SAN DIEGO, 2:17 AM
I spent over an hour roaming aimlessly around 7th avenue (or was it 8th?) trying to figure out where the fuck I parked my goddamn car. K street? J? L, M, N, O, P? If ever there was a worry about a lack of parking options in San Diego, fear not… there are INFINITE parking garages that all look the same. I remembered my garage as the one that charged $15, but apparently price signs change as the night goes on. The city became a shifting, intelligent labyrinth.
But, it’s okay.
It’s also okay that I don’t really know anyone in this fantastically bizarre place. I consider tonight, and all nights hereafter, an exalted exercise in self-reliance. Most people would be reduced to nervous sweats by now, but, misfortune and parking amnesia are par for the course. The serpentine, ambling routes make all the direct trips to the parking garage that much sweeter, right? The direct routes deprive you of the characters, hanging on the walls, along the way. It’s all part of the great experience. What’s the worse that could happen? [Insert another platitude here].
The party street raged and vomited green in St. Paddy’s Day reverie. A pair of bedraggled-looking drag queens with emerald Mardis Gras beads stood with their hands on their hips, deep-throating cigarettes on the street corner. One wore a black latex skirt that barely covered her globs of ass. Her scrotum waved at me.
“Oh baby, baby, he’s not worth your time,” she husked.
A waif of a coed in a lime green mesh top hunched over a street sewer, rendered comatose by the exhaustion of her gag reflex. Her circle of voyeuristic friends stood awkwardly around in a crescent formation, waiting for her next pyrotechnic feat of grime and liquor.
Italian men, Indian men, Black men, fat, thin, sour lotharios—moving in packs, attempting to graze the back ends of women who maneuvered expertly through the closing cracks and gaps of people and testosterone. God, the women! These beautiful things. Aspiring models in LA maybe? But, just a 1/16th of an inch to short to qualify so they were boozing. All of them in short shorts in flesh-colored heels that elongated their endless legs. Their eyes flicked across me, but they kept moving around me, over me, on top of me with their vodka and cranberry breath.
I heard the red head in a black cut-out blouse say, “He said he wanted to do it in the ass.” She laughed, her tan abdomen visible through the front slit of her shirt. “Not happening.”
And despite a writer’s habituation on the sidelines, there is no such thing in San Diego. A man with a pierced lip, and an air that gloated a lifetime of privilege cornered me on the street.
“Hey weirdo,” he called in this fresh white shirt, “What are you doing here by yourself? You are way too sexy to be alone. You’re not from around here are you? Where are you from? Look at you in your red headband!” As I opened my mouth to respond to any one of his questions, he grabbed me by the arm and yelled “TWIRL GORGEOUS!”
Why the fuck not, I figured? I twirled, and twirled and twirled. When the opportunity arises, you twirl. That’s life.
After a while, I extricated myself from him and others though they proved irritatingly dogged about fucking me. Men. I ripped my body off of them like duck tape. As I get older, I hold myself in higher regard. I don’t want to lay under some gorgeous man who doesn’t give a damn about me anymore. What’s to be gained from that moneyed flopping session?
Oh, and I FOUND my car thanks to the help of many sweet, tan parking garage attendants along the way.