Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

I’m Moving in June!

April 4, 2022

He said to me with great vehemence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or clients.

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

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

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

Yeah.

REALLY fucking loud.

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

Let me back track a little.

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

There is no there there.

Which made me livid.

I mean.

I am not hearing things.

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

I don’t like being gas lit.

And gas lighting was what she was doing.

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

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

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

I was a-fucking-ghast.

What the fuckity fuck bitch?

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

No, master tenant replied.

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

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

OMG.

Fuck you hooker.

You are gas lighting me.

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

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

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

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

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

MAD, mad I tell you!

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

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

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

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

Until I was at the roof.

By the way.

I’ve never been on the roof.

But guess what?

DJ Bob has.

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

Fuck my life.

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

You’re gonna set the damn building on fire.

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

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

All of it.

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

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

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

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

Ah.

Indeed.

There it is.

I sent the landlord an email:

Dear (redacted–landlord)

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

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

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

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

Warm regards,

(Redacted, PhD, LMFT)

Within minutes I got the following response:

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

So.

I called the cops.

Cops came.

Party ended.

Sort of.

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

Fucking hell, this is exhausting I thought to myself.

But I was on a tear.

I went outside and I took some photos.

Then I sent the master tenant an email:

Dear (redacted–master tenant)

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

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

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

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

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

Warm regards,

(redacted, PhD, LMFT)

The music stopped at 10:01pm

Fucking thank Christ.

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

Until.

Last night.

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

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

But.

I tried.

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

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

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

And.

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

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

I’M MOVING IN JUNE!

Well, fucking thank God.

And.

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

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

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

Fucker.

So I emailed the landlord again.

Dear (redacted–landlord)

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

(redacted, PhD, LMFT)

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

It’s been exhausting dealing with this.

And.

Please, God.

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

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

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

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

So, fingers crossed.

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

So far, at 8:09 p.m…..

All is quiet.

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

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

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

Please God let me sleep.

And I did.

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

Which I did.

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

I didn’t.

I just thought about it.

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

If not.

June’s only what?

59 days away.

Sigh.

Music For Dancing Slow

March 13, 2022

Oh bunny.

All the feels.

I have been thinking about you a lot recently.

You’re just in the air.

In my dreams too.

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

I used to not dream so much about you.

I don’t know why now.

But there it is.

Maybe it’s because I was in Hawaii recently.

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

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

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

For someone you had not met yet.

I wear that heart a lot.

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

Every day.

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

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

In my dreams, in my thoughts.

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

Hopeless, die hard, romantic here.

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

That just spun out into the air from my speaker.

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

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

But.

I have been thinking about it.

Because.

Analytics.

What does that mean exactly, you ask?

Well.

Lover.

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

Also.

Side bar.

Wow.

This playlist seems a little too prescient.

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

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

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

So, so, so much.

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

Fuck.

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

GAH.

Maybe I should stop playing this.

That was like a side bar to the side bar.

Back to the analytics.

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

I can’t see who reads my blogs.

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

I can see how many reads a day I get.

I can see if someone is in the archives.

And.

I can see what particular blogs are being read.

And.

Well.

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

And maybe it’s not you.

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

And two of them constantly pop up.

“Love Songs and Nail Salons.”

And.

“Hello, Stranger.”

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

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

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

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

I got damn angry.

That riled me up for a while.

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

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

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

Fantasy.

Hope.

Idiocy.

You pick.

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

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

Shoo bop, shoo bop,

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

Seems like a mighty long time.

Oh fuck.

Wow.

That pulled some tears up.

Hmmm.

Yeah.

I still have all the feels.

I am grateful to be writing this though.

You’re not going to read it.

Someone will though.

And maybe that’s ok.

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

You know.

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

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

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

Honey bunny.

You knew.

You knew we were doomed.

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

I should have listened to this closer.

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

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

Yeah.

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

Should that come to pass.

Repeat to self.

When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

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

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

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

Ah.

Big, deep breath.

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

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

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

But once I stopped having contempt prior to investigation.

Something happened.

I had a vision of the two of us.

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

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

I can’t get along without you.

Oh love.

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

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

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

By the way.

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

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

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

Until then, sweet heart.

Be kind to you.

Love yourself.

Take care of yourself.

And I will do the same.

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

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

Even if I never see you again.

I will always have you in my heart.

Always.

Because.

Love is strange.

When Jody Sings

January 10, 2022

I remember dancing to this song from Masters of Reality in a red and blue gingham check skirt that I had made from one of my mother’s old house dresses.

I was wearing a navy blue leotard body suit with long arms and had a black sweater or cardigan tied around my waist.

I remember the sun shone through the windows of my bedroom on Franklin Street in Madison.

The light dappled through the trees and I was wearing blue stained glass earrings in the shape of elongated tear drops.

My boyfriend of two years, at the time, had hung them in the window from the screen so they caught the light and put me in front of the window with his hands over my eyes.

It was likely the best gift he ever gave me.

I felt beautiful wearing those earrings with my hair down and long and curling.

I was twenty one.

He had introduced me to a lot of music that I had no clue about.

I also introduced him to a lot of music he had no clue of–jazz and blues mostly and some classical.

The music I had grown up with, my step-father’s much played genres.

My boyfriend at the time, the blue stained glass earrings boyfriend, turned me onto what I would now consider classic alternative music.

Jody Sings is from an album called Sunrise on the Surfer Bus by Masters of Reality.

I had never heard anything quite like it and I loved the album.

He also introduced me to Soul Coughing, Jeff Buckley, Beck, Cake, Morphine, Annie DiFranco, Tori Amos–all of whom we saw in various concerts.

To this day I get some kind of sneaky cred for having seen Jeff Buckley live in concert on his Grace album tour.

I will never forget his rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” it blew my soul open.

I broke down into tears when I heard of Buckley’s death weeks after he had passed.

He introduced me to Phish as well, not that I ever became of big fan of them, and a lot of heavy metal, Pantera, Sepultera, and the like, as well as Primus, who I wouldn’t call metal, but I was fucking blown away by when I saw them in concert.

I don’t know why this week I thought of Master’s of Reality, it just popped into my head.

Listening now, fyi.

And I suddenly remember that girl dancing barefoot on the warm summer sun wood floors in my bedroom.

I didn’t know that my boyfriend was in the doorway watching me dance.

I spun around with my skirt flaring out and caught him staring at me in the doorway.

The look of love in his green eyes still haunts me if I think about it too long.

He loved me, more than I think he even understood, especially after I broke up with him five years into the relationship.

He never really knew me though.

I was nascent.

I was incandescent in my beauty and I never knew it either.

And as the relationship went on, painfully, unhappily, co-dependently on years after I should have left him, I gained weight and gained weight and suffered deeper and deeper depressions.

I had no idea I was depressed.

That 21 year old girl had no idea how dark life was going to get.

My boyfriend cheated on me, twice.

He got caught growing marijuana in our house.

We both wound up with felony charges.

Mine got dropped.

He went on probation.

He went bonkers when he had to stop smoking pot.

He started drinking really heavily.

I realized I was in love with another man.

Who, now I can see, oh can I see, quite clearly, was unavailable and the love was always going to be unrequited (though he told me once quite drunk how much he was in love with me), which was my way of staying safe.

The love of the unavailable man.

My music, blue stained glass earring boyfriend, lost it when I broke up with him.

Lost it.

Hit me.

Spit on me.

I ran off into the night.

One very cold January, Wisconsin night, dark as sin, snow piled so high, no cars driving down East Washington at that late hour.

I ran out of the house in my flannel nightgown and made a phone call to the police from the payphone in front of the grocery store a block away.

I was terrified.

It was a long, scary night, and a story for another night of blogging.

He stalked me for a few years.

I got a restraining order.

He broke it and because he was on probation for growing pot he went to prison.

He’s married now.

Two kids, wife–former classmate of mine in high school, my how the world is small.

House in Sun Prairie, I looked him up a few times years ago.

I don’t wish him harm, he was in a terrifying place and lost his mind.

I grew.

And I also stopped being available to available men.

There are many other reasons why.

I needn’t list them to underscore how the things I did to protect myself came back to haunt me later.

Oh siren song of unavailable men.

It’s been one year today, one year since I saw you last, my love.

My former lover.

And things.

Well.

They are a changing.

New therapist.

New year.

New PhD.

New dating attitudes.

New healing.

I’ve had three dates with three separate men this past week.

I have a second date with one of them tomorrow.

I don’t know where any of it’s going to go, but I do know, that I am moving on.

So when I hear this album, it’s still playing, but we’re almost to the end.

It’s only 45 minutes long.

I can still be that beautiful barefoot girl with the long hair in the long skirt dancing on the warm wood floor, my hips swaying, my arms in the air, ecstacy.

I’m 28 years older.

28 years wiser.

I have been to hell and back.

I have put myself there.

I have rescued myself.

I have had so much help.

I will never repay it no matter how much service I do.

I feel like I am breathing again.

And the grief that once choked me has finally lessened it’s grip.

Maybe it was the warm green eyes of the man on the date last night who said, “I would follow you to Wisconsin,” maybe it’s just God, maybe it’s the music.

Maybe it’s love.

The love I have chosen for myself and the realization that I can hold space for that beautiful girl because I finally belive.

Really believe.

That I am a beautiful woman.

Worthy of love.

And.

Worthy of an available man.

Jody Sings

Lucky one
I am too
Lucky three
The one for me
One, two, three

I’m on my knees
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by yeah

Lucky one
I am too, yes I am
Lucky three
The one for me
One, two, three
I’m on my knees
Yeah, yeah, yeah
On my knees
On my knees
On my knees
On my knees

Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Yeah

When Jody Sings, Masters of Reality, 1992

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.

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

It Bears Repeating

December 29, 2018

The playlist I made you many months ago.

I haven’t listened to it in a while.

Things were hard.

Strange.

Sad.

Oh god were things sad.

I listened to the music and cried.

I stopped listening to it.

But today.

Tonight.

Well.

I dipped back in.

So good.

So damn good.

Just like you baby.

Stolen kisses in the car.

Your head leaned back against the headrest.

The look in your eyes when you look at me.

Oh the magic.

Damn it baby.

You are the best.

I belted out the songs coming home in the car.

The Christmas lights still up, the traffic still slow, everyone still out of town.

Holidaze.

Sweet love.

My love.

My dear.

Dearest, dear.

I felt like I floated home, drifting down towards the sea with all its love gathering in the passing moonlight.

The songs make me goosebump.

I really love you.

It still boggles my mind that I have had you in my life.

I don’t question it.

I don’t have to know why.

I just know that you love me.

And.

I love you.

What will happen.

I don’t know.

I don’t have to.

I just know how I felt tonight.

Song mix on repeat.

Making me smile.

My heart swelled, pushing against my ribcage.

My heart big, swollen, full of this music.

All the songs about you.

I have never made another man a playlist.

Or a mixed tape.

Just to date myself.

I have made you, though, many.

This one is dear to me, though they all are sweet.

This one special.

My first attempt at letting you know musically how much you mean to me.

I think I did a pretty good job.

I had forgotten what songs were on and when one faded and the next came on.

I just smiled harder.

Sang louder.

Felt my love for you grow again.

How is it so?

Extraordinary.

This expansion of love, like the universe.

On and on and on.

Forever and ever.

Amen.

Penny and the Quarters.

Aretha Franklin.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

The Cranberries.

Carly Simon.

(You really are the best)

Barbara Lewis.

The Ronnettes.

Bill Withers.

Peggy Lee.

Stevie Wonder.

And last, but oh so not least.

Etta James.

Had to end with a bit of punch.

Like how I feel, knocked down drunk with love on you again.

Smitten kitten.

Me.

Again.

Who knew?

So.

I guess what I am saying.

Well.

It bears repeating.

I am happy.

I got to see you today and there will be more of you to come.

And.

Baby, this bears repeating too.

I’m yours.

Baby.

Sweet baby.

I am so yours.

Now.

And.

Always.

In other words, until eternity.

 

Well, I tried

August 26, 2018

I really did.

I even got up before my alarm went off.

Nightmares.

Fucking had a using dream last night and in my dream I woke up, still dreaming, thinking that I had relapsed and I had to tell my person and then I was going to be new all over again.

I woke up in the grey foggy light of the Outer Sunset in August, it could have been 6 a.m. it could have been 10 a.m., although my alarm was set for 8:30 a.m. so I knew it wasn’t that late, but for a moment I really thought the dream was for real.

I tried to shake it off.

I saw it was a little after 8 a.m. and just decided to get up and get going, sleep was pretty much ruined at that point, another twenty minutes was not going to do me any good.

I got up.

I put on my swimsuit.

I made my bed.

I did my prayers, read my books, breathed.

I grabbed my swim bag and I set out for Sava Pool.

Only to be foiled.

It’s closed for maintenance!

Until September 7th.

I was a bit upset, although not horribly, part of me was very proud of myself for getting up and going and seeing the pool through the glass made me happy.

I thought for a moment of heading over to the other side of town and maybe hitting the pool on Arguello, but I had a lot to do today and a friend from school happened to text me asking if I wanted to catch up and grab coffee at Trouble.

Seeing as how I wasn’t able to swim I figured I would settle for gossip and coffee.

Although I was a bit on the fence about going to Trouble.

That’s my landlady’s hang out spot and I wasn’t really wanting to see my friend there if she was there, we have been avoiding each other, but it’s still not very comfortable here.

The loudness gets to me quite a bit.

And sure enough, she was there and I could hear her laughing from the corner of the 7-11 across the street.

I pinged my friend, asked him to come over and we just had coffee at my place.

Saved me from a five dollar cafe au lait.

I still can’t believe what some places charge for coffee, it’s like what some folks charge for rent.

Despite our coffee plans being slightly misled, it was good to catch up with my friend and see what he’s been up to and how supervision is going for him and share my plans for my private practice internship and all the things.

He has wanted to do a group with me a number of times but our schedules have just not quite coincided.

But.

Lovely to catch up and good to have a person to talk to about school as I am so close to heading into my next phase.

I did a little, actually a lot, of writing after he headed out and that felt good.

I reflected on the phone call I had with my person this morning as I was driving back from the closed pool and relating the details of my nightmare.

How my alcoholism doesn’t like it when I am having intense feelings and the using dream was a way to try to escape from the feelings.

But the feelings came anyway.

I cried a bunch today too.

It’s still early, I’ve been told, there is going to be a lot to grieve, keep letting yourself feel them.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

I know.

But fuck.

It is hard.

And I’m a psychotherapist, I know the importance of not stuffing my feelings.

I’ve been damn good about it, I think, my person certainly has made a point of reflecting to me that I have, that he’s consistently amazed by the things I am moving through and the grace with which I am doing so.

I don’t always feel graceful though.

And I burst into tears three or four times today.

So.

There is that.

Ugh.

I just miss him so much, I feel crushed by it, I bought him cards today without thinking about it.

I used to write him love notes all the time.

I made it a point to find sweet, unusual, poignant cards to give him.

I like letters.

I like writing.

I like paper and envelopes and thoughtfulness.

I bought the cards thinking that maybe, maybe one day, hopefully not too far down the line, I’ll be able to write him cards again.

Perhaps I was foolish.

Perhaps I am foolish.

But for a moment it appeased my heart to have the cards.

I want to see him.

I know I  can’t.

At least not right now.

I want to talk to him, text him, email him, send him smoke signals.

And I can’t.

I want to kiss him, hold him, be held by him, express all the love in my body and heart and soul to him.

And I can’t.

All I can do is keep feeling these things and taking the suggestions I have been given and believing that God has this relationship, and that we are both being carried and loved.

That’s about the best I can do.

That and cry.

I am just going to go and cry some more.

Damn it.

You don’t remember me, but I remember you
‘Twas not so long ago, you broke my heart in two
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart 
Caused by you, you
If we could start anew, I wouldn’t hesitate
I’d gladly take you back, and tempt the hand of fate
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart, caused by you
Love is not a gadget, love is not a toy
When you find the one you love 
(S)he’ll fill your heart with joy
If we could start anew, I wouldn’t hesitate
I’d gladly take you back, and tempt the hand of fate
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart, caused by you

I Suppose I Should Write

August 19, 2018

I don’t much feel like it.

But that’s because I was just in my car singing along to John Denver’s “Sunshine” and crying.

Ugh.

I was not expecting that either.

I got in my car today to run errands, man did I run some errands today, and of course the first thing that pops on the stereo is the playlist my ex made me and I was like, “NO!”

I immediately queued up my Spotify and went the opposite direction that I could think and started listening to a 2ManyDj’s Radio Soulwax, electronic dance music with a hard rock edge to it.

Love them.

Not something I ever listened to with my ex, not that he wouldn’t have been into them I think, but never came up in any of our many discussions about music.

Fuck there is just so much music I feel like I can’t listen to right now, everything seems tied to him.

So yeah, I blasted the Soulwax and went grocery shopping and everywhere I went today I listened to that playlist.

Until just a little while ago.

I was just coming from a very lovely ladies dinner night out with two girlfriends I know in recovery and we literally closed down the restaurant talking.

We were going to go see some chic flick at the AMC Van Ness Theaters, but ended up having such a conversation over dinner that we decided to just stay put and keep talking.

God damn it was nice.

I didn’t once talk about the relationship ending, rather I just listened to my friends talk about dating and who’ve they’ve seen or not seen, and it was just a relief.

When I was coming home through the fog, man it’s been a foggy August, usually it’s lifted a bit by now and we’re beginning to have some semblance of a summer, but not tonight, fog city, I didn’t feel like jamming out to the Soulwax anymore and wanted something to sing to.

So yeah, I put on a little playlist that is silly and fun and I can sing to the songs.

Like.

Ahem.

Eddie Rabbit’s “I Love a Rainy Night.”

Or.

Oh, God, I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton singing “Islands in the Stream,” and fuck.

It happened.

I was singing and then the lyrics started to sink in and I realized, damn it, these are love songs too, upbeat, but love songs.

Not sad though, very sweet, rather endearing, and ugh, they made me wish for my ex so bad.

By the time John Carpenter started singing “Sunshine,” I had lost it and started to out right cry.

Sorry folks.

It’s another I’m crying over my ex-boyfriend blog.

I miss him so much.

It hurts.

I’m not going to die, but now I have some more music I may need to avoid for a little bit.

I mean.

I had a great time with my friends, and I felt really upbeat heading home, so the emotional sucker punch of the music caught me off guard.

I also looked at a picture of him today.

From a trip we went on this summer and his smile was just all sunshine and how he was looking at me from across the cafe table, it just got me so hard.

I have most of the photos off my phone, but there are a few from that trip that I realized where there and I looked.

I’m not going to beat myself up for looking.

But.

When “Sunshine” was playing I thought of him, that day, his eyes, his face, and later that day when we were close, we sat on the leather couch at the pretty AirBnB and I read him poetry from Pablo Neruda’s 100 Love Sonnets, his head in my lap, and I brushed my fingers through his hair and stroked his face.

He was my sunshine.

And in the night fog driving home I missed his light so horribly.

I pulled it together to drive, but I admit that when I found parking I sat in the dark in my car and let the music spool out around me and I bawled like a baby.

I love you darling.

I miss you.

I hope you are making it through.

You always will be my sunshine.

Even in my darkest night.

I will always have the memory of how you smiled at me.

How you shined at me.

My how you shined.

The Song Hit Me Hard

July 15, 2018

Like a nova in my chest.

A painful sunburst of love, loss, longing.

I wanted to reach out so very much.

I didn’t.

I just sang along to the song in the car driving down Division Street.

Pushing up the hill between Valencia and Guerrero with flashes of sun piercing the July fog.

You there with me.

In the car, in the song, in the spaces between notes.

I managed.

All day.

To out run you.

Out write you.

Out manoeuver you.

I was not going to sit idle with the feelings.

No.

Not when I could drive them off with business and doing.

I am glad I was doing the doings.

And sad too.

I finished the big project, the internship application.

Remember two weeks ago today?

Remember sitting in the cemetery with me when I got the news?

I burst into tears.

Sitting in that green vibrant lushness that sprung from the brows of dead men.

My face.

Your voice sick with concern.

The tears falling without thought of being in public.

It’s a cemetery.

I’m sure there have been tears there before.

You said why don’t we just go home?

And I wanted to.

But there were places to go yet.

Rabbits to burn.

Bridges to cross.

So to turn round.

Two weeks, to the day, a project, another application, another launching of hope onto the sea, a small newspaper boat with a popsicle stick sail, all I wanted.

All I wanted.

Was to reach out and tell you.

I did it!

But you were not there to reach for.

So I moved.

I ran out into the day.

I did things to prepare.

I am going on a trip tomorrow.

I have zero excitement for it.

And it’s Paris.

I should be over the moon, in the tops of the trees, singing the soundtrack to Amelie.

Or something like that.

But it’s Paris.

Without you.

That makes me.

Well.

What rhymes with you?

Blue.

Yes.

That will work.

There is rain in the forecast.

And all I could think about was your eyes in the shower, how bright they are when you are sleek and wet, how much I wanted to fall against you.

Press into you.

Stay hidden.

And seen.

In the waterfall of warmth and never leave that small space.

I saw the weather for Paris.

Rain.

“I love Paris in the rain,” danced through my head.

I would love it more if you were there walking in the rain with me, eyes wet and full.

You weren’t with me last year when I was in Paris either.

Yet, you were.

I remember walking along the Left Bank, hurrying to find cover in a cafe before the rain hit.

Nestling into a corner in the back, connecting to wifi.

And voila.

There.

Your face on the small screen of my phone.

I won’t have even that this year.

In Paris.

I will be sad.

But it will be in Paris.

Which makes it prettier, sexier sadness.

But sadness nonetheless.

And now.

Now that I have stopped running.

The sadness swarms me and I recall you telling me how to run into the feelings.

Have them.

Just have them.

If I can’t have you.

I can at least have the feelings.

There are so many.

So many.

I can’t outrun them all.

As.

I can’t stop loving you.

Beautiful And Drunk

February 20, 2018

Intoxicated.

Tipsy on the way you look at me.

The way you hold me tight.

The feel of your arms around me.

Besotted with you face.

The way it is framed by the window pane behind you.

The view of the river and the dark limbs of trees wet with the falling snow.

Snow.

Magicked from above on your whim.

To sucker punch me with your charms, the brightness of your eyes.

The adoration there.

Dreamy and smitten with you.

There is nothing I could imbibe that would render me more inebriated.

Than your face.

Softly bombed and smote on the laughter that falls from your mouth into my eager ears.

God.

Damn.

How I love you.

I cannot tally all the moments that whirl in my head.

I have snap shots.

Photographs of you.

Kissing your cheek in front of a Rothko.

Holding your hand walking across red brick alleys.

The birds, out of nowhere, singing, harmonizing our love, trilling it loud to the sky.

I turned my face up to that sky and watched the clots of snow drift down, catching some on the tip of my tongue and laughing, knowing that soon you would kiss that self-same mouth.

Sitting across a table from you while music from the soundtrack of our love story played over the speakers.

Snatches of songs that we send one another.

Playlists of longing.

Songs of sorrow and sadness and desires.

Torch songs.

Blues songs.

Love songs for lovers.

All love songs remind me of you now.

But.

Some.

More than others.

You know the ones.

I am woozy with you.

You have gone to my head.

Once again.

Punch drunk on your love.

Enchanted and elated.

Enthralled.

And.

Though I may be foolish.

 

I hear music.

I think of fairy tales.

And.

I want your happily ever after.

I want your love always.

Forever.

I want you.

Won’t you want me too?

Just say you do.

Just please.

Say you do.

 

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is La Vie En rose

When you kiss me heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see La Vie En Rose

When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom

And when you speak…angels sing from above
Everyday words seem…to turn into love songs

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La Vie En Rose.

 

 

 


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