Hello from the Other Side

[Backpost because I couldn’t get my shit together in time]

Hey, bitches. I’m back in California.

Firstly, I just want to say that, when you’re settling into a new(ish) place, with no set routine—and, hence, no management of that routine—it’s hard to do shit, like, sit down and write about a road trip I took a month ago across America’s amber waves of grain (to the majestic purple mountains above the fruited plain, etc., etc.). But! I’m committed to giving you guys *more content* (per the will of the Internet), so now that I kinda have my shit together (and am back to being a Broke Bitch indefinitely), I will be posting more. Don’t hold me to it, though.

RE: road trip – ‘Twas dope. I recommend that everyone do a road trip across America at some point in their lives.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was a brief and terrifying foray into West Virginia, wherein we deliberately veered off the road to check out a lunatic asylum (after swearing not to leave the car)—where a woman dressed as a 50s nurse was smoking a cigarette on the front steps, waiting to welcome us to our deaths—then the 91-mile drive to a Tudor’s Biscuit World in Charleston THAT DID NOT HAVE GOOD BISCUITS. THE CAUCASITY. But whatever. The guy behind the counter thought I was pretty enough to get another jumbo-sized soft drink—FOR FREE—so everyone can fuck off.

My #1 stop was Santa Fe, which I chose to include as part of our journey because I had been listening to the RENT soundtrack in the weeks leading up to the move.

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Educate yourselves, hoes.

First, let me just say that I told my cousin (who graciously flew out to NYC to drive back with me) that we were going to die in a motel. Two AZNs in white Middle America—coming through like bats out of liberal hell, with our fluffy pansy dog—is not a good look. What’s more, she’s a blonde-Asian (a blasian, if you will), and I have a side of my head shaved. We’re gonna stand out. And we’re gonna be targets, according to my I’ve-never-been-to-this-place, coastal-elitist rationale. We did this thing, which every POC invariably does, where we’d count how many non-white people there were in any given public setting. You know, safety in numbers and what not (or, at least, witnesses to our deaths). Turns out, aside from the lingering-too-long looks of old people, we were fucking fine, which makes me hashtag #humble. And there are a fuckton of Asians living in Middle America, by the way. I didn’t see any, but they were there. I think.

Better yet: apparently, hipsters have taken over motels. In Santa Fe, there are tons of roadside motels that have been renovated and cute-d up, later to be populated by cute young white people with beards and, like, a single, decorative dread. And tattoos. All of them very skinny.

The one we stayed in had a hot tub (their words, not mine) and sauna across from our room—like, 1.5 yards away from the door—and when we arrived in the evening, there was already a couple stewing in there. The woman was massaging her partner, and they were poised as such that they could be staring directly into our room as they went on with this intimate massage. So, naturally, my cousin and I thought we’d give them a little show back and play with the blinds.

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The next morning, as I was taking my son for a walk, I noticed a figure sitting over the hot tub (/jacuzzi/hot bowl of water). It was a man who looked like sexy hipster Jesus in swimming trunks meditating above the hot tub, basking in the faint warmth of the sun. I don’t know why a hot tub—that isn’t on—is more tranquil than the huge terrace with a fountain and beautiful trees next door, but, okay.

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We also went to the Grand Canyon, where, in the 8 days prior, 3 people died. Everyone was texting us not to die, which means that they were confident that we would. But when you’re actually there, you see that the safety rails are pretty inescapable, unless you hurdle over them so you can get that one perfect shot for your travel blog. That makes sense if you don’t live close enough to the Canyon to go more than once in your lifetime, so, I get it. And yet, I was walking along the South Rim pretty much waiting for someone to die.

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I don’t think anyone died that day, but if I could pick one, I would’ve said that guy.

All said and done, it took us 7 days to get across the country. The desert is, by far, my favorite, which is lucky that I live here now.

I’m in desperate need to change my wardrobe, given that I have absolutely no need for thermals anymore.

Best Bitch #3: “What’s your style?”
Me: “Something I’ll hate in 3 years when I look back at photos of myself.”

It’s been an adjustment period, to be sure. Aside from the trauma of condensing all my shit and cramming everything into a Dodge Grand Caravan, Santa Barbara is vastly different from New York City.

For starters, I’m not alone anymore. I have two more dogs (who wanted to rip my son into ribbons for the first 3 weeks) to talk to while I go crazy at home (plus 3 bunnies and a crayfish named Newman); my cousins are home by 5:30 every day, and we do family shit like go for runs, take the dogs to the beach, do “stadiums” (fuck my life), and go out for dinner to undo the work of aforementioned stadiums. I also recently had my cousin’s husband shave one of my sideburns. So, that’s a new threshold that we crossed together as a family.

I’ve also developed a penchant for the afternoon nap, which my cousins (either silently or loudly) hate me for. I don’t know why, but by about 3-4pm every day, I just conk out in that monastic little setup I have in my room. Then I wake up disoriented as to where I am, freak out for about 15 seconds, then become awash with shame as I realize I’ve wasted the day and don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

Am I working on my art now? Hell no. Am I at least working out? Meh. Am I chasin’ that dolla dolla bill to make my millions because my dad recently called me out for still being poor and incapable of taking care of him as he prepares to retire (verbatim quote: “I thought by the time I retire I would be in your good hands… but you’re still poor”)? Also no. And I’m not motivated enough to devote my energies to finding a dying millionaire to become his hospice nurse and inherit his fortune (I nap in the middle of the workday, for fuck’s sake).

What I am doing is continuing to hemorrhage money on various face creams when I know good and damn well that it just comes down to genetics roulette, and I’m just shit outta luck (Thanks Dad. Enjoy the nursing home). I’m thinking of saving up for a $250 facial. I love how celebrities act like they just drink cucumber water and shove jade eggs up their cooter to get great skin. NO. They have good genes—and money to hire an entire entourage to tell them what to eat and drink, how much to exercise, and which animals to kill and smear their entrails on their face to get that skin glowin’. Man, I’ll get there.

I don’t know where I was going with this but I just wanted y’all to know I’m alive and good. Next dispatch will be from the Philippines. Focker out.

P.S. Failed to mention that one of my first experiences with locals was kayaking with my cousin out in the harbor. A dog on the deck started barking at us, and a deckhand on one of the boats said, “He must sense evil.” The second experience was dropping my phone in the same harbor while paddleboarding (for the second time in my life). Divers had to go retrieve it. Phone’s fine, but now 5 strangers hate me.

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