Up California St. With Love. 1.

I’m at Trader Joe’s. I’m grocery shopping.

Walking through the aisles and picking stuff.

I learnt about Trader Joe’s just recently. My American roommate told me about it.

I didn’t even know there was such a thing.

I previously used to do all of my grocery shopping at Walgreens. A few blocks down Powell.

I go down Powell on my way to a number of places. The college HQ, events – a lot of places. And the Walgreens logo is pretty conspicuous, so I learnt of the location pretty quickly.

I learnt about Trader Joe’s later. I think it was during Halloween. I was roaming around the city – it was me, a Spanish classmate, and my roommate. We were trying to get costumes. We hadn’t even made up our minds on what we wanted to dress as.

My roommate said he wanted to go get some sushi somewhere.

We said alright.

And then we all went to into this grocery store on California street that I never even knew existed.

I was just walking around like Ohh wait what, there’s this place? Whatt?? All this while I’ve been shopping like Walgreens is the only place to buy stuff – Whattt?

So now I shop at Trader Joe’s every now and then. More frequently than Walgreens actually.

Well not really.

Usually when I shop at Trader Joes I get more stuff, and so there’s a longer span of time before I have to go grocery shopping again.

So I don’t know.

There’s this other store my roommate talks about. Costco.

He says his whole family shops there.

There was this day he came to the room with like two whole suitcases full of groceries. In fact I think they were more than two.

He says at Costco you can get membership cards and this gives you some huge discounts on stuff you buy. So his parents do like family-sized grocery shopping at solid discounts.

Shopping at Costco. Hm. Now I’m curious.

Sounds like such an American thing.

Oh hey look at me shopping at Costco with my membership card and getting huge family-sized discounts.

Such USA, so American ooh.


I also recently learnt about 7-Eleven pizza.

I was in the room of a Kenyan classmate. I probably stopped by to chat about something. He had one of his friends around. Also Kenyan. Was studying at UC Berkeley.

As we all chatted and shared laughs, something they were eating caught my eye.

It was pizza.

But the smell though, the smell. Oh man.

It had a very distinct smell.

I asked if I could have a slice. They said sure why not.

Next thing I knew I was asking for a precise description of where they got the pizza.

Wait, so the place is called 7-Eleven right?

Oh there’s a 7-Eleven around Battery street?

Mm, and they’re open twenty-four hours?

Wait, it’s just like ten dollars for the largest size?

Oh there’s another one on Powell?

That evening I became a staunch believer in 7-Eleven pizza.

On a random evening you can find me puffing my way up Powell street, with like two cartons of 7-Eleven pizza in my arms – the largest size of pizza they have.

Sometimes I even get three at once.

The pepperoni pizza is wonderful, the BBQ is okay, and there’s this one that has all sorts of meat stuff ohh.

The hill on Powell is funny.

Sometimes I think about how many calories I could possibly gain from eating three largest-size 7-Eleven pizzas – People think about calories a lot in this place – And I’m pretty convinced I burn pretty much the same amount of calories just getting the pizzas up to my dorm room.


I’m in the “Bread” section of Trader Joe’s.

There’s this thing my American roommate introduced me to.

Cinnamon Raisin bread.

Jesus. Jesus Christ.

That thing. That freaking thing.

I mean, initially I had doubts when he suggested I try out some that he bought.

The bread looked weird and mouldy and damp.

I was like ehhh I don’t know, it looks sketchy, I don’t know….

I took one bite and became a convert.

So yeah, on a random day at Trader Joe’s you’ll probably find me stocking my trolley with a customary loaf of Cinnamon raisin bread.


I’m at the Cereal section.

I’m making up my mind on some options.

A hand touches me from behind, and slowly snakes its way around my waist.

Very surprised, I turn around to see a cheeky face smiling up at me.

Oh heyyy. Hey you.


Image: Somewhere along the Embarcadero.

San Francisco: Night out Clubbing at Ruby Skye.

The first club I visited in San Francisco, was Club X. Someone in the class mentioned on our Facebook group that they were having an event. And I think it was free for people with student IDs. It was either free, or at a significant discount.

Our student ID cards weren’t actually ready at the time. We all had our pictures taken a while back, but were yet to receive our ID cards.

The Facebook post mentioned however, that there was a way to join the event guest list. So you could be eligible for the discount/free entry even without a student ID.

All you had to do was to go comment your name on a post on Club X’s Facebook page or something like that.

And so people began to comment their names. We were all very excited.

Mm Clubbing, Mm Club X, Mm let’s go Mm


On the night of the event, it was like we were going for a meeting with school’s founder at the HQ. We were so many.

We were like thirty. Or more. Trooping along the sidewalk and chatting excitedly, our eyes alight with anticipation.

Most of us were new to San Francisco. A lot of us were new to the USA. And so that event provided an interesting opportunity to venture out into the city on our own, while still being surrounded by a group of people within which you generally felt safe.

The event was also 18+ which was great, because very few people in our class were 21 years or older. And so all 21+ events were out of our reach. Well that was unless you had a fake ID.

Club X was fun. Club X was very fun.

Clubbing at Club X became something of a regular thing over time.

At some point, some classmates began to form a negative impression of the club. They would talk about it on the group. Say it was rowdy or disorganized or not very classy, or some other concern that never resonated with me.


People generally go out for events in smaller groups now. SF is less unfamiliar and so people are more comfortable going out on their own. I myself have gradually been curating my personal algorithm for finding events in San Francisco. Eventbrite is generally where it’s at. There’s usually always something of interest happening on Eventbrite, on any given day. Given that, the question then involves which events you’re the most interested in.

Ruby Skye is a cool club people have been talking about. They generally speak very highly of it. Practically all of their events are 21+ though. So it seems to be something people just fantasize about from a distance.

I was scrolling through their website the other day. I don’t even know how I landed there, or what I was looking for.

At some point I saw something about an upcoming event. 18+.

Sorry what? Eighteen what did you just say?

I looked through it more carefully.

Yes. Yes it was an 18+ event.

Ohohohoho

I put a post up on the class’s Facebook group. A bunch of people were super stoked about it. We began to make plans. I think there was like a party Facebook Messenger group or something. We used that to correspond in more detail.

Seemed like something great was up ahead.



We’re in the club.

We’re about ten people from school.

Ruby Skye is super cool. It’s very big and spacious.

We’re dancing and having fun.

The girls go to the bathroom like every ten minutes. I have absolutely no idea what they’re always going to do in the bathroom.

And they go collectively. Like all of a sudden four girls are like, we need to go use the bathroom.

Like, do all of your bladders have synchronised timers or something- I don’t understand.


I just met this guy. He says he’s Australian. He’s a good-looking guy. Seems fun.

At some point I introduce him to one of the female classmates. She’s from Eastern Europe. They look like they might hit it off.

We keep dancing. Dancing and chatting, and there’s some flirting going around too.

The girl from Eastern Europe is back. Doesn’t seem like she and Australian guy really got something going.

We’re dancing. The room is generally very energetic. There are flashing lights and music, and every now end then there’s a super stimulating “beat drop” that just completely revs the energy level of the hall.

The Eastern European classmate looks like she’s interested in dancing up-close with me.

I don’t pay her body language any significant attention. I don’t have the energy for ambivalent and confusing signals right now.

We spent some time together over the winter break.

I used to have something of a crush on her.

We used to watch “How to Get Away with Murder” in my room. Watching steamy sex scenes of Annalise Keating and the tall muscular detective guy.

The guy was weird. Time and time again Annalise would do things to ruin his life. He lost job, his reputation was ruined, but yet he still kept indulging her- I was like dude the fuck is your problem, what is wrong with you, her own life is good- you’re the one who keeps getting in trouble- what is your problem you this guyyy.

One of those nights I indicated an interest in taking things further- I wasn’t exactly interested in spending time alone with a pretty girl in a dark room, and all we’d do would be to watch other people have sex.

She said she want interested in taking things beyond platonic movie watching.

Okay.

Okay.

I didn’t offer to have her over for movies after that night. I needed to reorder my life priorities.


Now she’s sending all of these confusing signals my way.

I don’t have the energy for this. She had her chance.


I’m at a different end of the club.

The view of the stage is different from here, mm.

Two girls walk up to me.

We talk for a bit.

At some point one is like:

“So, my friend”, she points to her African-American friend.

“She has been feeling a bit shy. And she told me she would be more comfortable dancing with someone who’s similar to her. Like racially.”

Hm.

I don’t understand what’s going on, but I don’t intend to protest.

There’s no problem shy African-American girl- I’ll be your black guy. I’ll be your safety-exuding black guy, there’s no problem.

We begin to dance.

All of a sudden she’s not so shy anymore.

In just a few seconds she went from demure-looking girl to vigorous hip-twister.

Oh she’s comfortable alright.

She’s definitely comfortable. This has to be what a mind at ease looks like.

I’m not complaining.

I’m not complaining at all.


Image: View of the Sutro Tower from somewhere. Either Corona Heights or Potrero Hill.

Dinner At Kottbusser Tor.

We met one evening a few weeks ago. Me and Ryan.

I was skateboarding along Berlin’s streets, and getting angry at the cobblestones. I had spent the previous year in San Francisco, and Berlin just felt so annoying because there were cobblestones everywhere.

You can’t skateboard on cobblestones, not really. Not with smaller harder wheels, at least.

I think we met at an intersection of two streets.

I’m not quite sure how we started talking. I probably started the conversation because he reminded me of someone else. Someone I met in San Francisco. With his blondish hair and general vibes.

We began to talk.

He was an artist. Had an art studio here in Berlin. He was also an Art teacher at some tertiary institution.

We talked some more. At some point we exchanged contact details.


It’s a few weeks later.

We’re having dinner.

Well it’s not like a full-blown dinner or anything, we’re just having light stuff to eat and it’s dark outside.

I think this restaurant/bar is interesting. It has these fun multicoloured lights over the doorway. I think they’re cool and kinda trippy.

The guy at the bar is stocky-looking, with a blonde beard.

We’re chatting.

A group of people walk into the restaurant. They walk by and sit at a table not far off. They work in the Tech team of the university I study at. It looks like they’re having some sort of Tech team dinner.

I worked on somewhat close terms with one of them last summer in San Francisco. Jason. It was really interesting. I learnt a lot. It was fun getting immediate answers to my questions about code deployment frameworks and opensource communities.

I was very shocked to see him effortlessly bypass a security mechanism on the login page of the bank I use in Nigeria. It was also really interesting to hear he studied EECS at MIT. A few years back I spent some time going through some of their Computer Science course material on MIT’s OpenCourseware.

I think his girlfriend was pregnant then. With like the fourth or the fifth kid. In my head I was thinking, Oh wow that’s a lot. He seemed pretty young to me, and so it felt like they were still going with the kids. He had a picture of she and the kids on his desk.

And then he also described her as his girlfriend.

At the time I thought a couple with that number of kids and such an established, well-defined plan for a joint future would unquestionably be married. My accrued ideas at the time of how adults ideally lived their lives, was along the lines of the “Get married and then have kids” formula.

But apparently people attach different levels of significance to words like “girlfriend” and “wife”. And some people’s notion of a “girlfriend” is about equivalent in meaning to some others’ notion of a “wife” – Something like that.

We met again a few weeks ago at a small restaurant along Adalbertstrasse. It was our first time meeting in Berlin since I moved here for the Berlin semester, and he with the tech team deployed to Berlin.

I talked with him about my challenges with the second-year curriculum. I was taking a Social Sciences course, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through with it. Initially I thought it would provide breadth in combination with the Computational Sciences courses I was taking, but at the time I was thinking of switching it for one in the Natural Sciences.

He talked about his experiences with settling in Berlin with the family, given the work move.


Ryan and I are talking.

He’s talking about a space in Berlin he and a friend jointly got. I think it was a living space, or some art space, something. He and his friend both moved to Berlin from the US.

He feels resentful about how things turned out with the space. I think his “friend” moved to Berlin before him, and for such a reason had more relatively-established relationships with people in the city. Somehow he leveraged that to oust Ryan of his part ownership of the space. Something like that.

He feels bitter and hurt about it. I try to empathise.

We keep talking.

At some point I ask about clubs in Berlin. Where can I find cool clubs. He says Berghain is a very popular one. Tells me a bit about it. I say Hm, sounds interesting. I take note of it.

We keep talking.

At some point dinner is over, and we’re concluding our conversation.

He seems somewhat surprised by the current direction of things. He says he thought this was a date.

Like, a date.

In my head I’m like Wait Hold up. Hold the fuck up.

What?

Wait, is this guy gay?

Is he gay? Oh man, I had absolutely no idea!

I thought this was just two guys hanging out?!

He’s gay?

Wait, I thought I saw a picture of a wife and a kid on his Facebook?

Wait, What the hell is going on?

I say Haha no. The thought that this was some sort of a romantic outing, never even crossed my mind.

I have a girlfriend.


I’m still trying to make sense of all of the homosexual attention I’ve been getting in Berlin- I honestly don’t understand it. Usually there’s a way I make sense of interactions with a biologically male person. This whole sexual thing is adding a dimension to it, which is just very unfamiliar to me.

Especially when it’s like just, everywhere. In Berlin it feels like there’s no specific social context where I should prepare for and expect homosexual inclinations. It’s just everywhere and anywhere.

We finish up dinner.

I like his boots. They’re high-heeled, goth-style boots.

It almost feels like after-the-fact he looks obviously homosexual, but I think that might just be confirmation bias.

We head out of the restaurant. As we walk by the open-air stalls of fruits and vegetables in the farmer’s market at Kottbusser Tor, I mention my struggles with academic coursework. The issues I’m facing with classes, and how I’m beginning to question the fit of the academic programme I’m in.

We walk a bit further until the paths to our apartments diverge.


Image: Somewhere in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

First-Time Surfing at Pacifica.

I was at this surf shop. That was a number of weeks ago. I’ve had this curiosity about surfing for a while- I think it’s an interesting activity.

I was talking with the guys at the shop. There were interesting-looking boards everywhere. They had a number of overhead television screens where I could see live footage of some surfing locations. I could see the live waves and weather conditions and stuff- it was all very interesting to look at.

The attendant mentioned Pacifica as an interesting surfing location in relatively close proximity. I noted the name. It would be interesting to check it out at some point.


A while before that, I met this couple at an ice-cream shop in the Sunset district in San Francisco. They had a number of surfboards in the cargo bed of their pickup truck. I struck up a conversation with the guy about surfboards and surfing. He mentioned that I could get pretty good surfboards at Costco for a ridiculously cheap price. They were made of a different material, but they were still pretty good. That was interesting to learn. At some point they offered to pay for my ice cream. I didn’t argue. They were nice. Nice people.


I am at Pacifica. I am at the beach. I took a number of subway trains and then some buses to get here.

I’ve started trying the surfing thing. I’m definitely not doing a lot of things right. I’ve just been getting bashed by the waves over and over and over. I actually didn’t even go through any tutorials or watch any surfing videos before coming here. I just felt it wouldn’t be all that much of an issue:

It’s water. And then there’s a board. And you’re moving about on the board. I skateboard already and I’m pretty alright at that, so how difficult could this possibly be.

Bruh, it’s been difficult. I got past the torrent of waves once. Once I got far enough into the water to turn the board around and face land. It was a strange experience- seeing land from the perspective of someone out in the water, with nothing but a surfboard to hold on to. I felt somewhat unanchored and adrift and disoriented.

The next step was to catch a wave. At that time, I didn’t even know what the next step was. From watching everyone around, I just knew I needed to get into the water, past the waves and then surf back somehow.

There was this guy next to me in the water. He was giving me some directions:

Lie straight on the board, grip the edges with your fingers, let your toes be at the the very edge of the tail end.

It felt very strange. Learning to swim during weekend visits to a Staff club swimming pool back in university in Nigeria, the issue with being in the water was learning to be comfortable off your feet. Off your feet and on your stomach or on your back or however- just not in the upright position that an entire life of experience existing as a being on land, has made you an expert at.

Following that guy’s directions, it felt like I was unlearning another sort of comfortable position. Now I wasn’t putting my trust in my hands and my legs to keep me afloat and propel me through the water- no. My feet were to be be stuck together- immobile, at the end of the board- my hands were to grip the board for a while before I began to paddle. Somehow I was supposed to put all of my confidence in this piece of plastic to keep me afloat and balanced astride the pulsing swells of belligerent ocean water. It felt weird.


The guy giving me directions had a very deep and resonant voice. He looked very Chinese, but sounded very American. Exactly like one of the San Francisco college staff. Exactly like Mister Wang. The familiarity actually helped me feel more at ease, out in the water on the surfboard.


I am back on land. I’m jogging along the beach. There’s this very tall bearded guy I saw taking a break from surfing earlier. I thought he looked interesting. He is sitting on the sand with his board and with a group of people.

Somehow we strike up a conversation. I think I start by complimenting his beard. We begin to talk. His name is Simon. He’s German. He’s here with his girlfriend and a number of friends. His friends also happen to be coworkers at a startup he founded based on some work he did for his PhD in Germany. Interesting. The company was recently acquired by Apple and they all moved to the US from Germany. Interesting.

We keep talking. His PhD had something to do with graphical processing and parallel computing. We talk about that a bit. I mention some Machine Learning Consultancy I was engaged in, in Lagos Nigeria- it involved building Computer Vision software to process real-time traffic footage. We keep talking.

At some point they want to go have lunch. I come with. We go return our surfboards and wetsuits. They are all so tall- the guys. They are like six foot seven. One is even taller than Simon. Like six foot nine. I’m like six foot two, and generally that’s considered pretty tall. But hanging out with these guys makes me feel like an insect. Like an excited, chattering insect.

And I actually like it. I like hanging out with very tall people- it makes me feel like a baby who is surrounded by adults capable of handling whatever problem comes along. It makes me feel very safe.


We are having lunch.

I mention that I’ll be spending the next semester of college in Berlin. Ahhh, they say. Berlin will be fun. The Oktoberfest is coming soon. I should make sure to indulge in the vast variety of sausages Germany has to offer. And the beer. I’m going to enjoy the beer.

I actually do indulge in the sausages. In the next few months. Currywurst. Bratwurst. A number of different “wursts”. I’ll take one at a small sausage kiosk after emerging from a quick autumn dip in the chilly water of Krumme Lanke, while contemplating the anxeities involving my college enrolment and the ambiguity surrounding my general future.

We keep discussing over lunch. At some point Simon’s girlfriend makes a comment about Khal Drogo. Something about Khal Drogo having a large penis. Or at least having a larger penis than Simon. He looks hurt. It’s not a lasting impression- it’s just a brief flicker of discernible discomfort/pain on his face. I think that’s very unfair and inconsiderate of his girlfriend. I wonder why she would say that- obviously primarily to spite him. We keep talking.


In about thirty minutes I’ll be in their car- Simon and his girlfriend. It’s a very small car. First I’ll wonder why such a large guy drives such a small car. I’ll also wonder why a considerable number of people I’ve met in Silicon Valley drive such moderate cars. People in Nigeria with much less money drive such extravagant vehicles. The roads can be remarkably terrible, and people spend hours in traffic, but somehow there’s still a lot of prestige associated with the sort of vehicle a person owns.

People are somehow capable of spending so much money on individual luxury, while the communal welfare is generally deplorable. In the most affluent parts of Lagos you’ll see like a $70,000 Porche wading through knee-deep muddy water pooled in cavernous potholes along the road. I don’t understand it. I don’t get how such an aesthetically dissonant experience could still be perceived as luxury- it superlatively bewilders me.

In the car Simon and I will talk about relationships. Relationship issues. I’ll talk about my relationship. The major issue I’m experiencing is maintaining the desired level of intimacy with a partner who is on holidays with her family, on a different continent. Simon’s major issue is that he’s meeting other people he would like to date, but can’t because of his current relationship. I try to empathize, but I cannot completely relate. Simon and his girlfriend have been in a relationship for fifteen years. I have absolutely no idea what that feels like.

And maybe that’s why his girlfriend makes snide remarks about his penis. Possibly to hack at his self-esteem by undermining his sexual capabilities, in a bid to reduce the likelihood of him exiting the relationship to date someone else he’s interested in.

We’ll talk about a number of other things in the car. He’ll describe how he broke a personal speed limit while driving on the Autobahn. Interesting.


We are done with lunch. We head to the counter. They offer to pay for my meal. I do not argue. I am with the super-tall adults who are capable of handling whatever problems come our way. I am the safe and excited chattering insect baby. They pay for our food and we head out to the car.


Image: That afternoon.

Lost at Night in San Francisco.

I am walking by a graveyard.

It is a military graveyard- the people buried here were likely casualties in some war.

I walk amidst the headstones, reading off the names. A lot of these people were young men.

As I walk through this throng of gravesite markers in the dead of the night, I begin to wonder what things were left undone by these people. Just how much was left undone.

Words never said. Ideas never conceived. Aspirations never accomplished. Lovers never met. Lovers never seen again. Children never had.

The graveyard feels loud. It feels loud with voices- voices destructively interfered with, by untimely death.

It’s in the middle of the night here at the Presidio in San Francisco, but strangely I feel somewhat deafened by the riotous voices seeming to bubble to the surface from the graves, and overhang the general area like a dark insidious cloud of suppressive heaviness.

In a few months I’ll be having dinner with a classmate couple in Berlin. One of them’ll mention something about how whatever happens in life is for the best. Even the very negative things, like untimely death. I’ll ask her if she really thinks that perspective is valid, or if it’s just palliative. She’ll say she’s not quite sure.

I keep walking.

At some point I come upon an asphalt road. I put down my skateboard and begin to skate.


I am skateboarding by one of the very interesting Revivalist buildings which populate the Presidio. Some guy walks out of one of these buildings. The room he walks out from, is very brightly lit. I think he’s security.

He asks me what I’m doing here. I describe my night. Went out for a walk, skateboarded a bit, found myself here, skateboarding onwards. He seems satisfied with my explanation, and tells me to go on and be safe.

I keep moving.


I am at the Golden Gate Bridge. I have absolutely no idea how I got here.

I began this night by heading out of the dorms at Nob Hill. I doubt I could find my way to the bridge during the day without a map and without asking for directions. I have no idea how I managed to do it at night.

A few minutes ago I was walking along a footpath bordered by some brush and some short wooden poles which had some sort of rope strung between them. I headed out of the footpath and voila, there was the Golden Gate Bridge right up ahead.


I am at some sort of a car park. I’m trying some ollies on the skateboard. I still haven’t gotten the ollie thing down.

A guy at the Sunset district expressed some humorous scorn when I told him I had been skateboarding for about a year. He was surprised I couldn’t really do any serious tricks.

I was somewhat taken by surprise. I still considered myself a young skateboarder- one who consequently deserved some slack with regard to proficiency at tricks. I was surprised by what he said.

He was an interesting guy. Steven. Steven with a South American last name. Said he was a jeweler. Looked like he was high most of the time. I was curious what his day was like as a jeweler. I wondered what his office/workspace looked like and stuff.

He expressed some sort of disapproval at Nob Hill as a residential location.

“Noise everywhere from the passing vehicles, homeless people…”

At that point I realized how quiet the Sunset District was. I had spent the past few months getting used to, and even coming to enjoy the auditory bustle of Nob Hill, but at that moment I realized there was definitely a point in his perspective.

He was riding this bike. Modified bike. It had large handlebars and a strangely low seat. He looked like he was riding a bike meant for preschoolers, but at the same time it looked cool. He said he built it himself. Said he intended to exhibit it at some event for modified bikes coming up soon.


I am at the Golden Gate Bridge. I have no idea how I got here. But that’s not so much of a problem. The actual problem is that I have no idea how to get back.

I have expended pretty much all of the impatient repressed energy that sent me bursting out of the dorms this night, to the amusing amusement of the Turkish-looking security guard. No way I’m skateboarding back to Nob Hill this night. I don’t even feel it. My body has no such plans right now.


I am in an office. I think it’s an interesting office, because it looks exactly like the movie depiction of American police stations.

I take some time to stare around the room, taking in the very interesting space while feeling like someone just threw me in the middle of a movie scene being filmed.

I walk up to an officer sitting by a window overlooking the bridge. He looks obese, most likely because of the sedentary nature of his job.

I explain my situation to him: Left Nob Hill on a walk, found myself here, don’t know how to get back etc.

He seems very nice and kind. He makes a phone call and tells me not to worry. Says someone is coming to get me. I feel relieved.

I ask him what he is doing by that window. It doesn’t look like he’s taking in a leisurely view of the bridge at night. It looks like he’s doing his job.

He says every once in a while someone comes along with the intention to jump off the bridge. He’s there to prevent that from happening successfully.

Oh wow. That’s pretty intense.

I wonder how computers could possible be equipped to carry out such a task. I don’t know, maybe there’s some sort of a pattern in the gait of suicidal people that computers could learn to pick up on. I don’t know, maybe.


My ride is here. I thank the kind officer at the station, and head into the car.

I’m being driven by a young police officer in his mid-to-late twenties. We’re engaging in conversation. He says he recently got married. Says some people think it’s strange he got married pretty early, but that he’s very happy with it. Happy with his marriage and his wife.

To be honest, I’m in the group that thinks it’s strange. I think he’s a loser for getting married.

Have some woman somewhere with whom you go snuggle every night. What a loser.

In the next few months I’ll find myself in love. And everything he’s saying will make profound sense to me. I don’t know anything now. I don’t know anything.


We’ve reached my stop. I can get a bus to my destination from here. I think the police officer, wish him goodnight and head out of the car.


Image: A different night. With a skateboard borrowed from a Chinese classmate.