I’m rereading Cordelia Jensen’s Skyscraping because I spotted it at the library last week and it is still extremely wonderful.
This afternoon I read an article in a recent issue of GQ titled "In Praise of Being Washed" and as I ready myself for a Friday night spent on the sofa with my partner, our pups and whatever looks good on Netflix, my lower back sore from airplane travel, my near-term social schedule hampered by a self-imposed month of no alcohol, I'm finding it all too relatable.
On the drive to the restaurant, as the sun sets and the muscle pain sets in, I think about all the dumb Fridays in my life. High school: drugs. College: alcohol. Twenties: Let's not talk about what any of us did in our 20s. And now the dumb Fridays of my present arise in front of my windshield—all my flaws, my corny pastimes, the great things I've left undone and will never do. I listen to my golf clubs rattle gently in the trunk and am consumed with thoughts about how some other, younger version of myself would be so terribly disappointed at what I've become. But what I mostly think is: Damn, I wish I'd known about this earlier.
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.
Bevan, Leena, Marley, Sid and I just finished having dinner at The Lodge and now they're headed to The Warfield to see Tyler, The Creator do music and I'm headed home to FaceTime with my sister and sip tea on the couch.
Yes, I know that it's Halloween.
And yes, I am completely ashamed of myself.
I once knew how to Halloween. Honestly, I did. In those first years of post-college adulthood my friends and I would make our own costumes and attend a massive, messy bash or rent a trolley and ride around Chicago dancing and drinking while basking in the envy of everyone we passed. Sure, it's difficult to remember those days now, as the Spotify Autumn Acoustic station plays in the background and I make small talk with my dog while waiting for the rinse cycle to begin. But I do remember, I really do.
Mercifully, there were cameras way back then, back when I was fun, so let's take a moment to revisit a time before I gave up on my dreams...and myself.
Androgynous Glam Rocker
I was good.
Alright, mark my words, next year I am going BIG for Halloween. Probably. Maybe. Okay fine, we'll see. But just know that I was once a master of this crazy holiday. I, Corey Gerard Lambert, once knew how to Halloween.