Every time someone comments on my necklace I get all warm and fuzzy. There’s a very good reason, too, and it’s also the reason I don’t remove it unless absolutely necessary (you know, MRIs and such). In fact, people who see me or my pics on a regular basis notice that I’ve been wearing it constantly for the last three years because it is a reminder of my Best Birthday Ever.
Three years ago, I turned thirty. With my history of mental illness and cardiovascular disease, I consider every month I’m alive to be another victory so age to me is a fist pump waiting to happen at midnight on Darwin’s birthday. Thirty’s still a milestone, though, and I had plans to go home to Texas and visit my family.
Then I thought to myself “why? All they do is cause me stress and the only people I’m interested in seeing are RJ and my Dad.” Knowing that RJ would rather come see me in Chicago anyway, I called up the Dad in question and asked his opinion. The Dad is an old hippie and his attitude toward every one of my odd life decisions is “do what makes you happy.” So after a brief consultation with my beloved gay boyfriend Mr. FLF, I made my decision: I was going to turn thirty in San Francisco.
I had never been to California, so with the exception of flying across the country it was pretty exciting. I do not care for flying; it is terrifying and one time when I took a sedative some dude groped me. This flight was pretty okay and I made it to San Francisco without incident, checked into my hotel where Mr. FLF had left me a bag o’ goodies that included healthy snacks and gay porn mags. He knows me so well.
When I finally met him offline for the first time, it was a squeeful affair and we bonded over massive peanut butter cups, soy cocoa, stoners and sea lions. Then I got to sleep and woke up just in time for the start of the Best. Birthday. Ever.
First thing, he took me to the Blue Dot for zucchini french toast (which we didn’t get, boo!) and presented me with that beautiful necklace from The Pretty Peacock. The Sanskrit on it reads “Abhaya,” which means “Fearlessness.” At the time I was living on my own for the first time ever in a huge city with no family, and this was his way of reminding me of how strong I was even when he wasn’t there to tell me. Then he took me to a spa where I got a massage from a really hot tattooed girl, then to the Cathedral, then to Japan Town for some of the best okonomiyaki I’ve had since I was in Japan. After buying a metric asston of manga at Kinokuniya, we went back to my hotel and I changed to go for Indian food with Mr. FLF’s ex. Once we were stuffed, we went to the movies and rounded the night off with a walk by the bay and more soy cocoa. I went to bed happier than I believe I had ever been, a year older and certainly more content.
The rest of the trip was just as magical, and I was sad to leave. However, I still have a little piece of Mr. FLF that reminds me every single day that I am a strong, fearless woman who is loved. So whenever anyone comments on my necklace, I tell them that it was a birthday gift and that I never take it off. If they ask why, I immediately start The Story and reveal to everyone that yes, I do in fact enjoy gay porn.
I’ll leave it up to you what you take from that.