January starts, I live somewhere and now I live somewhere else, 15 mn away. Sometime that month, for a short period, I make money on the side writing pseudo academic papers for someone. Rough times.

I deal with a black woman being in an abusive relationship the same way that we all often do: too late.

I remember driving another black woman back to Compton, as we were singing over King on a beautiful morning on an empty freeway. Of course I missed the exit. It didn’t matter. She told me I should sing. Maybe I will. I hope she’s well too.

More work. Wood work this time. Paint on weekends, sanding in the morning, staining in between.

I get my bike wheels stolen. I make a video to get hired. I bike with my friend Richard, talking about games for hours. I write to my friend Arthur all the time. We chat over life, as lefty black nerds. Cathartic.

Sometime in July I get a job interview for an outstanding position and it goes well! Best interview of my life. The same weekend a dog bites me in the stomach and I learn that I have 30 days to leave my place. I don’t get the job. I end up getting 60 days to relocate.

I give French lessons to my badass Brooklyn Jew. I receive a letter from my foster family giving me some sad news: conflicts emerged and family members stopped talking to each other. Fuck. I meet this gorgeous and super smart black woman and am low key thinking about impregnating her, that’s how strong she hit me. But then it was like nah, man.

It’s August and KRS-ONE is performing under my window and I run grabbing friends in the streets to go on the roof to smoke and bop heads. I almost open that block party playing a crazy version of the Star Spangled Banner on bass.

I help my homeless black folks hanging at the playground as much as I  can: dollar bills, change, candies, phone calls, leftover pie… I help my black folks at the library as much as I can. I remember going through the motion of sending money to a black woman’s brother in jail somewhere in the midwest. It was wild, convoluted as fuck. I still have my favorite Japanese old woman drive all the way up to see me to help her out with her phone. She’s so adorable.

Gentrification is on some Thanos shit this year, moving relentlessly. My blackity black recreation center is under pressure. My neighbors and I got booted out in a few months. I help to move 3 couches, 2 mattresses, 1 lounge chair and 18 years of random, heavy shit. I haven’t really recovered emotionally.

In October a giant Chinese company wanted to see me to talk sound design, so we met. Although it didn’t go much further than that, it was great for my soul. Luckily, my new place is amazing and I work as much as I can to make it even better: paint jobs, various fixes from the gate to a new router. I can finally not worry too much about food even though I’m still on the Harold’s In The Thick of It Diet (spaghetti for lunch, tuna salad for dinner).

I now bike 20 miles a day and I don’t want to think about it. I miss my white family in France and at the same time, every 2 weeks on Skype, I’m wondering over and over what we have in common, besides sharing a space years ago. Sometimes I feel like I love strangers. Complete strangers. And it’s probably the same for them. It’s super wild.

It’s December. Christmas is very important for my housemate so, everything looks dope as hell. Tree. Fireplace. Lights outside. Stockings, even for my favorite dog that I will have for a few days.

I don’t own shit, but I have access to a lot. It’s intense but I’m thankful. Onward.

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