The morning air was chilled with the slight wind that blew across the parking lot behind Yoshino’s cafe. The Rampage staff waited patiently for our instructor and our transportation. We waited and waited.
(By Genevieve Hinson (aka Eve), originally published in Fresno City College’s newspaper, “The Rampage,” on 11.12.1997)
Our instructor showed in good time but, sadly, the van we requested for the trip did not. In confusion and cold we waited some more. The campus police department was sincere and understood our disappointment, and they did all they could to make the appropriate connections. Bummed at our situation, we knocked all seven of our heads together (ouch!) to come up with a plan. Scrambling and desperate for a vehicle, phone calls were made. Being the college students that we are, our cars were no dependable enough for the trip.
Lowering our adult personas back to the days of being teenagers, we called parents. After explaining our circumstances, one wonderful and glorious mother, who was sympathetic to our situation, agreed we could borrow her vehicle. Happiness expressed itself in rambunctious forms of delightful romping, dance steps and cheers.
Finally, we were on our way. San Jose University here we come!
We arrived late but still elated. After flagging down many students roaming the campus and some wrong turns, we finally reached the building for the The Journalism Association of America (JACC). Students on the Rampage staff attended lectures focused on their area of interest.
After filling our brains with as much information as we could retain, and a couple more wrong turns, we regrouped. Hunger grumbled our stomachs and our feet responded at a fast pace to the cafeteria.
Tables laden with lunch meat, cheese, breads, and salads whetted our appetites — which hadn’t eaten since the Pringles and coffee on the road. Once we were fully satiated, our adventured led us to explore the campus.
Tree hugging, rock climbing and architecture appreciation ensued. After some odd stares, we resumed the conference and attended another lecture.
The conference ended and the gray matter attached to our spinal cords were loaded with so much information we needed to party.
San Francisco here we come! We were as delighted to leave as to arrive in San Jose. The second half of our trip was to begin. Tired bodies and lagging feet soon picked up the pace. Loud thumping music was also a big boost as we grooved down to the streets of Haight Ashbury.
Wet, piercing wind chilled our comfortably thermostat warmed skin. Hurriedly, the trunk was unlocked and jackets flew up in the air like a flock of seagulls. Chattering teeth and stomping feet sounded the next ten minutes as we adjusted.
The night was lit by the neon signs buzzing with electricity. Transients, young and old, littered the streets in their colorful garb. A cultural atmosphere surrounds the Haight. Slang from the sixties, and some of the original hippies, were still seen and heard on the street. A common thread bonds the natives from the tourists. It is easy to identify who is who among the crowd. With wide eyes and an exploring eagerness the Rampage staff sets off to conquer the head shops along the way.
Groovy shoe shops loaded down with every shade and size of Doc Martens and other funky wonderful original designs were given an admiring wistful gaze. Jewelry in the forms of necklaces, bracelets, and rings, for every par of part of the body imaginable, were for sale.
Different shops customized in body art. One of our staff members indulged himself with a henna tattoo on his well-formed hand. Maybe not so daring since it faces in one to three weeks. Oh well. Another staff member entertained the idea of a rook piercing, but sadly lacked the funds.
Dinner time had come and passed, the search for a great eatery took place. Squat and Gobble #Too loomed in the distance. Being the wonderful reporters, and naturally nosy people we are, we decided to practice our newly gained interview techniques. The fun began.
What a great place for our Lunch in Brief. Coffee and food were ordered and duly noted for deliciousness and price. Customers were buttonholed about the atmosphere and food. The cafe owner was more than happy to have us take pictures — once he understood what they were for — and answered our questions with a good sense of humor.
With the shops calling again, we left with money burning holes in our pockets. Half a dozen shops later, our funds depleted and our good merriment disappearing, we headed back to our conference-saving good fortune car.
Fatigued and at the end of our journey, we decided it was time to move on. Sleepy eyes and limp bodies once again returned to the auto. No amount of caffeine could energize this group again, and we ended our trip with a sleepy ride home.
Evolution of Eve | Rediscovering life then and exploring the now
Memory loss, scattered focus, inability to track time, and an ill-known stigmatized neurological disorder, plus PTSD symptoms, have erased or complicated recall of Eve’s first 37 years of life.
Now in her mid-40s, Eve is Autistic AF and left with a brain that doesn’t include filters (she says fuck. a lot), likes to glitch and, after the memory wipe, created a new personhood. Eve is different to those who’ve known her from childhood. She is unknown even to herself and seeking to learn about her life from back then, and embracing life now.
This series focuses on self-discovery after the onset of severe mental illness, memory loss and permanent disability. It’s a different life and a worthy life.
Contact Eve | firstname.lastname@example.org