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  • A week ago, I set out on a road trip to say goodbye. To say goodbye to friends; to say goodbye to friends; However, to be quite honest, I have set out to say goodbye to the US of A. People say that if I don’t love it, I should leave it. I agree. There is no anger in this. Like the end of a bad relationship with a good person, something about the dynamic just doesn’t work. Simply time to cut the tie.

    Tomorrow will be the first of May. Tomorrow many Americans will occupy. I won’t be. I will be in San Luis Obispo, one of my favorite places in the States. I am not the only one. SLO has been voted the Happiest Place to Live from coast to coast.

    Why? I can’t speak for the others, but for me, I suspect it has something to do with SLO being so successfully gentrified. There are no cash checking places in downtown SLO; however, there is an Apple Store just behind the Barnes and Noble. There are no stadium theaters here showing Shoot the Fuck Out of Joe Part 43; however, the Palm Theater offers contemplation on the effects of trauma of some French kid in Le Gamin au Vélo. There are no billboards promising me a college degree in just 90 days; however, there is a real live college right up the road and in the actual independent coffee shops (they still exist in places like this) here, there are real live students studying rather than panhandling wannabes. Tomorrow while the others occupy, SLO is where I’ll be.

    What will I do? I will work on my abs with the rest of my tribe. That’s what I did today. Some guy at the local coffee shop mentioned something about a gym that did day passes. He noticed that I needed a gym with a shower and a good bidet. I followed his directions and there I was, a gym that flew the gentry flag: beige, green and burgundy. Inside, I bought my day pass, which included a slice of chipotle, gluten free pizza slice. I swam in a salt-water pool because the gentry don’t believe in cholorinated hair. Then, I steamed, showered and yes, the world is a better place, I bideted. When I was done, I began to prepare my gentry attire although I was considering staying for the Zumba Then Appletinis class at four.

    A string of little girls began to occupy the dressing room. First day of Swim Club is what I heard over and over again. Gents in training. At one point, I turned from my mirror to see a girl about seven with her back towards the mirror and her head over her shoulder. She had a horrified look on her Nordic face. Her mother approached her.

    The little girl yelled,
    “I have such an embarrassing freckle!”

    Her mother shooed her and said underneath her breath,
    “Don’t worry, dear. We’ll take care of that.”

    I looked at the floor. I looked in the mirror. I am an American in the Happiest Place to Live.

    Before I was in SLO, I was in Oakland CA walking through a park and some dude on a bike handed me a flyer. The flyer was about the May Day General Strike and part of this protest will be in regards to the gentry. Americans are unhappy; They are taking to the streets. I won’t. They hope. I don’t.

    I will be steaming and whirlpooling in a gym and listening to how the gentry raises their young. This is the world in which I was raised, a world where a little girl hates herself over a freckle.

    Many people will occupy the streets while I wander and wonder what occupies my heart. This is why I am on the road to say goodbye for awhile to the US of A. There is something I need to figure out.
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