As it turned out, we were both headed to San Francisco for the summer. I was working at Wired, and we ended up living with Jonathan Steuer. My work was more important than it ever had been, fantastic things were happening to me. She was not interested in sharing them, she was rather alienated by the entire Wired experience. She lead a distinctly non-wired life, and found the tech talk stifling, the work politics tiring.
I had found her boundaries, begun to discover her depression. Most people vacillate between happiness and sadness. Chandra was accelerated, extreme. She was the most sensitive person I had ever been around. She was constantly absorbing group energy, interpriting it, and wincing under its weight. My fearlessness became insensitivity.Chandra loved the Velvet Underground with a passion. Lou Reed's voice was synonymous with sexuality.We agreed that she was an old soul; she was fond of saying I was young.
During our summer together, we listened to an enormous amount of Ice Cube. Her favourite song was the scathing Cave Bitch, Ice Cube's invective against siren white women.
It was her twentieth birthday on July fourth. Her mom and I, at my suggestion, and against mom's slight protestations, planned a surprise party at a Thai restaurant in Berkeley. Chandra doesn't have a broad circle of friends, but we found a few from her past that were around, and coupled with relatives and family friends, we had a decent showing for a mellow surprise soiree.
She had told me she didn't like parties, and resented me for putting that one together. I thought I was vindicated because she seemed to have a good time. She felt trapped, completely betrayed. She hated it.
We did have quite a few cooking adventures - making vVietnamese Bo Nun Vi (beef wrapped in rice paper) and shrimp tempura, where I found myself whacking noodles with a butcher knife sending fragments everywhere.
August was worse trepidation...
chandra | swat | life
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