after hitting a wall last night with the existing node.js mysql packages, which for some reason have been years behind integrating with mysql 8's authentication, i discovered @mysql/xdevapi. the documentation's a bit heavy and not really comprehensive, but now that i've figured out how to use it, i'm very pleased with how it operates! unfortunately, i'm going to have to roll my own migrations management, but that's a small price to pay for being able to interface with the latest mysql databases in an intelligent way.
in the interests of reducing friction for other adopters, i've rolled some sample queries into my database creation script. enjoy!
UPDATE: i've subsequently learned that table joins have not been implemented, so to perform those you'd have to use the session.sql method and use it in the same way (the same promise chaining) as the CRUD methods. seems like a serious oversight, but whatever.