Someone Stole My House

by

She cried plaintive and sudden in the silence.

I shuddered.

How bad is it when you are stealing the umbrella of a homeless woman?

Bad.

I shivered some more on my bicycle ride home from 7th and Irving, after having made a short, drenched trek from Cole Valley to the Inner Sunset just a brief hour previous.

I was wet.

Cold.

Not miserable though.

A little wary.

A bit scared.

The good kind of fear, the cautious kind, the let the cars go ahead, squeeze that front brake slowly, slow, slow, slow, pause, and take the glasses off.

They ain’t gonna do you no good bleary with rain.

It was a wet ride home, let me tell you.

But no one had stolen my umbrella–it’s in the hallway, and when I got home, I have a home to come home to, another grateful thing, rent was paid this past Friday–no one had appropriated my house.

I peeled the we clothes off, me, literally peeled, cranked up the heater (I think I may actually pause here in a moment, it’s almost as warm as I want it, too warm is not great either), lit some candles up, for the cheeriness of it, and dragged a brush through my wet tangled hair.

That, my friends, is a work out, I tell ya.

Then, into the shower.

The very hot shower.

Ah.

So freaking good.

Really.

Good.

And now the clothes are in the washer and soon to be in the dryer, I had to wash off my messenger bag too, it was pretty road grimy, not too bad considering I do have my rain fender on over my rear wheel, but it still got a bit gross.

This too, a blessing.

I have lived in places before where the laundry was not on site, not in the building, not on the same block, and had to dry out the coat and scarf and hope that the shoes would all be dry in the morning when I had to get up and go do it all over again.

But tomorrow, it doesn’t look like rain.

In fact, when I was coming home in the worst of it, I could still see ahead of me, a bright clearing, a gloaming silver and streaky blue where the last light of the day was leaking through the cloud banks.

It will all blow off and tomorrow and Thursday look clear.

Friday, again, probably rain, but Friday I will probably take the MUNI to work.

“I could loan you an umbrella,” my boss said to me sweetly concerned about my riding off into the wet.  “You could take MUNI in the morning.”

She was entirely correct.

I could take MUNI in the morning, but I don’t care for the unreliable N-Judah to get me to work on time.  It will get me to work, but I am either quite a bit early or just a little bit late.

Neither scenario am I a fan of.

Nope.

Friday, I have a slightly later start and the 45 minutes of leeway I get do allow me to get up at my normal 7 a.m. time and hit the train to the bus to the job without too much anxiety about my timing.

I did not regret that I took my bike home.

I still got home faster than had I taken the train.

Albeit quiet a bit wetter.

As I mentioned earlier, I am grateful to have a home to come home to and get myself cozy in.  It really is a miracle that I am where I am considering all the crazy in my life.

I forget that sometimes when I get in fear about not having enough or getting what I want or being afraid of losing what I have.

I had some rant going in my head this afternoon when I managed to sneak out to the park with the boys in between a cloud burst.

I mean, really, it was amazing.

We made it to Golden Gate park and back without getting drenched.

We did get a little wet, it started up again two and a half blocks away from the house, but my instincts had sussed out that we would have the time to go and maybe get in a carousel ride.

The carousel itself was closed, but the swings were happening and I got to have a minute outside the house to which I have spent a lot of time in the last few days with the super wet weather.

Change of scenery.

Change of pace.

Stretch the legs.

Dash through the wet park to shake out the ya yas in my head.

“Did you drink today,” a booming though imploded in my brain when the fear of not getting what I want went galloping through my head as I walked the path of the park pushing the double stroller ahead of me.

No.

I have not.

And I don’t plan on doing so.

I instantly relaxed.

I let go.

I just surrendered.

So things aren’t on my time line.

When the fuck have they ever been?

I am completely fine.

Taken care of.

Loved.

Whew.

The worry, the anxiety, free-floating and useless, drained away and yes, the ride home was not the most pleasant thing I have ever experienced, but it was an experience.

And as a writer, first and foremost, whether published to great acclaim or not, I write, I need experiences.

I can tell you exactly what it feel like to ride through the rain in San Francisco when the wind is cold and the rain falls hard.

When the tops of your thighs are wet, but not the bottom side, the cold stick of blue jeans and the sodden squish of water in a cloth Converse shoe, the part of my back that suddenly, involuntarily shivered, when my jacket rode up and my bare skin got a heavy splash of cold water on it.

Or the way that sky looked, ranging out over the heavy gray sea.

The curls of clouds pushing forward on the ocean wind and the milk cream of light, skinned blue along the edges where the lingering light of day shed its last kiss on my wet face.

Nothing is wasted.

There are no mistakes in God’s world.

And when I surrender to that.

Then everything really is alright.

Dry.

Or.

Wet.

I am home.

Safe.

Completely taken care of.

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