⅓ memoir, ⅓ essay collection, ⅓ letters written to strangers, ex-lovers, and acquaintances, Califoregonian is a walking through what it might mean to leave your home and leave your body. Buy it here.
“You think In-N-Out is the best burger you’ve ever had? Not for how cheap it is, not for fast-food, not—”
“Yeah, man! The best I’ve had. Dude, even ANTHONY BOURDAIN said it was the best on earth, an actual piece of art!”
I stopped listening. I was arguing with my friend Diego inside our house. Outside it was raining on the green and gray of Oregon—I’d never lived anywhere else, while he’d only moved from Pasadena six months before. We were students at the University of Oregon, which due to 25% of its students being from the Bay Area and Los Angeles, was nicknamed the University of California, Eugene.
I was there during the best time to be a California sports fan and the worst time to be anyone else. In 4 years the Giants won two world series and the 49ers (1 Superbowl appearance) and Warriors (1 NBA Championship) decided to be good, again. Simultaneous to the NBA playoffs was the hockey season: San Jose and Anaheim made the playoffs 3 of those years and the LA Kings won the whole tournament twice.
I heard lots of drunken cheering and trash talk from blonde creatures named Brody and Alana who sported Rainbow sandals, Santa Cruz tank tops, Ray Bans, and hella proud nativism.
I thought there were cool, though as an Oregonian I wasn’t supposed to.
I moved to California one year after graduation.
And after living in the Golden State for two years, I can now understand how much Diego probably craved a double double with fries and a Neapolitan shake during our argument.
But, still, dear Californians: In N Out does not make the best burger on earth. Any one putting them down or propping them up against that argument is doing In-N-Out wrong.