find celeste here
Our date ended with me dropping her off at the station so she could make it to work. She currently works three jobs. Moments before she kissed me on the cheek goodbye, we had spent a total of ten minutes in the car driving from Dolores Park. I swerved between cop cars and ambulances, dodging teenage tourists.
I turned down my music’s volume when I realized she was crying in my passenger seat reflecting on how she was born and raised on 16th Street. Yet, this district forced her to move out to the Central Valley for most of her adolescence. She cried harder when she told me the $800 one bedroom one bath raised to $3,000 a month. She cried even harder when the new Russian landlord told her that she didn’t belong. Yet, this shit ain’t new to kids of color.
Between the two of us we work five jobs, and wonder when our college degrees will ever equate to a stable income. We splurge on sweet iced coffee and dates to art museums after paying rent. She grabs my knees when we laugh, and we always laugh until we both smudge our winged eyeliner. We hold the communities we serve close while riding out seasons of creative ruts and episodic depression.
I hope our love isn’t like gentrification. I never want to push her away. If either of us needs to leave, let it be not forceful.