Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Boom

September 11, 2021

It’s the last word of this beautiful, exquisite, love story.

Foodie Love.

I have no idea how I stumbled onto it.

But I did.

I have cried watching every episode.

It is all the things.

I watched it nostalgic for places I have never been, Limoux, France, Toykyo, Japan, Barcelona, Spain.

My friend M. would tell me, “Car! Why have you not gone to Barcelona, Car? It is so you, bright and colorful, eclectic, eccentric, beautiful, you would fit right in Car. You should go.”

I haven’t been.

Damn you pandemic.

I haven’t been anywhere, Joshua Tree I suppose, but that didn’t really feel like traveling, since I was in Paris, December of 2019 celebrating my birthday and Christmas because I could not handle having another Christmas or birthday without you.

I had a brief boyfriend for a moment, we would text often when I was in Paris, the texting was sweeter than the actual relationship which went so fast it was surreal.

He said he loved me on our fourth date.

He asked me to be his girlfriend on the second date.

I should have ran away then.

But he was sweet and smitten with me and young and for just a few moments he would make me forget you, oh eyes of blue.

Until he didn’t.

In fact, he made me miss you more.

You haunted me all over Paris, despite this texting flirtation with the young man.

I bought him chocolate, thinking of you.

He ate the whole box when I gave it to him, like the little boy he was, in one sitting and gave himself a stomach ache.

I got him a t-shirt from a cafe, one of my favorites in the Marais district, Cafe Charlot, a cafe I wish I was sitting with you in it, dreamily gazing at your over a cafe creme. I told him it was a future promise, I would buy him a bacon cheeseburger with pomme frites when we came to Paris together….if the relationship lasted that long.

It did not.

Last long.

That is.

On my birthday you looked at my LinkedIn profile. While I was in Paris texting the young man in Oakland.

I discovered this days later and teared up, you had not looked at it in secret mode or private mode, or whatever it is that lets you look discretely at someone’s profile. You looked and wanted me to know you were thinking of me on my birthday.

This last birthday.

We spent it together.

Half-Moon Bay.

I wore Comme de Garcon and black Tretorn sneakers.

We ate take out sushi at the beach.

You told me, “next year let’s go away for a whole weekend, find a place like that little bed and breakfast we walked by in town.”

You wanted to come again to that beach before that, make a picnic, have a blanket, burrow into a dune, burrow into me.

“I just want to get lost in you,” you said to me often.

I was alright with that.

I liked getting lost in you too.

Of course.

All the sad things came back to me, the reflux flared up again, damn you internalized feelings, the tears started up again and we’d agreed, if I got sad, we would stop.

I got sad.

Christmas day by myself sitting at my kitchen table eating oatmeal opening up a present my mother had sent me, a duplicate of an ornament she’d already sent the year before.

I burst into tears.

Thinking of you with your family in your house with your wife and your child and your dogs and your Christmas tree, wearing new Christmas socks and smiling, smiling, smiling.

Last week, last Sunday, I mailed you a card.

I wrote, “tu me manque” in French.

I miss you.

I pressed my lips to it, leaving a kiss mark on the interior of the card.

A big glittery card with a heart on the cover and Je t’aime on the front.

I do like the Frenchie stuff you know.

I carried it around for a day.

Don’t mail it.

Mail it.

Don’t mail it.

Mailed it.

Then I woke up the next day in a panic and had fantasies about stalking the mailbox and making the mail man, woman, person, give it back to me.

Even though I knew they would not.

What the fuck did I do?

I had a nightmare.

I dreamt your wife found out about our affair.

I dreamt it was March 17th and I was making you a birthday cake and you were so mad at me that your wife found out.

March 17th is not your birthday.

And I never told your wife.

But you did.

I think, in some ways, she always knew.

Maybe, maybe, maybe she was ok with it, not consciously I suppose, but maybe it helped the facade of the partnership.

Affairs are not the problem in a marriage.

They are the symptom of a problem.

And often they are had to keep the relationship going.

One gets what one needs to stay in the marriage.

“I just want to get lost in you.”

I gave you love and wrote you poetry and baked you cookies that you would keep in your glove box.

I wonder if anyone ever got in your car and marveled at the smell of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that must have permeated the entire interior.

Better than a paper evergreen tree air freshener.

I made you happy.

Until I made you miserable.

Gave you that ultimatum.

Drove you to panic.

For that I am everlastingly sorry.

Watching you have a panic attack when I asked you to chose between her and me.

Gah.

Years later your face still haunts me.

I did try you know.

I tried to be ok with it and bend and contort.

I wanted you so, so, so bad.

I still do.

Never stopped.

And that is ok.

I can want you and I can not have you.

I walked around Jefferson Square Park this past week, past that stupid mailbox where I mailed that card, and realized, fuck, really truly realized, that I knew, knew in my heart, that you were never going to leave your wife.

So why did I keep going back to you?

Why?

Love, I suppose.

Tragic, romantic, unruly, unreasonable, stupid love.

I’m paying a lot in therapy to figure this all out.

And I know where it stems from.

Childhood abuse, blah, blah, blah.

I am writing, have written I should say, a dissertation on it.

I know the material pretty well.

And yet I can get stuck there again.

Beating myself for doing something my little inner voice said, hmm, maybe don’t do that.

I didn’t send you the playlist on Spotify, at least I didn’t do that, the one called “I still love you.”

I know, very creative.

But I didn’t.

I just listen to it and cry.

So.

Watching this show stirred all the things.

As two souls find themselves, two wounded humans, on a first date in Barcelona, having a coffee, and the arc of the love begins.

It’s astounding and so well done.

The scenery made me long for travel again.

The writing, suberp.

Really, the best, and the acting, so, so good.

I felt bereft watching and a deep longing.

I want all those things, the passion and the intelligence and the balance and the power, the love.

The first time the couple kiss, one of them says, “boom”.

And you, the viewer, the watcher, the voyeur, know, what they are saying is “I love you.”

I want that.

I want that with someone.

I almost wrote with you and deleted that.

The small, quiet, inside voice knows that is not possible.

I have to want it with someone else.

I have to let go.

I have to hope that you don’t get the card, it gets lost in the mail, or it is returned to sender, address unknown.

I have to let myself meet someone else.

Someone who will be ok if once in a while I cry at a show reminded of you, even if they don’t know why, they will hold my hand and kiss my neck, scoop the hair off my face and look into my eyes.

And say.

Boom.

Odds and Ends

August 30, 2021

Bits and pieces.

I have not been here in a while.

And while that is not exactly true, I am here quite often, I have not written in a while.

Oh.

A poem every now and then.

I have one niggling at the back of my brain that I should have written on Friday afternoon when it struck me but I couldn’t quite get myself to sit down and do it.

So.

I find myself here, at the keyboard, writing and thinking and sometimes, oh, sometimes, dreaming.

Thinking about you and where you’re at and how is the pandemic treating you, things like that.

Or.

Do you ever walk past my apartment, slow, longingly, thinking about ringing the buzzer.

It happens once in a while.

Someone will buzz my door and I think it’s you, but it’s the wrong time of night or I am in a session with a client and cannot answer.

I do go and look.

But if it was you, well, you are long gone.

Other times I think, you drive by, you must, not that often, but often enough.

Do you see the lights on?

Do you look for the Marilyn Monroe print high up on the wall, the one you can see from the street through the top fo my window where there is not a blind, or maybe the top of the David Bowie book up on the ledge-the one you surprised me with, that you bought at Dog Eared Books in the Castro.

Do you?

I think you do.

But what do I know?

Not a lot it seems.

Even though I keep myself busy with all the things.

School, work, school, work, recovery, repeat.

Week after week.

And thoughts of you.

Urges to be seen by you, drive by and see me out for a walk around Jefferson Square Park, too far off your route even where you in my neighborhood.

Or.

Since the weather has changed, not much, but enough to drive people to the park to catch the sun before the inevitable fogs rolls right back in, see me sitting on a bench in Octavia Green reading a book and sipping a sugar free strawberry soda through a green and white striped straw in a Mason glass jar with a handle; the only drinking jar left in the group I bought aeons ago.

Every time I go to Octavia Green, I think, maybe today he will see me.

Stop.

Park the car.

Get out and walk to me.

Surprise me.

Face full of sun and hope.

Despite myself and all the years.

Four years now that I have had you in my heart, if not always present, no not always present, so not here, just there, over there, on the other side of a hill, watching the moon rise and set from a different part of the city.

Sometimes the moon annoys me.

Stop reminding me of him.

Go away now.

Leave me be.

And yet it goes on doing what moons do.

Wax.

Wane.

Repeat.

Ah.

I digress.

See.

I get lost, in the dreams and hopes, the fantasy and revery.

The longing, sigh, still in my heart a dark romantic thinking up poetry to write about you.

That hit me today.

The fact that the only poem you ever recited and recorded for me, a Pablo Neruda that wrecks me, that I can’t find the damn recording.

I thought I had it in a file with your name on it.

Messages and photos and emails.

But it’s not there.

And I remember the book of poetry I gave you on Christmas Eve last year and how you said, “we should read these to each other.”

Fuck my wayward heart.

Why today?

Why did that little bon mot pop into my head?

You’ve been on my mind.

When aren’t you I suppose.

But more so now than you have in months.

It’s been eight months since I saw you last.

Seven’ish months since your last text.

I was mad at you.

Told you to leave me alone until you figured it out.

Seems you haven’t.

Figured it out.

That’s what I tell myself.

He’s figuring it out.

Gah.

Even to myself that sounds asinine.

Yet.

Hope.

She springs eternal.

Fuck you hope.

I did something yesterday.

It felt feral and impulsive.

And I did not stop myself.

At first.

I did later.

I pulled a card from the metal heart on my desk that I bought for you over a year ago and wrote tu me manques.

“I miss you” in French.

I signed it.

Sealed it.

Wrote your address on it.

Stamped it.

With, oh apropos, the LOVE stamp.

Flipped it over and stuck a crow sticker with a rose in its mouth to the back of the envelope flap.

And then looked at it.

Propped it up on my computer.

What the fuck am I doing?

It was a little like the other night when I held my finger hovering over your private Instagram account.

I almost hit request.

I did not.

But fuck.

It was close.

The card was like that.

I asked God for a sign.

I know God doesn’t work like that.

Not usually.

I threw it in my bag and went to lunch with a friend.

I had coffee and told that friend what was in my bag.

I sat in the park.

I texted another friend and told on myself.

Although to be frank, honest, virtuous, vigorous with my truth, I knew the latter friend would cosign the card.

He thinks we should be together.

“He’s the love of your life, figure it out!”

He didn’t coax me to mail it or not mail it.

He did ask me if it was a love letter.

Sort of.

I walk around with it in my bag longer.

I waited for the sign that never came.

I walked past the German restaurant on the corner and put it in the mailbox.

I woke up this morning and thought to myself.

What that fuck did I do?

It’s Sunday, can I get it back?

And.

You know.

I don’t want it back.

I just want you back.

Same as fucking ever.

Sigh.

My heart.

I miss you.

Je te veux.

Tous les jours.

I probably always will.

I tried to run the numbers in my head.

How many days till the card reaches his PO box?

I mailed it late afternoon yesterday, a Saturday, which means it’s still in the mailbox on the corner, as it’s Sunday.

It will get picked up tomorrow.

Process Tuesday.

Maybe land in your PO box on Wednesday.

Maybe.

But the thing is.

Though I used to mail you things weekly.

I haven’t for eight months.

Maybe longer?

Do you even check the mail there anymore?

I wanted to send you a chip on your anniversary.

I didn’t.

I wanted to send you a birthday card on your birthday.

I didn’t.

I wanted to let you know when I landed in the ER.

But I couldn’t.

No other sound is quite the same as your name

Good grief.

I should stop listening to music, I get smacked with the sads sometimes.

Anyway.

I really tried to not reach out.

I deleted your number in my phone.

I don’t email you.

But I come close.

I thought.

I just have to make it through my dissertation defense.

I just need to heal from my next surgery in October.

And how long.

How long before you figure it out?

Or I do.

“Why can’t you be with him?” My friend asked.

I told him all the things and he just sighed, “I don’t like how this movie ends, you’re supposed to be together.”

You would think that.

I have only had one soul mate.

You.

I have only really loved one man.

You.

But sometimes you don’t get to be with the one you love.

I’ve read a lot of books, that seems to happen an awful, awful, awful lot.

It’s only in movies, spun sugar fairy tales, that we end up together.

And I swear we were our own little movie, the romance of it all was horrendous.

Heartbreaking.

And so delicious.

I remember one of the last things you said to me about Sabrina and Nick.

“That’s us.”

And I freaked out.

“They die at the end and get to be together in the afterlife! Is that how I get to be with you, when we’re dead?!”

I think I hung up the phone on you.

I was devastated.

But once in a while, I think, what if you meant what the characters said to each other.

“We’re end game.”

Is that what you meant?

That somehow we end up together, in the end?

I sure hope so.

I suppose I shouldn’t have wrote the card.

Had some fucking restraint.

But I didn’t.

Maybe I’ll regret it.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Maybe I’ll regret writing another sad lonely hearts club blog about a man who is just there, over the hill, but not here where my heart beats still with longing and thoughts of what if, oh what if?

Sometimes I think that maybe it’s just this down time.

This little whiff of time after turning in my dissertation to my committee, this little jot of time before I have my final push to finish my PhD.

Maybe I’ve had a little more time than usual.

And the grief it sank in and got me again.

I suppose I shouldn’t take actions out of sorrow.

But that wouldn’t be very poetic.

Now would it?

The deed is done and I can’t take it back.

You’ve got mail.

Love Bird

August 9, 2021

I don’t remember when you called me that.

but it sticks.

Like ink under my skin.

A foreshadow of a tattoo to come.

Lovebird in script across my left hip.

On the backside, where I am inexplicably ticklish.

The only place on my body.

I expect the pain will be.

Excruciating.

Anything, I have learned, that brings such pleasure

Also brings.

Such pain.

Like the fire on my arms tonight.

I should not be typing.

I am healing.

Another kind of transformation.

This body of mine undergoes them it seems

All the time.

This, I sense, is a practice.

How can I say I miss you?

In some evocative way that will sing down, once again, into my arms

The moon.

A moon I no longer hunt for.

A moon I no longer sing to.

There is no moon without you.

There will be, a crow moon, a cherry blossom moon, a blue moon

But it will only be the moon tattooed on my back silhouetted

By the wings of a crow.

The one that carries my heart in its claws.

The sharp needle will poke my pain out again.

Again.

And.

Again.

And.

Again.

This moon I will never see, not with my own eyes, except

Perhaps in photographs.

Like the pictures I pulled from the drawer a few nights back.

Along with a scattering of blue boxes tied up in ribbons.

The tickets to the ferris wheel.

The room card to the hotel in D.C.

A paper wrapper that once held a bouquet of flowers.

Cards with butterflies and glitter.

You know how much I like things that sparkle.

A tag from a Christmas ornament–“New York is always ours.”

And letters.

All the letters.

I think I made it through two?

Before the grief swallowed me once more in its maw.

The pain it sings in my arms.

This time.

The bottoms.

Not the tops.

My dragons rest on top, one for each arm.

This pain has not healed yet.

But it will.

And the inky blue tattooed there will be the sky.

The same color of your eyes the day I fell into them.

Fell into you.

Fell for you.

Fell in love with you.

Soul sky eyes of blue.

There will be clouds that drift in that sky.

And my dragons will fly me through.

The pain will pass.

My heart will heal.

And every once in a while.

I may catch a glimpse of you in the echo of a song.

Or in the backward glance I throw at the mirror.

Where I will see just a glimpse of that word.

Lovebird.

Above my left hip.

Where you once so causally caressed me.

Undressed me.

And left me.

I will brush my hand over the calligraphy, wistful and soft,

Like unexpected snow in spring

And then I will fly,

Fly.

Fly.

Fly.

Away.

Free.

As the Crow Flies

February 8, 2021

Straight as an arrow.

The arrow of silver, Tiffany spun, you surprised me with, waking me from slumber–

Slipping into my room as I lay sleeping.

Never have I been so delighted.

Moved.

Shook.

I thought of that arrow today, it’s flight suspended between my clavicles, pointing to the stars that spangle my chest.

(Just added another one this past Friday)

Tempted to point out the fresh ink, the pink clementine orange of it, picture it, kiss it, and shoot you a photo of it with a wry smile.

Yet.

I did not.

I blocked you out, off my heart, off my soul, oft without you I have walked so long, why would it be any different now?

The crow flew over Jefferson Square park, a short walk from my house, dogs frolic in the late afternoon sun, and the murder gathered in the eucalyptus trees to spring full into the air twirling against the February sky.

Plum blossoms, pale pink and lavish purple, like bruises against the sky, tears of petals hanging from dark tree limbs.

Like the limbs burning on my back.

More work on the tattoo.

The one you inspired.

Two crows.

One cherry tree.

One heart.

Sometimes I think the pain is like the ghost of your hands on the backs of my shoulders.

Where you would hold me, whilst atop me, pushed in, face buried in my neck, arms under my shoulders, holding me as we became one and inseparable.

Yet.

Separate.

We are.

The crow reminded me of you, I said hello, carry my wishes forward to you upon the wind, but not my calls, my love letters or cards.

I am not sending them anymore.

I deleted you.

I blocked you.

I let you go.

Off into the high sky, like pastel balloons escaping a flower shop on Valentines Day.

Sigh.

Valentines Day.

Last year.

When I reached out to you once more.

That’s why, dearest, sweetest, dreamiest you, I deleted, blocked, and erased you, so I would not set the motion in momentum forward again.

No more.

No more calls.

No more poems.

No more kisses on your sweet face.

No more staring into your eyes.

No more falling in love with you.

Not that I believe I will fall out of love with you.

The love, I sense, does not die.

But it goes, it flings itself in a blue box in a drawer, like the blue sky against the wing of the crow as it flies away from me.

You have flown away from me.

I do not expect your return.

I never knew a love like this.

My exquisite corpse.

The crow in the copse.

My heart in my mouth.

The sky.

The sky.

The sky.

Like your eyes I fell into once upon a time.

In a land far, far away, The Sunset.

The sky is the only blue I will look into anymore.

Good bye my love.

Good bye my crow laughing at a funeral.

Good bye.

You Have My Thoughts

January 25, 2021

An old friend reached out to me yesterday.

We talked for a long time.

We have been friends for a bit over fifteen years.

He was so effusive about how my life has turned out and all of the challenges I have faced to get to where I am.

“I know what you did, it’s amazing, you pulled yourself up from literally nothing and worked harder with constraints that few people I know would have been able to get through,” he said.

He witnessed me in my first year of sobriety when I literally had nothing, could barely make the rent, even cheap, rent controlled rent, barely had money for food, let alone a bus pass or taxi cab.

He took me everywhere.

He had a scooter and a convertible Mercedes Benz.

I was either on the back of that scooter or I was in the passenger seat of that Benz all the time.

We were joined at the hip.

Everyone.

EVERYONE.

Thought we were dating.

But nope.

Nary a kiss, never a date, nothing.

Although we would do things that if I was witnessing others do, especially a man and a woman, I would think, oh yeah, they’re totally together.

He took me out to lunch and dinner all the time.

He bought me clothes.

I was so broke in my first couple of years of sobriety, so broke.

He took me out dancing.

We both loved to dance.

We saw djs all over the city.

Sometimes we would just drive around in his convertible with the top down and blast music and find spots to dance–Twin Peaks, the little cove down by the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, random parking lots in the SOMA, Treasure Island.

It was a night out at Treasure Island, with no fog and a warmer than usual temperature, the city across the bay sparkling and magic, that I asked him after we had been dancing in the headlights to music and had collapsed back into the car to drink water and catch our breaths.

“Why aren’t we dating?” I asked.

He paused.

He was quiet for a long time.

He said, “well, I mean, I guess I could see you giving me a blow job, but where would it go after that and we’re such good friends, I mean, it just doesn’t seem worth going there.”

I punched him in the arm, “you could see me giving you a blowjob?!”

“Well, yeah, I mean, you know, you’ve got a great mouth,” he replied and grinned at me.

“Yeah, good luck with that,” I said and looked back out over the water.

I never gave him a blow job.

We stayed friends.

Thick as thieves.

And life happened.

Life happens.

My best friend died, he know I had a crush of sorts on my friend, and would tease me once in a while about that, but also in a way that didn’t really razz me up.

When Shadrach died in General Hospital someone reached out to my friend and said, “come and get Carmen and take her out and feed her.”

I was shellacked.

I had been in that ICU by Shadrach’s side or with his family for seven days in a row, eight maybe. My friend had not been able to make it in to say good bye to Shadrach.

But.

He showed up that night in his Mercedes and took me to Chow on Church and Market and he told me to order a steak and eat it.

I did.

Then he took me out to Treasure Island and told me, “talk about it.”

I did.

I told him all the stories and the sadness and the horror of watching Shadrach die and he just held my hand and let me cry on his shoulder.

He was a good friend.

He always was.

Sometimes a bit intense, sometimes suddenly unavailable, but someone I could talk to for hours, someone who made me laugh, someone who always was up for having and adventure.

The time we went to see Gary Neuman at the Fillmore and then got out of the show with enough time to whip over to the Castro Theater and see Tron.

Or Goldfrapp at the Fillmore.

Or Sunshine Jones in so many different clubs.

Or Eric Sharp at some underground deep in the SOMA in a warehouse.

Or when he got a projector and we found a deserted parking lot in the SOMA next to a huge white painted wall and watched the Daft Punk Movie Interstella 5555.

Or sitting in front of Ritual in the Mission, before they had outside seating, on the sidewalk drinking lattes, with a boombox blasting Michael Jackson.

He taught me how to play dominoes, “bones,” and then would brutally beat me at it all the time.

I could name a lot more.

There were many, many, many adventures.

The weekend in Vegas.

And there were many, many, many girlfriends.

Some who liked me.

Some who absolutely couldn’t stand me.

My friend dated women I worked with, mutual friends, women I sponsored, (Shadrach joked once, “why doesn’t he just go right to the source,” meaning me), friends of other friends.

All sorts of ladies.

He got serious with one of them and I really liked her, hell I even lived with them for a couple of months when I had lost a job and my apartment in Nob Hill with seven years sober and ended up taking a huge pay cut and going to work at Mission Bicycle Company as a shop girl, she was sweet.

They opened a hair salon together.

One or the other of them was always doing my hair.

I was my friend’s hair model for a long time.

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I got to rock some ridiculously fabulous hair.

Most of the time.

Every once in a while he did something that I was like, “dude, no, cut it off.”

The time he gave me a tail.

That only lasted two days.

Maybe only half a day, now that I think about it.

He also went to school to learn make up and to this day I credit him with teaching me how to do makeup.

And to love glitter.

When he reached out to me recently I told him I had stopped dying my hair crazy colors, after he and his girlfriend moved away, I went to a mutual friend who took me blonde and then hot pink, to be a therapist and have a professional look.

I even toned down the make up for a bit.

But it snuck right back in.

I couldn’t give up the glitter.

He texted me, “NEVER give up the glitter.”

A lady likes a man who isn’t opposed to glitter.

He got engaged.

He bought a house.

They broke up.

He moved to L.A.

That’s where he’s at now, muddling through the pandemic as an essential worker.

I can’t even imagine, although a number of my therapy clients have indicated that they consider me an essential worker, I just can’t imagine being out in the public as much as my friend is.

We reconnected back around July or August, played a lot of phone tag, and didn’t actually get to talk until after Thanksgiving.

And it was like riding a bike.

We talked for hours.

Every week or so we’d text a little.

And we caught up after the holidays and.

And.

Well.

Ha.

He’s interested, all these years later, in dating.

I was surprised as hell.

Although, when I have had some time to think about it I realized he’d asked a few times what my dating situation was.

“Non-traditional,” I replied once.

And.

He sent me a song one day on Spotify, “I Adore You,” by Goldie.

I loved the song.

I looked up the lyric’s, well, huh, those are some interesting lyric’s.

This seems like a love song.

Is my friend sending me a love song?

Maybe.

When all is said is done
After the run we’ve had
Let me be the one
I’ll be there for you
Better to let, better to let you know I was a fool in love
Just enough to want you more I adore you
And I’ll never let you go I adore you When all is settled dust
After the storm has passed
Let me be the one to shine on you
Better to let, better to let you know I am a fool in love
Just enough to want you more I adore you
And I’ll never let you go After the run we’ve had
After the tears we’ve cried
On all those lonely nights
I still want you in my life I see you in my mind
And now the sun don’t shine
And I’m just getting by
So why can’t you be mine?

It sounds like a love song!

And then.

One night, it came out, he was texting me and he said, “would it be crazy if we went on a date?”

What?!

We texted back and forth for a while and decided, maybe it would not be.

We went a few weeks without talking about it and he did his thing and I did my thing.

But.

It’s come up again and we talked yesterday, for a long time, and we’re going to give it a shot.

Holy shit.

I mean.

I still can’t quite believe it.

He’s going to take some time off from work and come up over a weekend and stay at an old friends house and we’re just going to see what it feels like.

HOLY SHIT.

I’m excited, nervous, think I need to lose five pounds, happy, curious, all the things.

We both agreed that whatever happens, we’re just investigating and we won’t stop being friends.

It could be a hilarious wrong turn.

Or it could be a dance party.

I don’t know.

He doesn’t have a Mercedes anymore.

But he does have a Cadillac.

So I expect we will cruise around the city and revisit old haunts.

And maybe.

Make out?

We shall see.

More will be revealed.

I See Your Face

January 10, 2021

And the world stops, you said to me with awe in your voice.

You looked into my eyes and all the love and all the tears and all the challenges of the years fell away and I, well.

I wish I could just stay there with you, in that moment, in the doorway between the kitchen and my living room.

On the precipice of my soul.

You also said.

“We have to stop breaking up with each other.”

Or.

Did you say, “we need to stop breaking up.”

Or.

Was it, “I hate breaking up with you.”

I cannot remember.

They’re all true.

It’s awful and it’s right and it’s hard and we’ve done it a lot.

Too many times.

I don’t think I can do it again.

And you promised.

You did.

You promised you would come for me.

Like something out of a fairy tale.

And maybe then I can forget breaking up with you in my studio in the Outer Sunset.

Breaking up with you in my studio in the Outer Richmond.

You breaking up with me over brunch at the Beekman Hotel in New York.

Saying goodbye to you in D.C. crying at the gate, sobbing, falling into your arms and then walking away, like some movie scene that only we were watching.

Then damn it, doing it all over again, when you broke up with me in George Town the second time we went to D.C.

We keep smashing back together and breaking our hearts.

And somehow.

Somehow.

We both keep going on.

You on one side of town.

Me on the other.

Years have gone by.

Gray sprinkled now through my crown.

Laugh wrinkles grooved around your eyes.

And I still think you are the one.

Even if you are the one that has left me again, this afternoon, crying in my house.

Forlorn.

Bereft.

And with absolute knowing that it was the thing that needed to be done.

You hate seeing me sad.

And I got sad.

It happened.

I tried to tuck it away, in the closet, on a high shelf behind the duvet cover from Ikea and the white sheets with rosebud edges.

The tears, they leaked out.

I know you were crying too.

Not in front of me, not this time.

But, the moment you hit the street.

Walking back with a mask over your face, wet eyes to the sky, back to where ever you were parked.

Sitting in your car, putting the chocolate chip peanut butter cookies I made for you in your glove box.

(No one has ever baked for me, you said)

The smell that will haunt you for days to come.

I won’t reach out.

I learned my lesson.

My heart is broken and I’ll leave it there for awhile.

Long enough for me to throw myself back into my Phd program.

Long enough for me to bury myself in this last push of work.

Long enough to go back to this place, this place where I write and tell my story one moment at a time, without you.

It Was The Sound of Love

April 25, 2020

It startled me.

I looked up from my desk.

Buried in client notes and scheduling.

Calendars and emails.

Love.

Just there.

In the air outside my window.

So insistent.

Listen to me it said.

Now.

Listen.

Tony Bennet.

I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Absolutely blasting from a neighbor’s open window.

At sunset.

At the kiss of twilight.

There you were.

Love.

On the meniscus of sun against the sea.

Belting out your heart to me.

Reminding me of all the love songs and mixed tapes and playlists.

Every song a serenade of your love.

I opened my back door and walked out to the deck.

Phone in hand.

Connected to you.

In that moment.

Exquisite surprise.

And I felt.

Hope.

For the first time in sometime in all this crazy world with all its crazy.

(I don’t need to name the pink pandemic elephant in the room)

I felt hope.

Love.

A resurgence of light in my system and the sincerest sweetest most generative optimism.

I love you San Francisco.

I really.

Really.

Really

Do.

 

The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay
The glory that was Rome is of another day
I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan
I’m going home to my city by the Bay

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don’t care

My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me

You Know You Love Some One

March 28, 2020

When you record yourself reading “All The Hippos Go Berserk” by Sandra Boynton.

At top volume and with much expression.

I got some of the sweetest little voice messages from the littles I used to take care of.

The family and I did a FaceTime session early in the week and I have been getting all sorts of pictures of them and their adventures during shelter in place.

I miss them a lot and I miss the snuggles.

Tonight, while I was in session with my last client of the day, the mom sent me voice recordings of the kids saying “I love you.”

Oh my God.

I just about died.

I have been thinking about sending the littlest guy a recording of the “hippo book” as he calls it.

“You read me the hippo book!”

I bought the book and “Belly Button Beach”, also by the same author, as birthday gifts for him when he was two.

Listening to him repeat back the words to me still makes my heart melt.

I often would read them to him at nap time.

“I’ll read the hippos once and then nap time,” I would tell him.

The last time I did that was the last time I worked for the family, my last time putting him down for a nap.

My last time reading him the hippo book.

When I finished he said, “sing me song.”

That undid me.

I sang him my standard lullaby, “Hush little baby,” and choked back the tears.

Might have been the hardest lullaby ever to sing.

He fell asleep holding my hand.

Oh, my heart.

Such a sweet guy.

So, after receiving the sweet voice messages I knew I had to record the book.

I have the damn thing memorized, so it wasn’t too hard, and I threw in a little commentary for the little guy too.

We would have our own little conversations about the story and what all the silly hippos were doing.

Then I sent it to the mom and asked that she play it while he looked at the book.

They sent me back video of him looking at the book while my voice was reading it to him and he talked back at the phone like I was there.

“I love you Carmen,” he said again and again.

That was the best part of my day.

It was a pretty good day too.

Only cried three or four times.

Mostly during supervision with my supervisor talking about my clients and all the fear and anxiety and terror that so many of them are going through.

I have had 21 therapy sessions this week, I have one left for tomorrow, then Sunday off before I dive back in.

I am doing pretty well holding it all, but it does leak out at times.

It is right there at the top of my heart and I can’t always contain it and the tears spill out of my eyes and roll down my face.

I am so grateful for my individual supervisor, she really held my stuff today and let me process all the stuff and work my way through the muck.

Most of the time I am really good at shaking myself out when I finish with clients and I have little routines and rituals at my office that help me do that.

But right now.

My office is my desk, which is also where I study and work on my homework–which frankly has suffered this week, I will not lie.

My office is my desk, my laptop, my phone, the video camera in my Macbook Air, all of which are located in my house.

My one room studio.

Thank God it’s a big studio, but it’s still a challenge.

I am also aware of how lucky, really, really, really lucky, it is that I can work from home.

Despite how much I love and adore the family I used to nanny for, I would not be able to nanny right now for them even if I was still employed.

The timing of the situation coinciding with me making the full transition over to being a psychotherapist still astounds me.

I am beyond grateful.

And I am working my ass off to stay stable and grounded, to eat good food, to cook nice meals, to take walks when I can, to wear nice clothes, put on my makeup, do my hair.

The only concession I have to the fact that I am doing my therapy practice out of my home right now is that I wear my Tretorn sneakers instead of my Fluevog heels.

I had a fleeting, and I do mean fleeting, moment when I giggled to myself, I could do my therapy sessions in my bunny slippers.

Um.

NO.

Bad idea.

Not just because I couldn’t take myself seriously as a psychotherapist if I was doing sessions in my slippers, but I love that at the end of the day I can slide off my shoes and put on my slippers and that indicates to me that my day is done.

That was what I used to do when I was coming home from the office and my day out in the world–get home, kick off my shoes and put on my bunny slippers.

Yeah.

I know.

I am a 47 year old woman who wears bunny slippers.

I once had a lover tell me he couldn’t take me seriously when I was wearing them.

Of course that just made me want to wear them more.

In fact, it is almost slipper time.

I have had a good day.

It’s ok that I cried and it’s ok that sometimes it’s hard and it’s ok that I’m not keeping up with my my homework.

Actually we are on “Spring Break” so I don’t have any thing due, but I have a lot of work to do for two big up coming papers and a class that I am going to be teaching.

But over all.

I am ok.

I am making it through and staying grounded.

It definitely helped to get silly and record myself reciting the story, helped remind me of how loved I am and how lucky I was to have the nanny job with the family for the three years and three months I worked with them.

And.

Really.

Bunny slippers do make things a lot better.

Seriously.

I Almost Called You Today

February 12, 2020

But I did not.

I chose to sit on my hands.

This is more difficult than one would think.

I shared with my therapist today about grief.

Grieving you.

Still fucking grieving you.

That breaking up with the man I barely dated for six weeks only reopened the grief of having to step out of our relationship and the way it was.

Still sad.

Still miss you.

Still love you.

But not contacting you.

I know better.

I keep telling on myself.

And the grief, well, yes, it is there, but it is softer, gentler, not as ravishing and destroying as it was months ago.

Months ago.

It has been seven months since I have seen you.

I look for you every where.

I look at men jogging in the park, I know you are running, I know you wanted to run a marathon, I know you are out there.

I can sense you once in a while and I wonder if you are near and my heart breaks and my skin crawls and I feel you like an itch that is forever inescapably unable to be scratched.

I cannot get you out of my skin.

The full moon this week did not help.

The crow on the porch did not help!

The crow.

It caused me to cry today and to freeze in wonder.

A big therapy session about you, a big wondering about what am I holding onto.  What keeps me from seeing what there is to be seen, loving and being loved and being in the light of day.

Why do I not or why am I not in the world?

I mean I did try.

I tried so hard with the man I dated and all I could do was compare and despair.

I was not happy.

Although for a moment or two it was sweet, sweet to be out in the world, sweet to be seen, nice to hold hands in public.

But it never went beyond sweet for me, nice, ok, company.

It never went deep.

It did not touch what I had with you and I could not stop comparing.

I also could not make myself love him.

He loved me.

I broke his heart.

That hurts to write.

I was, in the end, not the woman I wanted to be.

He accused me of being cruel.

And I won’t deny that, I am not one to tell another how they feel, he feels that, his experience.

However.

It would have been more cruel to continue dating someone who was in love with me when I was not with them.

More cruel by far.

There are things I did not have the chance to say and probably will never have the chance to say and I was messy and I don’t like being messy.

And there was pain.

Pain to recognize I had a part in and pain to see that despite wanting something to work, it wasn’t going to work.

Pain.

But I don’t have to suffer.

No.

And I could.

I could be suffering.

That crow though.

Sigh.

That crow.

Crows.

As you well know, remind me of you.

I have a metal heart box with a passel of cards with different versions of crows that I have bought to send you love notes.

I’m not allowed to though.

My motives are shit so I don’t write those cards anymore, I don’t send them to you anymore.

I wanted to call today so bad.

I wanted to text.

I wanted to see you, smell you, touch you, be with you.

The blue sky called me.

I felt you.

A pull, a fierceness to it, my eyes, pulled upward into the sky, my heart in my throat.

At work today, thinking about you after my therapy session, wondering what it serves to think about you, that faint knife of pain cutting into my heart when I think of not being able to be with you and how I still long for it, the being with you.

And I entertained the thought of texting you.

Just a text.

Just to find out.

Just to say I love you still and if things change with you, please let me know.

All the different iteration of I’m still in love with you and why won’t you be with me?

Sigh.

I made myself do homework instead of texting.

Like now, blogging when I wanted to call.

I did my homework, sitting at the island counter in the kitchen at work.

The whole house filled with light and sky.

My employer’s house has a gigantic fourteen foot, possibly higher now that I’m thinking about it, cathedral ceiling and the back wall is all glass, an impossibly large window facing out into the breathtaking down town of San Francisco, all blue skies today and clarity like sharp cut diamonds.  The weather today was so extraordinary, the door to the deck wide open, all the way.  The window is actually a panel of sliding glass doors, it was as if the whole back of the house was opened to the sky.  An enormous sky light exposed to the world.

The dishwasher beeped its’ ending and I pushed away from my homework, the moment I did, thoughts of you back in my head, back under my skin, back in my heart.

I walked to the dishwasher, I felt someone watching me.

I looked out, and there.

There.

So close I could see his bright inquisitive eye staring at me.

A crow.

Perched there on the balcony ledge watching me.

My breath caught in my throat and tears welled up and spilled down my cheeks.

Only I, my dear, will cry with longing looking at a crow.

Minutes of sustained eye contact.

My heart crashing in my chest.

Then.

He gently opened his wings and flew away.

Taking my heart with him.

I almost called you right then.

Almost.

I can still hear the conversation I was having with you in my head.

Telling you about the crow.

Telling you everything it meant.

Telling you I still talk to the moon.

Telling you that I know you found out that I was dating someone.

Telling you I am not any more.

Telling you all the things.

And breaking my heart once again.

So.

Now.

Here.

I opt out.

I am not calling you.

I am not texting you.

I am turning away from that tale.

You have something to share.

You have something to tell me.

 

You call me.

 

On The Eve

January 13, 2020

Of my fifteenth year of sobriety.

I had to stop and ponder and wonder in awe at the scope of my life in these last fourteen years and 364 days.

I have come so far.

So fucking far.

It leaves me breathless with awe.

I’m a psychotherapist.

I live by myself in the most expensive city in the United States.

Although.

I still cringe at my rent, I can afford to live alone and I understand what a precious gift that is.

I work a lot, it’s true.

I’m still working six days a week and two jobs.

But!

Soon.

I will be done nannying.

I have been a nanny for thirteen years.

That’s a lot of time to be in any career, let alone one in which I have gotten to have so much unconditional love poured into my heart.

Nannying has been a tough job and the most incredible gift too.

I have never had children.

Shit.

I have never even had a pregnancy scare.

I have occasionally thought of what it would be like to have my own child, but really, I have gotten to raise so many beautiful, sweet, amazing children.

I have had so many children tell me they love me.

I have had so many babies fall asleep on my breast and in my arms.

I have felt the soft sweet breath of a child on my neck so many times as I lay them to sleep that I cannot count them.

I have sung a lot of lullabies.

I feel replete.

I do not feel grief stricken for not having had a child of my own.

I have had children.

I have also gotten to give them back at the end of the day and go my own way.

I will be hanging up my nanny clogs soon, my last day with my current family is February 24th.

So by the end of February I will just be working full time as a psychotherapist and a full time PhD student.

Just.

Hahahahahhahahaha.

Oh.

I also got my grades back for this past semester.

Straight “A’s.”

Not like anyone has every question someone with a PhD, “hey how were your grades during your course work?”

Most folks don’t give a fuck, you got a doctorate, you are doing great kid.

I had a 4.0 all through my Masters and I am looking to repeat that with my PhD.

I have also received the news that I have been granted the first person I requested to be my PhD committee chair.

Over the moon.

I found out from a fellow in my cohort that my pick only chose two of us to work with.

I am thrilled and honored that he took me on, it’s going to be some work, the work is nowhere near done yet, but it’s still a great big wonderful thing to be entering the last semester of my course work.

And I’m doing it in two years.

Most of my cohort is doing it in three and some in four years.

I know one other person who is doing the course work at the same pace as I am and we made a pact to get through the whole damn program in 3.5 years.

I am still on track with that.

I am also really on track with getting my hours for my MFT license.

I am 737 hours away from being able to be on my own without supervision, without having to pay extra for supervision and fees and stuff and things.

I will get my hours before the year ends and I am fucking thrilled by that.

My life is pretty amazing.

I looked at my things today, I looked at the art on my walls and the pictures and the beauty that I have surrounded myself with.

I am not rich.

But I am awash in beauty and prosperity and abundance.

I am so grateful.

I have slept on cardboard.

No more of that.

I have been homeless.

I have had to go to food pantries and be on food stamps.

I have worked some pretty grimy jobs.

I have struggled and worked and struggled some more.

I own a car.

What the hell?

A new car, my own car, the first new car I have ever bought.

I go to yoga.

I still can’t always get over that.

Who is this person hopping into her cute little marshmallow colored Fiat and heading up Balboa Street to do yoga?

I have nice clothes.

I bought in Paris. 

I used to wear hand me downs from my youngest aunts.

I used to have only one pair of shoes.

I have a lot of shoes.

I mean.

A girl likes her shoes.

I have framed art that I have bought in Paris too.

I remember having posters pinned up to my walls, when I had walls, I didn’t always.

Or magazine photos taped to my walls.

I always have liked to look at things.

I have gone to so many museums.

I have traveled the world.

Not a lot, but a good amount you know.

Paris, New York, London, LA, Miami, Chicago, Anchorage, Marseilles, Rome, Aix-en-Provence, Austin, Havana, Cuba, Burning Man.

Not bad for a girl raised in an unincorporated town in rural Wisconsin.

I have some pretty amazing tattoos.

I have gotten to meet and hang out with one of my musical hero’s–more than once.

I have extraordinary friends.

I have a way of life that is full of purpose and meaning and service.

I have love.

I have had terrible heart ache and I have survived it.

I have resiliency.

I have lost dear friends to death far too soon.

I have danced under the stars until dawn, in underground clubs in Paris, on top of speakers in dancehalls in San Francisco, arts cars out in deep playa at Burning Man.

I have narrated my story and performed  in front of 100s.

I have recited poetry to audiences small and grand.

I am in the world and I am alive and I am so grateful for that.

For this wonderful, sometimes painful, but always so full, so amazing, so extraordinary, beyond my wildest dreams, life.

Here’s to (almost) fifteen years of sobriety.

And many, many, many more years to come.

So many.

 


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