I help my hometown friend Lauren buy a building in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. It’s an old six-floor walk-up building housing older Burners, with a soon painted-over mural in the backyard called “Burning Times”: a fire symbol and a series of clocks. I’m glad to have Lauren in San Francisco, and I hope to maybe one day live cheaply in this big building with her, but I’m not sure she understands how precious and sought-after a place like it is. I peek into her first floor room there’s barely anything in there except vintage curtains and sex toys on the bed.
Our class is learning from a science teacher (in the vein of Mr. Suggett or Mr. Lonborg) when class is interrupted by a long phone call about Nick Howell’s mom getting arrested in Connecticut. Nick Howell was a real kid I knew in middle school. The teacher gives a long compassionate speech afterwards, going into the merits of whether or not we should share these things. I find it hard to follow along, despite him being my favorite teacher.