Love In The Time Of Love Making
It’s 4/20 and I’m waiting in line at the weed dispensary when Katie invites me out for coffee.
After Thai, she wraps up her leftovers in hopes of finding a panhandler on our walk home.
“Look,” Katie points out an elderly couple, “they’ve been together longer than they’ve been alive.”
We begin to feel uncomfortable trying to identify those in need and end up tossing our food in the trash.
Later that afternoon and with little fear of repercussion, we drink boxed wine in the field of a public park.
As Katie and I drunkenly bask in the sun, we also judge someone playing with his dog some meters away.
“That stupid man,” Katie says, “he’s setting up cones his dog can’t even understand.”
“I hate him,” I say.
“The cones don’t even mean anything,” her curious smile becoming perverse, “they’re just plastic, it’s not like, they’re not anything, it’s just…”
Sleeping in the next day on Katie’s bed is probably my favorite part of this story, where I wander around her apartment in the nude, roll a spliff, play her records and with her pets while reading some of her old poetry.
Meeting with Ellee early that evening, she says, “Disgusting!” while grinning at her chia, “Taste this.”
“I love it,” Ellee says, “I love to hate it, it feels good just to know it’s bad.”
We enter a second coffee shop where she disposes of her drink in the appropriate receptacle before repurchasing another.
“They take it for granted,” Ellee tells me near bushes, “they all walk around like they know why, but they don’t.”
“They’re lying to themselves if they think anything they think matters,” I say.
“They don’t remember,” Ellee says frustrated, “they pretend but no one remembers being born.”
Later at the cinema, I critique the plot of a dying man before Ellee informs me that what we are watching is in fact a documentary.
“Theo,” she cringes, “why do you always have to say things?”
We arrive to the poetry reading where one reader has his entire right arm tattooed black, something Katie is quick to note to Ellee of its parallels to blackface.
Afterwards, that same reader makes a generalization on the population of New Mexico which Katie presses him to elaborate on as Ellee and I watch with a tense excitement.
Afterwards, both Katie and Ellee enter the bathroom where I overhear them giggle at the sound of their own pee.
As our arguments accumulate over the week, Katie and I decide it’s time I go to San Francisco.
This is partly why I’m later accused by a senior citizen of cutting the line at the train station.
“Excuse me,” she pokes me with a Louis Vuitton bag, “but I was behind him.”
“OK,” I say and walk behind her.
“But she was behind me,” she adds.
“Whatever you think is fair,” I say.
After the delay, I hand my to ticket to the train attendant.
“This isn’t your train,” he says.
“This is to San Francisco?”
“Yeah, but this is the 12 o’clock. See, you tried smudging the time out of your ticket but it says your train departs at 3AM.”
“Oh, I must have made a mistake,’ I say.
“Yeah,” he says.
Now, it is 3AM on the train where I have just straightened my back, which in return has made me confident and smiling and feeling lovingly towards the sleeping man across from me.
Then, turning my smile to the view ahead of me, I take a fresh swig of water.
Despite the vast problems in my life, I feel I’ve struggled relatively little.
There is nothing I care more about than what I’m doing right now.
One day, I’m going to write a whole book just about drinking water.