It has been a tiring week in San Francisco. So much so that, on my last night in the city, I made a bunch of plans and then sat on the couch, didn't go out, and asked Karim to bring me chocolate cake.
Not only was I exhausted from a week of intense conversations and sleeping in various places, but I wanted to stay in and get myself organized for my week in New Orleans. I don't know anyone in New Orleans; the NPO I'm supposed to be working with got evicted last week and everything is up in the air; also I'm in charge of a rental car and accommodations not just for myself, but for three unsuspecting others. Of course, instead of taking care of any of this, we still ended up hanging out until 2 a.m. This morning I was so tired that I actually thought to myself, "I can't wear this shirt today. It looks sleazy. It's got the neck cut off. It's bright yellow. And it has two beer steins where my breasts are. I can't go meet a stranger who is going to host me in New Orleans for a week and show up looking like this."
That is not the kind of thought I usually have about kind souls, but junior-high level self-consciousness preys on the tired and weak. And I was so tired that I gave in to this thought by...wearing my shirt backwards instead.
That was a first for me. The other first was that I got to the airport and could not check in, because my flights are TOMORROW. I was going to pay the $200 I really can't afford to get on the plane today because of all the arrangements I'd made this week to take care of things when I get to New Orleans. But when I consulted the notes I'd taken in my day planner, it looks like I was on the right track, because everything said Sunday and Monday, not Saturday and Sunday like I'd been saying in my head for the past few days.
It is so humbling to be confronted with evidence...from yourself...that you are kind of losing your mind. But at least you thought to write yourself a note.
Exhausted, I came back to my apartment feeling like the biggest asshole in the world, and proceeded to have a dream that my father shot himself, and I found him gurgling blood and called 911. I was freaking out so bad that the operator asked me if I had, perchance, consumed any meth in the recent past, and when I said, in my most big-girl voice possible, "No...I'm sorry if I sound a little crazed...I guess I'm just upset that MY FATHER IS DYING AND FUCKING UP THE CARPET."
Then the operator hung up on me. I ran to get my mother, who is a physician, and as we panted up the stairs, I told her what had happened. When we got to where my father should be (lying in a pool of blood on the floor in their bedroom), not only was he gone, but there was no blood, no gun, nothing. My mother screamed, "You crazy little bitch!" (three words she has never used to describe me, and in a way that she has never spoken) and slapped me.
I woke up in my bed in San Francisco. It's January 12, 2008; only four people know I'm here, and I'm one of them.