Whatever Happened to Real Oakland?

Where did she go? I used to see her everywhere, all the time, but now we whisper her name in hushed tones when no one is looking. What happened to her? How did she die? Did she perish in the night in some burning car crash, skid marks and flames, screeching tires, drunk driving? Did she go out with a bang, in some typical wild, all night party girl fashion, choking on vomit and sequins beneath a disco ball filled with cocaine? Or has she just disappeared to LA, like so many other people, and now the only time we see her is when we’re scrolling through Instagram in pretty poised pictures geotagged somewhere far away from here. Someone told me that she had checked into rehab, and then I heard that she had checked out, and now she is entirely not the same, looking glassy eyed and hollow and drained of the energy that made her, her. Although, by other accounts she never went to rehab, and she has fully transitioned from all night party girl into twenty four hour addict, and after she lost her job she found her way into some arm pit of the Bay Area to fester with drugs and dick. I saw her post about losing her apartment on Facebook – did anyone find out where she had moved to? Or what she is doing now? When was the last time anyone saw her? When was the last time she hit the train yards, late at night, catching tags? When was the last time someone saw her on the dance floor downtown, sweaty and pretty? Remember when she used to do that ho shit all over town, and now – now I heard she’s into feminism so she doesn’t do that shit anymore. I mean, it’s also entirely possible that she just got her shit together, got a better job, and is living somewhere nice. Maybe her life is better than ever, and making money is more important than looking good on a bar stool drinking whiskey. Maybe her life is too nice for her to be bothered with the likes of us, we pleasant onlookers, who have been waiting and wondering what ever happened to her.

What is this place without her. And who can lay claim to her anyway. Are we just left here to fester in this ridiculous city, drained of its authenticity and morphed into a Disneyland for adults. Honestly, I don’t think we’re any good without her. We used to do the maniest shit together, and she made it look good. She made it fun. She made it worth doing, because without her, all this danger feels dull. It doesn’t even feel worth it. But here we are, left to our own devices, and I must admit that us on our own is really quite boring. I miss Real Oakland. But she is gone forever, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

It was good while it lasted.

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