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I discovered a web site called Turn Here: Short Films, Cool Places. The places are SF, NYC, and LA. I found a 4 minute film on my neighborhood and was surprised to find out that Divisadero–one block down from me and a main street here in SF–is called ‘D Street’ in the film. I consider myself a Bay Area native and I’ve lived in the city for years, but never ever have I heard Divis referred to as D Street. That’s news to me. I think the film tried to ghetto-ize my hood more than it truly is. Nevertheless, it’s kinda cool that I can now direct people to a film about the area I live in, Western Addition. Check it out. The website overall is good, too.
I love celebrating my birthday. It’s not just my birthday; June turns into my birthday month! Birthday month was a little more evident this year given the compression of recent events. My best friend got married the day before my birthday. My birthday fell on Father’s Day. My sister, brother-in-law, and the baby came up from LA for the week. I was a little miffed that my actual birthday was overshadowed this year.
I did throw a birthday / housewarming party at my place yesterday night–less than one week after my June 18th birthday. It was the first time I had ever invited anyone over since I bought it more than a year ago. I enjoyed seeing my various circle of friends (high school, college, and work) altogether in my home. Thanks to all who showed up.
And presents…I love presents! Lots of cookbooks and cooking utensils. Thanks people. I think I get the point!
I will learn to cook. Cooking is good.
More birthday celebrations to come. Birthday month is still going strong. Dinner with co-workers tomorrow. Drinks with a friend the next night.
Then a succession of departures and trips to the airport. My boyfriend leaves for Amsterdam Thursday morning. That night, I’m picking Daniel and Chavonta up from their honeymoon trip to Hawaii. Joy leaves for Paris on Friday for a month. Marc leaves for Barcelona on Saturday for a month.
Three Departures and a Wedding. Rehearsal and dinner on Friday. Steph gets married on Saturday, July 1st. Two best friends married within two weeks of each other. With my birthday month, the summer is off to a great start!
When the dentist told me I had four cavities, I didn’t believe her. I know I eat a lot of chocolate chip cookies, but I also brush my teeth religiously. She thinks the root cause may be the grinding of my teeth every night. I guess I’m chomping away at those chocolate chip cookies even in my dreams. My gums are receding as a result; gaps are growing in-between my teeth and the gums. Particles got embedded and, despite the brushing, have inevitably led to FOUR CAVITIES. Ugh. I don’t think insurance covers cavities. I’ve got a mortage and student loans. I can’t afford cavities. I don’t remember the last time I had a cavity. It must have been back in the day when I never saw any bills and they went straight to Mom’s expenditures…along with the four embarrassing years of braces.
The dentist took care of two of the smaller cavities two weeks ago when I had my cleaning. She saved the two big ones for today. I’m usually not a baby when it comes to pain. I like to think I can take it like a man, but I was a complete whimperer today. With a Q-tip, she rubbed numbing gel on my lower left gum and my upper right gum–opposite sides of my mouth. Then she took out this super long hypodermic needle. As she forced the anesthesia into my gums, I clutched the sides of my chair and whimpered.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I know, the gums are sensitive.” While she continued to inject the serum and I continued to feel the pain, I kept wondering if this was necessary. What if she simply filled the cavity…no anesthesia. How bad could it be?
I dosed while she worked away, filling the two cavities. I thought the worst was over after the injections. Not so. When she was all done, she filled a dixie cup with mouthwash and let me rinse off. My mouth, lips, and face were numb. I tilted my head to fill my mouth with the mouthwash. I pursed my lips together to swoosh the mouthwash and release it into the basin, but missed entirely. A mouthful of mouthwash landed smack in the middle of the mirror. I was shocked; I had lost control of my mouth movements. I tried again. This time, I concentrated and aimed directly for the basin. No go. Straight into the mirror. I wiped my face and looked around to make sure no one was watching me make a mess.
The dentist came to get me and escorted me to the reception area. “It will take about an hour or more for the numbness to completely go away.”
I conversed with the receptionist about scheduling a consultation with the doctor for a night guard, but my words were smooshed. My lips were restrained. I couldn’t move them properly. The bottom left half of my mouth moved while the rest of my lips didn’t. This is what Mary Jo Buttafuoco must’ve been like after Amy Fisher shot her because Amy was having an affair with her husband Joey.
The numbing sensation took between two to three hours to go away. Just in time for another chocolate chip cookie.
All I can think about right now—on the eve of my best friend’s wedding—is how blessed I am to have befriended Daniel.
I’ve known Daniel since high school. We were in the same homeroom, and took similar classes as most honor students do. In a private Catholic school of 400 and a class of 100, you end up knowing everyone. Contrary to what I hear from others and their high school experiences, I had a pretty good one. We had a tight-knit class. It was diverse, too (parsed out almost 25% evenly among Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Mexicans). Daniel and I weren’t the best of friends then. I was close to my friends in student council; we spent a lot of time planning school events and going on weekend ski trips with our kooky student council advisor / Math teacher. And I couldn’t help but be friends with my school arch-nemesis, Marc, who one-upped me on everything. Through the years, there was always a competitive streak between us. I brought him into my startup and he ended up going to one of our customers at double our salary! We’re not competitive anymore. Marc and I support each other more than anything. A gay single guy and a single girl trying to find love in this lovelorn city.
Daniel and I both got in to Berkeley. It was a new life for me—even though I was so close to home. Because we weren’t close friends in high school, I lost track of him. I bumped into him one day on the way home from a burrito joint. I was holding half of my uneaten burrito wrapped in tin foil. I was happy to see him and offered him my leftovers. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a nice gesture when you’re a poor starving college student. He gladly took it and from that point on, our friendship grew. He’d have me over, and make dinner. I’d have him over; we’d study, then get something to eat.
All the moments are blurring together in my mind now. I’ve spent so much time with him: skiing, hiking, going out to eat. I always paid for him when he was in law school. And when he came out to visit me when I was in school in Chicago, everything was his treat.
Those who’ve met him would most likely characterize him as reserved—which he is. That’s why I feel so lucky to be his friend. Because when you get to know him, you realize how much integrity he has, how loyal he is, how he always seems to do the right thing. He’s a true gentleman—opens doors, gladly offers his jacket. He is the best listener…ever…I can’t stress that enough. I think about the times when I’ve been at my worst, inconsolable on the phone. And then he’d be there…knocking on my door, offering me his shoulder to cry on. Daniel is the most outstanding person I know. I’m proud to be a member of his wedding party and I wish him and Chavonta the very best.