Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

I Have To Stop

September 14, 2018

Falling down.

Twice.

Twice in the last two days I have fallen down.

At my new place.

I’ve been going too fast, and I’m really aware of it, but shit, I don’t need to fall down anymore.

I bruised my hand tonight and last night I split open my left knee and bruised both of them badly.

But.

I didn’t sprain an ankle, and I could have either time.

Last night I had time in between my work and my normal Wednesday night commitment to run out to Bed, Bath and Beyond.

My studio that I’ve been living in has pretty much been furnished.

Down to towels and the compost bin.

So I have realized that I needed to get things to make my new home, well, homey.

Like bath rugs and towels and a compost bin, and a shoe rack.

Although I got a rack yesterday, it just doesn’t work for my new closet.

That was how I wiped out yesterday.

I was carrying the shoe rack into my place and completely missed a step going into it.

I smashed on my knees and for just a brief moment I thought I might have banged my left ankle, the one that I so badly injured a few years back.

I mean.

The ankle has never really felt fully healed and I’ve re-sprained it once, so I was scared and breathless in a heap on the floor slowly rotating my ankle in both directions.

I was ok.

I mean.

I wasn’t ok, exactly, I discovered later that I had cut through skin on my left knee, but I was pretty adrenalized and didn’t feel it.

I discovered it when my leggings stuck to my knee from the dried blood.

Tonight I wiped out as I had another load of things from Bed, Bath, and Beyond in my car to deliver, and I slipped on the freshly waxed floor.

I knew I was going to fast, I had my car double parked with the flashers on and I just wanted to get in and out.

So as I drove away I knew, I need to slow down.

I need to breathe.

I am anxious about this final push, moving is hard, it’s stressful, I don’t have as much time to devote to it as I would like.

Although every day I have been doing something.

Today I returned the shoe rack and replaced it with one that would work and I bought curtains, a curtain rod, and a shower curtain, as well as some pillows.

I also took over a bin of stuff from the house this morning.

I figured if I was going over to get the shoe rack to return it I should not go empty-handed, so one large box traveled with me.

I have also organized everything Burning Man in the garage, my tent, my bins, my camping stuff, even though a part of me was like, trash it, you’re never going back, you have five years of PhD to deal with, you aren’t going back forever…I couldn’t quite do it, so it will go into storage.

My new landlord acknowledged that there really wasn’t much storage space built into the studio so he is allowing me to store things in the basement.

I packed a couple of boxes of notebook and journals and books and my Burning Man stuff, my picnic basket, and some blankets and got it all out to the garage.

On one hand I haven’t that much more stuff, on the other, my brain is just hollering at me, move, move, move!

I’m trying to strike a balance.

As I am also trying to get homework done for school.

I have managed to do a little reading at work, but not as much as I was hoping, then again, I have to cut myself some slack, I really am doing every possible thing I could do.

I got my online bank account set up for Grateful Heart today too, so that was an accomplishment.

I am tired though.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour, but tossed and turned a lot before falling asleep and I woke up an hour and half before my alarm went off.

I just got up.

I figured, grab the shoe rack, return stuff, get more stuff, go to work.

And I did.

Plus I had a client tonight.

I really am doing as much as I possibly can.

I cleared up most of Saturday and only now have group supervision to go to.

I can’t miss that as much as I might like to.

So I hope to get a lot of it taken care of on Saturday.

I am in contact with a friend who may be able to help out with a truck either Saturday or Sunday.

I think I am going to have to break down my bed, I have been contemplating how I was going to move it and I think that part of it will have to be unscrewed.

It’s an Ikea frame, so there are 1,001 parts to it, but I think if I can just remove the head-board, I can do it in two parts.

I’m not sure what day it’s going to happen, but I’m leaning towards doing it on Sunday.

I think I’m going to need to sleep over here on Saturday night as I have another orientation in Alameda for my new internship.

That’s from 10a.m. until 1:30p.m.

So it makes sense to keep the bed here until Sunday.

If my friend’s truck is only available on Saturday then I will just move a bunch of boxes and my bicycle.

I’ll use the Lugg app to get my bed out on Sunday.

Then I’ll be coming back next Saturday to clean the studio up and make sure nothing’s left and hand over the keys.

As stressful as this has been I am grateful for this little studio by the sea, it’s been a good home to me, and, I am also ready to move the heck on.

I can’t wait to get my new place set up.

Did I mention how many windows it has?

Seven!

Whirlwind

September 12, 2018

It has been a busy couple of days and it’s just Tuesday.

I’ve been running around and cramming the extra stuff in.

Today it was therapy before work and a long day at work juggling new school schedules and dentist appointments, followed by seeing a couple of clients.

And last night it was a late night as I was busy….

SIGNING A LEASE ON MY NEW APARTMENT!

Oh my God.

I have a home.

I am so fucking happy.

I cannot even begin to express it.

I went over to my new home after seeing clients last night, so I was literally signing my lease at 9:30 p.m. at night, I hadn’t even gone home yet, but it was the time we could connect, so it was the time to sign.

I have a home.

God.

I love saying that.

And it really feels like it’s mine.

I mean.

The moment I saw the ad it felt like where I was supposed to be.

And it all fell into place so nicely.

It was like knocking over dominoes.

I am very happy to report that I will still be by the beach, even closer than I am here and I’m pretty close here.

My new home is at 48th and Balboa.

So, just on the other side of Golden Gate Park.

The ocean is literally a block and a half away, from my place now its three blocks.

And the commute is only one minute longer than my commute now.

I am very, very, very happy.

So happy.

That when I got home I packed a box.

I have packed three boxes now.

I’m actually not sure I can muster the energy to pack more tonight.

I am pretty pooped.

I was also so giddy about getting to be in my new home that I ordered a new couch and a new chair online.

The same couch that I had found the night I saw the ad and began decorating in my head.

I have gotten a few more things for the house as well.

My house is not exactly a house, per se, but it is my home and I am so over the moon at how lovely it is.

All brand new appliances.

Gorgeous hard wood floors.

500ft.

Which is quite big for a studio in-law.

My current in-law, though I don’t know the footage exactly, is 12 x 15.

My new in-law is 19×20!

Much bigger.

Oh yeah.

And loads of windows.

Seven to be exact and a sliding glass door out to my deck.

My deck.

Oh my god.

I have a deck.

Adirondack chairs here I come.

Bring on the hammock.

Bring on the studying in the sun.

Oh, I know, not always, it will get just as damn foggy on the other side of the park as it does here, but when it is pretty, like it has been the last couple of days, it is glorious.

And I honored what I said.

I paid the damage deposit and six months of rent in advance.

I don’t think I have ever written a check for that large of an amount before.

I don’t have to pay rent until March of 2019.

Yay!

I will also get the other half of the buyout monies when I turn in the key, so I have some extra dosh to throw at furnishing the place.

I literally have nothing.

Aside from my bed.

I have a nice bed.

But everything in my studio was staging stuff from my landlady, I basically have been living in a furnished studio for the past five years.

I am starting from scratch.

And don’t get me wrong, the furnishings here have been sweet, but they’ve never been quite 100% me.

I get to pick what I want.

Like, heh. I ordered a pink couch.

I know!

PINK.

But its gorgeous, it was $1000 less if I ordered on-line versus trying to find something comparable in San Francisco that I could just walk into a furniture store and buy.

It made sense to get it and I got a matching chair.

The line is called the Matrix and it’s by Article.

It’s done in a soft velvet rose and its circa 1970 Paris.

Mid Century Modern.

The chair matches.

I was in heaven when I ordered it, a tiny bit anxious about pulling the trigger, but really excited when I did.

I want to create a beautiful home for myself.

I plan on being there for a while.

I mean, I don’t want to have to move again while I am working on this PhD.

I signed a year lease which will go to a month to month after a year.

The landlord was looking for a long-term tenant and I assured him that I am such a person, that I really could see myself there for five years, as long as it took to do the PhD and that I didn’t want the stress of having to move during my program again.

I want to hunker down in a pretty little, heh, not so little, space and surround myself with nice things.

Not crazy nice, but you know, sweet things.

I deserve them.

I work so fucking hard.

And I’m not home that much, I want my home to be pretty and sweet, accommodating and warm, welcoming, nourishing, safe.

I have my own separate entrance, no more going in through the garage, and I decided today that I am not going to wait until next weekend to move.

I am doing it this weekend.

I had thought I would push it off, but I realized as soon as I packed on box that it was on.

I cancelled the few plans I could cancel, I still have to go to my orientation for my new internship on Sunday but I cleared everything after that and I managed to clear one commitment off on Saturday, although I still have to go to group supervision as well.

I am hopeful that I can pack the majority of my stuff on Saturday and then move it all on Sunday.

I sent my notice into the lawyer, haven’t heard back yet, but gave myself until the 23rd of the month.

I figure I’ll move this weekend and whatever I can’t get to I will wrap up with next weekend and then clean the studio.

I have changed my address for the post office, updated my address for my bank, and I have ordered a couple of things for the house to be delivered to my new address–laundry hamper and a compost bin.

I will try to get some furniture Saturday if I can.

I don’t want to order a kitchen table on-line, I want to get something sooner and I figure that I can pop into Stuff on Valencia Street or Harrington’s and get a good used table and chairs and maybe a few other odds and ends.

I can’t wait to get out of here.

I’m grateful for what the last five years has been.

But.

I’m more grateful to get to move into something better.

Much.

Much.

Much.

Better.

Back Home

September 5, 2018

With a huge stack of books and notebooks and pages and pages and pages of syllabi.

Oh my God.

What have I fucking done?

I went from feeling pretty good about it all to feeling super overwhelmed after my last class.

The irony being that it was the class I figured I was going to enjoy the most.

Of course, with some perspective, I still think I am going to enjoy it the most, but I am awash in the anxiety of having to produce the work.

There is a lot of work.

Yesterday’s class blew me out of the water at the intensive.

I really liked the professor.

In fact, I am quite fond of him as he swooped in one morning seeing me sitting by myself at breakfast and made me join his table at the intensive.

We had a great talk.

He loves Paris.

I love Paris.

We are now friends.

Plus, he has had an extraordinary life, three marriages, multiple degrees, Harvard, Brown, CIIS, somewhere else I forget.

Of course he has a PhD as well.

And a lot of papers that he’s written and he seems to be the co-collaborator of the way the course work is designed.

First of all.

Let me say that I had some, well, not exactly contempt, but a little wiggle of worry that because my PhD is an “online” program, that it would not be academically rigorous.

Fuck my life.

Academic rigor galore.

In fact, as one second year told me, she thinks that we actually do more work than a traditional PhD program and I think she’s right.

Second.

I was in the dark a little about the length.

I had this idea that the program is only two years long.

The course work is only two years long.

Then there’s methodology, the comprehensive exams, research, the writing, the proposal and the defense of said proposal.

The course work will be four semesters.

Then I can expect at least another four more semesters of work to finish the dissertation.

Which means two more years.

And the professor made it very clear that the fastest anyone could possible do the whole shebang was 4.5 years.

What I heard from most of the people in the program was that if I did the course work and stayed the course with my research, readings, writing, methods, etc, that it would take in total about 5 years.

So.

It’s no different from any other doctoral program with the exception of the majority of the coursework is submitted online and that a large component of all my classes is to interact and engage with the learning community on-line.

There are 30 of us in the cohort split into two sections.

There are three classes.

Introduction to Transformative Society; Self, Society, and Transformation; and Creative Inquiry: Scholarship for the 21st Century.

I am the only student from San Francisco, though the school is located in San Francisco.

There were a lot of students from the East Coast, New York mainly, I think six of my fellows were from New York, one from up state New York.

One from London, a University Professor of Psychoanalytics and Psychodynamics.

One student from Hong Kong.

One student from Oakland.

Another from somewhere in the East Bay, a few from up North, somewhere in Canada, I totally forget now, another from D.C.

The woman from D.C. was also an MFT and teaches as well at university level, specifically Art Therapy and Play Therapy for adults, she was super sweet and insisted I call her if I have any questions about marketing or setting up my private practice internship.

Said internship that although I took materials with me to work on I did absolutely no work on at all, I was so immersed in the classroom experience and the work at the intensive.  And I read a lot while I was there on my breaks, as much as I could without totally isolating myself in my room.

Anyway, a lot of high-caliber, smart people.

Majority of them women, which was very, very cool.

Grateful to be part of some smart, intelligent, driven women.

Very grateful.

One of whom came up to me with a piece of paper today in a notebook that she was keeping to show to our future selves, our name with Dr. in front of it.

I was more than happy to write mine down.

Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Fuck that looks good.

And now I can stop giving myself grief that I maybe was in an “easy” PhD program because it was two years and online.

Silly rabbit.

It is not easy at all.

The great thing that I realized though, after having a bit of panic and overwhelm when I was in my Creative Inquiry class yesterday, is that the material is not beyond me.

I understand the concepts, they make sense.

Oh sure, a lot of the material is new to me, I haven’t studied these things before, but I have been reading academic papers and books now at a higher level of understanding for the last three years and the materials are not cowing me.

Nope.

Not at all.

That was a nice realization for me to make.

What was causing the panic was the number of deliverables that I must have for Creative Inquiry.

8 papers.

8!

And though some of them are short, I have a couple that are not, and two that are quite big.

Plus I have to get published.

Are you fucking kidding me.

I have to actually publish a review of a scholarly journal.

Holy shit.

Now.

I am excited.

But yesterday I was just overwhelmed.

What the fuck?  I remember thinking I have to get something published too as a requirement of the course, Jesus, plus, oh, great, thanks, I also found out that I have another book to read, in addition to the books already lined up for the course, I had to pick one of four others that were presented.

Let me say this.

I will not be going anywhere without carrying a book or an article to read.

That’s why I got overwhelmed, 8 papers for this class, three for Self and Society, and one big whopper for Intro to Transformative Studies.

Plus weekly discussions and comments and interactions with my cohort.

I worked a lot on my calendar yesterday and I’m not 100% certain, but it looks like I will have to read two to three books per week to get through all the material.

Well, not quite, more like 2.5 per week.

Plus the articles, many of them big, long, academic papers of over 30 pages, and every class has three or four of these a week.

So yeah.

The material doesn’t scare me, it’s just getting the time to do it.

I’m not sure what’s going to have to go out of my schedule, but somethings definitely are.

Maybe a few less blogs a week.

Maybe.

I’ll let you know.

For now, I’m just happy I’m home and all my stuff is put away and I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

Very happy for that.

Very.

 

Here All Week

August 31, 2018

Checked in, un packed and decently settled into my room at the Best Western Lighthouse in Pacifica.

So far the good news, aside from the fact that I was assigned a room that faces the ocean, I mean, I am literally right there, the sound of the waves is fantastic, is that my room-mate hasn’t shown up yet.

I wouldn’t mind enjoying the view by myself.

IMG_E4789

It’s a pretty nice view.

The hotel is not great shakes but being so close to Rockaway Beach is quite nice.

If I ever get the chance to walk down on the beach and not just sit through lectures and classes.

It’s a full tilt boogie kind of schedule.

Tonight was fairly easy, an orientation, lots of meeting the professors and administrative staff, getting to know a few of the students, there was a really sweet getting to know you sort of exercise that I made myself get into and that felt good, I connected with a couple of the second year students and it was nice to meet them.

I also talked to a woman who is volunteering over the weekend to help out with the intensive who just graduated in May from the PhD program and she did the two-year track, which is the one I am doing.

There is a three-year track as well, but I want to do it all in two years.

I want to be done with it in the next two years, five years of consecutive grad school is enough for me, I don’t need to add onto it.

Nor do I need to add onto my student loans either, they will be big enough by the time I am done with the program.

After the orientation we had dinner and I was happily surprised by the food, I was a little leery coming into the hotel, I didn’t think that it was going to be all that great, but the dinner was actually quite nice.

Although apparently gluten-free, which I specified for my diet while I was here, means vegetarian.

Not a real problem, but I did tell the kitchen I was not vegetarian, I could eat meat, so hopefully I will get some protein into my diet over the time I’m here.

I can always get out and implement too, although I would prefer not to, I’m paying for all of this, it comes out of my tuition bill.

I just also received an e-mail that my excess funds will be disbursed in three to four business days.

As tomorrow is Friday I won’t see how much I got back until next week, probably a couple of days after Labor Day.

But it’s good to know that there were excess funds.

I was hoping that would happen.

And fuck.

I just checked my student account.

It’s not as much as I thought it would be.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least it covered all my tuition and my intensive costs.

I’ll be getting back a fat $300 after it’s all said and done.

I was hoping for a couple of thousand, but again, grateful, my tuition costs got covered.

Originally my financial aid package was shy about three thousand dollars and I had to take out another loan to be able to cover it all.

Very grateful I was able to get it covered and also, good to know that I won’t have anything really extra for house hunting.

Not that I’m too worried about that.

I will have enough.

And it seems that I will get through this program too.

It will be a lot of work, but I’m used to a lot of work and really, as I wrote last night, I wasn’t feeling too anxious about coming here.

Although I did feel some as I was driving down from the Outer Sunset.

But I’m not sure if it was anxiety about school or just about life in general.

So many transitions are happening for me right now.

I’m wrapping up my first internship at the end of September, I formally “resigned” today in an e-mail.

My group supervisor knew I was going, but no one outside of that group had been alerted.

I did my due diligence and I am glad for that as there are a few administrative things I will need to do.

And of course.

There are all the things I need to do for the upcoming internship.

I am still hoping that I can take advantage of some of the time here, when I’m not sure after having seen the schedule, for doing some of that work.

There is the housing transition happening.

The almighty not knowing where the heck I’m going to live.

I did get a response back on a studio in the Richmond, which isn’t my first choice, but the price, the windows, the hard wood floors, the full size kitchen, a bathtub, laundry on site, and the fact that I would actually have a parking spot in a garage (that I don’t have to pay extra for!  It comes with the studio), made me reach out.

I will hopefully get a viewing when I get back to San Francisco and it’s available now, so I could, it is foreseeable, be in a new place soon.

And then there’s just the transition of becoming single again, the loss of my love, the not knowing exactly how all that is going to fall out.

As I drove here from San Francisco I was met with this tremendous wall of fog.

Fog so thick and opaque that I literally could not see the ocean that was right alongside me as I drove.

I was driving into the unknown.

Literally and figuratively.

I don’t know how all these things are going to shake out.

I just know that they will, all this change is leading me somewhere and I don’t have to know where it is, I just have to take those tiny little actions right in front of me.

I just have to see the next curve in the road to turn the wheel.

And trust, that I will get there safely.

And all will be well.

It always is.

Bear Witness To

August 20, 2018

That’s what got me today.

Not the music.

No.

I was careful about my music choices people, I’m learning.

But the wanting to share something with you today.

I wanted so much to pick up the phone and talk and tell you how my day has been, how my week as been, how I feel overwhelmed and that I can’t do it and then you would tell me I could.

I was going through my private practice folder, trying to figure out some things and I touched the leather of the binder and I suddenly lost it.

I remember standing outside the restaurant after brunch when we were on vacation and looking at these soft, supple leather folders and purses and bags, gorgeous hand-made, hand tooled, beautiful pieces.

I bought a bag for files and a folder for my legal pad and I was so happy, over the moon, to be there walking through the city with you, the sun shone down, and yes, there was some sadness that day too, we had some talks, but there was the etherealness to it to.

I remember how you always offered me bites of your food, how you know me so well and in my abstinence you always took care to be kind about my food choices, well, maybe you teased me a little, but you were so sweet.

I was struck by how, later in the day after much walking, you grabbed a hotdog from a street vendor and had a couple of bites, then you ripped off the bun from the un-eaten end, and offered it to me for a bite too.

All the small, sweet, considerate gestures that do me in.

But it was that folder today.

I cried out loud.

I wanted to tell you about what has been going on, how things are moving forward, that I have an office to sub-lease, that I have rent to pay, that I have things happening, that I printed off another syllabus and read from one of my new books, that I had struggled today to not be anxious about all the things unfolding.

When I picked up the folder I realized that you were no longer here to witness me, to tell me how proud you were of me.

I know logically that I don’t need someone to pat me on the back and say, hey you’re doing a great job, I can do that for myself, most of the time, but it just struck me hard, I wanted to tell you and I can’t.

All the things I want to tell you.

I wrote you another letter today.

I told you a little fantasy I had.

I wished for you happiness and joy and kindness, sweetness, and grace.

I pray for you every day and every night and I pray to make it through to the next thing that I have to do.

I have a lot of things to do.

I did get a lot accomplished today and I am proud of myself for doing as much as I did.

I cooked.

I roasted a chicken and I made a turkey and vegetable stew with brown rice.

I cleaned my house.

Aside.

Man oh man, put a syllabus in front of me with homework on it and watch my house suddenly become sparkling clean.

I mean, I cleaned my house.

I have even started tackling some things like cleaning out the freezer, I figure I won’t be here much longer and if I tackle small bits of a big job they will get done eventually and not all pile up on me right as I’m making my move.

Second aside.

I have a place I am going to see on Wednesday.

I know, I said I was waiting.

But have I told you how loud it is here?

It is loud.

And it is uncomfortable.

I saw an ad last night on craigslist and I thought, wow, I should respond to that.

It’s not in a neighborhood I would have ever even thought to look, Sea Cliff, and it’s a unique housing situation, an Au Pear (which means guest cottage), with a drastically reduced (for San Francisco) rent with the caveat that when the family that owns the main house is away the tenant takes care of their dog.

I went to bed thinking, do I want to clean up dog poop and get up early to walk a dog a couple of times a month/year?  I don’t know how often the family travels or what exactly the schedule of care looks like, but yeah, do I want to clean up dog shit for a lowered rent on a cottage in Sea Cliff?

A cottage.

A stand alone, one bedroom with a library!

Oh my God, my little PhD student heart went pitter pat.

In Sea Cliff.

Now if you don’t know San Francisco that means nada to you.

But if you do, you know that Sea Cliff is crazy high-end, big houses, big sprawling yards and gardens, by Baker Beach with all the iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge you could shake a stick at.

The house is literally across the street from the ocean, the cottage has ocean views.

There is also very little traffic in Sea Cliff, no buses or municipal vehicles go through it, no trains, it’s not quite a gated community, but it is super high-end fabulouslity.

A cottage in Sea Cliff would probably rent for $7,000 and upward, I may be lowballing that number too, I think it’s pretty rare that anything in Sea Cliff would actually be rented, and if there are rentals, well, they are freaking expensive.

So a cottage, again, a one bedroom with a library and the biggest freaking windows and wood floors for $1680 a month that includes utilities and parking and laundry?

I’ll pick up some dog poop people.

I have an appointment to see it on Wednesday.

I’ll keep you posted.

And in the meantime.

Love of mine.

I think of you often and wish we could talk and dream of a time I can once again be in your arms.

And yes.

Of course.

I cry.

In cafes with my confidant, at home holding things close you gave me, in the car listening to our music.

I hope you are well, I hope you are muddling through.

I miss you.

I love you.

Always.

Always.

Your baby girl.

The Jumping Off Place

August 1, 2018

I was talking to my therapist about all the things today.

All the things.

My God.

So much to cover.

It’s been a busy few weeks since last I saw her.

The buyout happening.

Looking for a new place to live.

My upcoming interview with another private practice internship.

Relationship stuff unfolding.

Going back to work.

My PhD program starting in less than a month.

Paris.

France.

My relationship with Paris and France and how I have always looked for something there, something intangible, but with a similar feel for what I have looked for when I have gone to Burning Man.

That I’m not going to Burning Man this year.

And.

That I don’t feel at all bad about that, it feels right.

There is so much transition happening.

I am grieving the loss of my home.

I love my little home and it’s unfathomable to me where I am going to land next and things will be very different wherever that is.

The packing up and putting away of the life I created in this space will be hard.

Saying goodbye to it will be hard.

Thinking about it is hard.

You and I together, together in this room.

I have so many memories of this space with your face all over it.

Your body there, in that corner, on my bed, sitting, sleeping, everywhere I look, there you are.

And you are no longer here.

Removed.

Away.

Gone.

And like the feel of you in my bones, you are here in these walls, on these walls, the photos of us together, that will get packed up in a box and put away.

They won’t go up on the new walls of the new home and when I think about that.

Well.

I am sad.

I thought of it this morning and I cried.

Good thing I was on my way to therapy.

Ah.

Love.

How I shall miss you.

I miss you already.

And there is something terrifying and exciting about this next part of the journey as well.

I feel like I am at the pinnacle of a mountain about to leap off.

But instead of falling.

I see myself flying.

I just don’t know where I am going to land.

I do know.

It will be where God wants me to be and I do know that I won’t be dropped.

I will soar.

I will sail.

It doesn’t mean that I am not afraid, I am afraid.

I don’t know what to do without you.

I have believed, shit, I still believe, that we are meant to walk through this world together, hand in hand, side by side.

The ease I have with you.

The attachment I have for you.

How will I be without you?

I keep listening to this album by Herbert.

British electronic pop house music.

I got turned on to Herbert by a clerk at a record shop in Noe Valley back in 2007?

I was enthralled and for whatever reason, the music has seemed so apropos to what I am going through.

Tears fall down my face when I least expect.

Staring out the window at work looking at the avocado tree and thinking of you and all the other times I have sat and watch the wind ruffle through those leaves.

When I used to be so antsy with anticipation to leave work because I knew I was coming home to see you.

The feel of you on my skin, in my bones, against the line of my neck, the touch of breeze on my skin a whisper of where your mouth would soon be.

Gone.

But not the memories of  you.

I fear that those memories will fade when I move.

I won’t see the shadow of the bamboo blinds on the back door slatted with sunlight splayed on my bed, just that one spot when I rode astride you, my hair full of sunlight, your face golden, and your eyes, the pool of them that I fell into without having any idea of the ocean of love I had dived into.

How will I be when I can’t hold those memories of you within these small four walls?

Different.

I know.

I maybe, well, I don’t know yet, but I know it will be different.

Perhaps I won’t cry as much.

I can see you everywhere in this studio.

There is not a place your presence hasn’t touched.

You are everywhere.

Sometimes it is unbearable and sometimes it is sweet, although, truth–it was never bitter and I suspect it never will be.

I have no regrets my love.

I have none.

Nary a single thing I would have done differently.

It all carried me here.

You and I together, together in this room.

And I am at the top of the mountain and I cannot see through the fog and mist to the valley below.

I cannot tell where I will land.

Where I will go.

Only that go I must.

Only that.

I must leap.

I must leap.

I must.

I shall kiss the sky.

I shall pinion upward.

I shall.

But before I go.

I will take these last few sweet moments to hold you dear.

Darling.

Love of mine.

To hold you momentarily just a bit longer in this room.

Which really.

Is just another reflection of the room in my heart.

That room where you will never exit.

I promise.

Even when I cease to live here.

You will always live in me.

Trolling Craigslist

July 31, 2018

It has begun in earnest.

Me looking for a new place to live, that is.

I dropped off the signed paperwork to the law office today that my landlady is employing to navigate the buyout.

I have officially been bought out.

I turned over the paperwork and in return I got 1/2 of the payment we agreed upon.

I will receive the other half when I turn in my keys.

I will have until October 31st to find a new place to live.

I actually looked at a place last night, but it wasn’t a good fit.

It was also a room-mate situation and although the price was great and on paper it really looked good, I realized that I was going to have to be really conscientious about what I am able to accept or not accept in a room mate.

I mean.

I have lived alone for the last five years.

I am really used to going to the bathroom naked.

For starters.

And two.

I am clean.

I am not a neat freak or obsessive, in fact, I could stand to sweep the floor a little more often, but I am tidy, my place is nice and I keep my things well.

I make my bed every morning, I wash my dishes after every meal, I like things a certain way.

I realized well I was looking at the place that while I liked the master tenant I noticed that the standards were different and for me to be comfortable I would end up cleaning a lot more and also that I suspected I would spend a lot of time in my room.

So.

I passed.

In the past that would have freaked me out a little bit.

A perfectly decent place, less rent than I pay now, good size room, laundry on site, parking.

On paper, it looks fabulous.

Not so much in person.

And I don’t want to denigrate the place I saw, it just wasn’t a good fit.

I do suspect I will end up with being on my own wherever I move to next.

I’m just so used to it and well, I have a PhD program starting soon, I am going to want and need quiet.

So I have been searching craigslist.

I don’t have to be super on top of it right yet, I do have time.

Part of the buy out was to get myself a little more time to move out, originally I was asked to move out by September 1st, which would have been over the five-day intensive in Pacifica that I have to attend to start my PhD.

Now I have until October 31st.

Which is nice and thus not too much pressure to begin the hunt, but it is there.

I know that there will be a time when I see the place and I am going to want to make a big move on it.

Grateful that I have the first half of the buyout payment to put down a deposit and first months.

And I decided to leave it in my checking account rather than put all the money in my savings.

If I need to I will be able to plop the money down immediately if something comes up.

I am also hoping, really so much so, that I will find my new place by word of mouth or referral from a friend, from my network, which is usually how I have found places.

I haven’t had a ton of luck with craigslist in the past, although I have found a couple of places.

My first being the two month sublet I had in the Mission at 22nd and York when I first moved to San Francisco nearly 16 years ago.

$650 a month for a big room in a big four bedroom house with a back yard and laundry and three levels and a big kitchen and lots of bathrooms.

Even then, I remember being told I was getting a great price for a room.

Rents in SF have never really been low, not after I lived in Madison, Wisconsin (though truth be told rents in Madison are always higher than elsewhere because of the high student population attending the UW), god I remember this one house I lived in, a house, the bottom of it at least, and how much space there was.

Oh.

God.

So much space.

Big bedroom with a walk in closet that had a window.

The closet had a window, in SF that closet would have been someone’s bedroom.

The bedroom had six windows.

Six!

I don’t have one where I live now.

Then the dining room with three big windows, the living room with a huge bay window and a screened in front porch that I alternatively rented or let friends crash on after I had broken up with my boyfriend, I needed help covering rent.

And the kitchen, which was huge, the bathroom was good-sized and yes, had a window.

There was a full basement I didn’t ever really use, except to wash laundry.

A back yard.

And a garage.

A fucking garage.

I paid $750 for this palace and that included utilities.

And I thought that was expensive.

I can’t find a studio in-law in the city right now for under $1600.

And the ones that are that price are shady, nasty, basement dwelling things.

I know that I need light and air and space after living in my little studio for the last five years.

I want a bathtub.

My god it would be nice to have a bathtub again.

I want laundry on site, wood floors, high ceilings, light, lots and lots and lots of light, windows, and yes, I know I’m crazy, a place to park.

I don’t necessarily need a garage or a driveway, I just need to live somewhere that it is relatively safe to park my car and I can park it close to where I live.

Which means.

The Tenderloin is out and that is where most of the “affordable” studios are, $1700-$2000 a month, and I am not, repeat, am not, living in the Tenderloin.

My car would get broke into every other day.

I would be dealing with rampant drug use and homelessness and crazy.

I like being out in the Outer Sunset at this point because it is quiet and though there are homeless folk, there’s not rampant drug use.

I need serenity where I live.

So yeah, not Tenderloin for me.

And before you ask.

No East Bay either or Pacifica or Sausalito.

I need to stay in the city proper.

My schedule is just too tight to navigate anything further out.

So.

The search has begun.

If you hear of anything.

Let me know.

Seriously.

Home Again

July 29, 2018

I got back from my travels last night.

I was in motion for 24 hours.

Although what with the time change it looked like I had just traveled 11 hours.

But no.

When I got in to my studio last night the clock said it was 6 a.m. Paris time and I had been up since 5:30 a.m. the previous morning.

It was a long day.

I am very, very, very grateful that I woke up before my alarm went off, it was too hot to sleep and I kept waking up and having difficulty falling back asleep, so when I woke up at 5 a.m. I never got fully back into sleep, just lay in bed sweating lightly and wondering if I should just get up and get going.

When the light began to grow bright enough I gave up the ghost, got up and started my getting ready to leave.

I gave myself time to have a light breakfast, which thank God I did, because there was no time at the airport to get food, I was super lucky to be able to snag a bottle of water for the flight, let alone have had anytime to forage for food.

I had done most of my packing the day before, even went a bought a cheap suitcase to haul back my goodies from my trip.

Notebooks, a stuffed hippo for one of my charges, a model car for another charge, stickers and rainbow unicorn rub on tattoos and a pretty notebook for the little girl.

Other gifts for folks.

And then the things that I had gotten for myself: a purse, a market basket from Aix-en-Provence, an art book from the Zao Wou-ki show I went to at the Musee Moderne, lots of notebooks, five or six I think, magnets from the Klimt show and one from Marseilles, some notecards, three dresses (three! I was so thrilled to have found a shop, with the help of my friend, that carried my size and had lovely clothes), a sweater coat, and a blouse.

I can’t believe I found such lovely clothes, it’s very rare for me to find clothing when I have gone to Paris before.

Partially because I just didn’t know really where to look, having a friend who lives in Paris show you the spots is a huge perk.

I also got a vintage candle holder/lantern from a shop on Ile St. Louis and some prints from the Klimt show.

I couldn’t have squeezed all of that into my little carry-on.

My carry on, which as it would turn out, was not so little anyway.

It got flagged at the airport.

I was not happy.

This was the first time that it’s been flagged.

I didn’t even get it through security.

A couple of times I have had to check it at the gate but never before did I have it flagged before even going through security.

I was not happy.

I was on the same airline I took to get to France, so I knew it would fit, in fact, it had slightly fewer items in it since I had bag checked the other suitcase and figured I would fill that one heavier and keep my carry on fairly light.

But nope.

It got flagged.

Ugh.

I had already had a bit of a rough start to my Charles de Gaulle experience.

I got to the airport with plenty of time, I splurged and took a cab.

Again, thank God, if I had done the train I would have likely missed my flight considering the amount of time it took to get to the gate.

When I arrived I did a check in on a kiosk, printed off my boarding pass and got a sticker for the checked bag.

Then I stood in line with my checked bag to get it to a counter to get loaded onto the plane.

I was in line about thirty minutes.

About twenty minutes into being online a little voice in my head said, “hey, did you get your card from the kiosk?”

I couldn’t remember.

I took a deep breath, got out my wallet, opened it up and looked.

No debit card.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

I had left it in the machine!

I flushed very hot then almost started to cry.

I took another deep breath.

What should I do?

Odds are it’s gone.

Somebody was right behind me to use the machine.

Either they took it and went wild at the Duty Free shop.

Or maybe they turned it in to lost and found.

I started to think about how to ask the next Air France agent I saw about where the lost and found was in French.

I resolved to stay in line and check my bag and then go look.

It was a long ten minutes.

I got my bag on the belt and dashed back to the machine.

Of course.

The card was gone.

I looked around, there was a desk next to the kiosk, but nothing on it.

I turned to go back to the line that had to Air France agents working it.

I should mention that there were three different areas to queue up to, each area having two agents, then agents roaming between and agents at the desk.

I don’t know how I decided to ask the woman I asked, but I made a snap decision and walked towards her.

I approached and asked if I could speak English with her, I really wasn’t sure I could get across in French what had happened, although I had been practicing it for the last ten minutes.

She said of course.

I told her what I did, I pointed to the machine, I was about to ask if there was a lost and found and she said, “you’re Carmen?”

I nodded, yes, yes, yes, as she pulled my debit card out of the front breast pocket of her jacket.

I nearly wept for joy and thanked her profusely.

What are the odds that the person I asked would have my card in her pocket?

I don’t know, but it felt like winning the lottery.

I was so happy about it that when I was told my carry on would cost me 80 Euro to process I didn’t give a fuck.

Who cares?

I had found my card.

And though the whole process set me back over an hour and a half of going to and fro, it was all worth while.

I made my plane with minutes to spare, enough to be able to dash to the nearest counter and buy a bottle of water and then get myself settled in for a very long flight.

There were a few other adventures.

Like the plane having to sit on the tamarack for another hour because a person had to be de-planed, which led to me literally sprinting through the Atlanta airport to make my connecting flight, but I did then too.

So even though it was a long trip getting back.

Get back I did.

And I am very grateful to be home, unpacked, all my laundry washed and put away and almost ready to get back to my regular routine.

Almost.

I have one more delicious day off.

Ah.

Summer vacation.

You did me good.


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