Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


It was.

It was.



I was up so early I sort of wanted to hit myself, but apparently this is what is happening.  My internal clock is up and going off at 7:30a.m. or 7:45 a.m. regardless that it’s the weekend and I can sleep in.

I am up.

The brain is what makes staying in bed tolerable or intolerable.

Is it a chatty Cathy?

Time to get up.

I can’t listen to it.

The talk, the voices, the thoughts, the should have done that should do that, shit, shut up, I don’t want to hear about it.

If I can’t get back to sleep pretty much right away, I am awake.

I used to be able to glide over those voices or entertain them, I guess is the better realization.  I would entertain them, I would lie around in bed and listen to them and converse with them and then, fuck away half the day on fantasy and supposition.

I don’t have it in me anymore to do that.

I get up.

I got up.

I did not even argue with the fact that it was before 8 a.m.

I just got up and got going.

By 9:30 a.m. I had a grip on the day and was already getting into a kind of isolation mood that made me jump at the offer to come upstairs and have coffee with my housemate and her daughter and boyfriend.

I finished my writing and went up.

Immediately feeling better for the company.

We sat about, I snuggled with her daughter, we sipped coffee, the cat lay by the fire, lucky lazy beast, we chatted about this, that, the other.

I was given some suggestions.

I made some calls.

I got out of my head.

Thank God.

Then outside, into the sunshine and an impromptu hang out with the family, the neighbors, another little boy, a family down the block, the bucket of chalk, four hula hoops, and spontaneous planting of wildflowers in the front square of dirt in front of the house.

I drew chalk hearts on the sidewalk.

Hula hooped.

Soaked up the sun.

And basically eased into my day.

So lovely.



Heck, I even pulled out my bicycle and washed all the dirt and road grime off the frame, polishing her glittery self all up.

I matched my bicycle today.

In addition to hooping and chalk art with the upstairs girl, she glittered me good when she was sitting on my lap this morning drawing out figures on some construction paper.

I was talking with her mom and the next thing you know glitter is being sprinkled in my hair.

I was bedazzled.

Stayed with me all day.

Even when I was teary, which is fine, tears happen, fears happen, you walk through them anyway.

Sometimes I make an ass out of myself, sometimes I forget to not wear eye liner on Saturdays, but there’s a person across the table to hand me a paper napkin and say, hey I do this too, even with all this time behind me, I do this too, don’t beat yourself up and don’t believe that you aren’t perfect exactly the way you are.

There is no improving to be done.

Man, though, do like that self-improvement.

It keeps me moving forward, pushing myself to do things, make things happen, go places, bigger, faster, more.


That’s the thing, there’s nothing more that I have to prove.

Y’all been telling me this for a while, but I forget.

I forget so easily.

As though I must improve upon myself every day, every damn day, thank you, or there’s something wrong.

Well, fuck.

Sometimes the only thing that is wrong is that I get a little tired from all of that.

I just need to be.

I was reminded of that, and some surrender.

And I surrendered to the unexpected time this afternoon, when not one, but both people I was going to meet with after my time at Tart to Tart had come to an end, cancelled on me.

What to do?

I looked at the traffic on Irving and went to the cross walk and walked my bicycle across the street.  I stood and waited for the traffic to clear, then got on my steed and edged slowly into the traffic.

Mid-afternoon Saturday shopping, parking, crazy driving melee that is Irving Street and just took it slow, drifting along, no longer on a schedule.

Back down toward the Outer Sunset.

Where I found the house had moved to the back yard and there was a new set of friends drawing chalk art in the back yard and blowing bubbles.

I slipped off my messenger bag, filled up the electric kettle, made a spot of tea, turned up my music, left the door to my studio open and went and settled into one of the big Adirondack chairs in the back yard.

The sun splayed soft about.

The girls ran around blowing bubbles.

The adults talked and nattered, harmless gossip about the neighborhood.

The ravens flew low overhead, the rustle of their oily wings sifting through the air.

I made more tea.




Serene and perfect, right in my back yard.

My beautiful neighborhood bustling with child energy and bubbles, like baubles thrown from the heavens just to secretly delight me.



“Have you seen my ticket,” the little three-year old said, her green Tinkerbell princess dress sliding off one brown shoulder.

“Is it in your ear?” I asked reaching into the pink cupped shell, poking a little strand of hair into it.

“No,” she giggled.

“Is it behind your knee?” I asked tickling her lightly behind the crease of skin.

“No!” She shrieked, dancing away and running around in a circle, poking at the bubbles falling out of the sky.

“I think I lost it,” she said, coming back into my orbit by the chair.

I pulled another from the thin air, brandishing it with a smile, “nope, there’s always another one, here you go.”

She clutched the imaginary ticket and ran off to the show.

Three years old and already running off.

It has only taken me 38 years to get back to the realization that I don’t have to run around in circles looking for that imaginary thing that will fix me.

I have it here, always have, I was just too busy running to see it.

I sat back in the chair, sun glazing my cheeks, sipped my tea and closed my eyes, listening to the love shimmering all around me.


Where my heart is.

Covered in pink chalk dust.

And love.



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