in sobriety at that particular age, every feeling was radiant and positive. I stood on the balcony of my friend Janet’s parent’s house at the top of the Saratoga hills looking down on the illuminated Silicon Valley below me, swaying to nonexistent music, and redirecting my gaze of admiration between the view of the my home cities to the ridiculously sweet concoction in my hand. Sour apple vodka and strawberry margarita mix, blended, most likely. I turned back towards the house which, on this side of the mountain, was almost entirely windows and offered me the view of my amateur alcoholic friends dancing around in various rooms with various articles of clothing missing. We had never been so in love with ourselves and with each other as we had been since we started experimenting with candy-flavored substances during our final year of high school.

intercalate

29 Jan

intercalate, v.

February 14, 2010

Dear _____,

This is a love letter.

I think it’s disappointing that things like these have started to disappear as things get more and more digital. And of course these words could appear in the form of an e-mail and mean exactly the same thing, but there’s something nice about the physical thing. I’ve always been a sucker for something I can save inside a memory box or notebook, something that will still be there even after an inevitable hard drive crash. I flip though stacks of old photos, postcards, letters, and other mementoes that I’ve saved in various shoe boxes and I feel something stronger than I do when scrolling through old blog posts or rapidly progressing through Facebook albums.

Not that the feelings are all good – both the good and the bad are helplessly amplified. And it’s interesting to think about how this letter will be received when you read it in the future based on what happens. Will it make you nostalgic? Will it be something we laugh about? Will it make you angry? The future is a very ambiguous space but I’m optimistic about what it means for us.

Still, all I can feasibly do is talk about the present. And right here, right now, ______, I love you.

Thank you for dealing with me – my inclination towards devil’s advocacy, my inner stoner’s fear of terrorist attacks, my bouts of feminist pro-lesbian rants, and my love-hate-love relationship with your cat… I think you’re an incredibly beautiful person, in looks, personality, and actions and you always manage to make me feel so special. I’m going to keep it classy and refrain from mentioning your magnificent cock in this letter. I tried to find a Valentine’s Day card that said, “I want you so far inside of me you’ll need a map to find your way back out,” but Hallmark was fresh out. I really like that I can make you laugh (and turn you on at the same time?).

I feel so glad to have you in my life right now and I’m excited to see what happens next.

Yours,
Thome Mercedes

tome

7 Jan

tome, n.

As an Art History major, you can imagine my awe at the fact that my academic advisor would be the head author of the 7th edition of Janson’s History of Art and the head contributor of Renaissance chapters in all editions since. This massive text first entered my life when I was a sophomore in high school and manages to insert itself in to the life of nearly every student who takes so much as an introduction to visual arts course. When I found out Professor Roberts would be the lead author of this iconic text, my pre-existing fandom of her increased tenfold.

calaboose

6 Jan

calaboose, n.

I’ve only been arrested once. I say that as if most people have been arrested multiple times. I was pretty drunk at the time and don’t remember much about it. I know that I never had to go in to a jail cell or a drunk tank and that taking me to the police station was more of a formality than anything else. Me puking in the back of the cop car probably wasn’t exactly protocol, but I think it was a nice touch.