final dispatch from the city of angels

Friends! Coming to you live from FEELS CENTRAL over here, sitting on the floor in a partially packed-up apartment, trying to stay focused and not get overwhelmed by all the thinks I'm thoughting about 12 years in LA. The good, the bad. The friends, the boyfriends. The wins, the losses. Every experience that has been so formative and added up to Ellie circa 2021. 

There've been some snags. My work doesn't like my birth certificate (original with the seal and everything), so the backup plan for that would be to use my SS card for onboarding. Don't have one, and the Social Security administration doesn't want to issue me a replacement without me sending them my driver's license, because they won't grant me an in-person appointment. But I need the license to get on the plane Friday night, because my passport expired last year, and the passport office is only granting expedited renewals in cases of immediate international travel.

Originally my work had given me a start date of December 31st, but when I let them know I'd be in Chicago by Saturday, they asked if I could come in Tuesday, because my boss (who's based on the east coast) can only spare three days to train me before he has other stuff to do. I was totally down and ready, but now it's questionable if they'll even let me start without the proper docs.

Social Security sent me a printout pairing my name to my social, which they say should be sufficient for my work--but my work is saying no to that. They want either the actual card or at least a tracking number verifying it's on the way. But again: I can't submit for a replacement without surrendering my license for a week or so. I've also sent off for a certified version of my birth certificate that will show as a government-issued (mine just has the hospital on it), but that's a 4-5 week turnaround. 

All this to say that I may have more time to get settled and explore before starting my new job. Which would be just fine by me (though yes, I should probably get to earning again ASAP).

In the meantime, I'm having a blast doing fun errands and tasks like getting knit cuffs sewn into my favorite puffer for better warmth, having some dress pants I've never had an opportunity to wear hemmed, and picking out superwarm lined winter boots and office-appropriate work tops in what is undeniably a justifiable wee shopping spree. 

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I went down to San Diego for a night to see Steve and it was an insanely fun time of nonstop laughs as always. At one point we were absolutely untethered on shrooms, sitting streetside at an Irish bar downtown, people watching and gulping air and trying to stay in the correct dimension but also feeling safe to peace out of it as necessary. Steve was messing around on my Insta looking at my stories, and he noticed a follower of mine who a) only follows me, and b) has never posted a single photo.

Now, I don't really pay attention my IG stuff, I gave up looking to see if any of my ex's were watching months ago, because they weren't, and who cares anyway. So I don't really give a shit if someone wants to creep on my account with a fake name or whatever is happening there. It doesn't affect me, and that's their time and energy. That's on them. But Steve lost it. Maybe it was the shrooms, but he simultaneously found it highly disturbing and incredibly hilarious. 

So he conceives this genius idea (granted, all ideas are genius on shrooms) for me to screenshot this rando's account, showing myself as their only follow, caption it just "Who dis?", and add it to my story. Just straight up call this person out. And since this person watches all of my stories, we would then get to see, in real time, this person seeing themselves called out. We'd then get to see what they decided to do next: unfollow, maybe? Delete their account? DM me and come clean? It was a whole digital adventure we could undertake, and when I say it struck us as the funniest thing that we have ever done, I mean it was the funniest goddamn thing we have ever done.

And oh god is that a high bar.

We nearly fell out of our seats. I couldn't breathe. I just kept falling onto him laughing. Far and away the hardest I have ever laughed in my life has been on shrooms. The two hardest times prior were both on St. Patrick's Day: once with Terence and once with Costa. 

This surpassed those, even.

So I posted it, and we carried on with the night. But every few minutes Steve would yell "WHO DIS!" and we would bust up all over again, then check the views under that story. The idea of this person's face when they finally saw it--I cannot tell you how funny this struck us. Maybe the moment doesn't translate. Or maybe you can kind of get it it. Either way, holy shit. Funnest night ever. 

Eventually toward the end of my trip I started to feel a little uncomfortable about it, and I pulled the story board. For one thing, I don't want to give the incorrect impression that I really look at that stuff much, because I rarely do. For another, I don't care if someone wants to lurk. Lurk away. It doesn't affect me in any way. Flattered to think someone finds me that interesting, or needs to keep tabs on me secretly. Big whatever.

Anyway. San Diego was everything I could hope for in a send off and more. Fucking love that guy. I made a few collages for my story (we have so many pics I could have made another five of these):


And here we are late Saturday night, in the ridiculous bar we finished the night at:



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I had a suuuuuppper weird, thankfully brief, and ultimately validating interaction with someone exhibiting clear signs of a personality disorder. In fact this was my second ever encounter with a real life narc. And because of my traumatic previous experience with one severel years ago, I know a TON about narcissistic behaviors. We're talking volumes of articles read and videos watched over the years; narcs fascinate me in the way some people are really into serial killers. I know all the terminology: supply, injury, rage, discarding, hoovering, grey rock, etc. 

I didn't catch on at first, despite red flags manifesting as multiple bizarre and mildly aggro comments. I came at it from an extremely chill and confident place, knowing I had zero emotion invested. And that turned out to be the key: the fact that Ellie 2021 is pretty well insulated by self-love and can take or leave anyone who doesn't meet her standards, whereas Ellie 2012 was extremely vulnerable due to shit poor self-esteem.

I got to witness the whole cycle:

1. This person violated me in a way that showed a complete lack of compassion/empathy. Textbook narc behavior. I'm pretty sure this was done vindictively, to get back at me, for a perceived injury. 

2. I criticized this person for that poor behavior. This is the ultimate no-no to a narc. Narcs cannot abide criticism. 

3. This person spent some time obviously privately raging.

4. This person tried to inflict revenge on me, in the most transparent and truly pathetic attempt to wound me psychologically. Specifically, they took some personal things they know about me and tried to use them against me. 

But because it was so grossly ham fisted and obvious, it ended up being kind of hilarious (shared with friends, obvs). This person should have been much more subtle in their attempt to mess with me. But they went all in, and it was way too try-hard. And because this person had known me for about five minutes at this point, their big screed just made them look crazy. No normal person would ever say so much to someone they barely know. Total flag farm, and it was like Lol wat. Fool, I see you what you're doin from a mile off. Not interested. 

Delete, block, done.

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I know I promised a third and final installment of my Dreamstate story, but darlings, it's not gonna happen. I'm sorry. I need to move on. Suffice to say the evening ended incredibly, in the arms of an amazingly smart, sexy, funny, and humble man named Amit. Quick epilogue:

Amit and I connected in the final hours of the festival. After clearly, verbally communicating our mutual attraction, we basically decided Let's do this. We detached from the rest of the group and sat down in the middle of a crazy, chaotic rave to get to know one another in the limited, deadlined, but strangely deep way you can at a festival, if you want to. I put my legs across his and we inched together, talking low in one another's ears over the pounding trance. Within minutes the clicking that we'd already experienced became dimensional, as we revealed things about our emotional and intellectual life that made it clear we were simpatico in a very fucking cool way. Really good stuff.

Eventually he asked if he could kiss me. I immediately asked for another. And we were off. Foreheads together for an hour, asking one another questions in between kisses and laughter. We were both 100% sober, without a drop or a dose in us.

We left the enclosed stage and wandered together, stopping to connect physically in the middle of the grounds for a few moments before settling in to watch another set. All the while grinning at the other like grateful idiots. All the while knowing the timer was winding down.

It was just the best.

A couple days later he thanked me for being the highlight of his festival. I let him know he'd been mine too. They don't play out like that every time, that is for sure. One for the books.

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Gonna be go time around here in a minute. Final stages of packing, scurrying to wrap up loose ends and figure out logistics. Then a late flight and finally: touch down in the winter wonderland that is about to be my new home. Might be several days before I'm able to blog again--but as always, I am storying the shit out of everything, so catch me on IG.

Thanks to all of you who've been reaching out with support and encouragement, still reading here after all these years. It just means the whole world to me, and I'm honored to take you with me east, north, and down a few degrees in temperature.

See you soon, next time from the windy city. It's gonna be so fucking great.