Posts Tagged ‘Barry Gwin’

It’s A Lawn Ornament

May 11, 2015

Nice to hear if you’re the proud owner of a flock of pink plastic flamingos.

Not so much if you’re the (sort of not so proud anymore) owner of a 1965 Vespa.

Ugh.

I just keep repeating to myself, bless it or block it.

And man.

This is blocked.

I met with my friend who sold me the scooter.

I talked with my friend who just finished rebuilding his own Vespa.

I texted back and forth with another friend about his current rebuild at Scooter Centre.

And I am done.

Done.

I keep also hearing keep it simple stupid.

I will drop the stupid part, but I do own up to my part.

My part–taking on something that is vintage, that I don’t have the band width to tinker with, that I don’t have enough passion for to keep.  Thinking something is cute and posing by it is not the passion that will keep it running.

Nor do I have deep enough pockets.

My hopes, expectations, and needs were never met with this scooter.

Which is not the experience my friend who sold it to me had and I understood his point of view and his offer of help.

But in the end I left the coffee shop in tears and I just felt over it.

I talked with another friend on the phone a few hours later, lunch, a cup of tea, a call to my mom to wish her happy mother’s day, a walk along the Great Highway staring at the dunes and the sun poking out valiantly from the clouds, and he said, be up front, tell whom ever decides to buy it point-blank it’s a Vietnam scooter and you’ll probably get $1200.

Fact is.

I don’t want to deal any more.

I don’t want to spend any more time thinking about it.

I don’t.

Perhaps that is me being a baby.

But I prefer to think that it is me be simple, direct, and absolutely to the point.

The scooter was blocked for me from the beginning.

I had misgivings the minute I saw it and it didn’t have so much to do with the ideation of it; that made me feel wonderful, how sleek and sassy and cute the Vespa is; but that I realized that I had bitten off far more than I could chew.

The having to mix motor oil with gas.

The choke.

The cold engine.

The kickstart.

Damn that thing.

Only eleven months later and I still get an ache in my ankle if I walk too hard on it without enough support.

Maybe it looks like I’m rolling over and showing the world of scootering my pink, vulnerable, belly.

But I have heard, more than a few times, that surrendering means going over to the wining side.

It’s not a loss.

It’s just money.

I got hurt once trying to use the scooter.

But I wasn’t in an accident on the road, I didn’t lose my life, like my best friend who was hit while riding his scooter nearly eight years ago.

I didn’t have to donate my organs to science, make my mother cry, or be cremated to have my ashes scattered over the wide world.

I had an experience.

I don’t want to have it any more.

I told my friend who was advocating talking to Chris Ward again, making a case to Barry Gwin again, trying this tack or that, that I really was done.

As far as I am concerned I would happily sign over the title to him and let him tinker with it for the next few years.

He’d have fun.

I find it frustrating.

This is not the first time I have invested in something that has not worked out, but really, in the end, I got to have some great experiences.

I learned how to use a throttle on a scooter and what it felt like to climb over the top of 17th Street, terrifying, and up Castro and over Twin Peaks.

I rode out to Sea Cliff twice.

I got to have the experience of stalling out in the fog and crying.

I got to see how badly my ankle could get mangled.

I got to have the experience of setting up insurance and registering through the DMV and learning how to ride at the Motorcycle Safety Course.

I got to almost get hit twice on Lincoln Avenue when someone changed lanes without looking.

I got whistled at once stopping to park it and taking off my helmet and shaking out my hair.

I felt all sorts of Charlie Girl around that.

Suffice to say.

I believe I’m done.

I really meant what I texted to my friend, he wants it, it’s his.

I give it away.

It certainly wasn’t doing any good sitting in the foyer at the house collecting dust and providing a cute place for spiders to spin webs.

The mechanic at Scooter Centre said it was a lawn ornament and he’s right.

That’s what it’s been since my accident.

I can stop banging my head against the door that does not open.

Or if you will, banging my ankle on a kick starter that won’t turn over.

Or I can walk, ride my bicycle, take MUNI, or pogo stick through the one that is open.

I don’t know what God wants for me as far as transportation goes; probably my bicycle since that seems to be in great working order, but it’s not this Vespa.

And when I am honest with myself.

It never was.

So friends.

You want the Vespa I’ll sign that title right over to you.

Wash my hands of it.

Wipe away the tears.

Say lesson learned and look for new and more entertaining ways to have another experience in this great big game of life.

I am an experiential creature after all.

I want to feel it all.

Just not maybe around this particular scooter anymore.

I’m done with it.

Next experience please.

I concede.

You Are A Gem

May 10, 2015

“I just wanted to let you know that,” she said to me at the Crepevine as I was sitting and waiting for my meal to arrive.

“I mean, really, such a gem,” she came back to pat my hand and then added, “and so beautiful, you just look stunning.”

That’s so nice to hear.

Especially when I felt a bit blown out and tender and had been crying and well, of course I was wearing eyeliner, duh.

I didn’t have a bad day.

No.

It was challenging.

Lots happened.

Lots didn’t happen too.

When I reflect on the day, it was successful in its own way.

I did sleep in, a teeny, tiny bit.

I did slow down a bit.

I wrote a lot.

I rode my bike a bit.

Not my scooter at all.

Although I addressed it.

And for a moment, felt like I was getting slapped around by the Universe.

But really.

I saw it.

So clear.

It’s all God’s.

It’s God’s money, its God’s Vespa.

Apparently it’s God’s Vespa from Vietnam.

Oops.

“This, this, this,” he rattled them off at me, “Asia, Vietnam, yes, the engine is new, but it’s not Italian, it’s Indian, as in, from India.”

I teared up.

I couldn’t help it.

The side panel on the ground, the whipsaw denigration of my sweet, cute, sassy little ride.

Then being told to go dump it in the bay because it’s not worth anything and they didn’t want to touch it.

Well.

You could say that wasn’t the news I wanted to hear.

The owner of the shop saw my distress and took me back inside and offered me a soda or a cup of water and had me sit down on the bench in the store and his big English bulldog came over and leaned on me and let me scratch his ears, while listening to the various scenarios being played out for my scooter’s life.

None of which sounded all that great.

At one point I stopped him, touched his shoulder and said, “I need you to slow down, I don’t understand anything you are saying.”

Aside from the fact that my scooter was  piece of crap.

His words.

Poor little scooter.

Don’t take it personally.

I kept telling myself, there maybe something to be done, but it’s not happening now, I’m too upset, the owner’s mechanic refused to do anything to it, “nope, it’s a “Nammer, I’m not touching it.”

I am not my scooter.

Nor am I hurt, dead, owing of money to anyone.

I felt momentarily bowled over.

Oh, that’s for sure.

But.

The owner of the shop said, listen you know a lot of people, a lot of the same people he too knows, talk to your guys, ask for help, see what they say.  He agreed to keep it at the shop and see if there was anything they could do and I should “sleep on it” and call back on Wednesday or Thursday.

He even called the mechanic who had worked on it for my friend who sold it to me and got the story of the scooter.

I was at the shop for a good long while and pretty blasted by the end of the afternoon.

I text a friend in the neighborhood and walked over and had tea in the Mission.

On the way I saw a party happening at Public Works and an old acquaintance an old friend, a guy I had not seen in years, on the side-walk outside Public Works, making a phone call, smoking a cigarette.

I thought, oh my God, that’s ______________.

I almost waved to him.

Then I looked closer.

He did not look well.

Heavy.

Smoking.

Dissolute.

He looked like the bottom of a shoe that has been scraped on the side-walk outside the End Up and the all black wardrobe did not hide the beer gut and double chin.

Oh honey.

Problems?

Luxury problems.

I got no problems.

All is good in my hood.

I opted to not cross over or say hello, I breathed deep and sent him a big mental hug and instead continued up the street and went to my friend’s place for a hot cup of tea and a quick catch up.

Then over to the Inner Sunset to 7th and Irving to catch a brilliant stage adaptation of “The Hellgrammite Method” The New Twilight Zone, Season 3 (1988) written by William Selby and “Passage for a Trumpet” The Twilight Zone, Season 1 (1960) written by Rod Sterling.

On the way, I swung into Flax and let myself have an artist date, because retail therapy and art supplies go hand in hand.

I caught the N-Judah (bus, since the train line was being repaired) and reached out to some friends and asked for help, suggestions, ideas, I confirmed my coffee date with my friend who sold me the Vespa and I’ll get to see him tomorrow and see what he thinks too.

Ultimately.

I know that there is nothing wrong.

It’s just another experience to be had.

And if God doesn’t want me to have a Vespa, well, I have a bicycle.

And a wonderful cozy home.

A healthy, body.

Good friends who love me.

Sobriety.

Abstinence.

Love.

I really have all that I need.

And the sound track of some Chet Baker on the stereo.

Tomorrow is another day of adventures and what ever happens.

Really.

Truly.

I am absolutely ok with.

I’m not on the side-walk in the middle of the afternoon trying to score.

I’m not a homeless kid in the park with a stray dog and a skateboard.

I’m a beautiful, sober woman with a full amazing life, living in one of the most beautiful places on earth with friends and recovery and art and theater, with new French notebooks on my table, and wild, wonderful, pink hair.

Problems?

Not a one.

Perspective?

Galore.


%d bloggers like this: