All Things Challenging

by

I did them today.

I tried on jeans.

I rode my scooter all over the city, day and night.

I went to brunch with ladies.

I told a guy that I like that I was attracted to him and should he want to go out for coffee to let me know.

I blushed.

At the last one, anyhow.

But I did it.

Sigh.

Such relief, doing these things, these challenging things, these silly things that make up being alive.

I feel right alive I do.

The scooter ride back home tonight, glorious, smooth traffic, up and over hills, not Castro, but I did do Church and I cannot relate how amazing that view was coming up over the top of Church Street, the dark bowl of Dolores Park just below me to the thick sprinkling of lights downtown to the drape of white ropes flickering on the Bay Bridge.

Amazing.

Then I remembered the first time I ever took a scooter ride along Lincoln Ave, it was about nine years ago and I was on the back of a friends Vespa heading out to the beach.

Never in a thousand years did I imagine that I would one day be taking the same ride, at night, on my own Vespa.

Nope.

That had not occurred to me to even want.

And yet, there I was flying down the road with the stars ahead, the smell of the ocean pulsing over me, the wind whipping by, on my way home from a long, wonderful, life changing day, in the smallest most wonderful ways, to my little spot by the sea.

I woke up this morning a tiny bit on the cranky side, but put a little breakfast in me and some good coffee, write a few pages, meditated a little, get right with God, and the next thing you know, all feels good in the world, and I can do this.

What ever this is.

The first thing on that list of “this” was to put air in my scooter’s front tire, I planned on riding it out all day long and needed it to be performing at it’s best.

I filled up the tire, wiped down the Vespa with a soft cloth, and checked to see how the gas was holding up–just fine.

I gathered the things for my day, including a bunch of clothes that I was taking to a clothing swap a friend of mine was hosting in the outer Noe Valley neighborhood–off Church Street and 30th.

I just realized, I took my longest scooter ride to date, just getting over there.

I did have it broke down into two legs, I had a pit stop to make in the Inner Sunset, and met up to do the deal at Tart to Tart at 7th and Irving.

I got to sit, have a coffee, shake the crazy out of my head, get some perspective, get encouraged to show up and have a fun time with my friends and maybe even get some clothes.

I had absolutely no doubt in my mind I was going to come away with nothing (nothing being two new pairs of pants, a new hat, and a great new scarf) and that I was not going to have any fun whatsoever.

I had a great time.

Caught up with the hostess and got to congratulate her on her new position at work and hear about her travels, re-connected with a friend who I hadn’t seen in some time, and yes, score some clothes.

I was standing looking at a shirt when a mutual friend walked in with a stack of pants and a bag of shirts, took one look at me, and said, “Carmen, you should try these pants on, I think they’ll fit, and they’re brand new, I never wore them.”

What.

I was loath to drop trou, but when I saw them, I thought, hmm, she could be right.

Now I have the hardest time finding jeans that fit and that I feel comfortable in.

Not only did the fit, they fit fantastically, and, hahahaha, they’re “skinny” fit.

The jeans had some stretch in them and they made it over my bicycle calves and thighs and hugged my butt in the most sassiest of manners, I was blown away, all the girls applauded, and I have a new pair of jeans.

Amazing.

That was not on my agenda.

In fact, I also scored a pair of cords that I wouldn’t have tried on either, but a friend insisted and she was right, they fit, and they matched the outfit I was wearing.

Two pairs of pants in one fell swoop and they’re free?

And there was bacon at the brunch.

Hello.

Happy Saturday.

I stayed, sipped tea, caught up with my friend and felt so much gratitude for going, yes the pants were awesome to get, but so was the human connection.

I can and will isolate at the drop of the hat.

To make myself known and available to friends, and female ones at that, is a big, big deal for me.

I left feeling free and open and, well, well dressed, I never took off the jeans, I put my old ones in the messenger bag, and zipped off on the Vespa to Noe Valley where I had some business to attend to.

A little grocery shopping.

A box of salad to eat at the coffee shop.

Fellows to hang out with.

A little bit of reading and some experience sharing with another woman.

And then up the hill a bit further to do more of my Saturday night thing.

“What are you doing,” my friend said to me as I hemmed and hawed and packed my messenger bag and re-packed it.

“Getting up the nerve to tell a guy I find him attractive and does he want to go have coffee sometime,” I said.

He wasn’t supposed to be here, he never comes here on Saturdays, what the heck is he doing here?

I was just talking about him earlier, how is he here?

My friend smiled, “you look like you’re hiding,” she said astutely.

“I am hiding!” I admitted it.

If there had been room in my messenger bag to crawl in, I would have done it.

“I’m going to go, so you can do your thing,” she said, gave me a hug, and then I spent some more time fumbling around while he spoke to a mutual acquaintance five feet away.

Unpack, re-pack, re-arrange messenger bag.

Adjust scarf, take off scarf, re-adjust scarf, take off hat, ruffle hair, stuff hat in bag, oh God, what does my helmet head look like?

“Hey are you going with the guys,” he turned and asked me.

“I uh, no, I have to get my groceries home,” I said.

Lame!

Lame!

Lame!

“Let me know when you guys go dancing again, you didn’t go last night did you?”

“No,” I said, “did not, but I will, let you know, that is.”

Oh my god, help me, please.

“Ok, you have a good night,” he said and started walking away.

“T______,” I bleated out, “wait, uh, I, uh, come here, for a second.”

He turned, walked back to me and I rambled out the most goofy, off kilter, silly, I’m not good at this, but I find you really attractive and you make me laugh, and if you ever want to have coffee and laugh with me or at me, or, um, have coffee, I already said that, and I don’t know if you’re interested or available, but uh, yeah.

Or something like that.

I was blushing.

I think he might have blushed.

He said, “that’s very sweet, and good to know, thank you for telling me.”

He smiled.

I smiled.

Ok.

He walked away to join his friends.

And sigh.

Done.

Doesn’t even have to go anywhere.

I got it out and it won’t sit on my chest any longer.

Dispelling the fantasy.

I don’t believe he’s actually available and he might not be interested, and it doesn’t even matter.

I am so proud of myself.

Socializing, brunch’ing, trying on jeans in front of a room full of women, asking a guy out, getting on my Vespa and tackling the mean streets of San Francisco–have you seen the hills here?

Doing all things challenging.

Aka

Living.

 

 

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