She’s beautiful to someone, but not to me. And when I meet the man that tells me she’s the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, I will laugh and spend at least five minutes fantasizing about crawling into his brain and examining every inch of abuse and brainwashing that has catalyzed his attraction to a woman like that. And, years later, after she breaks his heart, when they are both much older, we will all look at her and think, “Her? She’s the one that broke your heart? That girl?” And some of us will laugh, but the rest of us probably understand that there’s more to love than physical attraction.
Everybody in Oakland is leaving, and I am the last of a
dying breed. I am watching these people die off like flies, and while maybe one point we were all gnawing on the same rotting corpse together, instead here we are and everyone is leaving. We’ve been cursed, haven’t we? By a demon named money. When we all arrived here with some quixotic dream in our hearts, and the allure of cheap rent and citywide indifference to pretty much everything made this city seem like the city, until, of course, and here we are. Everyone is leaving. And do you know why they’re leaving? Do you know why all your quirky, artsy, half assed ambitious friends are leaving? Because what’s the fucking point of being here anymore. I hate to say it out loud, but we all know it’s true. Oakland is pointless for young artists like us. Back in the hey day (or back in any day), there was the promise of something better. There were cheap apartments and warehouse spaces and endless parties and dead end jobs and other people who were flocking here to live amidst the soot and the grime and the crime and all the ideas that out of these ashes would rise a phoenix. But instead there’s a beast in this city, and it’s ripping us apart. Because what’s the point in living here when there’s no infrastructure or cultural standard that supports the arts? That realizes that arts and the artists who create it add value to everyone’s life in this city? And instead of pricing them out, just like everyone else, we should hold onto the artists who have been here? What’s the fucking point of living in Oakland when you can save money by moving to LA and actually have the opportunity to have a successful arts career? I mean, it’s not like any artist in Oakland is exactly thriving here. Even if you’re an artist from Oakland, eventually you just go to New York or Los Angeles once you get successful. But, fuck it, why not move to New York or Los Angeles now? It certainly costs less to live there now.
Oakland is losing its color and its charisma. And by color, yes, I mean that this place is being swallowed whole by white culture. And by charisma I mean that the people who are coming here now are bland and one dimensional compared to the people who are leaving with a quickness.
But I stand strong. I’m still fucking here. I’m still slithering through the streets of Oakland, and even as I see all my friends ditch town so that they can be beautiful and interesting someone else – don’t worry, Oakland, I will hold you down. I’m never going to leave. Fuck, I’ll probably die in your arms, Oakland. Even though I’m beginning to feel like you don’t really like me anymore and that maybe you’d rather that I move to Vallejo so that my landlord can triple my rent and cash in on this new boom. But, that’s okay. Between you and me, Oakland, we both know that this wave isn’t going last forever. When the bubble bursts (and, oh, it will burst, because how many apps with a negative cash flow can really exist in the Apple iStore? Millions, sure, but, come on.), all these new people are going to realize that they’re living in a dangerous city where they don’t belong and can’t afford to pay rent, so they’ll go crawling back to mom and dad. And those of us who are from here will be left to pick up the pieces and talk about the good old days, when Oakland had money for just a minute. It’s either that or this place just becomes Walnut Creek 2.0, so pick your poison. In the meantime, I’ll be sitting in my bedroom, smoking cigarettes, drinking alone, and keeping the bohemian dead beat dream alive, one scathing blog post at a time. I don’t know about the rest of you artsy types out there, but if you’re down to hold it down, let’s link up.
“Pilar, I’m not a size queen,” my friend says to me.
“Well, me neither,” I reply casually.
“Really?” my friend says incredulously, giving me one of those ‘why are you lying right now’ side glances. To which I wrinkle my nose, because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She thinks she knows all about the dicks I have touched, but she doesn’t. Which is why she thinks I’m lying, but just because I have enjoyed my time with a few those above average dicks doesn’t mean that I can’t get off with one of those more normal looking cocks. I know in her mind she’s running down a list of all the oversized men that I have called my lover, and she is quickly scanning their crotch to see how much of a size queen I really am. I mean, okay, yeah, I can take a giant dick, but I’m not one of those dick damaged girls who can’t get off on anything less than 9″. (More like less than 6″.)
“Look, I fuck plenty of normal guys and have a great time doing it. So what if I like a giant cock every once in a while? It’s not a steady diet, it’s just dessert.”
She looks at me and laughs. I laugh, too, because, hey, I like to laugh.
Have you ever used magic to manipulate your lover? I have. It’s not really an easy thing to do, and it’s very psychically draining. However, after a few years of practice, I’ve gotten much better. Which is why I will be calling him back to me, but, unfortunately, the primary element has eluded me: a piece of him. I’ve been looking all over my house to see if he has left anything in my room, in my bed. So that I can use a piece of him onto which to cast my spell: a key, a piece of jewelry, a discarded piece of clothing, a bobby pin, a strand of hair, a used condom. Any of the above will work. But I cannot find a piece of him, so how will I shoot black sex magic across this city and straight into his heart? I will be out looking for him, so that I can have a piece of him, and then I will be tricking him into loving me again. And it will feel very good.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s someone out there who loves me, but I don’t even know it. If there’s some small, quiet person out there, lurking around these streets, stuffed in the backs of these bars, on the other side of this screen, seeing me for who I really am, and also that person absolutely loves me. It’s easy to think of all the people who quietly hate me, or all the people who are standing on the sidelines and typifying me as “crazy.” But then I wonder if there’s someone out there who finds my antics endearing and charming. Just part of the total package of me.
Because I can guarantee you that every day I see so many people that I secretly love. Well, not secretly, maybe more like “irrationally” and “in a very creepy way.” With a sudden sense of enchantment and fascination, a person like an alchemical reaction of one person plus another person equals these rising, overwhelming emotions inside of me. And does anyone feel about me the way that I feel about them. And why has no one told me. Why haven’t you told me that you love me yet?
Here I am. All of me. On the Internet. In these bars. Sulking in my bedroom alone with no new text messages. So I sit here and refresh the Craigslist Missed Connections over and over and over again, and I find nothing new, and no one wanting me, and no reason to do any of the things I do. But I’ll trod out tonight again, looking fresh and trying to be pretty, because, who knows, maybe tonight is the night that someone new starts to love me. And I don’t even know it.