Matthew and I took B out in the Castro to celebrate his latest trip around the sun tonight. Our first stop was Canela where the three of us gabbed and giggled while mainlining sangria and tapas. After that we hauled our slop-show to Botellón for post-dinner drinks. Now we're in a Lyft and B's regretting that third rosé slushie which means he had a v. good birthgay.
For the second time in four days I'm on the Caltrain heading south, though this time instead of making my to way San José to see Ed Sheeran and T. Swift with my peeps, I'm en route to Palo Alto for work all by lonesome.
Every time I take this train I’m reminded of interviewing for a job at Google in Mountain View when I was twenty-two years old. I'd originally applied for a role at Google in Chicago because that's where I was living at the time, but they thought I might be a good fit for an opening in California so they flew me out for a couple of rounds of interviews in July of 2007.
There was a convention going on in the Bay Area when I was scheduled to visit so all of the regular hotel rooms were booked and Google had to stick me in a suite. With all of that extra space I couldn't help but invite my then-roommate Matt to come with me. I was such a naive kid in those days (I'm so much wiser now) that I asked the recruiter if Matt could come have lunch with us in the cafeteria at the Googleplex during a break in my interviews one day and bless her heart she said yes. In the immortal and oh-so-wise words of my literary hero Joan Didion, “...was anyone ever so young?"
Of that visit West I also remember walking with Matt around AT&T Park (which I pass every day on my way to work now) and thinking how neat it would be to see a game there and celebrating the end of my two days of interviews with very many beers at Red Jack Saloon in North Beach where I played The Outfield’s "Your Love" on the jukebox more than I should've.
Even though I didn't take the job at Google and it would be another four years before I moved West, I think I knew back then that I'd end up here.
The social networking website Facebook reminded Matt, one of my closest friends since middle school, that today marks the two-year anniversary of one of our all-time favorite weekends together. Because he and the other dudes on my hometown text chain live in timezones east of mine, said text chain was buzzing with activity well before my alarm clock went off this morning and I may or may not have been a topic of conversation.
Had I been conscious at this point in the conversation I would've jumped in and completely denied Matt's "He peed in my trunk after this." allegation. Unfortunately, it wouldn't have mattered very much because even though Mike wasn't actually in attendance that weekend I facetimed him into the action because I missed him so much and he just so happened to have snapped (and kept) a screenshot of me doing exactly what Matt said I did.
I woke up right around the time that Mike's screenshot hit the chain and in my so very vulnerable state of being newly awake I owned up to what I did.
I'd like to note that I was actually evacuating my bladder into a bottle and not into Matt's bare trunk. Also, Laura looks pretty grossed out in that screenshot but I guess she wasn't quite grossed out enough to set the damn phone down. Lastly, based on his final comment, (a pretty large) part of me thinks that Mike might be kinda into water sports (and also gay).
One of my closest friends since the eighth grade was in town on business this week so we met up for a pre-flight brunch in the Castro this morning before B dropped us off at San Francisco International Airport a little while ago (Matt's headed back to Chicago and I'm headed to Palm Springs to watch tennis with Tommy) which is where I'm typing these words from.
Also, we got an update on our Patches girl this morning and I'll share it here when I'm less mimosa-buzzed slash at the risk of bawling in front of strangers.
"So you're moving on to bigger and better things, ay?" Bob the Landlord asked Roommate Matthew and I earlier this evening, his typically coarse tone grumbling in a more playful octave.
"I guess so," I told him, trying to downplay my excitement.
"Well, best of luck to you both," he offered.
"Thanks," we said.
"You can just leave the keys on the counter when you go," he told us. "I'll get 'em tomorrow."
After a brief pause, Bob the Landlord turned and made his way toward the back door off of the kitchen, outside of which is a staircase leading down to his apartment. Just as he was about to descend the steps, he paused, turned toward us and said, "I hope this place served a purpose."
As I stood with Roommate Matthew in our uncharacteristically clean kitchen for what I knew would be the last time, I nodded without saying anything. A moment later, Bob the Landlord was gone.
I stayed in the apartment for a while after Roommate Matthew left. I walked in and out of each of the rooms, fingering dents and scrapes that we'd created over the course of the past three and a half years. I used my iPhone to snap a few pictures and fought the urge to narrate a final video tour. When I finally collected enough strength to leave, I stopped in the doorway and stared into the darkness and thought about the last time I'd seen it this empty, when my parents and I toured it shortly after college graduation.
Again, Bob the Landlord's words popped into my head.
"I hope this place served a purpose."
Knowing it had, I smiled, reached for the handle on the door and pulled it closed.