Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Gay Bar and Hookah Lounge Shenanigans

It's early Sunday morning and I think I'm still recovering from Friday night.  It sounds much worse than it is. Yes, there was dancing, and my calves and feet have been shooting off painful missives to remind me that I don't exercise, but that's probably more about potassium and I'll have a meeting with some bananas and avocados throughout the week.  I want to learn Bachata one day so my body will just have to suck it up.

Yes there was drinking, but it was a Scooby-Snack followed by a couple of water and lemon slice chasers.  I used to drink until the ground was hard to find while walking, and puking was a natural progression for the night, but I eat wheat when I want to feel like bad choices are trying to kill me.  And it's no longer on purpose.

Then there was the lack of sleep.  Waking up at 6 and spending all day at work (leaving only after it wasn't fun anymore because I love what I do) . . .  Only to go out with fresh makeup and eyes so red they matched my lips and then getting to bed by 3 . . . Then waking up at 7 because my internal clock is evil.  At the same time, I was able to get up, get my pedicure and waxing, take a short hike to the Bat Cave (or Bronson Park), run to the hospital to sit in the ER with my sister and cousin (she's home and fine, we were exhausted), check out the Self-Realization Center in Hollywood, enjoy family time at a late lunch, then fall asleep insanely early, only to wake up and think trolling Facebook was a great idea to mask what looks like insomnia.  On the plus side, I get to give you words and pictures.

I went to The Abbey in West Hollywood. There was a moment where I became a chair.  I was sitting in one, and a boy (not my type) thought I would make a great chair and when his friend called to look for him, he said he wanted to introduce him to his new wife.  I was in a good mood so when a chair opened up within moments, I had him take it.  He wanted to stay, insisting he wasn't that heavy, and I kept it to myself that it really wasn't a selling point.  My cousin wanted a drink and I was ready for water so we left him at the table and for the first time in my life, I said "bye Felicia."  Not actually to him but when we were likely out of earshot. Dating tip: just no.  This whole thing - just don't do it.

So here's where the amazing came in: There was so much love that it flowed around us in glowing embers.  You would think this was the booze because that is the extent of my mind altering (exhaustion doesn't count because that can make a person crabby), but there was this loving flow that is beyond words.  I mean, you walk in and once you get past the idea of the dancers gyrating for cash in their underwear, there is a really friendly vibe in the gay community.  There were so many beautiful and friendly people.  Gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgendered, young, really old, obvious sugar daddies with their sugar babies . . . Just having a great time and not at all angry.

We danced, we watched.  We talked to the dancers.  We swooned at the accent on the cute ginger that did that thing where he twerked his tush in mid air above us.  We checked out guys because we have the same taste in men and both love watching because our standards are really high for the actual introductions and touching.  There is so much safety in knowing I was surrounded by beautiful men that had no interest in me, whatsoever.  As we walked through the club, we would stop and tell these men how beautiful they were.  I was included in so many group hugs.  It was a really different feel from my creepy moments of looking at strangers while driving and saying, "Hi" in my best Stitch (Lilo and Stitch) voice, or "You're beautiful," and "thank you for what you are doing for me right now." And my more aggressive moments of actually saying that with the windows down so I might be heard.  That only happens when I'm feeling more out of control and my behavior matches my inner destruction.  I see it, and taking note means I must change it.

We left the club and walked arm in arm, continuing to tell men they were beautiful.  I got these really great hugs.  It wasn't about trying to get a number or take someone home.  It was about seeing someone's beauty.  It was about telling him (and a few hers) that they were beautiful.  We liked their dress.  Their hair made me happy.  It wasn't for an exchange.  It was just an offering and it felt good.  There were lots of smiles and beautiful people.

We left for Cafe Dahab in West LA where people around us were enjoying their hookah and playing card games.  The food was amazing.  I'm convinced they toast their garbanzos or sesame seeds to give their hummus that smokey flavor.  It was more than roasted garlic and it was amazing.  It was a sensory meal where I just savored every bite, with eyes closed.  It was the crunch of falafels covered in creamy hummus and garlic sauce.  Their chicken kabobs were tender and juicy and the company was terrific.  We had deep conversations about life and love and goals. Never underestimate cousin time.  He was the biggest blessing of my day.

I spent Friday night with a gay man that wears makeup and every once in awhile, a dress.  We went to a restaurant and were surrounded by Muslim Arabs with beautiful hijabs and perfect eye makeup.  I spent my Saturday morning hiking with a Muslim woman and her beautiful son.  Then spent part of my afternoon in the Self-Realization Center in prayer and meditation while I worried for my sister. Then I explored and took pictures.  When I was little I would watch the news and felt so much fear and hate for Muslims and the gay community.  My parents watch the news and when I was little I watched news about terrorist attacks and the gay community and HIV. I no longer watch the news and have no idea what is going on in the world unless it's something that is so large that it's jumping out through my social media feeds. Then I can search for details I want. I'm far too empathetic and will cry with a mother I've never met and will never know.  And of course what the bible says about Muslims and homosexuality and anything else you could imagine has always colored my views in ways I'm continually striving to alter. This is what healing looks like.  This is understanding that all lives matter and this is what living it out looks like in my life.  It feels good too.  The best part is my weekend isn't over and neither is my story.

Pregnancy memories.

Handle With Care