The summer you left, I went from being an adult with a bedtime and an alarm clock, an adult who ate three square meals a day, to falling asleep well after the sun rose, if I managed to fall asleep at all. I lost ten pounds in 6 weeks because I lost all interest in food unless I was stoned, and when I was stoned I mostly ate the chocolate cake, bourbon, & tiny wedges of exquisitely fancy cheese that friends set out in front of me. I subletted my apartment in San Francisco and I took a plane to Portland and I house-sat for kind strangers and I stayed on generous friends’ couches. It was ostensibly to work on my novel, but really it was because I couldn’t bear to be in the city where we’d fallen in love during the season in which we’d fallen in love when we weren’t together any more. Summer in San Francisco felt like The Greatest Hits Record of our failed relationship, an entire catalogue of This Time Last Year, oh, god, get me out, get me out, get me out!
I was so broke that summer, but I threw caution to the wind when I could. I couldn’t afford Lush or Sephora, so I went to the Fred Meyer by my Portland house-sit and bought a $6 sample assortment of bubble baths marketed to tween girls, bubble baths that were supposed to smell like vanilla cupcakes and Fudgecicles and raspberry truffles but that just smelled like soap and vague pink sugar. It didn’t so much matter. The packaging was pretty and they bubbled up like bubble bath should, big and frothy and shimmering. I listened to Lou Reed’s entire discography while soaking in the hottest water I could stand and shaping the white clouds of foam into piques and valleys. I placed Craigslist ads I had no real intention of following through on, just to try to remember, dimly, abstractly, what it felt like to have someone actually want to fuck me. I read Tales of the City and I cried. I watched Golden Girls and I cried. I masturbated and I cried. I read over emails you’d sent me, g-chat conversations we’d had when you were swoony about me, and I cried. I could hardly believe my body was capable of producing that much salt.”
— New. Rough. And just an excerpt. But at least the dam on my writer’s block burst.