Nobody at work other than my coworker Jesse knows it's my birthday today. I've only made a couple friends in the city so I'll be meeting up with one of them, Chuck, a 56-year-old eccentric nurse who only wears Hawaiian shirts and shoes with springs for heels, after work at Milk Bar, which I'm only choosing because I know they'll get me plastered for next to nothing. Graham, Sissy, and Eddo came across the bay last night to enjoy pre-birthday dinner and billiards with me, but it didn't exactly go as planned, as Sissy reached her liquor threshold and an angry climax was reached at about 11:30pm, when she stormed out of a bar in the Mission and intended to get herself home drunk and alone, which I could not in good conscience allow. The boys went after her, and as I waited for the bus, depressed that my night with my only friends had been cut short and that the midnight hour was quickly approaching and I was now alone, a man asked me if he could buy a cigarette. As I always do, I gave him one free of charge, and halfway through the bus ride he thanked me with a 3 Musketeers bar, which briefly lifted my spirits. I got back to the Tenderloin and began serpentining the streets for Patrick, who had said he'd be on my block for midnight, but had likely forgotten. After the shit storm I had just experienced, I just wanted a hug and a friendly face, and to not feel completely alone at the moment the day turned from August 1st to August 2nd. But my search was unsuccessful, and midnight came with me sitting alone on my balcony table, crying, coughing, and sipping Ancient Age from the frozen bottle Graham had gifted me hours before and that was now 2/3 imbibed.
I'm trying not to be bummed about being mostly alone on my birthday, but frankly, I am. It bums me the fuck out in every conceivable way. I miss my boyfriend, I miss my dog, I miss my parents, I miss August weather that actually feels like August weather and doesn't instead resemble Edinburgh on a particularly gloomy day. I'm tired of my relationships with the people I'm closest with existing primarily over the phone, and even though I know that's all only temporary, coping on my birthday is difficult. I typically have great birthdays because I hold low expectations for them, and treat them as if they were just another day. It's pretty easy for a normal day to turn into a great day when everybody's automatically being nice to you, hugging you, and buying everything for you. It's a birthday trick that hasn't steered me wrong yet, but today just doesn't feel that way. Falling amidst a period of time when I've already felt lonely and isolated, it's particularly hard to keep my chin up today, because a birthday is a day most people like to celebrate, and I'm not able to celebrate with those I really want to. Chuck is a wonderful person, and I suspect we will become close friends, but right now, on this day, he's not Robin or Wusty or Turkey or my parents or Amanda or Hank or Susie or Perry or Meg or Cam or even fuckin' PK or any of the people who make me feel a sense of home and inclusion. At least not yet. And alternatively, the crew at Milk Bar all warmed up to me quickly and then never bothered to pick up the phone after I stopped coming around, which seems to be the case for most people I've met out here thus far.
This transition has been extremely hard on me. I've suffered through every obstacle thrown my way and have generally tried regardlessly to stay optimistic and positive, but sometimes it weighs heavily on me. I've been living without any of my things, any of my people, without my companion, without my dog, without any legitimate human interaction for the 8 hours that make up the work day, and I keep waking up and doing it every day, knowing that it will get better with time. But being in a long-distance relationship with someone who's not adept at phone communication is challenging, frustrating, and discouraging, as I'm not getting quite the amount of support that I'd ideally like, and therefore have to basically make it myself, with mantras, peace and quiet, self-communication, and weed. Most days I do alright. Other days prove more challenging than others. No matter how low I could possibly make my expectations for my birthday this year, the year I decided to pick up and move 3,000 miles across the country unaccompanied, I should have at least expected it to be one of the difficult days.