Crack And Cherry Popsicles


The sickly sweet smell preceded her as she walked out from the Mission Community Center.

She was wasted, sucked up.

Not the frenetic skinny tautness of a meth head.

This was classic crack head.

Sucked up and withered away.

And yes.

You guessed it.

I spotted it.

If you spot it, you got it.

I am so lucky that I got it, then it went the fuck away.

I had a day today and then I would get these moment, call them God shots if you will, coincidence, serendipity, what have you, but I saw them as divine signs as a gentle reminder that even when I “think” my load is heavy, it is light.

And it does not smell like artificial sweetener, corn syrup, and red dye number 127.

Or crack cocaine.

She saw me.

She saw me see her.

She scuttled away.

That’s the best way I can put it, scuttled, like a stunted hermit crab trying to escape a fat gull on the beach.

I put my hand on the head of the five-year old I and gently pushed him to walk on the other side of the stroller, he did not notice, too engrossed in the story he was telling me about the tooth fairy.

He has now officially lost two teeth and the tooth fairy better deliver tonight.

He’s got some expectations.

For the second tooth he wants.

Yes.

A hovercraft.

Dude.

Listen, I know it’s getting all sorts of crazy up in this joint, San Francisco rents, tech crazy, $2,000 skateboards zooming by on remote control, but little dude, I don’t think the tooth fairy is going to pony up for a hover craft.

Just saying.

Although he got to have so many special things today I’m surprised the kid could function.

He had a minor procedure and was in and out of the doctors and back home before I got to work, a simple thing, really nothing to worry about, but you know, kids, they can get anxious, so to assuage the anxiety and to help ease him through–it got to be his day.

Man what a day.

I’m not jealous of his day, it was too much of an emotional roller coaster what with the numerous videos and special snacks and outings, literally I was worn out with the treats before I had even been there an hour.

Prior to my arrival there was juice.

Popsicles.

Ice cream.

Bowls of oatmeal, which, yeah, sounds great, you know healthier than say a grape popsicle, but laced with raisins and mounds of brown sugar.

And the little brother got to imbibe too.

I have never walked into the inferno like this before.

The sugar tsunami was in full effect.

We did ease up, he only got one more cookie over the course of the day and special lunch out at Tacolicious, but it was an up and down day, sugar can take a lot out of kid and it took its course.

But he was also sweet and we had some wonderful moments today and I was pretty on keel.

In fact, considering how my day had started, I was doing hella good.

I feel like there was a lot of foreshadowing that there was going to be stuff happening and I remember praying this morning to get to work and home safely on my bicycle.

Well.

That did happen.

But so did a lot of near accidents.

Weird traffic.

And.

Yes.

A fucking traffic cop nabbed me on the Wiggle.

Fuckers are cracking down.

There is just nothing worse than the whoop of a traffic cop on a motorcycle (hello I’m on a bicycle, you don’t need to scare the fuck out of me as well as issue me a huge ass ticket) and the flash of the red and blues.

Do you have any idea who I am?

Sigh.

Just another fixed gear riding bicycle rider blowing through a stop sign on the Wiggle.

“You know there’s a stop there!” The cop hollered at me.

“Yes, I do, you are right,” I said, already in tears, partially because it was windy and partially due to the adrenalin of nearly getting smacked by a driver right before I turned onto the Wiggle where the trap was.

I swung my bag over my shoulder, pulled out my wallet, handed the cop my drivers licence and tried not to say anything.

I had just turned onto the Wiggle from Haight Street and zipped right into a truck that was in the middle of the road, no flashers, no cones, nada to indicate that it was about to drop a storage Pod onto the street as I rode by.

Nothing says good times like almost getting hit a second time on my bicycle commute.

Oh yeah, I didn’t mention that a fire truck blew through an intersection, and I heard it and pulled over, but the van right behind me, didn’t and proceeded forward only to almost get jack knifed by the engine which was blasting its sirens so loudly to warn the van that my entire body squeezed up in fear.

The van abruptly pulled over.

Narrowly missing me and the fire engine.

Add then, the Pod drop.

Then the cop pulling me over and of course I was in tears.

“You didn’t even slow down,” the cop sighed, shaking his head, “is this your current address?”

“Yes, it is,” I replied.

I did not reply.

I DID slow down.

You should have seen how fast I was going.

I always slow up at the stop signs, but yeah, a lot of times I roll through.

But.

I also always signal my turn, stop for any pedestrians in the cross walk and make sure the intersection is clear.

I don’t blow lights.

I don’t want to die.

I have been bicycling in the city for 9 years and it’s bad out there with the Uber drivers and the Lyft drivers and the tourists on the rental bicycles and the plethora of people bicycling through neighborhoods and it seems just mean, but yes, I did too slow down.

Damn it.

But did I stop?

No.

So, I’ll take my ticket.

But.

“I was startled by the Pod dropping in the middle of the road, it almost hit me, and you’re right, I didn’t stop, and I accept the ticket, but would you please go back and ask the driver to cone off the area, somebody’s going to smash into him.”

I reached for the ticket.

The cop leaned over, “sign this.”

And then, sotto vocce.

“Don’t say anything because my partner is writing out a formal ticket to the guy right next to you, but I’m just giving you a warning, ok?  You’re free to go and I’ll make sure the guy puts cones out.”

He patted my hand, ripped off the ticket and handed it to me.

Whoa.

Dude.

Did that just happen?

Amaze balls.

I hit it and obeyed the traffic laws the rest of the way to work.

Well.

Most of them.

Ahem.

And I was happily surprised that I was so even keeled.

All day.

Until.

My lunch break when I found out, that yes, the family is able to accommodate my request off for the 25th of my student orientation, but guess what?

They’re not going to be in Sonoma for a week.

They’re going to be in Sonoma for two and a half weeks.

Oh my fucking god.

Oh my fucking god.

Oh fuck me.

FUCK.

Breathe.

How old am I?

42.

Take forty of those suckers.

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.

“So we need to figure out all the rental car stuff before you head out to your student retreat,” the mom said clicking over her calendar.

OHMYGOD.

“Ok,” I said.

“I thought you were only going a week,” I said.

Breathe.

“Nope, two and a half, from the 14th through the 30th,” the mom replied.

HOLY SHIT.

I sort of fell of my spiritual beam.

Why?

Well, let me tell you the ways.

Cohort retreat with the incoming ICPW (Integral Counseling Psychology Weekend Cohort) students from this Sunday, August 9th through the 17th in Petaluma.

Then I turn around, come back to San Francisco, head to the air port, pick up a rental car and go back to Glen Ellen and work for the family until, yes, the 28th.

When I am supposed to leave for Burning Man.

I tried not to vomit out the fear in my mouth.

Away from my people for a month, my five ladies for a month, no for five weeks, because when I get back, the first weekend after Burning Man, is my first full on campus weekend.

Six weeks before I can meet with a lady bug.

I made some phone calls.

I got right with God.

I said, “however I can be of service, and yes, I will make up the date on the 25th by working an extra day for the family, either the 22nd or the 23rd (I have off the weekends still, but like it matters, the one day I have off will be spent packing my shit for Burning Man, good thing this is not my first rodeo).

And I will be accountable for the Monday prior to the student orientation and I will have to be back to work the morning after.

So, a fly by to San Francisco and then right back to Petaluma.

The good news?

I won’t have a lot of food expenses.

I get paid an extra $50 per day I’m with the family outside of San Francisco.

I will have a rental car so I can go do the deal in Sonoma and Petaluma.

I will be too busy to be freaked out about anything.

I will be so in the present moment it will be exalted.

And as I rode my bicycle home through the park tonight, the one fast filling up with lights and fences and stages and sound machines and port-a-potties (Outside Lands starts tomorrow) I was so in my body it was spooky.

And exhilarating.

I am alive.

ALIVE.

And there but for the grace of god go I.

No cherry popsicle for me today.

No crack cocaine.

Just all the things.

Wow.

I mean.

All the things I could possible schedule into my life.

Now’s the time I’m going to get asked out by the love of my life.

Because, hey why not pack something else into my schedule.

Bwahahahahaaha.

See you on the other side.

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