You’re The Girl With Flowers In Her Hair

by

That cries all the time.

Yup.

That would be me.

Crying on the back of the bus.

Damn you MUNI.

It’s bad enough to be that woman, but to be that woman on the back of the bus?

Even worse.

There’s a certain kind of anonymity that the N-Judah train permits, not so much when they are running buses to and from the beach as the work continues on the tunnel between the Cole and Duboce stops.

The girl with flowers in her hair who cries a lot, I think, is actually what she said.

I haven’t cried this much in a long time.

I have not seen my disease so up close and personal and in my face, and on my face, and smearing down my face.

I really shouldn’t have even attempted the make up today, but I tried to put on a brave face, even though I went to bed crying, I woke up crying, my face was leaky and runny and disastrous.

I would get it together to fall back apart.

I can say with all conviction and truth the amends to be made from mistakes in my sobriety have to be some of the most painful I have ever attempted.

And I haven’t made this one yet.

I did something last night that I am ashamed of, horrified by and bereft with my behavior.

I was manipulative and dishonest and I didn’t even realize what was coming out of my mouth but there it was and my friend got hurt.

It was like being in a black out.

I said something cruel and dishonest because my fucking instincts got bruised and I thought I was better than that, I don’t know, that I got this, I know how to live I do, I….

Fuck me.

I don’t have a clue.

Until the look on my friends face woke me up.

What did I just do?

I can’t breathe writing about it.

I have been putting off writing about it for hours, hoping that I would be able to make the amends tonight.

It does not look like that will happen.

I can’t force solution, it’s not on my schedule, it’s not my time frame.

It’s my fucking monkey though.

Or monkeys.

Shame.

Manipulation.

Perfectionism.

DIshonesty.

When I wrote, just because it’s taken me this long to get to my blog does not mean I haven’t written today.

I have.

So much, my heart hurts for it, my heart hurts for my friend, for myself, for being in this disease, for being human, and for knowing that the only way through this is though it.

And I may very well lose a friend who means so much to me that I cannot fathom not having him in my life.

Oh.

And there’s another one.

Self-sabotage.

I think I have let go, I think I have surrendered, then I go down that path, unconsciously, it seems, but I can see in hindsight that I got upset, I felt threatened and I said unkind things.

Things I did not mean, things I don’t even remember saying, except for the gist of them, for the flavor–which is all sea salt and rot on my heart, that what it tastes like and so I took it to the beach.

I took it first to 7th and Irving and was a mild wreck in my folding chair, my ass falling off, I stuck it in a bag and got it where it needed to be.

I shared and I shared sadness and sorrow, but I also shared solution and when I finished and the time was up I read about a vision for you and my voice cracked.

I cannot remember the last time I started to cry reading something.

The wreckage of the past caught my attention and twisted in me and I thought, the wreckage of last night, and then I read the rest of the words and felt something move and shift and a teeny step forward through the miasma of grief.

Then down the stairs out into the sunlight, buoyed up by the froth of crinoline under my dress.

If I’m going to be sad I might as well wear something that will bring some lightness to me as I drift tear stained around the Inner Sunset.

I went to Tart to Tart.

I got an iced coffee.

I sat down across the table and I spilled my guts.

“Well, aren’t you just a garden variety drunk,” she almost laughed, but then told me what she saw, her perception, and her generosity of spirit and point blankness, “you owe him an amends.  Do you have a piece of paper?”

I took out my notebook.

I wrote down what she said.

I cried with horror over my inability to have seen how hurtful I was to my friend last night and I admonished myself.

I didn’t cast about ashes and I didn’t beat my self with a hair whip, but man, I came close.

“Hey, don’t talk about my friend like that,” my best girlfriend said to me this morning when I shared what an asshole I had been.

I love you and I forgive you.

I kept saying it all day.

I kept seeing how deep this goes, how much work I still have to do.

“Oh!  Get grateful for that, it means you’re human, and you get to work on letting go of these defects.”

Back at Tart to Tart the almost perky tone of my person bolstered me, I knew she was right and I knew I have to go to my friend in a position of service and kindness.

And face to face.

That was the directive.

I reached out.

I got a response.

It was no thank you.

Once again I break my own heart.

No wonder I wore my heart sweater today.

Cream hearts on a field of black.

I did more praying.

I did more writing.

I did, oh come on, more crying.

Hell.

I haven’t really stopped all day.

There will be a moment of reprieve then it starts again.

“This is worse than with ____________,” I sobbed on the phone later in the day, having walked down to the sea and asked for it all to be taken away, wash it away, take my sins, every one, help me have kindness and compassion, for myself, and be of service to my friend.

However he needs it.

Not however I want it.

“You self-sabotaged and now you know what that feels like, you can recognize it and you can stop it the next time you have that feeling arise,” he told me.  “Then you talk to me first before you say anything.”

“And we hurt the ones we care for the most, we don’t mean to, but that’s what we do” he finished, “now you are aware, now forgive yourself, and let him have his process.”

The hardest part.

I wore that fucking flower in my hair all day long.

I thought there was a chance to see my friend and make the amends.

He reached back to me later and we set a time, but it came and went and he cannot meet me.

So I sit here in the grief that I have wrought.

My own self-made misery.

I can’t hate myself for it, I can only forgive and move forward with the knowledge that my disease runs hard and deep and I have to lean in on my God and I have to pray more.

Kneeling by my bed, walking in the ocean, walking through the fear, praying for forgiveness again and again and again.

I can’t regret the past, nor shut the door on it, but I can learn from this and I can hope for a new beginning and for a new freedom from the bondage of self.

The price feels so high.

“You will get through this,” his voice so calm over the phone, the waves splashed on my feet, the sun embroiled my head and lit me through with far-flung light, “you will come out stronger and better and you will love more for it, I don’t know what it will look like, but you will come through and you will have learned a deep lesson about yourself.”

There is a gift here.

I cannot see it.

But it is there.

Wrapped on the beach.

Dusted with the tears of the mermaids as they

Sing each to each

I will walk through this grief.

I will assuage this sorrow.

I will open that box.

And be bedazzled with glory.

I will keep doing this work.

It’s the only way I know how.

I will find my way back to love.

It has not left me, I just cannot see it through the blur of sea-salt in my eyes.

But it is there.

Love.

It is there.

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