You Have So Much to Write About


Nancy said to me tonight as we took a brief moments shelter from the rain, and the over the top, don’t give a fuck that it’s rainy, San Francisco Giants are in the World Series melee happening in the Mission.

She is right I do have a lot to write about.

Memoirs and poems and children’s stories and short stories and novels and screen plays.

I am turning 40 in Paris.  I realized last night, not the age part, but the 40 part that despite all the grousing and all the I have not done anything with my life crap that my brain feeds me, I have not only done something with my life, but I made a decision.

“Honey,” John Ater said to me, “MADE A DECISION, is what is says, not think about it, make a decision.”

It does not matter if it is “right” or “wrong” there is no right or wrong.  There is only action or inaction.

Thinking about doing something is not actually doing it.

Wishing I was a size ten when I was a size 28 and day dreaming about what I would wear was not making a decision.

Not eating sugar for almost three years (October 29th, 2009 last time I had sugar) and changing how I eat and what I eat and exercising and riding a bike and being patient and taking suggestions and getting help was the action that led to the day-dream becoming reality.

That may not be the way for some.

I still get looks of astonishment when someone hears I do not eat sugar (which includes not eating honey, not eating evaporated cane juice, not eating anything that has sucralose, because the fake sugar fucks with me just as hard) and then in complete bafflement when I add, and I don’t eat flour either.

What do you eat?

Oatmeal.  Fruit.  Nuts.  Vegetables in so many varieties it is kind of astounding.  I can tell you with distinct taste points the difference between a Japanese Sweet Potato and a regular yam, I could do it blind folded.  I can tell you that Brussels sprouts taste better after having been blanched then seared blackened in brown butter and sprinkled with sea salt.

I know the difference between lentil varietals and corn and different kinds of wheat.  I can name and tell you how each different kind of apple in the bins at Rainbow tastes like.  I eat really well, most of the time my co-workers exclaim over my lunch, and it is not a, “Oh, geez, poor Carmen, her lunch is so sad devoid of flour and sugar.”


It’s more like, “what is that you made?  Do you have extra?  And look, Carmen, up there, as they attempt to sneak a fresh picked pear tomato and leaf of basil off my plate of divinity.

And now, now, I am a size ten.

So, despite what my head said, “I feel fat,” yesterday before I headed out to do my shopping, fyi, in case you were wondering, “fat” is not a feeling.

I was feeling not enough, not pretty enough, not wanted enough, not what ever enough.  I was also in fear, because I have this idea that there is just not enough.

I expressed to Nancy as she lit up her smoke and the station wagon full of screaming children caromed down 24th street with horns blaring, that I have given myself permission to be successful.

And a successful woman dresses successfully.

I winnowed out the last of the clothes today and donated them away.  I have a very slim wardrobe, it will all fit quite easily into my roll-on, I see no problem there.

I got one beautiful outfit for myself to wear in Paris.  I may even break it out before then.  One gorgeous pair of Vince black corduroy pants (long in the leg and accentuating all the right spots), one cashmere sweater in soft grey stripes with a plush cowl neck (my first cashmere!) a beautiful new gray silk push up bra, and a silky long sleeve under shirt that I will probably wear until it falls to bits because it was so soft on my skin in black.

I put on those pants and that shirt and that sweater and stepped out to look at the mirror and who the hell is that gorgeous, skinny woman?


That is me.

I guess I am not fat.

Fuck my stupid brain.

I give myself permission to where beautiful things, to spend money on myself, to write, to travel, to be successful.

I give myself permission to be financially successful and to actually make money.

I give myself permission to be an artist who succeeds with her art.

I have made the decision.  I am acting on it.  I am a writer.  I fully one hundred percent will pursue this career.

The best is yet to come.

I will turn 40 in Paris and I will live longer than another 40 years and my god, how much I will write, how much I have already written, and how much there is to do.

So much.

I have more than half of my life to spend pursuing this dream.  I have spent the majority of my life denying it.

No longer.

The path was always there, I just did not know I was on it.  I thought I would do what you wanted me to do and I tried and I had some success here and there, I am a smart monkey after all, but when it all came down to it I was always wanting, whether acknowledged or not, to write.

Well, here it is.

I am writing.

I am going to where I will write more.

I am following, albeit in a more sober fashion, in Miller’s footsteps, in Hemingway’s footsteps, in Moliere’s footsteps, Anais Nin, anyone?  Oh, the countless authors that paved the way that went to Paris that said, I am a writer, I will go find my garret, my cafe, my people, and I will write.

I am not Dorothy Parker, and you know what?

I do not want to be.

I am Carmen Regina Martines.

And you will be hearing a lot more of me.

I have so much to tell you, so much to write about.

Sit back, get comfy, I am going to be here a while.

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