After L.A., I went to San Francisco to stay with my aunt and uncle. I like staying there. They have a garden filled with herbs, tomatoes, and citrus and fig plants; chickens in the backyard; a cat named Sasha; and six-month-old daughter named Brisen. Being around babies usually makes me feel like I’m about to say goodbye to my last meal, but I’m getting more used to them. Maybe it’s just because Brisen is so effing cute. She’s totally chill AND she can blow massive spit bubbles.

After sleeping through my first day there, I got to go to the California Academy of Sciences. My uncle and I went to see the new earthquake exhibit, which was TOTALLY LAME. They just had some rocks and this room that shook a little. Standing in the room was comparable to standing on top of a washing machine on its gentlest cycle. Boring, snoring. However, fish are always cool, so we moseyed around the aquarium before getting burritos for lunch. The most important thing that happened to me that day, though, was that I got this ice cream with BACON IN IT. I’m a different person, I swear.

The next day, we all went to see a Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit that BLEW MY MIND. They had these mannequins that sang and talked and sighed. They were so freaky and mesmerizing. While I was looking at the corsets Madonna wore, this old guy was all, “You’d look good in one of those.” FUCK NO, DUDE. I let out a loud “EW” and ran to the next part of the exhibit. He totally skeeved me out and made me angry. Just let me look at the most beautiful clothing I’ve ever seen in my life in peace.

The last night of my trip, I stayed with Dylan in Oakland. We hung out in her apartment, got tacos and burritos for dinner, and walked around a nearby lake. At her apartment, we flipped through photos of everyone in L.A. on Facebook, ate cupcakes, and watched Workaholics before falling asleep to the sounds of the nearby freeway.

Leaving was weird. We talked too long the next morning, making us both have to rush. Dylan had to take off on her bike to make it to work at 12:15, and I had to get back to San Francisco in time to pack and then catch a plane at 3:00. As she rode off, she shouted back at me, “Maybe I’ll see you again.” I laughed and was like, “Yeah, maybe.” That was kind of how I felt leaving L.A. Maybe I’d get to come back. Maybe I’d get to see some of these people again. Maybe, one day, I’d find people as incredible as this and a place where I felt like even the pavement was alive.

I’m home now. I feel strange. I don’t belong here anymore. I move out of my house and into a dorm in less than two weeks. But I don’t think I’ll belong there, either. It might be a long time before I find somewhere that feels like home. ♦