When I was eleven or twelve I did this thing where I carried wire cutters with me everywhere and would casually snip interesting ornaments off the hoods of people's cars. One day on the way to school, I took the ornament off some shitty Pontiac that wasn't even interesting because by that point it had just become a boring habit I had. And the owner saw me, and came charging out of his house. He seemed old to me at the time but I guess he was probably just in his late twenties or early thirties, and some kind of construction worker maybe. He was wearing navy Dickies and construction boots. I was kind of too startled to run, and stood rooted to the ground. He jogged up and told me to give it back to him, and I did, and then he punched me in the face. Then I turned around and kept walking to school as if nothing had happened. I don't remember it hurting much really. I was just stunned. It was the first time in my life I'd ever been really hit. I never told anyone, and I was in a daze for the rest of the morning. I feel like that all the time here.
The last few days were physically and emotionally rough. The wonder and generosity of the people in my life, was just ... Particularly that last night, seeing mordicai in ravenface's Preston Stagger, going to karaoke with all my nears and dears, was hard. Really really hard. The people I leave in New York are so precious, so loved, so special to me, part of me thinks that even though I have this marvel-stuffed new adventure ahead of me, I must be some kind of hateful lunatic to leave that. This place is beautiful and wonderful but I imagined I'd be surer of myself once I arrived. I said my goodbyes, and they were teary, and then I caught a couple hours of sleep with my girlfriend, a repose helpfully bifurcated when one drunken well-wisher called me up around 3.30am to say goodbye. Then I got in a car to a plane and flew to San Francisco, during which I polished off iphisol's road trip book Nevada, which was ... yeah, it was the precisely right choice. It was great, and had a huge resonance for me and I felt melancholic and intrepid and kind of magical in the sky as I read a wonderful book by a person I met on the internet while I was hurtling toward an ocean I'd never seen before.
Getting off the plane I met Edbury's friend Giulia and her beau Alex, they're really swell, charming people. The car ride to our new place, I was just kind of wide-eyed and agog. My apartment is in Chinatown which, compared to NYC's seems much smaller and airier, less close and mysterious. There are essentially two main drags in the neighborhood, Grant, which is the gaudy tourist avenue, where you go to get little pagoda souvenirs, and Stockton, where I live, which is more for locals, and seems to consist entirely of one impenetrable grocery store or fish market after another. I haven't really marshaled my courage enough to ford the human tide of those places and dive in to the mystery produce just yet. Soon. There's a YMCA on my corner, and a Whole Foods and Trader Joe's within easy walking distance. The apartment's nice, but I'm still sleeping on a cheap Ikea mattress on the floor. I'll talk more about all that stuff later. I need to go get started on dinner. I think I'm making a roasted chicken.