Author Archive

I’m Moving in June!

April 4, 2022

He said to me with great vehemence.

Standing a few steps above me, holding his room mate’s cat.

Said cat had darted out from his apartment when he opened the door after I had been incessantly ringing the doorbell. It was my second time trying to get the music to stop last night–the first time one of his friends had pulled back the curtain on the window in the door and waved at me, then went back upstairs–and snuck past me to say hello to my cats.

Ziggy hissed at him, Bunny looked like she was seeing the Creature From the Black Lagoon–every hair on her was at attention, she looked like a gigantic white puffer fish.

I shooed the cat out of my apartment and he scooped her up.

I think holding the cat was helpful for DJ Douche Bag.

Who, in times of feeling generous I now call DJ Bob to my friends.

(I mean, I was young and stupid once too)

Or clients.

“Is that music coming from your house?” A client asked me last week on a video call.

“Nope. That,” I said, “is from the neighbor upstairs, DJ Bob, likes to play a lot bass heavy music.”

“Wow,” my client replied, “that must be really loud.”

Yeah.

REALLY fucking loud.

Last week was kind of terrorizing for me, as far as DJ Bob goes, he was day time retaliating for me calling the cops on his party.

Let me back track a little.

Last week I ran into the master tenant, who I rarely see, and who has assiduously avoided me, only castigating me to the landlord and accusing me to the landlord of making false claims–the landlord has forwarded her emails and his responses to me to see, that there is in fact no music.

There is no there there.

Which made me livid.

I mean.

I am not hearing things.

Nor are all of the many guests that have come over and been agog at how loud it is.

I don’t like being gas lit.

And gas lighting was what she was doing.

So when I saw her come in I opened my door, and said, “hey S_______________, “hey! S_____________” we need to talk about DJ Bob (not his name, duh).

And I explained to her that once again the music was being played quite late, had been despite my best efforts to get it to stop, ringing the door bell, etc. continuing to be played well past the 10p.m. noise ordinance cut off.

And the master tenant looked at me and said, “I was home last night and there was no music being played.”

I was a-fucking-ghast.

What the fuckity fuck bitch?

I replied, yes there was, I heard it, it kept me up, I rang the bell, numerous times. You didn’t hear me ringing the bell?

No, master tenant replied.

Well, I rang it a lot last night. DJ Bob was playing quite late.

Master tenant replied, no he didn’t, he’s not here. There was no music being played last night.

OMG.

Fuck you hooker.

You are gas lighting me.

I replied, well, perhaps DJ Bob wasn’t there, but someone was in his room, someone was playing music, there were loads of people in and out and when I rang the bell I could here the music from the side walk and saw someone standing in front of the window (they are big bay windows) wearing headphones and there were people dancing behind him.

Master tenant said again, DJ Bob’s not here, there was no music being played.

I repeated that there was and that it respectfully needed to be turned off at 10p.m. as per the noise ordinance, please tell DJ Bob to adhere to that.

He’s not here, master tenant said and went inside.

I cannot even begin to tell you how mad I was.

MAD, mad I tell you!

I heard her go upstairs and bang on a door but that’s it.

Then I heard the music, faint, but just there.

And I thought, huh, DJ Bob’s not home, eh?

I went out the back door to my apartment and up the back stairs and every step I took up the music got louder.

Until I was at the roof.

By the way.

I’ve never been on the roof.

But guess what?

DJ Bob has.

There he was, headphones on, back to me wearing his purple sweatshirt, bobbing his head, surrounded by folks drinking and smoking and dancing.

Fuck my life.

This is an Art Deco historic building with a god damn tar paper roof, that managed to not get razed in the earthquake and subsequent fire of 1851 here in San Francisco.

You’re gonna set the damn building on fire.

Or one of your intoxicated friends is going to stumble off the top of a three story building and fall into the street.

I started taking pictures-DJ Bob, the table with the turntables and mixers, the chairs, the liquor bottles lined up on the edge of the roof, the speakers, the people smoking.

All of it.

I was going to take a video but someone gave me a weird look and I got spooked and headed back down stairs.

I went to my silver glitter folder on my desk and pulled out my lease.

(of course I keep my lease in a silver glitter folder)

Wasn’t there something about the roof mentioned in the lease?

Ah.

Indeed.

There it is.

I sent the landlord an email:

Dear (redacted–landlord)

There’s a party occurring at this moment on the roof of the building. Smoking, drinking, DJ sound system. Last night I was once again put in the position of requesting the music be turned down in unit ____. First at 11:30p.m. and then upon being woken up by the music in unit ___ at 1:30a.m. I rang the bell multiple times until the music stopped. 

I just spoke with (redacted) who denied that there was any music being played last night (as she was home) and that once again,(redacted) is not at home. This may be true, however, there is high foot traffic in and out of the room, especially on the weekends–some one and oftentimes, multitudes of people are in the room. Last weekend at 3:30a.m. Sunday morning I rang the bell and a man who was not (redacted) or (redacted) came down and peered out the window curtain after I’d rang the bell and without opening it said he’d turn off the music. I’m not hallucinating being woken up by music and I am furious at being put in the position of defending myself and my experience. 

Today is not the first time there’s been music and partying on the roof, but it is the first time I have investigated it. This party is in direct violation of item number 14.) on the lease regarding Nuisance; number 17.) Regarding smoking in common spaces; and most especially number 21.) Roof/Fire escape (Use of roof and/or the fire escapes by Tenant, tenant’s guests, or tenant’s ivitess is limited to emergency egress only. No other use is permitted, including but not limited to , the placement of personal property.)  You can see from the photos that there is alcohol, alcohol bottles, a table set up, speakers, and other property on the roof. There are people dancing, smoking, and drinking.

Please address these matters. I am bewildered by how long this has been going on.

Warm regards,

(Redacted, PhD, LMFT)

Within minutes I got the following response:

“Please call the cops! NO one is allowed on the roof.”

So.

I called the cops.

Cops came.

Party ended.

Sort of.

Party went to DJ Bob’s room with a fucking vengance.

Fucking hell, this is exhausting I thought to myself.

But I was on a tear.

I went outside and I took some photos.

Then I sent the master tenant an email:

Dear (redacted–master tenant)

I thought I would reach out after our conversation today and let you know that there are a number of folks currently in (Redacted)’s room, there’s a dj spinning in the front window, folks dancing, there’s a lot of foot traffic coming into the apartment, I just ran into a couple of girls now heading into the apartment. There’s quite loud music being played. I’m sending this message now in the hopes that you will address your flatmate and stop the music at 10p.m. 

I’m again requesting that you and your flatmates adhere to the noise ordinance.  Attached you will find some photos of an active DJ in the front window of (Redacted)’s room and a great deal of musical equipment set up. These are photos I just took moments ago.

I am dismayed to always have my experience challenged in regards to the noise. It feels like I am being gas lit when I am told there is no music being played. I would like to invite you to check in with your flatmates about the frequency of people coming through the apartment and again ask that the music be turned off at 10p.m. and not resumed later in the evenings or early mornings.

I will be cc’ing (redacted–the landlord) this message as well as the photos.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to have a chat in person. I would like to resolve this amicably and I am more than willing to do a mediation with you, (redacted), and (redacted); either  with (redacted–the landlord) or the SF Community Boards.

Warm regards,

(redacted, PhD, LMFT)

The music stopped at 10:01pm

Fucking thank Christ.

And though it’s been rough during the day all this past week, the music has ended at 10p.m. every night.

Until.

Last night.

Cue DJ Bob on the stairs sweating and holding master tenant’s cat.

I realized pretty quick that he was high and that I was likely not going to get anywhere.

But.

I tried.

Basically, without going word for word, DJ Bob yelled over my calm voice that no one else complained, that when he goes to his friends house and plays til 7a.m. (!!) no one complains, that it is Saturday and he has friends visiting (from Italy, DJ Bob is Italian) and he’s going to play until 11 p.m. when they are going out.

I tried to reason and mentioned the noise ordinance was every day of the week and Saturday was no exception, but got ran over and he kept babbling at me about cops and no one else complains and the street noise.

I raised my voice a little and said, the street noise is not the issue, this is an old building and I feel like I am inside a bass drum, I can’t get away from it, I can hear it in every room of my apartment.

And.

That he was risking the master tenants lease with violating the noise ordinance.

And he shot back that I was threatening the master tenant and that anyway,

I’M MOVING IN JUNE!

Well, fucking thank God.

And.

I’M NOT TURNING OFF THE MUSIC AND MY FRIENDS ARE VISITING FROM OUT OF TOWN AND I’M ONLY PLAYING IT UNTIL 11P.M. AND NO ONE ELSE IS COMPLAINING.

And he ran up the steps in his dirty jeans and sweatshirt with the cat and slammed the door.

And he played the music until 11:30p.m.

Fucker.

So I emailed the landlord again.

Dear (redacted–landlord)

I have just spoken with (redacted) directly and he refuses to turn down the music–“I have friends in from out of town and I will be playing the music until we leave at 11p.m.” I have called the police on multiple occasions now and they either get here well after the music has abated or he sees them coming from the room and stops; thereby triggering a “false complaint.”

I am beyond exhausted by this. I cannot spend my time trying to constantly rationalize with this young man. I can only appeal at this point to you as the landlord.

I need this to cease or I will be leaving the apartment. I pay my rent early, I am quiet, I am respectful and I am an adult trying to explain to a young man who is often intoxicated why this behavior is intolerable. My email to (redacted–master tenant) regarding mediation was unaddressed and I received no response.

I am not a conflictual person but after the interaction I just had with him and his refusal to turn off the music at 10p.m. I am pretty much done.  Either this behavior is dealt with or I will be giving my notice.

Sincerely,

(redacted, PhD, LMFT)

Then I called a dear friend to talk to until the music stopped and I could go to bed.

It’s been exhausting dealing with this.

And.

Please, God.

Hopefully it will be done soon as DJ Bob moves out in June.

Fingers crossed, out to a large, abandoned warehouse in the East Bay in a deserted light industrial neighborhood.

I didn’t express to the landlord the DJ Bob was moving in June as I wanted to convey my need for his intervention as soon as possible.

My worry is that DJ Bob will relentlessly spin his records at full volume until June and I don’t know that I can handle two more months of it.

So, fingers crossed.

I haven’t heard from my landlord, but I am hoping that the master tenant and DJ Bob have.

So far, at 8:09 p.m…..

All is quiet.

Maybe DJ Bob is still recovering from last night, he came in at 5:30a.m., slammed the gate, slammed the door to his apartment and stomped up the stairs.

I, of course, was awakened by the noise as my apartment is on the first floor right by the gate.

I waited with bated breath to hear if the music would go on.

Please God let me sleep.

And I did.

Until 7a.m. when my brain woke me up cheerfully and said, let’s go for a swim.

Which I did.

But not before quietly contemplating turning on my music full blast and leaving it on.

I didn’t.

I just thought about it.

There’s been no music so far today, outside of my own, and I do hope that continues.

If not.

June’s only what?

59 days away.

Sigh.

In A Bind

March 16, 2022

And in some tears.

Sigh.

I had another post op appointment with my surgeon this morning.

He checked out my belt lipectomy, “it looks beautiful,” he said, very pleased.

I told him that I have been doing the scar massage twice a day and he applauded that and told me to continue, pointing out that the scarring on my back would fade with time.

The scar there is a bit wider from bending over, stretching, etc.

Basically I was told, keep up the good work and I’ll see you in six months.

“Any questions,” he asked?

“Actually, yes, what is this?” I asked, pointing to a bump I’ve noticed for a few weeks and that frankly spooked me a tiny bit, what is that thing?

My surgeon felt it and said, “nothing to worry about,” he could tell I’d been worrying.

(It’s some surgical instrument he left in there and he’ll need to go back in and retrieve it! Thanks brain, thanks for sharing.)

“It’s a surgical knot, it’s a stitch, it will dissolve with time, it’s fine,” he said, then, “anything else?”

“Yes, actually,” I said. “When can I stop wearing the binder?”

My surgeon smiled at me, “now, you don’t have to wear it anymore.”

Holy shit.

I was over the moon.

Really?

Yes, really.

“I’ll see you in six months,” and off he went on his busy surgeon way.

I looked at my binder, I folded it up and almost left it in the trash in the examine room, but part of me was like, slow your roll, you might want that later.

So I put it in my purse and put on my leggings and dress and cardigan and left the examination room to make an appointment with the receptionist.

“What days are good for you,” she asked.

“Fridays,” I said.

“Ok, that puts us into September, how about the 16th?”

I asked for an earlier spot and she got me in the week prior on the 9th.

I walked out the door, got gingerly in my car and drove home to get ready for my clients.

I shared excitedly with a few friends about not having to wear the binder.

I mean.

It’s been on 24 hours a day for just under five months.

I was so fucking excited to not wear it.

The only times I take it off are when I’m taking a shower.

Otherwise, all day long, all night long.

I ate breakfast without it, went into sessions without it on, checked in a lot with my body, it certainly feels much more vulnerable without the binder on, I can start with that.

Then.

I began to notice swelling happening.

Ugh.

I sort of sensed that would happen, I mean, even with the binder on I swell during the day, by the end of the day the binder is quite tight.

My belly is always the least swollen in the morning after I have slept.

So I didn’t fret too much.

But, boy oh boy, has my attention been there all day, especially as the swelling continued, to well, swell.

By 5:30p.m. I was like, great, this sucks.

Same at 6:30p.m.

My belly felt and looked to me like how it looked pre surgery. I felt scared and tender and I thought, fuck, I haven’t had dinner yet. And some wonderful part of my brain shared, “what the fuck was the point of getting the surgery if it looks the same as before?”

Fuck you brain.

Also.

It does not look the same, the surgeon always shows me the before photos, even swollen it looks different so stop being so damn mean to me.

Then I thought.

Ugh.

I can’t imagine eating like this.

What if it swells up even more?!

I can’t do it.

But.

I also know better than to not eat dinner.

I have an eating disorder, being mindful about eating my dinner and all my meals is really important to me.

So, with some chagrin, I went and put the binder back on.

Sigh.

Fuck.

Tears.

Resignation.

And.

Relief.

Ugh.

It feels better.

And yeah, maybe it is purely psychological, but after being a therapist holding my clients trauma all day, I’m ok with being gentle with myself and being ok with sure, maybe it’s a placebo, but whatever it feels better.

So just do it.

Listen to what your body is saying.

My body is also saying, get a god damn shoulder massage.

But I can’t get a back rub yet, well, I suppose I could have someone work on my shoulders in a chair, but I don’t think lying down on a massage table is quite an option for me yet.

Gotta wait, back.

Anyway.

I have it, the binder on now, and I reached out to a friend for support and it’s ok that I’m a little sad about it and I can realistically understand that it’s just been under 5 months, the full healing arc of the surgery is 9 months to a year.

And fuck.

My arms that I had done in July, still hurt at the end of the day.

They hurt now.

Not so much that I am overly distracted by it, but they hurt and that surgery was done 8 months ago.

So patience brain.

The body is in charge, not you.

Feel your feelings and be ok with process.

Soon you won’t be in a binder.

My friend suggested I take it in small steps, work up to wearing it less and less.

And really, I got to give myself props, I went from 10a.m. to 7:45p.m. not wearing it.

That’s pretty fucking good.

So, gently, slowly transitioning.

Without too many damn expectations.

And being ok with the process.

Listening to my body without judgment.

Poor thing has been judged too much as it is.

Music For Dancing Slow

March 13, 2022

Oh bunny.

All the feels.

I have been thinking about you a lot recently.

You’re just in the air.

In my dreams too.

My God. I really have had a lot of dreams about you recently.

I used to not dream so much about you.

I don’t know why now.

But there it is.

Maybe it’s because I was in Hawaii recently.

I wore the necklace that you gave to me, the little glass heart, the one that you handed to me that day we drove to Sonoma to have a picnic.

The day I gave you cuff links, out in the high grass while we picnicked and made out and I was shy about showing you the tattoo I had gotten for you.

You told me a story about having bought the glass heart with a little fold of yellow ribbon in the glass, from a jewelry vendor somewhere in Maui and how it pulled you to buy it and you didn’t know why you were buying it.

For someone you had not met yet.

I wear that heart a lot.

I wear the bracelet with the infinity sign on it, every day.

Every day.

I’m still in love with you, likely always will be, and that’s ok.

You in the ether, ephemeral and close and then far away.

In my dreams, in my thoughts.

I sometimes still think that I will end up back in your arms, years later, run into you and be once more with you.

Hopeless, die hard, romantic here.

I don’t cry as much over you as I used to and I try to date and I’m not always so upturned over you, I can say I’ve moved on, a little, but I “pray, every day, that you’ll be back in my arms once again.

That just spun out into the air from my speaker.

It’s from one of the songs on one of your playlists that you made for me.

I haven’t listened to it in a very long time.

But.

I have been thinking about it.

Because.

Analytics.

What does that mean exactly, you ask?

Well.

Lover.

I could be wrong, maybe I am, but I also wonder, could he, is he, “it was not so long ago that you broke my heart, tears on my pillow, pain in my heart, caused by you, if we could start anew, I would take you back and tempt the hand of fate” is he out there reading my blogs?

Also.

Side bar.

Wow.

This playlist seems a little too prescient.

You made this for me for our six month anniversary, I asked you to make me a playlist for slow dancing with you.

I wanted love songs to dance to and these are love songs, but they’re also predicting heart break.

Did you know, even back then, that we would cause each other so much heartbreak?

So, so, so much.

Someday, someway, you’ll realize that you’ve been blind, yes darling, you’re going to need me again, it’s just a matter of time.

Fuck.

You knew this was going to happen, didn’t you, we would bash our hearts out on each other and hurt each other and try again and again, so many times.

GAH.

Maybe I should stop playing this.

That was like a side bar to the side bar.

Back to the analytics.

So, my blog lets me know a few things on the back end of the platform that no one except me can see.

I can’t see who reads my blogs.

But I can see where in the world my readers are coming in from.

I can see how many reads a day I get.

I can see if someone is in the archives.

And.

I can see what particular blogs are being read.

And.

Well.

I’ve been seeing something recently that makes me think a lot about you darling.

And maybe it’s not you.

But someone, once a week, on Thursdays, which are actually Fridays for me I think (WordPress is on a different time zone so I don’t know if it’s actually Thursdays when the blogs are read), reads a bunch of my blogs.

And two of them constantly pop up.

“Love Songs and Nail Salons.”

And.

“Hello, Stranger.”

It feels like you’re out there, quietly waving to me.

You haven’t called me or texted me or emailed me.

You did connect with me briefly, oh so damn briefly back in October, just days before my dissertation defense, and we could have talked, you called after receiving a card from me, but when I had to go into a client session you left a voice mail and that was it, not another call or text.

Despite telling you I could talk, I sent you a text later after my session ended, but you said you were on “East Coast time” and going to bed and you never reached out again.

I got damn angry.

That riled me up for a while.

Then I had my surgery and had to finish my dissertation and then it’s the holidays and my birthday and that’s when I wrote Love Songs and Nail Salons.

You are intertwined with my birthday and you might always be.

I’m not sure how long this person, you or someone else, I like to pretend it’s you, I like to pretend you’re reading this now.

Fantasy.

Hope.

Idiocy.

You pick.

I don’t care if you don’t want me, I’m here right now, I put a spell on you, because you’re mine.

Boy howdy, you put together one hell of playlist darling.

Shoo bop, shoo bop,

Hello stranger, it seems so good to see you back again, how long has it been?

Seems like a mighty long time.

Oh fuck.

Wow.

That pulled some tears up.

Hmmm.

Yeah.

I still have all the feels.

I am grateful to be writing this though.

You’re not going to read it.

Someone will though.

And maybe that’s ok.

When the love is this strong it doesn’t go away, the grief, the pain, the sorrow, time doesn’t heal all the wounds, the arrows of love from Cupid’s bow, my container to hold it all just got bigger.

You know.

What I used to tell you to make the hurt less, um, hurt”y”.

Sometimes God breaks your heart to break it open and make it bigger, all the better to hold more love.

Can what you’re thinking bring happiness, or will it bring misery?

Honey bunny.

You knew.

You knew we were doomed.

You don’t have to tell me pretty baby, you want me to try and forget you, I’ll do the best I can.

I should have listened to this closer.

I think I was just so damn enamored with you at the time. So fucking in love with you.

I remember when I was told, people will tell you all the time who they are and what they can offer, believe them.

Yeah.

“I want to fuck you,” someone told me recently. He’s not available for anything else, and I heard it loud and clear and expect nothing else from him.

Should that come to pass.

Repeat to self.

When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

I wanted so bad to believe that you would get out of your situation.

But you told me all along, you couldn’t, that you wouldn’t.

And here I am, still, wondering, but maybe….

Ah.

Big, deep breath.

I had a revery once, last March, and I can’t even believe I am going to write this, but I am, because that’s what I do.

(“I could never write a blog,” an ex-lover once told me, “you wear your heart on your sleeve, you tell things about your life I never could.”)

While I was in Joshua Tree being all woo woo with a bunch of girls in the desert doing a guided mediation and a sound bath, how much more woo can you get?

But once I stopped having contempt prior to investigation.

Something happened.

I had a vision of the two of us.

I‘m a fool to want you, I’m a fool to want you, to want a love that can’t be true, a love that’s there, for others too. I’m a fool to hold you, such a fool to hold you, to seek a kiss that’s mine a lone, to share a kiss the devil has known. Time and time again, I said I’d leave you. Time and time again. I went away.

I had a vision of us in Hawaii, living together at the end of our lives, on a lanai, or a porch, you had me in your arms, I had long, long, long hair, threaded with gray and I was so frail, and I died in your arms while the moon set over the ocean.

I can’t get along without you.

Oh love.

Maybe that’s all there is to this love, this exquisite pain that lets me know I have loved and lived and still have so much life yet to go.

I don’t know who’s reading those blogs of mine so assiduously for the last stretch of time, but it’s put you in my mind.

If you ever go, darling, I’ll be oh so lonely, I’ll be sad and blue, crying over you, dear only.

By the way.

I had that vision far before I was even thinking about Hawaii or going to Hawaii, and now having been and knowing how much I resonated with the islands and how much you do too, oh Maui baby, I do wonder.

Maybe one day, some day, far away in the future, in another life, in some other dream, I will see you on a beach somewhere and be once more in your arms.

Unforgettable, that is what is what you are…like a song of love that clings to me, ooh, how the thought of you does things to me. Never before has someone been more unforgettable.

Until then, sweet heart.

Be kind to you.

Love yourself.

Take care of yourself.

And I will do the same.

Are you lonesome tonight, do you miss me tonight, are you sorry we drifted apart?

You gave me something no one else ever has and I will never forget it.

Even if I never see you again.

I will always have you in my heart.

Always.

Because.

Love is strange.

Baby Steps

March 8, 2022

I had an in person session today at my office.

It was good.

It was also good to actually meet this client in person as we have never met in person before.

They started with me during the first shelter in place lock down.

I am coming up on the anniversary of that event.

And having some anniversary feelings.

I remember well the week prior, two years ago, things were playing out in the on again off again relationship I had been desperately trying to figure out for years.

Not playing out well, in the end, that relationship ended.

I still have pangs over that.

Why didn’t he figure it out?

Why couldn’t we make it work?

Why?

Why, I am always reminded is not a spiritual question.

It doesn’t help and knowing why is some sort of balm my brain wants to have to explain away the inexplicable.

It just was.

It just couldn’t work.

I just didn’t work.

And no matter how hard I tried I only got hurt.

I have been thinking a lot about relationships, dating, who I am, what I want.

In some persistent way I have always stowed away this thought of marriage, commitment, partnership.

Yet.

I have never really gotten close.

Despite a former “semi” proposal when I was in my mid-twenties from my one and only really “long term” relationship.

Is five years a long term relationship?

Anyway.

Why marriage?

Why partnership?

Wearing a dress, having a ceremony?

Societal expectations?

Family expectations?

My expectations?

Expectations typically lead to resentments.

I do crave company and touch and physical connection, I’m not going to deny that; but historically marriage is actually not great for women.

In a heteronormative marriage that is.

They work more, care take more, do more of the household labor.

Men actually statistically reap huge benefits being married.

Women not so much.

So why do I want it?

When I think about what I want I think about the physical connection of being with a man, I like closeness and, I hate the fucking wording of this, one of my “love languages” is non-sexual physical touch.

I’m cuddly.

Which the last guy I dated did not provide.

I love sex.

Don’t get me wrong, sex is definitely still a need, that drive is still there at 49, and may it be for some time thank you very much, although a touch softer of a demand then it used to be.

But affection.

I crave affection.

Hand holding, massage, leaning into someone, having my head rubbed.

Sigh.

But does that have to preclude being married?

I mean.

I might be putting the cart before the horse.

Am I shutting myself down from potential connection thinking better do it for the long haul?

Also.

What do I need from a partnership that I’m not already giving myself?

I love to travel, I love my home, I have a great space (when it’s not being invaded by the sonic intrusion of DJ Douche Bag upstairs), I don’t share it with anyone.

Well.

My cats.

They do think they own everything.

I keep my space the way I like it.

I have my schedule the way I like it.

I do my own thing.

What do I think I am missing out on?

What if I wasn’t missing out on anything?

I think some of this is just being really comfortable with my life and starting to find a nicer balance now that I’m not in the PhD mode all the time and have gotten a modicum of space from the last surgery I had and some decent recovery in my body.

Also.

Thank God.

My back is feeling much better.

A very easy weekend, lots of rest, lots of heating pad.

I’m actually using the heating pad right now too.

It is just nice after my day at the office.

I still need to dial a few things in there.

I’m going to pop over to Black & Gold on Valencia and pick up a vintage coat rack I’ve been eye-balling for months.

I could use an alternative set up chargers for my MacBook and a small extension cord by my desk for all the things I need plugged in–not all of my sessions are in person, I still am doing plenty, the majority of my session via video.

And one more hanging plant for my office.

But other than that, it’s such a sweet, welcoming space and I was happy to be there in my sessions today.

I ran five, only one was in person, from my office and one from home this morning.

Tomorrow I will be at home fully, all my sessions are remote.

I will be going in again on Thursday as I have a client that wants to be coming back in person.

This client was one of the last, although not the last, clients I saw in person prior to lock down.

It will have been two years.

I’m so grateful for this small baby step into a different experience with therapy and seeing my clients.

It’s not “back to normal”.

I don’t know if it’s the new normal.

It’s just nice to be getting a little more engagement with the world.

And maybe that’s how I look at dating, partnership, relationships.

Just with some curiosity and lightness and that I don’t have to figure it out.

Figure it out is a shit slogan.

For now.

Everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be.

It always is, truthfully.

I just sometimes get stuck in thinking it would be better if….

If what?

And why wait to be happy, when…

I am happy now.

And that is good enough.

It really is.

Do I Stay

March 6, 2022

Or do I go?

My upstairs neighbor has been playing horrid music all day.

All damn day.

Since 11a.m.

It is now 8:15p.m.

Non-stop, no rest, no break, hardcore electronic, thump, thump, thump bass music.

It is like living inside a headache.

How’s that meth treating you dude?

I’m pretty sure the kid is using, the hours he keeps, the loud music, the people in and out partying, banging the gate, the music that is non-stop.

He’s a DJ.

He’s actually a bagger at Whole Foods, not to disparage anyone in any service industry, but he’s a hobbyist.

Not a real DJ.

Or, not a DJ with any fucking talent.

Then again, even the best DJ on the planet might stress me out if I was listening to it non-stop without being able to turn it off for nine hours.

I’ll get a reprieve at 10p.m. when we play our nightly routine of chicken when I give him a few minutes to shut down the damn system, noise ordinance, and then go out and stridently ring the door bell.

He never answers, but the music does tend to stop.

Not always.

But a few complaints to the landlord–seven emails documenting time of day and levels of noise (anywhere from 12:30p.m. to once at 4:30a.m.) including me recording how loud it was with my phone and sending that in–a complaint filed with the city and calling the cops three times, has helped a bit to get him to comply with turning off the system.

Normally I’m not in my damn house all day, except when I’m in my home office seeing clients during the work week on video, and there are a few weekdays he obviously is not working–Tuesdays and Thursdays, when it’s going off all day long.

But today.

Ugh.

Today I was in the house all day long.

Not my happy place for a weekend day.

But I hurt my back a couple of days ago.

Fuck me.

I am getting old.

I pulled a muscle in my back and it has been a screaming nightmare.

I mean.

Ok.

I exaggerate a little but it has been really painful.

I got it, sigh, hopping around putting on a pair of leggings.

Ugh.

It just went out and I screamed and said, “no!” really loudly.

It was also, wait for it, the first day I was going back into office to see clients in person.

Fuck my life.

I hobbled to my office.

I have hurt my back in this same place before and know that the muscles there are not great.

The first time I injured it was back in 2005 and it was a dozy.

Like super fucking bad.

I didn’t pull a muscle then, I tore a muscle and it took so long to heal.

I couldn’t bend over, I couldn’t lift anything more than 5lbs for literally six or seven months.

I walked with a fucking cane for five months.

It was horrendous.

This was not that, but it spooked me, it was too close for comfort.

So I knew I had to take it easy the last few days and fortunately there has been some recovering, I certainly did not tear a muscle, I have been able to lift things and move around, although watching me put groceries away would have been a hoot if you had seen me trying to get things in the fridge.

Lift with your legs!

I got down too low at one point and just threw things in the fridge.

I also couldn’t load the bottom part of my dishwasher, so doing all the dishes by hand, luxury problem.

And let me not forget the agony of changing the cat box out.

Good grief.

Today I tried to go out for a walk and realized that I had been over compensating with other parts of my back and now the middle part and my shoulders are fucked up.

Gah.

So I just did a very slow mosey around a few blocks and came back home.

I got nestled on the couch with lunch, a heating pad, a book, a cup of tea and just stayed there the whole day.

Around 5p.m. I had had it with the music.

Remember the part about being inside a head ache?

Yeah.

I tried to nap and I couldn’t.

The music was just too much.

So.

I thought, well, hmm, maybe it is time to move.

All my requests about lowering the music have been pretty snubbed and I have kept telling myself, you’ll wait him out, he’s a kid, he’ll move soon, I have invested a lot in my home and it’s lovely and cozy and I don’t really want to move.

Although I could stand a little more natural light and a little less street noise to be honest and my utilities here are pretty high–it’s not really an energy efficient apartment.

But.

It’s a five minute walk to my office.

And I just started going back into my office.

And I like the location.

But.

Headache.

Pounding headache listening to this crap all day long.

So.

Craiglist.

And low and behold what is this?

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/d/san-francisco-one-bedroom-gem-in-one-of/7450255496.html

Why look!

(UPDATED EDIT: I just went back to Craigslist after listening to more horrible music and thinking, yeah, maybe it is time to get the hell out of here and the ad changed! The ad fucking changed. It was listed for $2600, after I emailed my landlord the ad changed to $2750. I’m being gaslit, this happened to me when I saw my apartment when I moved in, I believe my landlord did a bait and switch putting an ad on Craigslist for $2750 which is what I had my filters set to on the site and when I came to see it, he showed me the ad for $2850, which is what my rent is, I was seriously confused but I also needed a place so I took it. And fuck, I should have taken a screen shot. GRRRR. I imagine there’s going to be a very interesting email tomorrow from my landlord.)

It’s the apartment across the way from me.

Which is literally the same size square footage as mine.

FOR $250 LESS!

Now it wasn’t always $250 less a month then my place.

No.

When it first went on the market they were asking pre-pandemic San Francisco rent: $3300/month.

They never got it.

The apartment has been empty now for about a year.

The rent dropped to $3100.

Then to $2950.

Then to $2850 about four, maybe five months ago.

How do I know this?

Because I have gone on Craigslist more than once in frustration around the noise of the music.

And the apartment always pops up in my search.

So when I saw it today I was livid.

What the fucking hell?

I furiously texted a friend, I perseverated on it, I pulled out my SF Tenant Handbook and I looked up negotiating a rent decrease. I Googled some articles.

I debated inside my head.

All the while listening to DJ Douche Bag.

My fond moniker for my upstairs neighbor–who fyi is not the master tenant, he moved in last May and has been a freaking nuisance since then.

I know he certainly doesn’t pay as much rent as I do.

And I decided.

Fuck it.

I’m writing the landlord.

I let him know that I needed a few maintenance things done at the apartment and then I made the request.

I let him know I wanted to renegotiate the rent (I had tried once last year in August and he shut me down but said he wouldn’t raise the rent this year).

I reminded him of the obvious, I’m quiet, amiable, pay my rent on time–actually early I literally pay the rent every month on the fifteenth for the upcoming month as this is when I get paid.

I’m a solid tenant.

I also said that it was unreasonable for me to be paying substantially higher rent than that which was being offered to a new tenant to the building and I asked for my rent to be lowered to reflect the rent being offered in the ad.

I also offered to sign a longer lease, 2-3 years, if that would help.

I actually don’t want to move, it’s a fucking hassle, but if the apartment across the way is being rented for way less then what I am paying and the noise upstairs continues.

I’m out.

Despite what I hear on the street about rents going up it doesn’t seem to be that way and the fact that a one bedroom in Hayes Valley in a rent controlled building has been on the market for over a year tells me all I need to know.

It’s time to lower the rent.

Right damn now.

I don’t believe the house party is going to stop upstairs, but if I was paying $250 a month less in rent I do believe I could tolerate it a little better.

And if my landlord isn’t amenable.

Cool.

I’ll be on the market for a new place.

Let me know if you know of anything.

Sans DJs.

Exhausting

February 18, 2022

Dating apps are exhausting.

Bumble has informed me I have run out of matches, “that’s all for now!” and change your profile filters if you want to find more folks.

Nah.

I’m a bit over it.

Especially as I didn’t match with all that many guys.

And that’s ok.

I have gone back in with a more discriminating eye and frankly if any one even mentions smoking weed, I’m out.

I can handle the occasional cocktail drinker, but the weed just grosses me out.

And I’m pretty set on my age range, five years younger, five years older.

That makes for a nice span.

Except when the person lies.

There are some guys that lie right from the start and put up a fake age so they will pop up in your search and then the first thing they say is, “I lied about my age, I’m really, blah, blah, blah”.

Fuck off.

I didn’t lie about my age.

I’m 49.

You don’t like kicking it with a 49 year old woman I want you to swipe left.

Swipe away motherfucker.

And frankly if you lie about your age, what else are you lying about?

I found out in a recent phone call.

Not to self, gave out my number a little too fast.

I was getting discouraged with all the not matching.

When I did match with a guy and we chatted a bit and then he asked to move to our phones and we texted a bit and then he called.

Holy shit.

I was on the call maybe fifteen minutes.

He did most of the talking.

And he lied about his age.

He wasn’t 44, he is 51.

And he gave some bullshit excuse why he lied and how women don’t want men his age and he’s actually got all this energy and he does’t look 51, blah, blah, blah.

Without letting me get in a word.

I would have told him if he had taken a moment to catch his damn breath, that I was actually more interested in a guy who is 51 versus 44.

See I figure, 44/45’ish with guys, they still might want kids and I’m out of that ball park.

Oh.

The other thing the guy lied about, he has kids.

Two.

And!

He wants more.

I was like, ok, you’re 51 and you want more kids, cool.

But.

Um.

I don’t.

And I said that really clearly, if that’s what you’re looking for, I am the wrong person for you, I don’t want kids.

I nannied for 13 years, I got my fix of babies (I do still miss a warm baby napping on my chest though, so good).

Plus, at 49, do you know what they call that at the hospital?

A geriatric pregnancy.

No thank you.

Dude rolled right over me, oh, you’ll have lots of babies with me (really, cuz I’m not thinking that at all), a whole bunch, you got time, women having babies into their 70s.

Jesus.

I want to retire when I’m 70, not be having a baby.

I repeated myself, nope, no kids, no thanks, you want kids, you better look elswehere.

And he ran me over again and said we’d have loads of kids and more word vomit.

I was like, I need to get the fuck off this call.

Then he asked where I was in San Francisco and he was telling me how well he knew the city and when I said, “Hayes Valley” he had no idea where that is.

Um, ok, I’m sorry, but Hayes is a super popular little hood and most people that “know San Francisco like the back of their hand” know where Hayes Valley is.

But you know.

Fuck, I’m glad he doesn’t know.

Cuz stalker vibe.

And then he told me his last lie, he’d lied about where he lived so that, again, he would get picked up by a wider range of women.

Not cool dude.

I want someone who is geographically desirable.

I don’t want to date a guy in Martinez.

Or where ever the fuck you actually live.

I told him I had to go and I got off the phone real fast and immediately blocked him.

Then I went back on Bumble, messaged him, thanks for the call but I don’t feel a connection, and I unmatched with him.

So imagine my surprise when he sent me a video message the next day.

WTF?!

Then he texted me twice the following day.

Hello, Iphone, it says blocked, why aren’t you blocking?!

Then yesterday while I’m in a client session he calls, now my phone’s off, but I see the call come through, not once, but twice, later when I’m out of the session.

Fuck you Iphone, block this guy.

I google it.

Restart my Iphone, block again.

Nothing today.

So hopefully he’s gone.

So yeah, just yuck.

I matched with four guys.

One responded with all emoji’s.

I didn’t message him back.

Grow the fuck up.

The other was persistent guy who wants me pregnant into my 70s, like who are you, Hugh Hefner?

The other guy was hot and I thought, jackpot, cool, went back into his profile and shit, I saw the red flag, the little marijuana leaf symbol had “frequently” next to it.

I hadn’t caught it on the first round.

So.

I didn’t message frequently smokes pot guy.

Leaving me with one match.

We have a date on Friday.

For tea.

That is hopeful.

I have not expectations at all.

The meeting for tea and/or coffee, the way I look at it, is a dry run for an actual date.

And maybe I go back on Hinge.

Who knows.

But.

I’m out there trying.

But, damn, it is tiring swiping left all the time.

No, nope, nope, cute dog, nope, NO, is that a picture from your wedding? NO. Next, nope, nope, nope, ew, why are you wearing a mask in the photo? We are not socially distancing on the app, I can’t catch COVID through my phone. No, No thank you, yikes, no to you, sir, smoking that fat blunt, no, to you friend–drinking straight from a margarita pitcher, um, no thanks. PLEASE STOP POSTING PICTURES OF THE FISH YOU CAUGHT, or your kids–does the other parent know you’re putting your kids pix on a dating app? No pictures of you and your ex, especially if you “x’ed” out their face, noooo, no to “love to laugh,” who the fuck doesn’t. Me, I hate laughing, next.

Sigh.

Just needed to vent.

I’ll be back out there tomorrow.

Maybe.

Try, try again

February 14, 2022

Ok.

So.

I got back on the damn app.

I had a few moments of wondering if I would run across dude’s profile, but so far nada.

Which is nice.

Also, ran across a former client.

Eek.

Swipe Left! Swipe left!

And.

An ex from five’ish years ago.

Also.

Swipe left.

And, when you match with a lady and she reaches out, I’m on Bumble, and sends a messages, don’t reply in all emoji’s.

Unless you don’t want to go on a date.

WTF?

Folks have some strange behaviors.

I’m not going straight up sober only guys, but I am looking more closely at the whole frequency of smoking weed thing.

And.

I do recognize quite clearly that I have to be direct about my needs.

I am not here to diminish my needs.

I am also proud of myself for the things that I did do with the last guy that I dated.

I clearly stated my sexual needs.

I said when I hadn’t an orgasm.

Albeit.

l did not appreciate the response.

“I didn’t know you were keeping score.”

No.

But, you didn’t check in with me either.

I mean.

I know you came.

But just because I’m a little vocal does not mean I did.

Anywho.

It’s not about taking anyone’s inventory but my own, thanks.

So, I spoke up about my sexual desires and what I like, and that was cool. Probably the most direct and transparent I have ever been.

Also, apparently my drive is still quite high.

I mean, I’m 49, but I still have some very clear needs here.

I also spoke up for non-sexual physical intimacy.

Something I have modeled to a person I’m dating, but never really spoke up for.

I’ll give dude credit, he did articulate that he’d noticed, but he was not able to give what I was looking for.

I am a cuddle bug.

I also recognized that I get excited about dating and connecting.

In this excitement, I down played when was good for me to be hanging out.

Monday nights after a long day of client sessions and driving cross town at 8:30p.m. when I have an early client session on Tuesday morning and then I drive back and can’t find parking where I live.

No good.

That happened the second week we were hanging out.

I ended up circling and circling and nearly crying at 1 a.m. trying to find a place to park.

I did not let that happen again.

So.

Yeah.

I learned.

I learned I can’t down play my needs, dim my voice, or do for another when I’m not taking care of myself.

Basic ass shit.

But.

As my therapist has stated this past week, I did not have healthy romantic models in my childhood.

Um.

No.

And I learned, at a very young age, that when I asked for my needs to be met I would be met with violence.

So I tend to down play them or try to figure them out of my own and I never, ever let the other person know I’m disappointed or sad or whatever “negative” emotion I am having.

Those aren’t allowed.

But.

It’s ok to let another person know how I feel, actually really important, I was disappointed a number of times and didn’t say anything.

Somewhere inside me is a little girl who thinks she doesn’t deserve to have her needs met.

I had someone ask me recently what I need and I was able to articulate it quite clearly.

I mean.

I know what I want.

Now, it’s just a matter of continuing to speak up for it and if the person can’t meet the need, that’s ok.

Dating is going to be about curiosity and exploration.

I’m not trying to find the one to complete me.

I’m complete, thanks.

But.

I am looking for a compliment.

Someone who wants to travel with me–you better have a passport, have fucking awesome sex, make out a bunch, drink a lot of coffee, make me laugh, cuddle, be taller than me, wants to be in a committed, monogamous romantic relationship, and eats their steak rare.

Oh.

And don’t be allergic to cats.

I have two.

They like their steak rare as well.

Heh.

I Dumped Your Whiskey

February 11, 2022

Down the drain.

You brought over a bottle with you the first time I cooked a meal for you, a little weird, but I was trying to be a good hostess and you wanted a cocktail with dinner.

So, sure.

But you procure it, I’m not buying booze for anyone.

You left it on the counter when you left and I did think, hmm, do I really want this in my house?

But, I figured, well, I have neutrality and I’m certainly not tempted, so I put it in the cupboard over the stove behind the bottle of Bragg’s Amino’s and the bottle of balsamic vinegar.

And mostly forgot it.

Until recently.

I threw your toothbrush in the trash.

Granted. It wasn’t your toothbrush, it was an extra one from the dentist that I asked you to use when you asked me, “Can I kiss you,” and I said, “only if you brush your teeth.”

The combo smell of dinner at Absinthe with a client and three whiskey Manhattan’s on your breath was just too much for me to entertain kissing.

I composted your homemade raisin oatmeal cookie vanilla ice cream sandwich.

Yeah.

That went away too.

I’m not exactly mad.

Although I am a touch flummoxed.

What happened?

I mean, on one hand I have a pretty good sense, we weren’t quite as compatible as perhaps we were both pretending to be.

I’m sober.

You’re not.

It’s been a long time since I dated anyone who drank.

So there’s that.

But it was some other things too.

Not taking me out last Friday was definitely a disappointment.

Especially when I showed up at your house dressed to the nines, because as you told me last Wednesday night, “we’ll do something fun on Friday and have sex.”

Excellent.

Something “fun” on Friday turned out to be a well done steak on a plate in your house while you drank whiskey and smoked weed.

I can handle the booze to a point, but the weed, man, I don’t like it.

Especially when I asked from the beginning, literally I said it on our first date, I am allergic and I hate the way it smells, you can’t smoke weed around me, I can handle you drinking, but pot is too much–you also can’t snort cocaine off my boobs–to not have it smoked around me.

But I suppose when one is in their home, doing their thing, smoking their weed is par for the course.

I didn’t say anything when you lit up while we watched a movie, which, fyi, 1917 is fucking phenomenal, but I did pull away from you on the couch.

I just super hate the way it smells.

I recognized, from working with my therapist in a session earlier that day, that I wasn’t letting you know when I was disappointed.

I was also really disappointed to find out that you were going to go away for the weekend.

I guess you forgot that you had offered to help me move things into storage over the weekend too.

Sigh.

I mean, I understood, you had to go spend the weekend with a client in Tahoe.

Awesome.

Get your client on.

“Do you ski?” I asked.

“No, we’re just going to drink whiskey, smoke weed, and hang out in the hot tub.”

Ok, then.

You wanted me to spend the night, and that had been the plan, and Tahoe meant up early and hitting the road, so we compromised and I said I wouldn’t spend the night, but I would still come over.

But you know, I still thought we were going out.

And I did at least manage to say I was disappointed that we had to change up our plans.

I can see, however, that I was diminishing my feelings.

We had the sex.

Thanks.

I left and let you get sleep for getting up early to go drink whiskey and smoke weed and hot tub.

Aside.

WTF?

Maybe it’s just me, but my choice would have been hang out with a hot woman who’s fun and smart and creative and hella good in bed.

So, maybe I don’t drink whiskey.

So, maybe I don’t smoke pot.

But.

Fuck.

I have moves, and I have energy.

I am also five years older than you and have a lot more energy.

But this is not about you, I’m making this about me.

Meanwhile, I figured that like the other time you went out of town and didn’t text me while you were away, you’d do the same this time.

I also, honestly, didn’t feel like fishing for attention.

So I didn’t text you either.

But then when Monday came, when you told me you’d be back from Tahoe, I thought you’d check in with me.

Nope.

Nothing.

Crickets.

Zilch.

Five days with absolutely no contact.

Five.

I thought about texting, but truly, I think I’d already came to the conclusion that there were things that just weren’t working for me.

And.

In your actions, to not reach out, you spoke mighty loud.

You made a choice, which is your right, but it was a disappointment.

And.

It’s been fucking weird as hell, as each day has drifted by, that you didn’t text or call.

Not once.

Not after 11 times hanging out.

No phone calls.

No text messages.

I have questioned it, a lot, but I figure this is God doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

Ultimately you were saying it loud and clear, before the lack of connection, when you decided to Tahoe it up.

You don’t want to hang out with me.

And after this week, and the disappointment of last week.

I don’t want to hang out with you either.

I also have plenty to process with my therapist tomorrow.

Plenty.

Until then.

I hope you’re ok, like you didn’t drown in the hot tub or anything.

And I guess it means I’m still single.

I think I’ll pause for a moment before I jump back in.

Give it another day, but I do figure I’ll try the damn dating apps again.

And I’ll keep practicing speaking up when I feel something and not diminish it.

And I’ll eat my next damn steak rare.

Never eating a well done steak again.

That was fucking egregious.

Your graduation application

February 4, 2022

Has been successfully submitted.

Oh hell yeah it has.

The guy I’ve been seeing helped me double check that my transcripts showed the full credits for my program earlier this week.

Like, super fast, I’m all fumbling around on my phone, don’t know what I’m looking for, can’t find it.

“Here,” he said, “I’m good at stuff like this,” after he watched me bemusedly for a few minutes.

I handed him my phone.

30 seconds late, “here you go.”

And there it was.

My unofficial transcript.

Showing, oh quite clearly, that yes, I do have all the credits needed to graduate.

Fuck yes.

Good god damn.

I’m fucking going to graduate.

With my PhD.

I’m a doctor baby.

It’s still so surreal.

It’s been months since I defended my dissertation, and was named doctor at the defense, but because of the lateness in the semester and all things pandemic, the paperwork did not go through until the second week of January.

And then I was twiddling my thumbs.

What now?

What next?

Let’s go people.

Then I got an excited and gushing text from a former TA saying, hey it looks like school is going to do graduation in person!

“Are you going to be there?”

Um yes.

Hello.

But am I?

Because there were some wonky administration/tech issues with the website and I couldn’t use the graduation application portal.

It didn’t work.

Fucking technology.

So, I follow up with admin at the school and I’m told, go check and make sure that you have enough credits on your transcripts and then when you find out, email such and such person.

Which is what I was doing in the kitchen at the man’s house.

In fact.

It was he who encouraged me to check it via my phone.

I’m so phone adverse when it comes to certain things.

I have all my passwords on my laptop and sometimes I would just rather look at the larger screen and see the big words and images and not be scrolling my tiny phone screen.

Well.

It’s an Iphone, so not that tiny.

But still.

I like doing the computer.

But he was like, just do it now.

So I did, and I drop the transcript ball–why is the registrar page so challenging to navigate!? And then he gently intervened, and there it was. All the glorious credits with all the accompanying “A’s” and I saw I had enough and I emailed the tech person and then I did a happy dance around his kitchen.

And then he fed me steak.

Thank you.

Then.

I’ve waited all week to hear back.

And I thought tonight, well, what the fuck am I waiting for, go back into my student account and just check to see what’s happnening.

AND!

BOOM.

There it was.

The portal was blue.

The screen showed that I was allowed to apply to graduate!

Holy shit.

It is actually happening.

It also asked me to verify my name and how I want it to look on my diploma.

Bring that bitch to me.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans later, give me that damn piece of paper.

I have so fucking earned it.

I am over the moon.

My best friend from Wisconsin may even come out and watch me walk.

And my mom.

And my people in my recovery community.

Y’all come on by now.

I don’t yet know if it will be in person, pandemic fingers crossed please, but if it is I am also hoping that they do it at the same theater that they did my Master’s program graduation.

That would be hella swell.

Because, ha, it’s a ten minute walk from my house!

I won’t have to worry about parking.

heh.

Big sigh of relief.

It’s on.

I’m graduating.

Sunday, May 15th, 2022.

I’ll be a doctor for real.

Into the swim of things

January 30, 2022

I got back in the pool today!

First time since my surgery.

Second time since my prior surgery.

Yeah.

It’s been a minute.

I was thinking to myself, as I checked into the facility, that had I known how many times I would be out due to surgery, I wouldn’t have bought the year pass.

Sigh.

Oh well.

When I look back over the year, I got the membership last year at the end of January, so basically a year ago, I did have a good run to begin with.

Then I got hit with the appendicitis a few weeks into the membership in February.

That knocked me out for a while.

I got back into the pool about three, four weeks after the surgery.

Then I had the brachioplasty at the end of July and well, frankly, that one still hurts.

Not as bad, no not as bad at all.

But my arms were so damn tender and achy, for quite some time after. I literally could not lift my hands over my head for months, that I didn’t get back into the pool until months and months after that procedure.

And when I did, I barely managed 400 yards.

Half of that was kicking while holding a kickboard.

Then I was back getting surgery at the end of October.

That one little time I swam 400 yards was it for me.

Partially as I really wanted to stay COVID safe and so stopped prior to the next surgery.

But mostly because I was defending my PhD dissertation on October 15th and I had to bust ass on getting my stuff complete and preparing for the defense.

Then I had to get ready for the next surgery.

That surgery was done on October 26th.

Which seems like it was so long ago, but in reality, was just three months ago now.

I have been impatient at times with myself and wanted the recovery to go faster.

I am used to being strong and connected and embodied and not being able to move fast, well fuck, I could barely hobble around for weeks, it took a lot out of me. So much. Hell, I couldn’t even stand up straight for weeks.

And because it’s been a slow recovery I haven’t addressed a lot of things that I would like to have dealt with by now.

Like.

I still have things stacked up in my kitchen–boxes of research and my Christmas tree–that I have not put into storage yet because I can’t quite lift heavy things yet.

But.

I will soon.

I can feel it.

And despite being cleared for exercise a few weeks back, I just didn’t feel that comfortable with the idea of getting back into the pool.

Sometimes just taking a shower can zap the energy right out of me.

But something whispered to me last night, “go swim tomorrow,” and I did!

I got my swim bag out of the closet and loaded up my toiletry bag with all the things and checked to make sure I still had a working swim cap and goggles and I got my flip flops and queued everything up to walk out the door in the morning.

I didn’t even sleep in!

I can on Saturdays, but I didn’t.

I was up at 7:30a.m., without an alarm! I made my bed, did my routine, pulled on swim suit, put my binder over the top of it, and put on sweats.

I was out the door by 8a.m. and in the pool literally twenty minutes later.

And it hurt.

I won’t lie.

And.

It felt so damn good.

I mean.

I am tired now.

Like exhausted, swimming makes me really tired.

But it was also so lovely to be back in the water.

I thought that I was not going to be able to do much, the pain was pretty quick, but I was like, just swim a length and do a flip turn and if the flip turn fucks you up too much, get out.

I was pretty proud of myself for just getting in the damn pool in the first place.

And!

The flip turn did not fuck me up.

I was able to do it.

Yeah, again, there was some pain, but tolerable.

I knew I wasn’t going to push myself, but my arms felt pretty damn good and I felt like I could keep going so I did a bit more.

Not a crazy amount.

I mean, I swam 600 yards, that was it.

But it was luscious.

The water felt so good and I was happy to be back in my happy place.

I am not a super talented swimmer, but I am a decent swimmer, and just moving through the water with ease, albeit it slow ease, felt so damn good.

So I told myself, “good job kiddo,” and got out of the lane after my 600 yards and hit the showers.

I was happy to take it slow in the shower and slow getting dressed and just go gently.

Like really gently.

My body is still healing.

And.

It will continue to change for a bit yet, full recovery is estimated at 8-12 months.

I’m at 3 months.

I’ve still got a ways to go.

But, I’ll be back in the pool soon.

Tomorrow, as a matter of fact.

But that will be it for a few days.

Prior to all my surgeries I was swimming four to five days a week.

I’m going to start out with two days and see how it goes.

Soft and gentle.

Easy does it.

And it was nice to also be at the club, as it’s close to the Ferry Building, which had a farmer’s market today.

I bought myself some flowers and some late, I mean way late, end of season persimmons, and had a nice walk through the market, noticing all the things that are changing and the early signs of spring foods–radishes and lettuces and budding pussy willow branches.

I love a farmer’s market.

I came home afterward, had a lovely breakfast, with some of those persimmons, drank my latte and did a ton of writing.

I went grocery shopping.

I went to Dolores Park and hit up a friends birthday party.

And I walked 12,000+ steps today.

I am done in.

Like I said.

I wasn’t going to even write this blog, but something compelled me to.

Whatever it was, I have to say, it’s nice to be back here again too, doing the writing, dumping out the days’ contents onto the page and letting it go off into the ether.

My arms are sore.

Both from the swimming and from the writing.

But it is a good sore, a welcome sore, and let me tell you, I will be sleeping like a baby tonight.

Swimming through the stars, sliding through the water of the night into the morning.

When I will wake up and do it all over again.

Sweet dreams.

My friends.

Sweet dreams.


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