I’m sorry, but this is going to be a mish mash of a million things that only came to light today in their totality and I’m a little shook so…just deal, ok? Pay close attention for bugs and the recurring day August 24th.
January 2016: I rang in 2016 in a mental hospital. My life was shit in 2015 and I’d attempted suicide on Christmas Day. By the time I’d gotten out of the ICU and into a mental hospital across the parking lot, I’d been off of this terrible drug Lunesta that had clouded my thoughts, stripped me of any personality, gave me Lupus-like symptoms and made me infertile.
I only asked for one thing going into the hospital and that was a book: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Don’t ask me why I wanted that book in particular; I just did.
I had a lot of time to think in that hospital. And read. I made friends there. And, in the absence of the mental fog caused by Lunesta, I was finally thinking clearly. I needed to write down everything I was seeing and feeling but you’re not allowed to use pens in mental hospitals. I wrote notes down in crayon in the margins of the book. Junot Diaz had sparked something in my mind and I suddenly had so much to express. The day I left the hospital, I was adieu’d by the women in the ward, who said they wanted to read my book when I got around to writing my story. I’d yet to write anything. I just had thoughts about writing.
I got out of the hospital with nothing to my name and nobody believing in me except Michael. I’d been all alone in the hospital. But in my sleep, I would dream of him and wake up calm in the comfort that I wasn’t alone. The day I got out, I charged my phone and there were 19 messages from him. He hadn’t been told what was going on and he was worried. My last text before I blacked out and swallowed two months of drugs had been to him earlier that day, Christmas Day 2015. I told him things were very bad as I was driving home from my parents’ in Nogales, where I’d been set off for the infinite time, back home to Tucson, where the deed would be done.
He had gotten me in touch with a life coach before my suicide attempt but I didn’t talk to Day until I got out. Day would be pivotal to the creation of the person I would become.
Michael did one other thing (of an infinite amount of things). He told me to listen to The 1975. I saw that they would be performing on SNL, so I made a point of it to watch. That night would change my life.
I watched them play, dubious as always of Michael’s suggestions. But something about Matty Healy lit a fire in me. I felt alive for the first time in years.
The very next day, I looked up The 1975’s tour schedule. They’d be in L.A. on April 18, 2016. I bought a ticket and got a plane ticket to L.A. with no place to stay. But I contacted an old friend I’d lost touch with, Hector. He’d introduced me to NYC, SF and L.A. over the years but I pulled away during the divorce because he was so close to D. For whatever reason, he said I could stay at his place in Koreatown, not too far from The Shrine.
I landed in L.A., got an Uber to USC and walked around the natural history museum until I could safely go to The Shrine. I went to the show. It was mostly teeny boppers in braces and black jeggings but I didn’t care.
At the show, I talked to a guy close to my age who’d taken his son. We talked about Prince. He’s seen Prince 17 times. I’d seen him once at Coachella. Prince would die the next week of an overdose.
Flying to L.A. on a whim gave me the confidence to start taking risks. I started writing in earnest. A novel with no purpose other than to explore the idea of destiny. I’d had no life for many years up until then. I hadn’t even had sex since D. I’d been in stasis. A cocoon. Metamorphing. And ready to come out with a vengeance.
Coincidentally, I’d had a relationship with yellow butterflies. In the past, they’d manage to show up out of the blue whenever I had the temerity to ask if I was on the right path. In Tucson, it’s not hard to find yellow butterflies, so I chalked it up to happy coincidences. I was wrong. Dead wrong. I can’t be blamed. I didn’t know about synchronicities then. I’ve since learned.
2017: By now I’d seen The 1975 two more times. Once in Phoenix and once in London at the O2. This concert was the ultimate 1975 experience, such that the band recorded the entire concert for VEVO:
I got a ticket to see them at MSG in NYC in June, without any real plan to see them. I’d been to NYC so many times over the course of my life and never really bonded with the city. It was too hectic.
But then I met the 🦄 in Tucson. He lived in NYC and I wanted to see him again.
The whole time this was going on, I kept writing this novel. It was poorly written and poorly disguised memoir as fiction. All I knew is that I wanted to write myself a new ending; a happier one than being an utter failure at the age of 31.
I booked my trip to NYC to see The 1975, to go to Gov Ball and see the 🦄 at his place on Christopher Street. But he was busy, so I swiped on Tinder from Tucson hoping someone would want to meet me. I met two guys of note: Jesse and Samy.
I flew to NYC and spent a night with the 🦄 but it was meh. I met Samy and we spent a week together during which I saw a yellow butterfly on the Highline and again in his apartment, pressed between glass.
I shouldn’t have seen butterflies. They were now undeniably showing me the path I was on. One completely unpredictable to me at the time. One that wouldn’t reveal itself fully until today. I also saw a copy of Junot Diaz’ book, which had awakened my curiosity in the first place.
That August I again travel to NYC and this times spend much more time with the 🦄 and kinda sorta falling in love with him. I will write the end to my novel based on an interaction with the 🦄 at his apartment on Christopher Street. I’d gotten a tattoo because I loved my friend Gretel’s work:
Here it is:
The novel was no bueno, but the experiences leading to it worked for a story I’d later write for a class in 2019 called Cool Girl Blues. Read it here. It’s a really good story.
That Halloween I met a 22-year old math grad at a party at Congress in Tucson. We hit it off and went on a Pulp Fiction themed party the next night. I dressed as Uma Thurman and cut my bangs.
Yeah I was 39, but it was a good match. And he was into me.
2018: I go back to NYC three times. June, the month of August and October. We’ll take it blow by blow.
June: I see the 🦄 but I also meet The Israeli, whom I will fall in love with. It’s an epic love story that will go forward way into the future. Here are pertinent details of the first part of that affair.
August: In July I get sick of Arizona and start having weird visions of borders closing and fascism rising. I post on FB that I need to get back to NYC and within half an hour I have a sublet in Bed-Stuy via my high school drama teacher Celia, who will eventually become a spiritual mentor.
One of my first days in Bed-Stuy, I go to Prospect Park with a roommate and run into a guy named Jesse. I’d matched with him in June 2017 but never met him. We’d become FB friends and I’d gone through his list of contacts and found Imani Coppola, a singer I’d loved at the age of 18. Here’s the music video I fell in love with:
What you need to know are three things: 1. Jesse and I were both born on June 15, 1979; and 2. I will meet Erica through Jesse and we will become friends over a mutual love of The 1975; and 3. through her I will meet Tyler, via the same love on August 24th, 2018. See I told you that date would come up. Look for future references.
He tells me he works at Velvet Elk as a producer. I google him the next day and friend him on FB. We talk over time and become actual friends but won’t see each other in person for another year. He’s 22, very pretty and very talented. We bond because we both hate Jesse. Here’s Tyler being both talented and pretty:
A couple days before I go home to Tucson, I attend Samy’s birthday party karaoke session at Planet Rose in the East Village. While I am initially apprehensive to go because he’s way too cool for school, I realize that I do, in fact, belong in NYC and I’m deserving of the life the NYC has to offer.
October: I come back to the city to see the Israeli and figure out how to make the move happen. I stay at Erica’s. The time with the Israeli is profound. He challenges me. He’s a fucking dream and a nightmare.
On my second to last day in Bk, I meet Erica’s roommate Sam. Here’s what happens:
By now I’ve been writing in earnest for over two years and gotten good. Not great but good. And I’ve been storytelling in Tucson enough that I know I need the challenge of NYC. I decide to tell my parents in January that I am moving.
I go home and meet up with the 22-year old math grad, tell him about my crazy year, and this HUGE fucking revelation comes regarding the yellow butterflies. Basically chaos theory, aka the butterfly effect, is about predetermination, just like my butterflies have always been about destiny.
2020: I’ve moved to NYC and integrated myself into the storytelling scene and several social scenes. I’ve gone to a second karaoke birthday party for Samy where I’ve met a girl named Jess and become friends with her. She asks me to be a keynote speaker at a conference. She wants me to talk about my intersectionality as a Mexican, a woman, and an autistic. I don’t know what the conference is about but I say yes to everything. By now I’ve taken classes at Upright Citizen’s Brigade so I know that the correct answer to a yes or no question is “Yes and.” I’ve also already won my first storytelling competition:
Also also, my friend Terry has given me the opportunity to speak at a SENG gifted conference about my coping mechanisms for being gifted and autistic. I’ve joined a press and started contributing to their dialogue with pieces like this one. My editor Nikki really likes how I write and we hit it off.
The keynote will take place in June in Jersey City over lunch and I will get paid to do it. But of course I get stuck in Tucson from March through May because of Covid. They ask me to record a 15-minute speech for the now virtual conference and instead I deliver a 28-minute video scored by Tyler. The video is a huge fucking hit. I get gigs with Nintendo and Intel as a result. My video will be accessible to over 100,000 people worldwide.
While still in Tucson, I’m doing everything to keep myself from going crazy, which includes making daily lipsync videos, one of which is to Imani Coppola’s “Legend of a Cowgirl.” I send the lipsync to Imani. She is kind about it.
July: I meet Imani. Turns out she lives in Bed-Stuy. I show up to her video shoot and come out in the video. We hit it off. She’s Uber cool.
Friday, August 21, 2020: I have two different events. First, helping Imani with a lnstagram live feed for her virtual art gallery showing. Second, meeting back at my place with Tyler to watch a movie.
When Tyler comes over, he tells me that Imani and his boss, Don, are Instagram friends and Imani has recorded at Velvet Elk. Tyler is in Don’s band. In fact, the reason he’s in NYC and not L.A. is because Don offered him a job. And Tyler knows Don because his father and Don were friends back in Flint, MI before Tyler was even around on the planet.
Sunday, August 23, 2020: I tell Imani about the connection between Tyler and her through Don. Turns out she was in Don’s band too, way before Tyler showed up. And she dated Jesse, who is now confirmed scum of the earth for Imani, Tyler and me.
I share this information with Tyler. We’re really tight buds now. Like the kind of friends you only encounter a dozen times in a lifetime if you’re uber lucky. We’re both kind of blown away by the synchronicity.
Today, August 24, 2020: As per usual standards and practices I go through my FB memories as fodder for writing. It’s two years to the day since I’ve met Tyler, which is enough to make the day special. But it’s also the three year anniversary of leaving the 🦄’s apartment on Christopher Street that was pretty historic for me. At least enough that it shows up in my novel and my short story, “Cool Girl Blues” linked above. I decide to title the book of short stories I’m working on for Nikki after that story. And I write this on FB:
I don’t know how right I’ll be because all of the stuff that you’ve read up until this point only becomes clear to me today after I wrote that post. This very day. August 24th.
I go on Instagram and see this psychic I met through Michael at Caveat last year (and ran into in another synchronicity a week later while walking down the wrong street on my way to the Anjelika) posts something about synchronicities.
I mention this to Tyler. He, in a generous gift, tells me about how Jung came up the whole theory of synchronicity in the first place. He sends me the back cover of the book:
Turns out he’s been having these non-coincidental coincidences too and been seeking answers for years.
I google Jung and synchronicities and see this:
If you read the chapter I put above, you’ll see the mention of the scarab and the butterfly. Here it is again, just in case you missed it:
Synchronicity and predetermination. I didn’t know until today, August 24, 2020, that they came together thematically not just for me but cosmically.
And it wasn’t until today that I knew August 24, 2017 was the day I’d experience that would lead to me writing a novel and a short story that would lead to a book of essays. Or that August 24, 2018 would lead to me knowing Tyler who would help me create a presentation that would be a total game changer. Or that August 23, 2020 would be the day I closed the loop between Tyler, Don, Imani, Jesse and me. Or that today I would finally see that all of this, every last bit, was always meant to happen.
Remember, I started this story at the beginning of 2016 in a mental hospital. And today I am a published writer, a prize-winning storyteller, a paid public speaker, a New Yorker with an abundance of friends, tons of potential and a future just waiting to unfold if I just take every opportunity to meet it head on.