Locked And Loaded


I made it through the work week.

Now to make it through the school weekend.

Three days of showing up and participating and being the best little student I can be.

Yeah.

I’m a teacher’s pet.

What of it?

I’m also ready.

Food is prepped, lunches and dinners.

I went to the grocery store after work, got a few extra things to have on hand so I don’t have to think about getting groceries or dealing with food stuff.

I also got myself a nice bouquet of flowers.

Because.

Hello.

Buy your own damn flowers.

And.

I’m done with my papers, my readings, and laundry–celebrate with something pretty just for me.

I am on point.

So that I don’t have to do anything but use my brain.

It does get a good work out when I’m in school.

And  have enough to think about then to worry about laundry or cleaning or groceries or bills or any of it.

Phone bill paid, rent paid, fuck, I paid it weeks ago, scooter insurance paid.

I just wish I was able to use it this weekend.

But the weather don’t look good.

So I gassed up my scooter and covered her up.

Fingers crossed I may be able to use it on Sunday, but tomorrow and Saturday, it’s looking like rain.

So.

I’ll take cars.

I was trying to talk myself into using MUNI but it’s doubtful.

I’ll want the extra time for sleeping.

I feel pretty rested, but it was a stressful day at work, hell it’s been a stressful couple of weeks, the family is doing a big spring break travel and there were a lot of extra things to juggle.

But.

As of today I won’t see the boys for a week.

I snuggled them both for a little while tonight before I left.

“I love you and I’m going to miss you and I just want you to know that even though I can’t see you, you are here, right here in my heart,” I told each of the boys.

I got kisses blown to me from the little guy, but the six year old and I had a longer conversation about the trip and the traveling and what was I going to be doing.

I told him that I would be in school and then I would be helping out the family and doing some things at the house to make sure it was prepared for them when they came home next week.

He also asked me to go down to the beach, he knows the whales are migrating, and try and see some whales and take some pictures for him.

“I will, and how about I bring you a souvenir?”  I asked him.  “What about a sand dollar?”

“Oh yes! I would love a sand dollar,” he hugged me and patted my hand and then scurried out of my lap to go play rescue helicopter pilot eskimo pirate santa t-rex trains.

Don’t ask.

Suffice to say, I felt my heart very tugged.

I won’t miss the stress of getting them ready for the trip, but I will miss the boys.

The oldest came running up to me before I headed down the stairs and out the door, and threw himself at me and clambered up into my arms and kissed my face.

My heart broke and then grew bigger and more love, more love, more love.

I squeezed him tight, “I love you bug, have fun.”

Now one ever told her to guard her heart.

I put him down and scurried down the stairs before I could get wrangled into any more last minute work projects or get caught up in saying any more good byes to the boys.

Free!

I rode off into the waning of the day and the encroaching fog and rain clouds.

I see you.

But I still may have time to enjoy a few moments of Doctor Seuss sky before the night falls complete.

The quiet crash of the night, the shimmer of neon on the 76 gas station sign at La Playa and Lincoln and I had a moment, a memory, a shimmering of tender nostalgia flare up inside my chest.

The sea side, the old gas station logo, the smell of wood burning at the fire pits on Ocean Beach.

Did I ever tell you how my favorite smell is woodsmoke?

Bonfires on the edge of the ocean, the dark water, somber and shiny, the smell of salt water drenched driftwood drenched and bleached under the sun, then gathered up in bundles to throw on the bundle of wood bought the market with the styrofoam cooler and the six packs of beer.

My mother and her boyfriend.

My sister, asleep in the back seat of the car.

I didn’t last much longer myself.

But I do remember the fire and the way it smelled and my mother, barefoot, jeans rolled, hair in her eyes, her gulping laugh of intoxication and joy, shimming around the fire.

Then.

I woke up and the sea was calm and I was alone in the morning air and fog and cool sand.

We ate breakfast at some sea side diner with red checked table cloths and booths, a long room with wood floors and un-ironic rope art and wooden ship steering wheels.

I had pancakes.

Thin, round, silver dollars.

They sat smeared with butter and soaked up the syrup that fell from the glass container, the sticky spot on the black handle where the syrup leaked out.

I remember watching the syrup soak into my pancakes.

My sister ate sausages dipped in the syrup and repeatedly stuck her finger in the pool of syrup.

Smart girl, she doused her pancakes and waited until all the syrup had soaked through and then poured even more on top, the crumbs of pancake so super saturated with sweetness they crumbled into balls and stuck to the tines of the thin silver fork.

My egg yolk ran into the syrup and I watched the yellow river snake over the plate.

My mom dipped her toast in the yolk and ate it, she smiled and she was so beautiful.

I forget that sometimes how beautiful my mother, bohemian and wild, was, is really, her white cotton button shirt rolled up at the sleeves, her long neck a gazelle, her green eyes grey and soft with the overhead clouds.

All this.

In just a moment.

The acceleration of my scooter from the stop sign at 45th to the turn at La Playa to get gas in my scooter.

“You’re a native!” he said in the message.

I am and I forget that sometimes in the ellipses of time that happened from years five to twenty-nine when I moved back here, but it will be those moments, the red neon sign, the wind on my face, the smell of bonfires on the beach.

And I am home.

In my heart.

In my person.

In this world.

I belong.

Here.

Now.

Always.

 

 

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