5 days in the bay area. full of interactions and meetings, dinners and walks. crips and queers the common thread. probably the least isolated i've felt in many years.
but everywhere i go there are memories. body experiences. the smell of 16th and mission when i came up from the bart tunnel.the mix of sweaty adrenaline, food, exhaust and urine. How 16 years ago she was berating me for leading her through her old scoring blocks in the midst of her tenuous recovery so i could find some food before my blood sugar dropped out. our feet aching. our hands cold.
sitting with this new kind of people in some falafel joint on frighteningly gentrified valencia listening to words like hegemony and paradigm but distracted by the film in my mind of me and my hooker friends eating burritos at the azteca on church. the easy banter of queer youth draped over a bitterly common scarcity. the playful tease and slap smart advice.
walking past corners where she kissed me. doorsteps where i broke down and cried. i let it wash over me, the old patterns of thought, how my body felt or didn't feel at all.
i've such a love hate thing with the bay area. and sordid history. theres a resistance to the pull. even on the heels of such a sweet time among crips. i hold up her memory as a reminder that for folks like us, its not all that great. its desperate. that the level of downward mobility and pretense amongst queers there is staggering, disorienting and exhausting. the californifying effect is not that attractive outside california. I speak of san francisco transplants here to new mexico w/ suspicion and a little disdain.They bring with them the winds of coolness, we watch new mexico turn into a california satellite.
but the pull lingers. i love the flowers in every ones yards in berkeley. the ratio of crip to able bodied. the saturation of queer. the vast diversity of people. the sci-fi howl of the bart train off in the distance.
the poetry. the hum.
the water. definitely the water.