Posts Tagged ‘AidsLifeCycle’

You Still Writing Your Blog?

October 7, 2015

He asked as we pedaled our bicycles up the hill past the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park.

I was riding home on my whip thinking about all the things that need to be done and the grocery shopping that I was about to embark on, so, so, so grateful to be meeting a friend after work who gave me a lift to SafeWay.

I got all the things I need to get through the week and then some.

It would have been two, probably three trips on my bicycle had I loaded up my messenger bag real full and rode my bicycle real slow.

I don’t ride my bicycle real slow.

In case you were wondering.

Although.

I don’t ride as fast as some.

If I was on a geared bicycle I would actually be faster.

I am on a one speed and it only goes so fast before I am just needlessly spinning my crank.

I coast down hill pretty damn fast though, and that is often where I will catch up to those who have passed me on the uphill climb.

Which is what happened as I sped through the park, thinking about autumn in Wisconsin.

There are parts of my ride home, specifically the Pan Handle, where there are some old growth oak trees, when I am reminded of fall in the Midwest.

The smell in the air.

The leaves scattered on the ground, the shadows falling from the trees and the old sodium lamp posts lighting the way.

I am reminded always of the CS Lewis book, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

The lamp-post always get that reference for me.

And.

There is a kind of magic about the park, especially at night, when the shadows are long and the stars hang low overhead, when it’s past the last of the day’s commute and the runners have done their runs and the bicycle traffic is light to none existent, and I feel as though the entire way is mine.

The soaring on my bicycle through the air, the whick of wind against my neck and pulling through my hair.

I passed by the DeYoung and started the slight descent to the Rose Garden that heralds the last big hill climb on my ride and then, literally, it is all down hill from there, down towards the sea, the salt wind, the bonfires kissing the dunes, and the shaded night heralding my heart home.

I usually holler out, “passing on your left,” but I actually thought I might startle the rider I was coming up on, so I just gave him a wide berth and whipped past.

“Carmen?!”

“Yup, that’s me, who’s that, you better pedal harder to catch up!”  I laughed as I hit the down slope on the hill, bottomed out and began the climb.

“Use your momentum coming down the hill to push you up the next one,” my friend taught me on training rides for the AidsLifeCycle.

I never forgot that advice and it’s really the only way to get up hills on a one speed in San Francisco.

I heard the bicyclist behind me drop it into gear and push up the hill.

“Hey!” He said, “it’s Max! How are you?”

“Hello!”  I said, “doing good, just got out of work, heading home, you?”

“Just left 7th and Geary,” he said, “heading home too, hey, did you start grad school, how’s that going?”

“I did!”  I said.

“I just had my second big weekend of classes, it’s kicking my ass, trying to balance all the things, working 35 hours a week, carrying 12 credits in grad school, doing the deal, you know, trying to not get too far into the future or I’ll freak out.”

“Yeah, I feel you, that’s a lot, but you can do it,” he said.

“Yup, I just keep focusing on what’s exactly in front of me,” I said and spun the crank.

Just keep my eye on the next foot fall, don’t get carried away thinking about how I just got my schedule “figured” out and the mom asked me today to totally switch my hours from a 1p.m. start to a 10 a.m. start next Monday and Tuesday–the boys have two days off from school.

And.

If I get too consumed with my schedule and I am not flexible with myself I will freak out.

“Hey, you still writing your blog?” He asked me next.

“Yeah, I’m sort of in awe that I am doing it, but it’s so helpful, it lets me get all the stuff out of my head, it’s like a nightly inventory [sic] I need it, I don’t think I can drop doing it, although I’m still not sure how I am able to find the time, I do.”

“It pops up in my Facebook feed every once in a while,” he continued, and we crested the hill and began the descent home.

“Nice to run into you!” I shouted as he slowed down to take the turn and I sped, yes, right through the stop sign and rolled on into the velvet night laying splayed out before me.

It does leave me with a sense of wonder, this little blog does, I am still finding words for my experience, still aching to share those experiences with you, the reader, lovely reader, hello, you do fill me with regard and wonder too.

I wrote last night about being mindful that I was writing for myself and frankly if I think about the people reading, or not reading, my blog, I will get weird about it, but that doesn’t mean that I am not aware of you, sweet reader, in fact, I regard you with respect and no small sense of honor.

Thank you for stopping to read the words.

Oh the words.

They do mean so very much to me.

Speaking of words.

I am knocking out the sonnets for the Burning Man poetry project I have had on the back burner for the last couple of weeks.

I was supposed to have some things ready for my collaborator, and I did, I do have some sonnets I wrote, but I did not like the way they read and there was something missing.

I found the missing ingredient.

And.

I have been flying.

I wrote out the supporting framework for ten sonnets and then fleshed out one completely yesterday.

Today.

Well.

I was on a roll.

I wrote two sonnets back to back and I probably could have written a third, but I did want to make sure that I addressed some reading for my Human Development class or I would be falling behind for the paper that I must have written in this upcoming week for the class.

I love when the words come and the images and the song of the world seems to croon to my ear and I am connected to that elixir of light and poetry.

I feel blessed.

Graced.

Lightened.

Enlightened.

And.

Loved.

I am such a lucky girl.

Full of words.

And wonder.

I am.

Melting Pot

September 16, 2015

Yes.

There is that too.

That melting into another person, that kind of intimacy that is indicative of the idea of “into me you see.”

I am thinking of big green meadow eyes and a hug.

A long, lingering, could be uncomfortable, if I were serving up hugs at the Hug Deli at Burning Man, kind of hug.

But is not uncomfortable, no, is rather delicious and melting and luscious.

I have two more days of waiting for said hug.

“How was your Burning Man?” I have been asked that many a time since I returned.

I have told folks it was my best yet, aside from my first one, which really did blow my mind–and was also the most challenging as I was there with my best friends ashes and had just gone through one of the most harrowing months of my life watching him die and being there for our community the best way I could.

“Your first year was amazing, I was there!” My friend said to me tonight as we were riding our bicycles home on the WIggle.

The nice thing about a changing work schedule is doing the deal in places and rooms I don’t normally go and seeing faces I don’t normally see.

I hadn’t seen this friend in over a year and it was so nice to sit next to him and get caught up and my excitement at getting to ride home with him was great.

He was my mentor on the AidsLifeCycle ride as well, so riding with him had special significance.

I realized I hadn’t been on a bike ride with him in five years!

I remember well how I cried after my first training ride, it was three miles I think, perhaps five, but really no more than that–hell I ride more than that to get to work everyday, I don’t even think about it anymore–and I just could not imagine how the fuck I was going to ride 545 miles.

“You’re not going to ride them all tomorrow,” he told me and patted my arm and got me a bottle of water.

He was always there to pat me on the back or cajole me up and over the next big hill.

And there were so many damn big hills.

But I made them.

I got up and over and when the time came to do the ride, I rode every last mile.

Even with saddle sores.

Saddle sores are no picnic, let me tell you, and I rode with saddle sores the last three days of the event.

Yuck.

I digress.

But I did fill my friend in on all the details of the burn and why it was my best since my first one.

Partially since I did not work that much.

I actually went to Burning Man.

I went dancing.

I saw friends.

I spent a fair amount of time at AV, a village a lot of friends camped at.

I did a lot of the deal.

And.

I met him.

You know.

That guy.

The dreamy one I spent three and a half days with consecutively.

Yeah.

That guy.

He’s a peach that one.

I get to see him this week.

The day has been set.

Or I should say, the evening.

We’re meeting on a school night and I don’t care.

Sometimes you just got to do the things that are a little taboo, I mean I’m not breaking some huge personal rule, I’m just going to have a sleep over on a school night.

I’m looking forward to the companionship.

I am looking forward to the play.

But I really am looking forward to the connection.

We have a connection and we both know it and its been acknowledged and we both are doing our own thing.

Adult like.

I won’t deny there is some salient school girl crush thing happening.

But really.

When I look at the underlying text of the document, there is more to it than that.

“Am I just going to be that girl you met at Burning Man,” I teased as we eased our way back into the default world.

“You could label it that, I suppose, but you know that’s not the truth,” he said and turned, brushing the side of my face with his hand.

Yes.

I do know that’s not the full story.

And.

The thing is.

I don’t even know what the full story is.

I suspect that we are both going to show up and be our best selves and maybe it takes a minute to get back there, to the dust and the honesty, and that place where I am vulnerable and not worried about what I am wearing and what music should I play and how does my house look.

“I really like that I got to see where you live, it’s so you,” he said as I came out of the bathroom to my studio.

I like that he saw it too.

I like that when people have visited me here, they have all said the same thing, how much my place reminds them of me and how lovely it is to be in it.

“You have a party going on at your place all the time,” a dear friend of mine said when he described my place.

It’s true.

It’s a party.

I like to have my music on.

I like my candles lit.

I like the good smells and the good sounds and I like that where ever I look there is something beautiful to rest my eyes on.

Speaking of which, maybe this is the weekend I finally get the DIebenkorn print up on the wall, it breaks my heart leaning against the table.

I need to go get my Marilyn print from my trip to LA framed as well.

Art.

God.

How I do love thee.

Let me surround myself in it, swim in it, wallow in it, drown in it.

Thank God I am an artist.

“You are so much more than just a nanny,” my friend told me sternly in the car.

He had given me a ride to Safeway to do a big grocery shop, so needed after my busy on the go self neglected to do any last week and was also dropping me off at work so I wouldn’t have to push it on my bicycle.

I was telling him about how I have been asked to provide some poetry for a fellow artist who wants to present something at the Burning Man ARTumnal event.

I wonder if I should ask for a ticket, or two, I might have a gentleman I would like to bring with me, to the event.

And it was with some chagrin that I realize, yes, I do down play that part of me.

Or.

I assume that the only reason a man might want to be with me.

Well.

It’s more than just a cuddle, right.

But no.

There is more.

“I’m most excited about looking into your eyes silently and getting one of those melty hugs.”

Really?

Me too.

Really.

And maybe some sex on the side.

But yeah.

The silent song of staring into someone’s eyes who I have connection with.

That is where the good stuff is.

All the things.

All the good, sweet, juicy things.

In fact.

All the best things.

Fingers Crossed

May 8, 2014

The Vespa starts tonight.

I just tried and it wants to, I know she wants to.

Yes, my Vespa is a girl, I don’t know her name yet, but she’s a she.

My bicycle is too.

I got her, the Vespa, when I got home tonight, tucking my bicycle in the garage, hoping that I would not have to ride it on Friday.

Yes, I know tomorrow is Thursday, but I wouldn’t ride my Vespa to my Thursday gig if it was running–there’s no where to park it.

I have a place to park it at my gig on Friday.

In fact, the mom told me that her landlord, who was curious about the Vespa when I rode it in last Friday and parked it up on the sidewalk against the house (not in the way of the garage or blocking it at all, just up along side) and asked my employer who’s it was, it turns out that I can get a nanny permit to park it up there.

Apparently there are so many families that employ nannies on the block that they lobbied the city to allow them to let their nannies have permits to park on that specific block between Noe and Sanchez at 19th.

I have never seen another nanny in that neighborhood.

Doesn’t mean there aren’t, I just haven’t seen anyone else pushing a stroller up and down the hills.

Maybe they stay inside.

Anyway, I can apply through the city to get a nanny permit.

Hysterical.

I will do it too.

Although the mom made it clear that I probably can just park it, when it’s running, fingers crossed, tonight, in their part of the garage when I come into work.

I will be going back to Cole Valley next week Monday through Wednesday and if I decide to ride it in to work, they have plenty of space by their garage up on the sidewalk for me to park it.

I am not certain that I will though.

The bicycle commute from where I am to Cole Valley is less than twenty minutes.

The one to the Castro is between 30-35.

I give myself about five to ten minutes leeway on both commutes.

I prefer to be early to on time.

On time for me is early.

This can be a great way to work up a resentment when I start thinking, where are they–insert anyone here–at two minutes before 6:30p.m.  Or whatever time said person, insert anyone here, shows up.  If you show up on time you’re late, if you’re a little late, your really late and if you’re more than five minutes I am going to freak out.

I once had it suggested to me that I try to let myself be late for something.

I don’t think I was able to.

I am sure that I can associate some tragic event from child hood, insert 1,000 different things here, to explain this, but I don’t feel like digging around the memory banks at the moment.

My friend said he gets done with work at 8p.m so he will be here between 8:30p.m and 9p.m.

I expect him at 9:15p.m.

That way I don’t get mad.

Just my crazy way of handling the world that does not run on my schedule.

Which is fine.

I could stand to relax a little.

I dare say I am a bit beat from the extra mileage this week.

I normally only have one day of riding into the Castro.

Three back to back days of hill climbing and pushing myself to make it on time have left me with some sore legs.  Plus, if I want to head to the park I have to go down hill, which means coming back up hill–pushing a stroller.

It’s not bad, I am not complaining.

The ache means I am alive and I am glad for it.

Achy legs made me remember that I have been entertaining the idea of more hill climbing on a bicycle.

I am contemplating doing the AidsLifeCycle ride again, a friend of mine has never done it and she wants me to train with her.

I think it would be great to do again, even though I currently don’t have a touring bicycle, I could get one, and I know better how to train for it then I did when I went on the ride in 2010.

This thought led to another thought about 2015, some other travel plans that I am hatching with some friends to go to a convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

In yes, July.

Ha.

I can’t imagine how nice and toasty that will be.

But a lot of my friends are going and though it’s over a year away, I like the idea so much of going that I already have started to do a little bit of research about it.

I won’t be late to this event either.

Through this small bit of drama with my scooter, which is like nothing when it comes down to it, I have been made more and more grateful for my bicycle and that I have options.

There’s the MUNI of course, but my bicycle is such a stable stand by.

Even if I end up only using my scooter on the weekends for recreational purposes, I am ok with that.

There was a time when I only had one mode of transportation–my feet.

I didn’t even have money for the bus.

I have come a little way since then.

I have a great bicycle and I know how long it takes to get just about anywhere in the city.  Not that I am always interested in getting up to Twin Peaks, but I have done it before on a bicycle I could again.

I don’t have a reason to and I am not running out the door to find one either.

I would like a break, though, from the bicycle riding.

And I do want to have the Vespa up and running by the weekend, I have been really grooving on having it for getting about on the weekends.  Plus a friend who recently bought a house in the Bayview is having a birthday get together and I haven’t been yet to his place.

Yeah, I could ride my bike.

But fingers crossed.

I won’t have to.

 

 


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