Smack Down


Break down.

Fall down and cry.

I really thought I had the jet lag thing completely beat.

I was wrong.


Was I ever.

Bethie can attest to that as she met me on the sidewalk in front of her place on 24th Street here in San Francisco.

Yes, city by the bay, I am here, although on the BART ride over I really wanted to get off at 19th St. Oakland and head back around.

The jet lag caught up to me, beat me up, beat me down, and had me cornered.

I bit off a little more than I could proverbially chew and by the time I was meeting with Beth I was knackered.

I was in tears.

I could not be touched or hugged.

And apparently I was going to continue to get talked at by greasy men on the street about my tattoos.

Thanks guys, I feel right at home now.

I got up again, early, earlier than the alarm, and had a nice breakfast, chatting with my room-mate who stayed in and worked from home, drinking hot coffee, getting my day set out.

I was off to conquer the world.

I was going to ride my bike the seven miles to the gig I was checking in for and a little voice said, maybe not, maybe, this time take BART.  Maybe you have enough on that old BART ticket to carry you into the city tonight, just use it.

I agreed, despite having the map laid out in my phone and ready to be utilized.

Thank fucking God.

I probably would have wound up dead on the side of the road had I pushed myself that hard.

I did ride my bike to BART and to the gig and I met with the family and officially was introduced to their daughter.

I can just say that there is nothing cuter than a 20 month old blond pixie dusted fairy waif of a child giving me a “dap” fist bump.

Oh my God.

I just about fell out.

She is beyond smashing, very precocious, super verbal and just an all around well-adjusted sweet little girl.

After some initial shyness we had a great time hanging out, chatting, showing me stuffed elephants, playing hide and seek, feeding me “pie” and “sushi” and “cheese and crackers” all little fake plastic toy foods that you would see in a sushi restaurant window store front in Japan Town.

“Pie!” She said emphatically and pushed it at my mouth and smothered herself in giggles.

I was in love.

The house is great, cozy, warm, full of art and the parents have the same kind of child rearing ideation that I do.

And I sort of rather like them a bit too.

The mom told me the most flattering story, “You should have seen the text he sent me, [dad] “CARMEN” is coming back!”

News travelled quickly amongst the co-workers at the office and I am grateful it did.

I start on Tuesday.

I am also house sitting for the neighbors.

Which, truth be told, I am a little freaked out about.

The original ask was for a house sitter to help with a cat.

They then mentioned, after I agreed to house sit, that there was also a little dog and that they could only do $200.

I said yes and I will honor the commitment, but I got overwhelmed by the amount of things they wanted.

I am going to do a tired rant for a moment.


Oh, but it’s lovely that you get to have the whole house to yourself. 

She said with a tight smile, that dared me to say otherwise.

Not so much.

It’s an inconvenience.

I have a home.

I said yes to doing the gig because I thought, yes, I need the money, yes, just say yes, it will be of service, and I am going to do it and I have the keys and I won’t back out now, they’re about to leave for Turkey.

But no, you’re right, I’m not going to mow the lawn.

“I’ll ask >>>>>>> to mow the lawn,” she said.

“Yes, that’s a great idea, you’re not paying me enough to mow your lawn,” I said as evenly as I could, then I asked to use the bathroom, then I prayed and said, ok, God, there’s a good reason I’m here and I know I will be ok and that I am being paid, and the dog is adorable and the cat, I mean, please, his name is Mister Pants, so that’s a good thing, so help me let go of my ideas about what I can and can’t do.”


Or something like that.

It was sort of the last straw.

My energy reserves were plundered, it was time for coffee, and I still had to take BART to San Francisco.

Where I haven’t been in six months and how does may hair look and my god I am tired and what the fuck was I thinking saying I could do this?

And voila!

A completely powerless wreck landed on my friend’s doorstep.

She was a peach, she is a peach, I am writing my blog while in bed with her getting ready to sleep on the other pillow, and she sat me down, got me a bottle of water and talked me through it.

Then the hugs.

I almost had a panic attack in the hallway.

I felt it oncoming and just breathed and said, no, not yet, I can’t do a hug yet, no touching.

Then it passed.

And I was able, after hydration, remember kids, it’s important to stay hydrated when it’s warm out, to pull my head out of my ass, thank Beth and let her know how happy I am to be here, hugs were exchanged, hair was let down, make up touched up and off to Pauline’s to meet friends for a birthday celebration.


Not so much any more.



But one thousand words in, I can say I made it, did not hurt myself and did not hand back the keys to the house sitting gig and say something I would need to make amends for in the future.

Life is sweet.

My friends are sweeter.

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