10 Years

I look for some sort of redemption despite everything. I’ve been sitting on my porch, smoking this cigarette, for the past ten years, watching Oakland plod by in its various incarnations. There have been no new answers with the passing of time, just the weariness of suffering through the tumult and chaos that being here always causes.

I make the same decisions now that I did ten years ago. I am motivated by the same things. I am worried that I am not a complex person, because nothing has really changed. I am living in the same city, among the same people, going to the same parties that are in new locations. I sleep with the same people, or, at least, I definitely still sleep with one of the same people that I used to sleep with when I was eighteen. I am marveling at my own stagnation, yet at the same time I feel grateful for everything I have. I realize that I have become the person I always wanted to be, and it occurs to me that perhaps I should have strived to be something better and more valiant than the prettiest girl in the room. That shtick is getting old, although it was fun while it lasted. It’s fun to be pretty, but it’s not very fulfilling and the pay off is paltry, always coming in the form of free drinks or a monetary quantification of sexual favors. That bores me.

I can be the smartest person in the room, or the funniest, or the best dressed, or the most fuckable, too, and after I mastered those traits, I realized that perhaps rather than trying to be the most anything in the room, perhaps I should look at the room that I’m in. I recently realized that the room that I am always standing in is dark. There are no windows, so the air is stale. The paint is peeling and the floor is sticky. This room is not beautiful. This room is not filled with wonderful art or luxurious settings. This room is ugly, and it is filled with ugly people. Everyone here smells, and no one here is talking about anything interesting. Yet, here I am, in this room, being the prettiest and the smartest. I guess that’s not a hard thing to do when you’re in a room on the basement level of a social prison.

I have decided to leave this room, which is difficult to do, despite the fact that there is nothing keeping me here other than my self appointed status as pretty and smart. I have grown accustomed to being the princess of nothing particularly important or exciting, so being mediocre in a room full of fascinating people is a daunting task. If given the choice, what would you choose? To be #1 in a room full of 2’s? Or unspecial among interesting people?