Tag Archives: tea

selections from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

“It’s only possible to betray where loyalty is due,” said Sandy. Continue reading

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honey, he’s a friend of mine

four Mexican beers down the hatch and not a single BART train left to catch.

on the long bus and walk home, stoned inspiration strikes my skull. it’s already 0300, but nothing can stop me. up and down the stairs, skulking through the hallways, dragging black monolith speakers, assembling the altar, feeding cables electricity, executing my addled genius silent as a mouse.

i jerk off and pass out.

in the morning, i check my phone in a bleary panic. 0900. i fall back asleep for a couple minutes and then check my phone again. 1100.

blended black tea dressed with a teaspoon of orange blossom honey and the slightest splash of half and half. that’s real fancy talk for a little drug called caffeine. my roommate partakes, and the music starts. breakfast consists of defrosted hash browns, fried eggs, and pork so good it must’ve come from the devil’s factory. Xanthe and i clink our mimosa flutes and chow down while watching Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise take turns playing Thalia and Melpomene.

Cameron arrives looking hungover or depressed or both. i think nothing of it. the music goes on, the champagne flows. Ted is dead.

i never met Ted. i hug Cameron. i hold him. i don’t know what to say. i never met Ted even though Cameron insisted a hundred times that it needed to happen. i don’t know what to say. i wait for Cameron to say something, but he is stunned. he is a cauldron of emotion. i turn the music down or let it stop or something. i don’t know what to do or say. there is nothing to do or say. we drink.

the music returns. Cameron requests a dirge, so i let Entrance sing them Grim Reaper Blues. but i’m left by myself, so i scream and jump and play air guitar oblivious to the fact and consequence of death. i am dust.

Shannon. Lizz. Nico. Neko? Niko? Nico. Chris. Mark. Natalie. old friends, newer friends, lovers, sometime-lovers, one-time-lovers, all-time-lovers, all family, all drunk fucks.

my cousin hops on the decks and starts slinging cocaine funk delivered straight from the Rick James estate. it is 1980something, the snares reverberate, and disillusion is making itself incredibly comfortable. you can hear it in their voices. you can hear JoJo and Cheri and Candi and Maxi and Prince Rogers and Trent and Dave and Martin and Joshua and Charles, they all sound so coked up and dead. death. there’s that grim reaper again. where the fuck is Cameron? sobbing on the edge of my bed, locked up in my bedroom. on and off the phone. who is he talking to? margarita. big beer. drinking, so much drinking.

let the Golden Age begin. bleego hops on the decks and sonically programs artificial intelligence. it’s weird. on tv, Ziggy Stardust says good night mere moments before a bunch of space cadet apes wake up in the middle of bone-dry Africa. ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space.

how many pop culture references can i make before my writing becomes as worthless as the tobacco in a swisher sweet?

as the sun sets, i continue force-feeding everyone pop muzik, and then suddenly turn the music down low on a couple of whacked out loops to ask nobody in particular how long i could leave the loops loopingly looping looping looping looping looping looping looping looping until we all went crazy. somebody said something. something drinking something. and so i blast Kylie Minogue for a swan song.

power everything off! with tons of friends still partying, i say a thousand goodbyes and then fly away. best way to end a house party.

K to the Castro, two double illy espressos, and my love and i are back in the game. first up: dinner and drinks for her sister’s 21st birthday. Abigail rolls in wearing a sash like she’s in a beauty pageant and a face guaranteed to win it. radiant beauty of a birthday girl, she flutters around her long table of friends chatting about nothing and deflecting as many fireballs as she can.

sushi sake sushi sake sushi sake sushi sake sushi. that’s five sushi for every letter in the word “sushi” and four sake for every letter in the word “sake.” words words words words words.

the several hundred dollar bill settled, the crew bubbles around Kim “Abi” Kardashian as we make our way up Market toward extensive tracts of heavily eroded, uncultivable land with little vegetation. just kidding, we went to badlands. i withdrew $60 only to spend $50 instantly at the club on three entries (Abi, Natalie, me), three drinks (adios motherfucker for Abi and whiskey for Natalie and me), and then three more drinks (long island ice teas for the three of us). obviously we had not been drinking enough yet.

goodbye Castro, hello Cameron. he wanted love. Ted is dead. to Oakland then. goodbye Natalie. she storms off in a drunk, silent fit. i shrug.

down down Market.

stumbling drunk ass fuck into It’s Tops Coffee Shop, completely deserted except for the token pretty white girl waitress in her stupid 50s pink waitress dress. i drunkenly foam at the mouth some incoherence that amounts to “may i please just have a cup of coffee?” to which she responds by swinging ’round the counter and pouring out dregs of mud from both pitchers—the caffeinated and non caffeinated. in between drunken swallows, i murmur some philosophical question at her, but she’s tired and wants to go home, and that’s exactly how she answers. i understand, down the rest of the mud, and fly out the door.

down down Market.

i convince a cabbie to drive me to Civic Center so i can catch the last train east. so aware, so alive, i bolt out the doors onto 12th St. in Oakland, drunkenly rushing up the escalator and eating shit, scraping my stomach and foot (i discover later). i look around to see how embarrassed i should feel, but the lady behind me wears a face that says, “i’m just tired and want to go home,” so i shrug, pick myself up, and bolt anew. i race the two and whatever miles to Cameron’s house with cool Miles jazz billowing from the phone in my front pocket; i’m like a man on the run in a black & white French New Wave film from the 60s.

at the house, hugs and laughter and death and comfort and… guess what? more drinking! because, i must repeat myself, again, obviously: we had not been drinking enough. fernet and coke and tequila and non-vegetarian Chinese food and Courtney on guitar and sleep.

in the drunken haze of morning, i squeeze Courtney’s boob and immediately pull my hand back while apologizing. she laugh. i don’t feel too good about it. but then i wash a household of dishes and sweep the floor while Cameron details the stove. and when i fail to find a dustpan, i simply crouch down, scoop the pile of dust and kitchen debris with my hands, and throw it away. Cameron laughs, calling it the most humble thing he’s seen in years. i feel good about it.

a few moments later, we’re suspended like the helicopter string quartet between peace, humility, suffering, and passion.

“this is the worst one,” he says, “the worst death. i like nothing about this one.”

he wants to cry so badly but has already sobbed so much and the sobbing had solved nothing. i fight back laughter because the minute leading before we’d been saying some really silly, funny things and just roaring laughing. the giggles honor not even death. Continue reading

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winter solstice party

in the evening, we stood amidst the bright kitchen and living room lights, sipping on brandy-spiked punch and catching up on all the mediocre unchanged past and infinite, unpredictable future. experiencing slight hunger pangs, many of us slathered fancy spreads on crackers, wrapped up cheeses in smoked salmon, and scarfed down open-face salami sandwiches smeared w dijon mustard. ’twas a veritable banquet!

the middle-aged and beyond were out in full force, making polite conversation and liking each others’ pages on facebook and roping me in to make sure they’d done so correctly. yeah yeah looks fine, i said, not very politely.

as midnight approached, the old people got sleepy and began to slip out.

midnight past, Adam, Cameron, and i stripped down to nothing and hopped in the hot tub. suddenly everything felt more real. Cameron let flee a shriek, and then immediately apologized to Adam for disrupting the suburban peace. it was okay.

over the next hour or two, the three of us bobbed like choice cutlets in the soup, sipping on our brandy punch, puffing on Cameron’s gift of a spliff, and waxing poetic about life, the evolution of humanity, and the universe. past and future worlds swirled through our minds, whirled and twirled through our half-articulate gesticulations. Cameron’s clouds of Venus encapsulated my interstellar agriculture to the point where Adam’s hands grew thick with the soil of the probability of intelligent life forming out of the nothingness that Cameron considered himself when he thought about how he’d lost his job even though i was going to do the exact same thing except intentionally and maybe we should shut up and learn or thing or two about intention from Adam who had unknowingly convinced Morgan to return to school to learn graphic design at the ripe old age of, what are we, 26? golden.

with the night getting late, Cameron and i cruised down the freeway without a care in the world. the only thing he cared about was making his 0600 flight and, quite frankly, it didn’t look like sleep was part of that plan. so at the last minute i veered toward 280 instead of 101, opting for the slower, scenic route. little did i know about the fog’s return. the fog, my old and familiar friend, slunk its heavy wet body across the entire width and length of 280, putting a quiet damper on my desire to be a speed demon. but that was fine; as i said, we were in no rush.

thinking along those same lines, i turned and asked Cameron if he’d like to go to the beach. affirmative.

so once again, at the last moment, i veered toward Skyline Blvd. the speed limit dropped 15 MPH, but the fog grew thicker. thick, thick, thicker still. every mile we advanced, the blank white sheet pulled closer to the windshield… until i couldn’t see more than a few feet of line dividers in front of the car. rain had threatened and teased and attempted, until finally it teamed up with the fog to make the worst possible driving conditions. it was definitely one of those moments where you’re too scared to keep driving but too scared to stop so you just slow down a bit because that feels like a happy medium.

eventually, we arrived at Fort Funston. i quickly confessed to Cameron that it had been my makeout spot since high school. just needed to get that out of the way. also, i needed an excuse to make homoerotic jokes. obviously.

the rain had stopped for the time being, so we only strolled through heavy fog as we mounted the Fort. at the top, unfortunately, we discovered Battery Davis completely flooded. damn shame, because right behind the flood was the entry to my favorite spot in the universe, a precarious little shelf of sand right on the precipitous of the cliff, overlooking the vast and beautiful Pacific Ocean. no matter. we ventured south, briefly encountering some “mizzle,” or what Cameron was calling mist and drizzle and orgasming all over about. the crashes of the sea grew louder and louder until, at last, we gazed at its infinite body. in the mizzle, it truly looked infinite: its waves whitening into sandy banks while its southern, western, and northern extremities faded into black fog, grey night. and yet, we perceived through our peripheral vision tiny dots of light poking through the hazy sheet. as the fog gradually lightened, we became increasingly aware that the bright light to the south was a lighthouse, while the line of lights to the west and north were a highway of shipping vessels separated by inconceivable distances on the vast sea’s surface. it was truly sublime.

we breathed in deep many, many times in silence, staring.

when it was time to go, we went. back the way we came, back to the car, the short ride back to my place, up the stairs, kettle on. i cooked up some buttery popcorn and served us a couple honey-dipped black teas. cozy. before the sun could threaten to rise, i drove Cameron to the airport, tried (and failed) to wake up Natalie for early morning snuggles, and returned to my own bed to pass… the fuck… out.

bless the solstice. Continue reading

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selections from Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

HANNAH: ‘I had a dream which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air . . .’ (79) Continue reading

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Wasted Cinders

we’re just doing, not being. Continue reading

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walking birds in stereo

two channels of life’s transmission traveling
3000 miles across America in stereophonic sound—

two of hearts, one infinitesimal diamond
walking along the country’s deep black grooves

dreaming, “rhythm is rhythm—rhythm is life—
music is zen—systems, strife.” day

and night, sometimes skipping, sometimes
losing the beat but losing it together

and then finding it together on the b-side
of the same thought, not a measure too soon. Continue reading

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Paris · Farningham · London · Amsterdam

~ 0 ~
horrible traffic
in n out
4-hour delay
“this is the worst airline ever”
chili’s out of salad and Mexican food
geographically challenged hostess
know your rights!
sleep? dreamy purple pinkish tint thereof
a moment in Oslo
Paris
nightmare on rue chaptal
Moulin Rouge

~ 1 ~
walk to espresso
Tour Eiffel
walk along the Seine
lunch in the Latin Quarter?
Notre Dame
espresso for the Louvre
kill in the garden
fancy ass French food
Arc de Triomphe
legs falling off
white wine and Lucky Strike

~ 2 ~
Père Lachaise
Indian at Chapelle
Musée d’Orsay
USA WINS 0-1
fancy ass fucking ave (dck sp + chkn brst)
farewell to the Seine
1-2-3!!! something something Algérie!!!

~ 3 ~
omelette complet at the Gare du Nord
Eurostar to Ebbsfleet
tea (twice) on the Tabsfield green
tomato basil, cheesy mushroom quiche, fresh strawberry creme brûlée, and a couple pints with the wedding party and co.
the cottage

~ 4 ~
fresh fruit, meat, a poached egg, and coffee
dressing for the wedding
Frost on the green
wedding at St Peter and St Paul’s Church
half Indian feast and dance (the Brits, the delicious Indian food, the champagne beer red and white wine, the light rain, and heavy dancing)
afterparty at the cottage

~ 5 ~
breakfast redux (hungover version)
football w Maya on the green
to London
appetizing Indian leftovers
The Tower
wandering in the rain
St. Paul’s
old fucking white egg-headed, perfectly circular black spectacle-wearing, pound-grubbing pieces of shit ushers guarding against pilgrims at the footsteps to the house of god
covent garden
pho
lazying and familying

~ 6 ~
waking up sans Natalie in a nasty mood
bacon on a roll
cold shower
Tate Modern
Eat.
The Globe
Parliament
Westminster
Evensong
Upminster then Whitechapel
ALG v GER

~ 7 ~
waking up w Natalie, happily
full English breakfast in Whitechapel
Natural History Museum
Kensington Gardens
fancy ass Indian food
£5 to the girl from Canada Macedonia CA
USA v BLG :(

~ 8 ~
scratched iris
mushroom omelette
nap to
Stonehenge
and nap from
Nando’s w David and Evelyn

~ 9 ~
to Amsterdam
grocery shopping
white wine
Concertgebouw
a spliff at Rookie’s
shoarma on the corner

~ 10 ~
homemade breakfast
double espresso
spliff on the diagonal green
Rijksmuseum
shopping, snacks in bed
Little Thai Prince
red light district
overpriced and pre-rolled
stoned wander home
ice cream

~ 11 ~
bacon breakfast
Blue Bird
Myrabelle, bartended by a more muscular and more feminine version of John Dwyer.
gluten-free crackers, goat cheese, smoked salmon, olives dripping in oil and basil, water, and wine
second Thai dinner
Vondelpark
Amstels all night at the cafe
NED v CRC

~ 12 ~
nightmare
check out
fresh fruit pancake across from Anne Frank
spliff on the green
Van Gogh Museum
rest in Vondelpark
walk
coffee
bus
plane
tube

~ 13 ~
tube
train
plane
Oslo
plane
Oakland
home? Continue reading

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orange?

exactly a month ago, on the 21st day of the third month of this year, i jotted down some quick notes for what would later be a complete blog post or poem:

vernal equinox

red wine

inch wide deep fried tacos full of chicken and love

too deep, still good

a lazy j

green tea for me, chamomile for her

death

i had spent the night before, on the date of the vernal equinox, with a little lover of mine. as we often do, we drank wine and enjoyed each other’s company in one of the most ancient activities: cooking and eating. she did most of the cooking, i did most of the eating. it was a beautiful, beautiful night, like so many others we spend together.

a month later, and the universe seems so different and so much the same. so different because the reality of a new Daft Punk album (itself exactly one month away) became so much more real with the official release of “Get Lucky.” so much the same because i’m still fueling my dance parties w Daft Punk. so different because “the perfect situation” has come to a head. so much the same because i don’t think it’s gone to my head.

my roommates and i (with special guests Micah and Allison) threw a party on friday. a crazy fucking party.

photo(1)

as far as i’m aware, this is the only photo of Micah and me that exists from the night. sums it up well.

leading up to the party, i thought about the party a lot. one, i doubted city people’s abilities to mobilize and get their asses out to a house situated in a residential neighborhood so far south i sometimes think i’m back home in daly city. two, i doubted digital people’s abilities to remember a party, unannounced on facebook, would actually be taking place.

fuck a doubt.

by happy hour, Micah and Allison were smoking and playing cards in the open garage. Cameron and i were upstairs causing a electric guitar drum racket. Chris and Brendan came over next, adding to the noise. fuck the noise, i said, so i started playing King Crimson. then James Brown. then Madonna. then some disco gold… but it may have been premature. 10 going on 15 people were sitting in a circle in the living room playing king’s cup, and i, the only one abstaining, was also the only one dancing. so i switched to the Clash. that’s when my entire family walked in… mom, dad, and the brothers. they mixed right into the party, actually successfully disbanding the stupid drinking game and turning it into a real hangout. my dad gifted my a bunch of bottles of liquor from the house, most of them near empty. (beggars can’t be choosers.) my mom throws a frozen lasagna into the oven. (i never see it again.) more and more people keep filing in. i find myself on the couch talking to Nick, and the subject of “Get Lucky” arises. we are thenceforth fucked, we decide to play it immediately. (in my mind, “immediately” starts at the end of the currently playing record.) Grayson walks up the stairs and i’m all smiles, telling him he’s arrived at just the right moment… if that Clash record will just finish. it finishes, and the first play of “Get Lucky” goes around. by the end of the night, taking into account the back-to-back plays around 0400, we probably listened to it six times. nobody ever complained… no, everybody just danced w glee. who complains when a classic song gets played again? i weave through Daft Punk’s older, deeper tracks, Michael Jackson, disco, disco, disco… and start feeling famished, mentally. Arianna subtly suggests taking over the djing and i happily oblige. always trust a girl who goes topless at parties. at one point, high and happy in the hallway, surrounded by strangers, i start melting into the walls ecstatic about the Motown (Diana Ross!) dance party happening in my living room, happening completely without my ever having touched the play button for that particular track. there ain’t nothing like curation. i can’t take it all in. too many beautiful faces. too many brilliant minds. so much long hair, so much style, so many glimmering, so many wild. squeeze me to sleep, so pleased. Continue reading

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highest point of innovation

in which the Hero returns from (the supposed) Continue reading

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Somewhere

administer precisely one bottle of Pinot noir, and
wake up

in a San Francisco childhood fever. smoking
a midnight spliff, your squeeze
blinks in the darkness at several stars twinkling
a midnight smile, your city
breathes in the ocean or a highway
Somewhere
where there is no Truth
words are fine, but green tea is love.

99.7 percent of the time, i drink her

short hair, get lost
for two bright eyes millennia
for chapped lips, tongue cure
for heaven pierced her breasts
for teething her waist, i cry
24 hour dripping flower, and bow
legs drop, little feet.

100 percent of the time, night passes.

all morning, Patti Smith,
breakfast feast bandages lost paradise
Patti Smith, double disc

spinning the downhill streets directionless
because they all have typos, we rediscover
sunny painted ladies stunned, we recline
grassy denim fleece supine, we remarkably
manage to once again nap, squeeze, kiss,
chronic. Continue reading

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