I’m going to try my best to remember what I can about the days of December 1-December 4–the days that encapsulated my birthday–from the west coast (San Francisco) to the East Coast (NYC), but the truth is, there are a lot of things I don’t remember. And now, a week removed, my memories have started to dematerialize into that foggy world of “did it really happen?”
There are moments of clarity, however, when I’ll be caught off-guard by a memory, or a joke, or a smile, and it will all become real again. Time will reverse, and we’ll be back to those four fast-paced days when we stayed up until 6 or 7 am drinking, laughing, being silly, partying…just living in the moment, the epitome of C2C.
Thursday, December 1
As mentioned, the day (and the week prior) got off to a shaky start. Nobody likes rain on their birthdays, especially not a torrential downpour. I was certain that the weather would deter a lot of people from coming to hipster-themed party that night. Surprisingly, everyone showed.
I had to rush home after work and change into my hipster gear. Basically, that entailed taking one of everything from my closet (t-shirt? check. dress? check. jeans? check. knee high socks? check. plaid rain boots? check. newsboy hat? check. clunky belt? check. well, you get the idea–I had at least 12 layers on) DJ was the first to arrive. Awkward. I actually haven’t seen him in some time, and we have definitely drifted apart as friends, as he has become way more secluded in his little world, and I have just not had the energy to keep begging him to hang out. Regardless, he made it, although he left his hipster clothes at home. I don’t know what he’s talking about, he ALWAYS looks like a hipster, so I’m not sure what costume he’d be changing into.
One by one, people started to arrive, with the next person’s costume totally exceeding the person who came before. I must admit that R really surprised me with her getup–a little bit mod…a little bit preppy punk…so bizarre to see her that way. The bulldog kind of when for the scholastic look–tweed jacket over tshirt, kangol hat. And then there was the Canadian–well…he tried.
As we were leaving, we ran into 2 of my coworkers. They were so convincing as hipsters that I honestly did not recognize them on the street. I couldn’t understand why the bulldog was talking to some random girls until I looked closer and realized they were my friends!
But let me backtrack a bit. Before we left for the mission (the hippest place on the West coast), my friends surprised me with a dvd. What was on that dvd, you may ask? Well, the Canadian and C had gotten together and created a movie of me photoshopped with the likes of Michael Bolton, Will Hung, and most embarrassingly–some guys from match.com. I actually was sweating buckets when they made me stand up there and watch that thing. God it was embarrassing. The movie ended with something like, “C2C05 – Watch your boys and husbands. She’s Back. Now What?”Embarrassing as it was, the movie was awesome. I couldn’t believe my friends would put that much effort into embarrassing me. Wait, yes, I can.
After opening my present (ipod nano–engraved with “C2C05 WW21D”) and blowing out candles (C made cupcakes in ice crem cones!), we all headed out to the mission, specifically Taqueria Cancun, for the ultimate in hipster fine dining. Walking into the taqueria was a bit intimidating. It definitely felt like all eyes were on us, and that they had discovered that we were truly not hipsters. However, in due time, several groups of hipsters arrived (our favorite: the 1979 skiing look) and we were able to relax in knowing we had completed a job well done.
Across the street from the taqueria was the old stand-by–Beauty Bar–and for lack of better ideas (hey, hipsters don’t plan this stuff), we went inside. Pretty empty, but my god, the few people that were there were uber hip. The dude behind the bar came with a handlebar mustache for god’s sake! After a while, we had made friends with the DJs and were dancing away. The bulldog busted out ALL his moves, which included breakdancing (he even did the caterpillar). Not to be outdone, I started doing the “Snow Dance.” If you watched the Fox show ‘So you think you can Dance” youll know exactly what I mean. Basically its a bunch of tightly stepped grapevine like movements. Did i mention I was wearing rain boots? The best is that only a fraction of the people there knew wtf I was doing. The other half thought I was seriously dancing that way–and were impressed (?!?!?!)
I broke a cardinal rule of C2C that night–and that was to never be double fisted. For most part of the night, I carried 1 shot and 1 mixed drink. Wait, lets backtrack. I broke like a million rules of C2C. First, I started with beer. Then I moved onto mixed drinks. Then shots. Then it was anything goes.
The dancing started to pick up, and we decided to check out other bars. Unfortunately, they were lame–not nearly the same energetic hipster scene as at Beauty Bar. One of my friends bought me what I think was the worst shot Ive ever had in my life. I dont know what it was (tasted like half and half w/jaeger) but the moment it touched my lips, I almost wanted to hurl. Regardless, I downed it. And then chased it with what tasted like Red bull and Gin (why)?
We spent the rest of the night back at Beauty Bar, dancing like crazy. At one point, I heard my friends chant, “snow! snow! snow! snow! snow! snow! snow!” Of course this prompted me to get on the dance floor, rain boots and all, and go crazy.
I wasn’t the only crazy person that night, though. There was this one guy–with a curly mullet and mustache, who danced w/a can of PBR on his head. Another dude–a guy we called “Superman” bc of the shirt he was wearing–was doing weird hippie dancing in the center of our circle. I know that some point during his wet noodle dancing, I chest bumped him and gave him a high five. Weird.
But, I guess, the highlight of the night was this group of young college boys, one of whom started hitting on my coworker. We tried to save her, but she didnt want saving. I just recall pulling her aside and telling her YOU ARE BACK! and having her look at me with the most confused look on her face. “What’s back?” she asked. I told her to nevermind…it was a good thing.
Once his friends saw they had an in, they started infiltrating our group so that all of my friends were dancing w/all of his friends. I have no idea how I ended up dancing with this one dude, Finley, but I know I was trash talking, asking him over and over, “is that ALL YOU GOT?” We had a dance off (kind of a theme that night), and then ended up dancing together. He asked me if it was my birthday, and I said it was. “Your 21st?” I started laughing. “Um…no 28.” He laughed and called me a liar. We danced some more. I found out he went to Cal, was 24, something about Europe (this is where it gets really hazy). He also kept saying how beautiful I was…and how much he liked my newsboy hat(??). The whole time, in my hazy mind, I kept thinking, “is this guy really hitting on me? I’m wearing rain boots! I’m dressed like a clown! does this mean if i were dressed ‘normally’ that he wouldn’t like me?” And yet, he still pursued me. I finally just lied and told him it was my 21st birthday and he said, “I KNEW IT!”
More dancing. More drinking. And I remember asking him if he was going to give me a birthday kiss. (wtf was i thinking?) He seemed a little tentative (typical of a cali boy) and said “well, you gotta start it.” And I said, “well, too bad then.” With that, he came towards me and…yes…we kissed. I have to say, I was kind of surprised. Not bad for a little 24 year old boy. Actually, kind of impressive.
Of course, I could hear my friends gasping. I looked over at DJ and Bulldog and they were kind of nodding their heads like, “well you did what you said you were going to do.” It was as if I could see them silently clapping, giving me an invisible high 5. Still, it was kind of like having your brothers watch you make out with some dude. C came up to me during the night, and in a slurred, boozy voice, whispered (actually yelled) in my ear, “DUDE. Hes too SHORT. C2C. We going to NEW YORK TOMORROW.” Fin asked what she said and I lied and told him, “she wants me to tell you that you’re cool.”
People started leaving. Me and Fin kept making out. We shut down the bar. And then I just sorta said, “its nice meeting you.” And left. Just like that. Fin ran after me and asked for my number. Thing is, we truly and honestly just got a new phone line installed, and I couldnt remember it for the life of me…esp not drunk. I asked C if she could remember our number and Fin said, “why are you asking her?” Funny. I have no idea if we gave him the right number.
We stumbled around mission and then I found a pomelo skin and tried desperately to kick it into S’car. For some reason, I really wanted to take it home. Again. Weird.
After saying our goodbyes, me and C stayed up for a while longer watching the bday DVD until about 3 or 4 in the morning, eating chips. We both still needed to pack, but we didnt care. Over and over we watched the DVD, singing along to the songs and being idiots.
And then, finally, bedtime. I fell asleep quickly, as the drunken haze started to burn off and reveal the exhaustion of the previous week. I don’t know why or how I remember this, but I do remember my last thought before I fell asleep that night. For some reason all of my time in SF flashed before my eyes–my house in the Richmond, my place in Noe, and all the people who had come in and out of my life. All of those feelings compressed into a single image, and it made me smile. My last thought, strangely and cliche enough was “I am so fucking happy right now.”
And then, I fell asleep to the sound of “snow! snow! snow! snow!” chanting over and over in my head. The room was still spinning, but I didn’t really notice. I was too busy chuckling to myself like some maniac.
up next: NYC, i.e. Coast 2