Posts Tagged ‘bicycle’

Thanksgiving

November 23, 2017

Is just a few hours a way and I keep forgetting its Thanksgiving.

It’s a holiday so all about the food.

And.

Well.

I’m not really in that place anymore.

For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what I’m thankful for.

I have so, so, so much.

Love.

A home.

A bed.

A closet full of clothes.

I have food in the refrigerator.

I have a laptop.

An Iphone.

Recovery.

Sobriety.

Abstinence.

Shit.

I have THREE vehicles.

I ran into a neighborhood friend out walking his dog this afternoon as I was headed into a job in the Mission and he saw me getting on my scooter, “not taking the car?!”

And I told him that since I was going to the Mission for a five-hour job and it’s only two-hour parking it was easier and cheaper to ride my scooter.

Five hours of metered parking for a scooter in the Mission is $1.55.

I don’t know what five hours of parking at a meter in the Mission would be, but I know it’s triple if not quadruple that.

Fuck.

Probably more.

“Nice to have choices!”  My neighbor said and strolled off with his dog and a “happy holiday!” over his shoulder.

Damn.

He’s right.

It is nice to have choices.

I used to not have any choice but my feet.

I was so broke for so long, especially in the early part of my recovery, even taking a bus sometimes was out of the question.

It took me a long time to get financially stable.

A fucking real long time.

It feels surreal to know that I have a car on the street, add that to the list of things to be thankful for, I own a fucking car.

I really never expected that to happen this early into my therapy career path, I figured it was in the hazy future, not like, this past Monday!

I have choices.

I have a bicycle.

I have a scooter.

I repeat, but, it still is amazing to me.

That.

I have a car!

Wow.

Yeah.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have a job.

I am in graduate school.

I have wonderful friends.

I have better relationships with my family than I have ever had.

I have perspective.

I have faith for the future and a deep abiding belief that I am being taken care of.

I don’t have great big plans for the holiday.

Like I said, the food part paled for me many, many, many years ago.

Tomorrow I will be with my person and some other friends in the Upper Castro/Twin Peaks area, I think I still am waiting on the address and details, for “pizza and Netflix.”

I obviously won’t be eating the pizza.

But I will be enjoying the company, that is a given.

And that’s all I really need to do.

I will sleep in and rise without an alarm.

No yoga at the studio.

I got a good work out today and frankly my body could use a rest.

Not sure how, but I once again sprained my fucking right ankle.

I am currently icing it.

Same ankle that I sprained right before I left for Paris in May.

Not as bad as that sprain, but still it’s gotten tight and swollen, so I took some ibuprofen and I have it elevated and I’ve got a bag of frozen peas on it.

I’m sure it will be fine after a couple of days of chilling out.

God’s way of saying, slow down.

I’ll do homework.

I might even knock out a bit tomorrow, depending.

Then Friday I’ve got the massage in Pacific Heights and I’ll do a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

I’m not really a Black Friday kind of gal, but there are a couple of stores on Fillmore Street that I want to pop into, mainly Nest, I got a very sweet Christmas ornament there last year.

And the rest of Friday and I suspect all day Saturday, will be homework.

I’ll finish up a CBT assignment, do all of my Child an Elder Abuse homework assignments and finish up the readings for my other classes.

If there’s motivation to do so Sunday, I may write a paper, or work on my final project presentation for my Transpersonal Psychology class.

All the things.

They will get done.

The big push towards the end of the semester.

One more weekend of classes!

Whatever I don’t get done this weekend will be attended to next weekend, then, yes, one more weekend of class!

Very excited for that.

And I’m going to call it a night.

My ankle feels pretty numbed out.

Time for some tea and some rest.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May it bring you many blessings.

And.

Much.

Much joy.

 

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All The Pretty Bicycles

August 5, 2017

I got another donation today for the ALC!

Aids LifeCycle that is.

I’m registered to do the ride next June, just scant weeks after I graduate with my Masters degree in Psychology.

That’s going to be one hell of a month, let me tell you.

I suspect though, that the riding and training are going to be just exactly what I need to not be too focused on school, graduation, my internship, all of that.

The exercise will be good for me.

Aside from fine tuning my legs and ass.

I miss by bicycle commuter legs and derrier, let me tell you.

Yoga is nice and I’m totally loving my increased flexibility, but my bicycle behind has gone the way of my one speed parked in my garage since I started doing all my commuting on my scooter.

Aside.

It fucking rained this morning!

I heard it and registered it while I was sitting and wrapping up my morning writing.

I remember thinking, “that’s weird, it sounds like it’s raining.”

But I didn’t really think it was raining.

It was raining.

I got to ride my scooter to work in the wet and I was not anticipating that this morning.

It ended up being fine and the rain ceased a bit when I got to the Inner Sunset and Laguna Honda was dry, it did rain a little bit in Glen Park, but it passed by the time I was done with work.

Thank God.

I don’t like riding when it’s wet.

I didn’t like it on my bicycle.

I don’t like it on my scooter.

I can do it on either, although I have not tried riding my one speed to my job in Glen Park.

I could.

But man.

It would be a haul.

I would have to avoid the hills, I couldn’t make it up the big hills.

I would have to go around.

Making the 6.6 mile commute to work about 8.5 miles.

This means heading all the way up Lincoln, cut through the Pan Handle, take the Wiggle, hit 17th to Valencia, Valencia to 30th and Church and I would still have to climb Chenery to Fairmount.

It would likely take me 50 minutes on my bicycle.

On my once speed, on a road bike I bet I could winnow it down to 45 minutes.

I can scooter it in 20 minutes and I am not sweaty when I get to work.

If I had a geared road bicycle, which is what I will have soon, I thought I was going to buy one while I was on break from the family, but stuff just kept coming up and the press for the bike was never very heavy on me.

Now that I have two donations under my belt and I am starting to get emails from my ALC representative I’m starting to feel itchy for a road bike.

It’s been seven years since I had my road bike.

It was a Felt 45, 56 cm.

I got it for $500 from a rider on the tour who had upgraded to a nicer ride, he totally gave it to me for such a deal.  Here is the most recent version of the bike that I had on the ride in 2010. Only about $2900. No sweat.

Ugh.

The Felt was great, sturdy, I was able to do all my training rides on it, but it didn’t have the top granny gear, which I want this go around my knees are ten years older, and there were a couple of hills on the ride when I did it in 2010 that I had to stop on and rest.

I didn’t walk a single foot.

I didn’t push my bike.

I never took the sweep vehicle for a ride to the next rest stop.

Although one time the van passed me and the driver told me that she almost pulled me out, I was in an active bonk.

A bonk is what happens when you’re on a long ride and you haven’t eaten enough to fuel the ride, it generally happens on long rides.

I remember well that it was a long training ride that day, I was some where out past the Nicasio Reservoir on my way to Pt. Reyes, it was a century ride I’m pretty sure (100 mile ride) I think, I don’t recall exactly and I was very much looking forward to stopping and eating and my brain was loopy and I was slow and I couldn’t figure out why it was taking me such a long time to climb the hill I was on.

I was totally bonked.

I got off my bike and just about fell over.

My friend saw me and ran inside the deli and got me a loaded baked potato.

I literally was sitting on a parking lot cement curb marker in the middle of some supermarket parking lot in Point Reyes with sweat and tears running down my face eating a hot potato so fast I can still feel what it felt like falling down into my tummy and when the food hit I got high.

I am not joking.

I bonked once on the ride to L.A.

Again.

Thank God for my mentor and riding partner, he saw it happening.

I had agreed to run a meeting on the beach and instead of going to dinner had hustled down to do the hour on the beach at sunset and I am super glad I did, it was glorious, but then standing in line for dinner I began to faint, like weaving on my feet as I stood there waiting for my turn to queue up to the steam tables.

And the line was long.

My friend saw another friend and hustled me over to her and told me to stick my head between my knees he’d be right back.

He came back with two pints of milk.

“Drink this now!”

I didn’t argue, just sucked down the milk, the effect was electric.

I almost threw up, then the milk sugars roared through my blood.

While I was getting re-calibrated my friend hopped back into the dinner line and brought me back a tray which was basically a pile of mashed potatoes.

“I can’t eat this for dinner!” I exclaimed.

“You will eat all of that and then you can have some protein, you have zero blood sugar, you got to get it back up or you’re going to the med tent.”

He was quite right.

Anyway.

I had a lot of adventures and misadventures.

The four flat tires and getting stung by a wasp on a training ride to Petaluma and back.

Now that’s a story.

For another blog.

The point is.

It’s time for me to get the road bike.

I might wait until after Burning Man.

I might not.

If I end up having to do the rental car, which is what it’s looking like, I may eschew the cost of getting a playa bike, as I’ll have to get a bike rack and that’s another couple hundred and I don’t know, I’m thinking maybe I just fucking walk the event like I did my first year.

The road bike has to be and I will invest in a good one.

I have done a little research and I’m getting it narrowed down.

But.

Yeah.

It’s time.

I can feel it in my bones.

Time I got my bicycle on again.

Thank you so much to my two donors!

You rock.

And if you want to donate.

Just click here.

I’ll update you as things move along.

Be assured.

You’ll probably get hella tired of reading about my bicycle adventures.

But.

They’ll be fun.

I promise.

 

Kidnapped

July 5, 2017

In the best possible way.

My friend met me for yoga, it being a holiday we both had the day off from work.

It was fabulous to see him and I was very much looking forward to having a coffee with him afterward and catching up with him at Trouble Coffee, which is just down the block from my house.

“Let’s get out of the fog,” my friend said as we left the yoga studio, “let’s get coffee somewhere other than Trouble.”

I balked.

Wait.

What?

NO.

I have plans and schemes and designs and I’m in my yoga clothes, I need a shower and um, like, I have no fucking makeup on and am I going to be one of those people who goes and hangs out somewhere in their yoga gear?

NO!

Except, well, my friend had this twinkle in his eye.

“What do you mean?” I asked, skeptical, “it’s foggy everywhere in the city.”

“We leave the city,” he said simply, “my car’s right here.”

“I have to do some writing,” I said feebly, “I don’t have my wallet, I um, shit.”

He looked at me, “you can’t write in the sun?”

Well, fuck.

He had me there.

“Oh screw it, fine, let’s go get some sun,” I resigned, surrendered, went over to the winning side.

My friend didn’t clap with glee, but it was damn close.

I got a great big smile, the door unlocked, I threw my yoga mat in the car and climbed in.

“I don’t have a wallet with me, I don’t have makeup on,” I continued to protest, weakly, as I buckled my seat belt.

“Do you need to go put makeup on,” my friend said with a complete straight face.

“Oh fuck you,” I said, “let’s go, drive.”

“I got you covered, hello, that’s what credit cards are for,” he hopped in and we cruised out of the city and down the Great Highway and onto the 1.

“We’re going to Woodside,” he said and programmed the route.

I have no idea where Woodside is but having been kidnapped that made good sense, you’re not supposed to know where you’re being taken.

And it didn’t matter, I was in a car, the music was playing, my friend was grinning ear to ear and I was happy to see, that yes, indeed, the fog was lifting.

And then.

There was sun.

And it was good.

I mean.

REALLY fucking good.

So happy to get out of the fog for a little while.

We caught up and chatted and talked about his experience doing the Aids LifeCycle.

This past ride was his 9th ride.

He’s going to do one more and then probably move onto something else.

He’s doing a big ride in Toronto this year as well and that may be the next thing for him.

We reminisced about when I did the ride and how ill prepared I was.

First, I was on a borrowed bicycle, one that was way, way, way too big for me.

“Do you remember your first ride,” he laughed loudly, “you show up in cut off jeans and tights, with a huge messenger bag slung over your shoulder, I just shook my head.”

I joined him laughing, “and Converse, don’t forget, I was in Converse.”

God.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to do the ride.

I do remember very distinctly, however, crying at the end of that first training ride, I had barely made it the five-mile ride and I was overwhelmed with it.

How the fuck was I going to ever ride 545 miles?

“You will,” he said, “you will, just one step at a time, one pedal at a time, you’ll do fine, you need better gear though,” and he steered me around the Sports Basement racks showing me what I was going to need.

I had no money.

But.

I had a fuck load of heart.

I scraped up money everywhere, I wore old shoes, SiDi clipless bicycle shoes that someone gave me, I got donated a kit from a friend, I bought goofy looking outfits because they were on sale.

I had sponsors from all over the city and the country.

I do not know how the hell I raised the money to ride, but I did.

I don’t know how the hell I did it, but one pedal revolution at a time I did it.

My friend was my mentor.

He got me out, he helped me, he cheered me on, he made up silly songs to get me up hills.

One day, not too soon after I had started doing the training rides he pointed up to this gigantic hill and said, “one day, and not too far from now, you’re going to ride up that hill.”

“What fucking hill?” I asked perplexed, I didn’t see any hills, I mean, I saw a mountain, but not a hill.

“That one there,” he said pointing at the big peak in the distance.

“What the fuck is that,” I asked, followed closely by, “no fucking way.”

“Mount Tam,” he said, “and yes you fucking will.”

He was right.

A few weeks later, maybe a month and a half, I was riding up that fucking hill.

It was a long ride, but I tell you what, my God, the view.

Great.

Out.

Doors.

So much of it, so much beauty, so much joy, so much fucking swearing.

Damn I swore a lot.

I did it though and I laughed with my friend as we talked about all my adventures and misadventures.

And I could feel it, I could feel it fucking stirring, in fact, the thoughts had been stirring for a while.

“I want to do it one more time,” I said over an amazing omelet at Buck’s of Woodside.

My friend just smiled and nodded.

And as soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew I was going to.

“Fuck!  I’m going to do it again!” I laughed and pushed aside my omelet and hugged my friend.

We both laughed like hyenas.

And I am sure as fuck that there is going to be a moment or fifteen when I wonder, what the fuck was I thinking.

But then.

I’ll remember all the beautiful people in my life who I ride for, those alive and those who have passed from Aids and HIV complicated illness.

Later today, after my friend had dropped me back at home, after stuffing me full of joy and omelet and sunshine and promises to help me get a good road bike, I met with my person up in Noe Valley at the Martha Brothers Coffee house on Church Street and Duncan.

I sat on a bench with this man whom I love so much, who I hold with such deep respect and without whom I would not be the woman I am today.

He told me about taking a recent tour through the Aids Grove in Golden Gate Park and how it was to be there and the people in his life and the memories and I took a big deep breath.

“Give me your hand,” I said, “I want to hold it while I tell you something, you’re probably going to be mad at me, but I think that after that passes, you’ll be pretty proud of me.”

He turned and looked at me and took my hand.

“I’m not going to be able to go to Barcelona with you in May because after I graduate from my Master’s program in Psychology I’ll be riding to LA, I’m going to do the AidsLifeCycle ride again,” I squeezed his hand.

I could tell he wanted to give me a lecture, and that did happen a little and we agreed I’d have to let something else go from my life, probably not going to Burning Man next year, but I’ll get to that later, I’m still going this year, but I could tell by the way he held my hand it was going to be ok.

“You are a miracle,” he said.

And I am.

I am also someone who wears my heart on my sleeve, who does things to experience things as much as possible, who dreams big, who goes for it, who loves so, so, so hard.

Because why else live if I’m not going to live it passionately?

Fuck life without passion.

I get to live.

My best friend died this month ten years ago and he’s much on my mind, I did the ride originally for him.

And this time.

Well.

I will do it for him and my person and all the people who I know in my community who still struggle.

But.

I will also be doing it for me.

Because I can.

Because I want to ride my bicycle.

I miss it.

And.

Um.

Ha.

My bicycle bum.

I miss that a lot too.

Heh.

Oh yeah.

It’s official too.

While I was typing this blog I also took a minute, pulled out my credit card and registered to ride.

That’s right bitches.

I am now officially registered for the Aids LifeCycle ride 2018.

Shit.

I better go buy a bike.

What the fuck have I done?

Ha.

The Man Burns

June 5, 2017

In 90 days!

Throwing up in my mouth.

SHUT UP.

Wait, I’ve been so super involved in my internship saga and supervision and training and ending my blog, and summer work schedule and shit, I just about peed my pants when I saw that posted on a facecrack group I belong to and really I was like, whatttttt?

Shit.

It’s time to get my stuff together.

Yeah, yeah.

I know.

It’s three months away, but that’s the burn, the event starts a week before that and considering that I am in school the weekend that I will need to leave for the playa, I’m going to have to get my ducks together faster as I won’t have much prep time for the event the weekend that I leave.

I am going to have to start stockpiling beverages, and start food prepping, well, ok, maybe not quite yet, but it’s a good idea to start getting a few things together.

Fortunately.

I have a tent, new last year, a nice 4-man that I did really well in.

I have a blow up mattress, a cooler, a chair, my bins.

Although I might invest in some new bins, the ones I have are easily seven or eight years old, I could stand a slight upgrade.

I may also pick up another cooler, not working event means not getting fed and means bringing all my food, I did pretty well last year, but the one cooler was only for four days of the event.

I’ll want basically double what I brought.

Fine.

That’s not too big a deal.

It’s small stuff really.

I have all the outfits I could possibly want, a decade of going to Burning Man has supplied me with plenty of playa clothes.

I may splurge on a pair of tights, but I don’t need socks, or bandanas, I don’t need goggles or a utility belt, I also have a thick cloth and lace back harness with a little saddle bag that was super handy last year when I didn’t want to wear my utility belt.

I have great boots.

I have my Mary Fucking Poppins umbrella.

I have almost all the things.

And I have Amazon.

For all the other things I need.

I went online this afternoon after having a really nice, slowed down, mellow day.

Slept until 8:15a.m. got up and stripped the bed down and washed all my linens, yes, I’ll be sliding into fresh crisp sheets, such a pleasure, tonight, plus a big load of laundry.  I went to yoga, even though it was an instructor who I don’t like, went anyway (you are going anyway, I told myself this morning when I saw there was an instructor change on the studio’s schedule), took a hot shower, washed the hair up good, ate a nice breakfast, drank a coconut milk latte, put my availability on the calendar for my internship and wrote.

And wrote.

Such a luxury to not have much to do today.

I had a mini panic attack, not really, sort of, yesterday when I realized that for the first time in weeks I didn’t have anything scheduled today.

I called my person and confessed my nerves, I like to be busy, makes it easier to not listen to the radio KFuck in my head,  on AM Station ‘Thinking All About Myself All The Time,’ and told on myself.

I got a cute text this morning telling me what I should do, I don’t think should was part of the message, it was more just a quick list of things to do today.

Rest.

Eat.

Yoga.

Mani/pedi.

Navel gaze.

SUCCESS!

I did all the things.

Yup.

After my writing this morning I headed up to the Inner Sunset and hit my nail spot, I had to wait a little, got a cafe au lait at Tart to Tart and read a trashy magazine in the salon.

Mani/pedi, waxing.

Yes, the eyebrows needed some tending.

Then hopped back on my scooter and headed to the grocery store to pick up some stuff to cook and food prep for the week.

From here on out all my weeks are six days weeks.

And I need to stay on top of my food prep.

I got back from the grocery store, had a very late lunch, al fresco on the back porch.

It was intermittently amazing and horribly chilly, depending on whether or not the wind was blowing.

It was sunny though, so I really didn’t care, when it got too chilly I retreated back to my little studio and just sat in the sun coming in through the back glass door, I got my sunshine fill in for sure.

I made dinner.

Very simple.

Roasted chicken, pot of brown rice.

I got the stuff to make soup out of the chicken when I finish it up.

A chicken can go a long fucking way for me.

It was while I was cooking dinner that it hit me.

Oh yeah.

Fuck.

That thing in the desert.

I better get on taking care of the things I need or the damn thing is going to be here and I’ll be caught with my dusty pants down.

I made a list in my head of the things I needed and the things I wanted.

First.

The things I need: new air mattress battery operated pump, mine broke last year; batteries to run pump; a playa bike and a bike basket.

My bike died last year, it’s a long story, better told elsewhere, but suffice to say I wasn’t expecting to have to replace my faithful stead and I have had some resistance to doing it and I realized, just do it.

So.

Yup.

I got my playa bike too.

One speed beach cruiser.

Done.

I also got the other stuff too, the pump, batteries, and the bike basket.

I have photo evidence that some of the things that were on my old bike are still out there for me, my bike pennant, and the vanity plate that had my name on it, that I got at the LA airport when I did the AidsLifeCycle ride, as well as a pair of fuzzy velvet dice I got in Reno many years back.

Every one needs a pair of fuzzy dice.

I mean, really.

I’m super psyched to have it out-of-the-way.

The thing that I didn’t get, out of my budget right now, but I may still throw down for it, is a pop up car port for shade over my tent.

I am not sure if I will get it or not.

Regardless.

I got my stuff and I posted up to a group I belong to that I am also looking for a ride to and from the event.

So, it’s all out there in the Universe.

I’m pretty excited.

It will be here before you know it.

And.

Ha.

This is great.

To wrap up my day, after, catching some last sunshiny rays on the back porch for dinner, chilly, but so pretty, and the wind had died down a little, I scootered up to a place up on Quintara and 20th and did the deal.

Always a good way to wrap up a day.

I went up to a woman and thanked her for what she had to share and she paused and looked at me, “I know you,” she said.

I looked at her and I realized, yeah, I had seen here somewhere else before, “you do look super familiar,” I replied.

She smiled.

“I wasn’t sure until I saw you up close, you were at Burning Man in 2015.”

Ha!

Yes.

As a matter of fact I was.

Heh.

We caught up and it was funny, my God has such a sense of humor, you know, the afternoon that it hits me that Burning Man is just around the corner so I do my big playa order.

And.

Boom.

I run into someone I met at Burning Man.

I love my life.

And.

Though I am by far not ready for the event.

I am much further ahead then I was this morning.

Seriously.

The Man burns in 90 days!

 

 

Super Bummed

September 7, 2016

Like really bummed.

But.

Not hurt.

Although I am anticipating my legs and knees are going to be sore tomorrow.

Sigh.

My scooter got smacked down today.

I left work this evening eager to hop on it and scoot out of the neighborhood and go catch up with some fellows in a church basement.

But.

‘Twas not to be.

I noticed something was off with it right away.

It was canted funny, like it wasn’t sitting on its’ kickstand right.

Then.

I realized the right mirror was busted.

Oh fuck.

I tried to right it, but it was tilted at an off angle and the tire was locked, I had my kryptonite wheel lock attached to it.

I slipped off the wheel lock and rocked it forward.

It was definitely not right.

I tried to start it.

Oh fuck.

The left hand brake was broken.

So.

Some one ran into it, tipped it over, banged it pretty hard and then picked it up and drove off.

No note.

Thanks buster.

I suspect you will get your comeuppance.

I don’t have to hate on you, you know what you did.

I was pretty upset.

Mostly because I just wanted to get out of Dodge.

I went back to my job, hoping that maybe they had caught something on camera, but the scooter was parked just a little too far back for their cameras to have caught anything.

I called the SF Police non-emergency number and was told I had to come down to the station and make a report.

Ugh.

So, a bit teary, tired, and frustrated, I trotted over to the Mission police station.

Thankful, really, that I work only three blocks away from the station.

It could have been a lot worse.

Plus.

I can leave my scooter where it is for the next couple of days while I figure out what to do next–my childcare parking permit will let me stay parked for up to 72 hours in the same spot.

I suspect I will be making a call to Scooter Centre in the morning.

I have a two year service warranty, not that it will necessarily cover this, but I believe it includes road side assistance, I should be able to get it towed to the shop in the morning without having to shell out money.

I got the accident report filled out so I can file with my insurance.

It’s all just a big pain in the ass, really.

I wasn’t on my scooter, I didn’t get hurt, it’s not smashed to smithereens, I have insurance.

It comes down to inconvenience and well, hey, I got a bike, I can ride it to work tomorrow and deal with it.

I will skip the yoga class I was going to do before work tomorrow and just get right on getting things straightened out.

Ultimately, I got over being upset pretty quick.

I am super grateful that I wasn’t hit, that I am ok, that my body doesn’t have a scratch.

Just a wet mark from a few tears sliding down my face.

Mostly out of frustration, but even in the frustration I could see that I was going to be alright, it’s just a thing, I didn’t lose anything, maybe a little bit of time that I would have preferred to have spent on other things.

I am also laughing, a little, I just fucking had it serviced!

Literally, on Friday, while I was in school, I dropped $300 to make sure it was all up and running and doing good.

Le sigh.

And moving on.

I got to yoga this morning.

Wowzers.

It’s been a minute.

I was not as bad off as I was afraid and the teacher was a new instructor I have not had before, she had us do a lot of stuff, but I didn’t feel like I was ever going to die in the class, like I have before when I have had different instructors and I am not used to their teaching style.

In fact, she was the best possible re-entry to my practice.

It was a small class, Labor Day weekend, Burning Man, I suspect many folks still are getting de-dusted, and it was nice to ease back in gently.

I came home after class, drank a gang of water, took a hot shower, ate some nice breakfast, drank some fresh brewed coffee, wrote three pages long hand and had enough time left over that I ran my numbers for August and did my September spending plan.

I’m ok on the money.

This is what I’m telling myself.

I don’t know exactly how insurance stuff works, but I suspect that I will be paying out of pocket to get my scooter repaired and then getting reimbursed through my insurance company.

Grateful I know that I have the funds to deal with it.

I also will get a small amount of money after my student loans are disbursed to pay my tuition this month.

So.

Yeah.

A bit of a hassle, some time suck, but overall, no big shakes.

Luxury problems, yo.

I’m so much calmer now that I’m home and have some hot tea going into my body.

I was also thinking when I was getting a ride home from the Lyft car I pinged, how lucky am I?

I have a phone, I hit a button, called a car, got a ride home.

I live in San Francisco.

I have an awesome bicycle in the garage and no shortage of ways to get back to work.

I repeated, to myself, I am ok.

I was not hurt.

I was no where near it when it was hit.

I am safe.

There really is nothing wrong.

It’s a nice mental place to be in.

Sure.

I’m not looking forward to dealing with it tomorrow, but I don’t have to be at work until 1p.m.

I have the time to spare to deal with it.

And deal with it I shall.

There was a reason it happened and I don’t have to know why, I don’t even have to be upset that the person who hit it didn’t leave a note, that’s on them, and I bet it sticks with them.

My conscience is clear and I won’t have a problem dropping off tonight.

And I suspect, more will be revealed.

Maybe I was supposed to be slowed down this week.

Who knows.

I’m safe.

That’s all that’s important.

That and making another cup of tea.

And watching Mr. Robot.

The rest of it can all wait for the morning.

Night y’all.

 

Holy Shit

August 21, 2016

I’m packed.

I sort of want to throw up in my mouth.

It’s just stuff and things.

I told myself as I looked over the stack.

Three bins, one cooler, one tent, one camp chair, blankets, bedding, pillows.

It doesn’t sound like much.

But it makes enough of a stack that I am a little concerned about my playa ride share.

He’s got a VW Cabriolet.

He’s also picking up food for some of his camp mates plus whatever gear he has and of course water.

I keep envisioning the car already full and there’s no room for my stuff and I’ll have to leave something behind and what the fuck would that be since I have everything I need and want in those bins, clothes, crinolines, boots, tent stakes, work gloves, hammer, lantern, extra batteries, tights galore, bunny slippers, a leopard print coat for night time gamboling.

I need it all.

And I am also still on the look out for a person to bring it all back as well.

I have co-ordinated with the people who are gifting me the airplane ride home, pinch me, it’s still so surreal, and I’ll be meeting them at their camp on Wednesday of the event at noon.

So I’ll need to be all packed down and tidied up by eleven, giving me an hour to get across to them.

It shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

I’ll be camping at 5:40 and Guild with Anonymous Village.

More specifically I’ll be staying with the ladies of the Wolf Pack.

All my things will be staying there to be transported, by whom TBA, including my playa ride, which I will be loaning to a friend who’s going up with her fiancee–it’s his first burn and he doesn’t have a playa ride.

I got some lovely and sweet news today.

My ride will arrive on playa one week from today.

And.

The front fork has been fixed, my tires pumped up, pedals greased, chain greased, and, holy moly talk about service, my bicycle light batteries recharged.

I was just astounded.

Thank you Thumper!!

I have been so blessed with gifts this Burning Man and I haven’t even gotten out there yet, but it does feel like a miraculous thing, this getting out there.

I know I don’t have to worry about my stuff.

It’s all just stuff and things anyhow.

Yet.

I would be upset if it didn’t come home or it was mishandled, but ultimately as long as I get back safe and sound it doesn’t matter about the rest of it.

Sort of.

I would miss my hats and boots and utility belt, my new shoulder harness, my hair flowers and my make up box.

I would miss all my funny knee socks and silly tights.

But ultimately.

I would be ok if somethings went missing.

I repeat.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ride to the event.

Early Arrival pass.

Fluffing shifts with Media Mecca.

Dusty Family reunion.

Ride home in a Cessna!

I got the low down on that too.

Aside from the meeting the crew, pilot and one other passenger, and getting to the camp by Wednesday noon.

I’ll meet them at their camp which is 7:30 and A at noon with me, myself, and I and one small carry on bag.

They will take me to the airport, load us up and the we fly to Reno, one hour pit stop for refueling and then back into the air, final destination San Carlos airport.

I didn’t even know there’s an airport in San Carlos.

A little secret.

I didn’t even know where the fuck San Carlos was until I googled it.

Heh.

I can BART and MUNI back to my place.

It’ll take about two hours via public transport.

Possibly more.

I may opt for a car.

Not sure yet and I certainly don’t need to figure it out right now.

The plane will be picking up someone in San Carlos and turning right back around.

They could be back in Black Rock City before I even get home!

I am still in shock that I am packed.

Heh.

I still have to re-pack to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.

I have been unpacking and repacking my rolling suitcase a lot for the last couple of weeks.

One more go and then I can put it back in the close for a little while.

Such a good little suitcase, it’s been a lot of places-Paris for six months, Rome for a weekend, London for a weekend, New York for two different weekends, Florida twice to see the moms, Anchorage, Alaska, Minneapolis, Madison a couple of times I think, LA, Chicago.

The little suit case that could.

And so many other short little jaunts here and there.

I’m wondering when it’s going to lose the back wheel, it’s starting to wobble a bit, and that will be the end of her, but until then I’ll be hauling it back out for the last week of work before I go to Burning Man.

All the packing.

Whew.

But.

I really am pretty much done.

Today I got the last few things I needed for playa and a couple of household things that I have needed and went around the Haight to peruse the vintage shops and the Burning Man supply stops and you know what I bought?

Post card stamps.

Heh.

I really don’t need anything and though I tried on a bunch of stuff, there really wasn’t a thing that I wanted.

Oh, I had ideas, but they were all thwarted and I realized as I was wandering the foggy street that it was really nice to know I’m prepared and prepped and my food is waiting patiently in my fridge all nice and frozen and really, all I have to do is the next action in front of me.

And it will all happen.

Right on time.

Like it always does.

OH!

The one thing do I need to do, note to self, PRINT OF MY EARLY ARRIVAL PASS.

There.

I will remember that now.

Thanks.

And.

Good night.

xo

 

 

Information

July 23, 2016

Good information to have.

No judgements on myself or others, it’s all just information.

Like.

Second swing through date with guy from Tinder and no, there’s not chemistry, but, nice guy, and I’m glad the he was in town with friends, he’s an Oakland guy, and at a club near the surprise birthday party that I was at and he came by for a little while.

We cut a rug.

But I was pretty tuckered out.

And that was a clear sign to me.

When the allure of coming home was more than the allure of staying on the dance floor shaking it to a good dj with a guy who wants to dance with me.

Fact is.

My knees were sore and my feet were in agony.

I have fallen arches.

I were arch supports in my shoes.

It sucks.

It is what it is.

However.

The party I was at, the hosts asked that we all remove our shoes, which is great, hey, sure, no problem, except, that I realized I was standing and talking and dancing and walking around and exploring the house, it was awesome and cool and made me have hope of there still being bastions of interesting things in the Mission versus the white washing of condos that seems to be in heavy proliferation there.

So.

My feet hurt.

Like awful.

I go to the party at 9:15p.m.

I left at 1:30 a.m.

That’s four hours of being on my bare feet.

Of course there wasn’t chemistry.

I was in pain.

I’m in pain right now, but it’s not as bad.

That being said, no yoga tomorrow.

At least not the early morning classes.

I am going to let myself get a few hours of sleep, get up shower, meet my person at noon, do the podcast at one thirty, have coffee with a friend in the Castro then run over to Scooter Centre and have them show me how to inflate my scooter tires.

They are low and I noticed it last night.

My scooter seems real bouncy on the road.

I am sure that I could figure it out, but there’s a weird little bit of fear in me the first time I go to do something and I have never done it before, I just want to be shown how to do it and I figure I should also make an appointment for a tune up.

I haven’t done so since I go it in November and I have already put on 1,900 miles on it.

That’s what happens when you live 6.5 miles from work.

No wonder my knees are crappy.

Ten years of riding a bicycle in and around the city and the last five of it on a once speed that I had in fixed gear for three years before I flipped over my hub and went to free.

My knees are shot.

Let me not think about the years and years of being in the service industry and all that wear and tear and just the general bad way I took care of myself for so long.

It takes time to heal from some of that and some of that damage may be too far gone.

I’m ok with that.

I am an old lady.

Yeah, I know, I don’t act like that, although I am very old school about certain things, I am wearing bifocals, call them progressives all you want, I’m wearing bifocals and bitching about my fallen arches and sore knees.

Old.

My brain’s wide awake though and here I sit, decompressing from the day, the night, the drive by date.

I do think I’ll be canceling our coffee date on Sunday.

He’s nice, but I was just not feeling it and my time is precious.

I’ll sleep on it, but yeah, I think there’s not much there.

Friend though, I can tell that, definitely a nice guy and we discovered that we do in fact have a few friends in common.

And.

That leads to an interesting conversation I had with a gentleman tonight at the party, the who do you know game, the six degrees of separation from the birthday girl, and we ended up having quite the fun chat before the date showed up.

I even confided that indeed, a date was on the way.

We had fun chit chatting and flirting, there was definitely flirting and though I separated myself off to meet with the other guy who came by, I did happen to bump back into the gentleman who I had conversed with more.

He was in line waiting for the bathroom, which I had just used.

I told him I was going and he asked about finding me on facecrack.

I said, yes, absolutely find me on all things social media.

However.

There is an easier way.

“Do you have your phone on you?” I asked.

He pulled it out.

He handed it to me.

I put my phone number in it, called my phone, and then plugged my name into the contact field.

“Now you’ll know how to find me,” I said.

FYI.

I have never done that before.

And it was real easy.

Good information to know.

I think there was a quick hug, then I was gathering up all my things and scooting out the door.

To scoot on down the road.

To get home to my sweet, humble, cozy little abode.

I am so lucky to have such a full life.

Even if I miss yoga in the morning and don’t have quite the amount of sleep I’d prefer.

Oh!

And I may have procured a ride up to Burning Man.

Not back, which is what I figured would happen, one person up and another back, but hey, that’s half the battle, we’re going to talk next week and iron out details.

And my bike has a ride up.

Things are starting to fall into place.

They always do.

“Have you figured out Burning Man yet?” A friend asked me this evening on the sidewalk outside of Our Lady of SafeWay.

“Nope, but it’ll all fall together, it usually does,” I said and smiled, completely in faith that what I was saying was true, because, well it is.

“That’s what I like about you Carmen, you buy a ticket and you just go!” He smiled in wonder.

That’s called faith.

And I do have that.

I do.

And that is probably why I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I don’t need to figure it out.

I just need to have faith.

And I have it in spades.

Seriously.

Less Than 24 Hours

June 12, 2016

Since I heard the announcement.

And.

I have booked tickets to New Orleans.

As well as.

Secured a place to stay.

I cannot believe it all fell into place so quickly.

I mean.

Ridiculous.

Yeah.

I dropped some dough, but I didn’t spend all the money I had earmarked for my New York trip that I had been saving for and I transferred that money from my savings account, leaving me with a little more than my standard prudent reserve of one month’s rent and utilities.

Hey.

I know.

I don’t have a retirement plan.

But fuck it.

I only have this one life to live and somehow I don’t think that it would have all fallen together so beautifully if I wasn’t suppose to go.

Besides.

Please.

I’m going to be with my fellows.

Unless I decide to not leave the Air BnB I rented.

Holy shit.

I mean.

I was basically had when I read the “Historic, Opulent Mansion Suite With Swimming Pool” and then I saw the photo of the HUGE claw foot bathtub and the bathroom that is probably as big as my in-law studio and I was like, book it, book it, book it!

Except.

First.

I had to book the plane ticket.

Last night I was searching, searching, searching.

I couldn’t find what I needed and I couldn’t find what I wanted at the price I was willing to spend.

Everything for the time frame I was looking for was $700-$900.

That’s just a little rich for my pocket.

I figured.

I could go as high as $700.

Not that I wanted to, but I could.

I can.

I will if I need to.

Funny how registering for a commitment and dropping two five dollar bills into someone’s hand committed me to doing the deal and going to New Orleans.

“You could back out,” a insidious little voice said in my brain.

“Just consider it a donation to your favorite cause,” the snarky little voice continued.

Fuck off.

I love that I get to be wild and impetuous and leap once in a while on an unexpected adventure.

I have no man in my life, no children.

Yes.

I have friends and commitments and doing the deal and the yoga and yes I need to do all these things, but there was no one else to consult, no one else to worry about.

The only person I had to please was me.

And I am so well pleased.

I went to bed with a dazed head, a bit of a head ache from looking over too many travel sites trying to find the best deal and I realized that nothing needed to be done that quick.

I could take the day.

I could take the morning.

I could take a breath and pause.

Make sure that my impetuous idea was actually a intuitive decision that would serve me.

And.

I did just that.

I shut down my computer.

I set my alarm.

I had signed up for a morning yoga class.

I decided I would yoga it up, shower, have breakfast and coffee and do some writing, go meet my person, do the deal, and then look for a flight to New Orleans.

I saved the listing for the Air BnB and went to sleep.

I woke up a half hour before my alarm and was too restless to go back to sleep.

Hello brain.

Glad to see you’ve already had a double shot of espresso, mind if I make some coffee for the rest of me?

I got up, did my little morning routine, did some writing and headed off to yoga class.

It was hard.

What with my schedule change this past week I was unable to make any classes during the week, so it’d been five days since the last time I had stretched and I could feel my body was slow to warm.

My brain was also busy and I was grateful to get into my body and my breath and let it go.

I know that thinking about something constantly does not do me well.

It does not serve.

Action.

That works for me.

Not trying.

Not thinking.

Doing.

So I did the yoga.

And thank fucking God.

It got me out of my head, I left feeling light and sweet and joyful.

A good hot shower, some hot breakfast and coffee and I suddenly, out of nowhere I had extra time.

Where the hell did that time come from?

I have no clue.

However.

I felt it.

NOW!

Look now.

I opened my lap top and there it was.

$577.

My ticket.

Now.

Granted.

That’s still more than I would have liked to have spent, but still, not bad for a last minute purchase and moreover, it was the times I was looking for.

The deal with this being that I have work until 6p.m. Thursday the 29th of June.

The family would normally have me be working that Friday, but they will be heading out of town for the weekend and I have the Friday off.

I did not want to to fly out Friday, it would have meant losing a day of the convention I registered for, but I had not been able to find any flights that were in my price range that also left during the evening of Thursday the 30th at a time that would work for me.

I wanted to find flight that would allow me to work a full day Thursday, then basically fly a red eye to New Orleans.

Sleep on the plane.

And arrive in New Orleans on the morning of the first.

I hadn’t been able to find anything last night that would have allowed me to do so without it costing upwards of $800.

The flight I found was for 10:50p.m. evening Thursday, June 30th out of SFO.

Yes!

I can work my full shift, hop on my scooter, get my stuff, and Uber to the airport without having to ask any time off from work (I’m saving the last of my vacation pay for my grad school retreat in August).

The flight arrives in New Orleans at 8:54 a.m. Friday July 1st.

Fucking perfection.

I will get in, make my way into the city, probably head to Morning Call, the 24 hour beignet cafe in City Park, that is close to where I am staying.

You know.

The opulent, historic MANSION, with swimming pool and claw foot tub and twelve foot ceilings.

Giggle.

I will feel like a princess.

The Air BnB also offers a bicycle with the room.

I will check in at noon, chill out, maybe go for a swim, then make my way over to the convention which is a couple of miles away.

I’ll probably ride the bike unless it’s crazy hot.

Or.

I feel like walking.

A couple of miles is a nice walk.

The event starts at 4:30p.m.

I’ll probably do the two events Friday night that are listed and then go see New Orleans all day Saturday.

Walk the Garden District.

Check out the neighborhood where I’m staying.

Dine out.

Oh jambalaya, I can taste you now.

Then do the deal in the evening.

End the day at the conference on Sunday, check out of the Air BnB and have a lunch somewhere splendid and then hit the airport.

I’ll fly back at 6:50 at night, get into SFO in the late evening, right before midnight.

And have all day the fourth of July to recuperate from my travels.

Fuck yeah.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Love my fucking life.

So.

So.

So.

Hard.

It’s fucking fabulous.

Seriously.

 

God Damn!

June 6, 2016

She shouted as she got onto the beach.

“It’s fucking freezing out here,” she squealed wrapping her bare arms around herself.

I chuckled inside.

I was wearing leggings, a long sleeve shirt dress, cardigan, and my hoodie, one of the four in my closet, yo.

Yeah.

I was rocking the flip flops, but I don’t like sand in my shoes, I get that enough at work with the boys when we go to the playground.

This is not, of course, the first time I have heard such an exclamation from some one getting off the N-Judah at the end of the line.

Welcome to the Sunset.

It’s fucking cold out here.

My heater is on.

Not on high, but it’s on.

I just got back in from my second, yes, second, bike ride of the day.

Neither one of them was real long, but they both got my heart rate up, and it was quite nice to come home to my cozy, good smelling, little home and turn up the heat a little to warm up the studio.

I was thinking today, why hasn’t some one started a sweatshirt stand out here?

I mean, seriously, I might make a mint.

Or you’d think San Fran Psycho would open a pop up or something at the end of the train line, just would hoodies and hats and probably some scarves.

They’d make bank.

I saw another gaggle of girls, who from the talk sounded like they were coming from the sacred inner city warmth of the Mission district, bleat like small lambs to the slaughter as the minced up the dunes toward the beach in bikinis and cut off shorts.

“It’s so cold!”

And repeat.

I had a nice little day in my neighborhood.

Despite waking up with dread on my chest like a weight of demise and ruin.

What the fuck?

I had a fantastic night last night, why the anxiety, the dread?

Well I know.

I have that thing upstairs that likes to ruin shit for me, my brain, that is.

So.

I just did what I do best.

The next thing in front of me.

And a lot of writing this morning.

I finished up my notebook that I bought in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo over Christmas when I was there visiting.

I opened up my Brooklyn notebook.

Or I suppose, I should say, my New York notebook.

Which I had bought when my friend and I hit the Strand.

A very dangerous place for me to be considering my fondness for the written word.

I did get sucked in, I did, until I realized that I could buy any and all of the books that I had in my hand in San Francisco, and that the weight of the books would not be fun in my suitcase on the way home.

I bought, rather, notebooks, some stickers, a magnet, and today I opened up one of those notebooks.

It was the one I had started when I was staying at the Air BnB in Clinton Hill.

The one that I slapped the Gorilla Coffee sticker on.

I also, happily, glue sticked my Paul Simon ticket from last night’s show in there too.

I have ticket stubs from the Brooklyn Museum, the MOMA, the New Whitney.

A postcard I got at the MOMA of a Warhol Marilyn with a pink background.

Stickers from the Brooklyn Museum.

The business card, which was really a clever word balloon cut from a book, from the art studio I got the private tour of, Doug Beube, as well as the business card from Mat Moreno [sic] which looks like a Metro card, who gave me the tattoo at Three Kings Tattoo in Green Pointe.

I also have their sticker.

There’s a few other things in there and I am always so grateful that I do that, scrap book a little, they are sweet, small tokens of my time.

So.

Yes.

Lots of writing.

Then some phone calls to my people.

It always helps to just drop a message and say, I know I’m being crazy, my brain wants me to have things to do, stuff to ruminate on, all I have to do today is show up to the 7:30 p.m. thing up at St. Gabe’s and just take the rest of the day as it comes.

One moment at at time.

And it all works out.

I think, no, I know, God damn it, I am getting old, that part of my unease was sleeping in as “late” as I did.

Gah.

I remember sleeping until 5p.m. before and rushing to get myself to the bar to work by 6p.m.

Not any more.

10 a.m. is sleeping in.

10:30 a.m.

Fuck.

That’s heresy.

I screwed my whole day.

That was the story, oh fuck off narrative, I was telling myself, I had wasted the day already, even before it had begun.

Might as well just make it a rotten one.

Wait.

Stop.

Pause.

Breathe.

Pray.

Try again.

Call another person.

Ask how they are doing.

Go buy some groceries up the street.

Then.

Oh.

Novel idea.

Cook the food.

Ha.

I actually made a really fucking delicious dish today, I haven’t made it in a long time and I must be craving something, because it was calling.

Basically I made a sort of stew.

Turmeric seasoned brown rice with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

And.

Chicken, shrimp, and mussels sauteed in their own juices with a little garlic, chopped onion, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, lots of sea salt, I like things salty, ahem.

Then I threw in four green zucchinis chopped up with a can of black olives and some crushed tomatoes and let it simmer in the pot on the stove.

It was hella good.

I froze some and put up the rest for meals at work this week.

Love taking care of myself.

Although.

There, it snuck in, for just a moment, man I wish I was cooking for someone.

Ok now.

Stop it.

I hate this trope my disease likes to throw out.

It has not been working for me lately though, I’m like, over you, shut up, move on, been there, done that.

I recalled my conversation with my friend last night after the Paul Simon show and how sometimes the solution is just to do some fucking exercise.

Yes.

Hop on the bike.

I took a short bicycle ride and felt much better.

And.

Yes.

There is an afternoon yoga class.

Sign up for it.

Ok.

And fuck it.

So what if it’s grey, take a walk to the beach.

I was on the beach for an hour, talked with the moms for a half hour, did my daughterly duties, and then I collect sand dollars like pennies from heaven.

Seriously.

I have never found so many whole sand dollars on a walk on the beach.

I could set up a sand dollar and sweat shirt shop on the beach if I don’t make it through grad school.

She sells seashells by the seashore.

I found nine or ten and some pretty stones and sea glass.

I picked out the ones that pleased me the most and put the rest back for some one else to happily discover.

I got back here.

Hopped into my yoga clothes.

Got on the mat and got happy.

Then a hot shower, God, I swear, is a hot shower.

And.

Dinner was a repeat of the delicious.

Then, yeah, fuck it, ride the bike up to St. Gabe’s.

And like that.

My day.

Two bike rides, cooking, writing, long walk on the beach, ahem, collecting shells (yeah, I am a girl like that, shut up), yoga, and doing the deal.

Even when my head tells me, lies to me really, that my life is not enough.

It so obviously is.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

 

Warm and cozy.

Down by the sea.

Wrapped up in my music and the love of the day.

Nigh y’all.

Happy Sunday.

It was smashing.

Seriously.

Round One

May 7, 2016

Fight!

But.

Actually.

It wasn’t so bad.

Yeah.

I was tired today.

The first day back to the weekend of classes is always a little fraught with lack of sleep.

I went to bed at 11p.m.

I woke up at 6:30 a.m.

However.

Did I toss and turn and have to tell my brain, “hey, thanks for sharing, but can we just go to sleep now?”

So.

Maybe six hours?

Which is often what happens the night before my first day back, thoughts ranging from what am I going to wear, yeah, I know, shut up, I think about that, to who I am going to see–who I want to see, who I don’t want to see–what I am going to share or not share about in my therapy dyad.

Now.

That was different.

Maybe it’s because I am just in a nice place in my head, my heart, my body–doesn’t hurt to have the stars on one’s neck kissed in recent memory, and um, huh, heh, other things–perhaps it’s because I was ready and prepared for the weekend, the work, or what have you, the therapy dyad with my classmate went really quite well.

Relief.

We talked about my scooter, the childcare parking permit, not wanting to victimize myself or be woe is me about it, be an adult, also, that there is residual child hood lingering thought that since I lost it I should be punished, even though I had absolutely nothing to do with the thing falling off my bumper or that, heck, it could have been peeled off my scooter too, who knows.

Which led to talk about my bicycle.

Which, huh, led to tears.

And then we talked about Burning Man.

And though there weren’t tears, there was sadness  there for the not going, for missing what would have been my tenth year there, in a row, at that.

How I get a certain, this is my own wording, ego satisfaction out of being that girl.

You know.

The one speed riding, fixed gear owning (not that I have ridden my bicycle in fixed for the last two and a half years since my knees really started to get blown out), tattooed, bad ass on a bicycle wheeling through the mean streets of San Francisco.

I mean.

Hella sexy, right, I’m over 40, 43 to be exact, 44 this year in December, and still riding a one speed, with my crazy hair flying out behind me.

“Oh, I totally knew it was you,” he said, pedaling quickly to catch up to me.

“How?” I asked, a little incredulous, I mean I shouted “on your left,” when I whipped past and it was dark, after 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night riding through a stretch of Golden Gate Park with little light.

“Come on, Carmen, the bike, the hair, the tattoos, there’s only one you,” he chuckled and caught his breath.

Hmmm.

Yeah.

So, I have this “bad ass” identity in my mind.

That coupled with the “I nanny at Burning Man,” and the picture, well, forgive me, it’s compelling, interesting, vivid.

Now.

Who am I?

Just some chick in a psychology program in grad school on a scooter.

Or so one might think.

I am so much more than that and it’s nice to let things, parts of me go, relinquish the idea that I am this one thing here or that one thing there.

I am so very much.

And as I was retelling the story and the tears arose, I also realized that I have used my bicycle as a means of escape.

Ever since I was a little girl on my tricycle.

I have this awesome photograph of me that my mom gave me years and years ago, right as I was leaving for San Francisco, in fact, I think she gave it to me as a going away present, although I may be mistaken about that.

Anyway.

I’m two.

Sitting on my trike.

Hands gripping the handlebars, little wide leg cord flares on, brown I think, a lamb skin brown coat with the little shearling collar, my hair in a little messy bun up on my head and well, this smile.

This smile that said, you can’t stop me and here I go and come on world, let me at you.

I was just raring to go.

And that is not to say that I’m not still raring to go.

But, it’s changing.

I’m changing.

“The only thing that will always be the same is that change will happen.”

Change happens whether or not I give it, my body permission to be something other than it is and well, my body is tender and sore and I could use a fucking back rub and a leg rub, and my knees don’t hurt today, but they ache, and yeah, you know what, fuck, it’s going to rain tomorrow.

No scooter tomorrow.

I already threw my cover over it.

I did ride in today, just barely making the window before it started to get wet out there.

And happily it was dry and the rain had stopped by the time I got out of class.

But it does not look like that for tomorrow.

MUNI or taking a car.

Just depends on whether they’re still doing work on the Cole Valley Tunnel, if they are, there will be buses running and it will take too long to ride the train, but if the city is not doing work I’ll catch the N-Judah in and take a car home.

There’s a little party for the cohort to celebrate finishing up our first year together after class tomorrow.

I am not super interested in going, I joked with a fellow student, I really would like to sleep, but I also know that despite having old knees, this lady likes to cut a rug.

So.

I’ll make an appearance and be grateful for that.

That is a change too.

Granted one I never saw coming.

She was bent over a crack pipe in the alley on Minna Street between 11th and 10th, I could smell the crack cooking and shuddered.

Thank God for change.

Thank God I got to change.

Thank God I’m not sitting on a piece of cardboard on Minna Street smoking crack.

Been there.

Done that.

My luxury problems are a gift.

My body a gift.

My home, this life, my experiences, my family, my friends, my job, all the things I get to do.

All the love I get to give.

And receive.

I do not regret this new change in my life, though I am allowed a moment to mourn it, I am not definable by those things–bicycle rider, tattooed dragon girl, Burning Man nanny–I am just discovering another layer or myself, my identity, my person.

As long as I love as hard as I can.

Show up to the best of my ability.

And.

Am my complete and honest self in the moment.

I will be ok.

No matter what change comes.

Good or bad.

It’s all God.

It’s all good.

It’s all.

Really.

Just.

Love.

Love.

 


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