Posts Tagged ‘cafe flore’

I See You

November 13, 2015

I whispered to him as he sped across the road and disappeared down the walk way adjacent to Chain of Lakes.

I saw my first coyote this evening on my way home from doing the deal at Cafe Flore.

I was just turning onto Chain of Lakes on my bicycle, a smooth, no stop turn, the whistle of the cold wind in my ears.

It’s cold out baby.

I could use a warm snuggle right about now.

I was thinking of warm snuggles in fact, it helps to keep the cold at bay to think about the warm.

I was thinking about all sorts of things.

I was thinking about Paris.

I was thinking about the press of the stars in the sky and how low they swung this evening, perhaps as I was coming home through the park at a slightly later time then I normally do on a Thursday.

I was thinking about kisses.

I was thinking about poetry.

I was trying to not think about school.

I woke up this morning a little anxious and I recognized it quite quickly as school anxiety.


I did my deal, I knelt, I prayed, I read some things, I said some things, I had some breakfast and then I wrote.

I wrote it all out and by the time I was done, starting with the smallest thing, the only thing, the one thing that is important and true, my sobriety, from which all else stems, I recognized and wrote down all the good things I have going on.

If nothing else that above fact, makes my life manageable and contained and there really is nothing wrong.

Add to that the gift of being in school, it is a gift to be there.

The job.

The little in-law I live in.

My dear and darling friends.

My bicycle.

My scooter.

My scooter for which I am 3/4s of the way towards having all the paperwork done so that I can apply for a child care parking permit and park in the neighborhood where I work.  I have only to wait on my insurance paperwork, that should be here any day now, to finish up the application.  That and a check sent in to SFMTA and I’m set.

Of course.

The small print–it will take up to 21 days to process.

But that is fine.

I can continue to ride my bicycle to work and it’s just a little delay.


Grateful for the scooter, for a home to park it in front of, for having taken the motorcycle safety course, for the entire thing being paid in full.


I rationally wrote all these things down.

Acknowledged my fear of there not being enough time and said, so what if there’s not enough time?

The time is that there is time.

Time and more time.

I could measure it in teaspoons.

Hang it from the cusp of a moon.

I could wander down halls lit with lanterns of time.

There is time.

And more time.

To fill the hours.

The days.

The moments.

Infinity in a parsec.

I have all the time in the world.

I am of time.

I am in time.

The slower I go.

The more time I have.


Always this time.

The watching hands on my wrist.

The call of the hours at noon on Tuesday.

The wind in the high trees.

The sloughing sounds of leaves telling the time of autumn.

The fall of time.

Marching down the long avenues.

Getting stuck in the church pews.

Swinging in an incense pot.

Red light candles and the decrepit

Crumbling of stone in St. Augustin.

I have more time than I could ever use.

There is no lack of time there.

There is only more and more.

An infinity.

A chorus of seconds and milliseconds.

Of minutes stretched between the high pillars

Hiding under the doom of night.

There is only this.


In this this.

I exist.

At one.




In this time.

I am time.




Graced with the singing.

The music of the spheres.

The metronome of God.

Art installation Centre de Pompidou

Clock at the Musee D’Orsay



I have no idea where that all came from.


But I rather like it.

A little inspiration from the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by my favorite poet, TS Eliot.

I like how Eliot writes about time.

There is a succulence there and a tenderness that is also hard and can at first seem as though the poet is battered on these shores of  millenium and the magnitude of time.


There is a bubble of love.

That in which the eternal is always here.

In this moment.






Is perfect.

There are no problems in this moment–there is tea in the cup, sweet candles burning, Coleman Hawkins on my stereo, there are flowers in a vase, a tidy home, a warmth and glow to it, there is love.

“Are you poisonous tonight?”  I asked the five-year old who was cuddling with me on my lap, decked out in aqua blue and sea-foam green striped pajamas.  He will tell me that he is poisonous when I make the attempt to eat him.

“Maybe,” he said, “you’re not really going to eat me though, are you?”

“Nope,” I replied and touched the tip of my nose to his and wiggled it softly.

He scrunched his face in delight.

“Then how come you always say that?” He asked, all seriousness.

“Because you are delicious and I want to eat you!” I replied and squeezed him.

“No, that’s not it,” he folded his arms and looked at me with big deep brown eyes.

“Hmm, well, ok, it’s because you feed my heart,” I said.


“You know how all living things need air to breathe and water to drink and sunlight to grow?”  I asked him.


“All living things need love too, I need it to grow and thrive, and when ever I am with you, you feed my heart with love and it gets bigger,” I took a deep breath, I hadn’t known those words were coming out of my mouth, and tears swam in my eyes.

“Carmen, I love you.”

“I love you too,” I said and hugged him tight.

“I am going to marry you!”

“Well, you’re a little young for me, but you will always have my heart, I promise.”

And in the dark of the moon, the coyote turned his sharp nose and trotted across the street in front of me.




Creative energy.




Moon and star.

Time magic.

I felt kissed with love and my heart grew bigger and I thanked God for my life and all the things I get to see and feel and do and be.

Even anxious.

Even scared.

Even uncertain and uncomfortable.

Because that too, is where the growth is.

And the love.

I must have them both to grown.

Sprinkle a little coyote mysticism on it.

Bake it in the oven.

And I will shall have it with tea and toast.

Or apples.



Belle pomme de Boskop.

S’il vous plait.

Don’t Argue For Your Limitations

May 28, 2013

Because no one else is.

Everyone believes you can do this.

What ever this is.

It may take some time to learn a new system, or a new way of thinking, or a new way of doing, of getting organized and I just need to let myself be teachable and learn.

It is just like working at the bike shop.

Except that it is above the bike shop.

It was interesting to see how I felt saying hi to the guys in the shop, then heading off with my friend and new employer to her office to sit down and start in on what she needs me to do.

We were joined by another friend and her adorable dog.

Oh my god, wearing a brown color with pink polka dots, excuse me while I talk baby talk to the pup, too much cuteness going on here.

I am replacing said friend.

I do not know that I am a great replacement for said friend.

She blew my socks off when I saw how she was thinking and what she has done for the business and the skill set she has.

I was quite impressed.

“You’re not enough,” my brain started in.

Shut it.

I just need to sit, ask questions, and absorb information.

I know this process, it sucks, I want to be good right away, I want to know how it’s done right away, I want to be able to do it better than anyone else, right away, and here’s how I’ll do just that.

Except this is work beyond my learnings.

Oh, I can feel that I have a tiny finger hold onto it, I can see from past experience, actually working at the bike shop was a perfect comparison, that my skills are much deeper and greater than I give myself credit for, I just have not organized them yet to this job.

Makes sense, it’s the first time working for a firm like this.

I love it.

When I could let myself love it, I was loving it.

They spoke to me in English, this is already a plus, and I did understand some of the structure behind what needed to be done, I could see the basic needs.  I just don’t see the overall scope of it yet.

Despite it being right in front of me.

It is like a wall of colors and words and fonts and images that have yet to organize themselves in a clean utilized fashion for me.

It is a challenge and I am going to have fun.

Thank God for experience.

Thank God for knowing that negative Nancy-ass voice in my head is not a truth generating voice, it is a fear generating voice, and it lies.


I can do this.

If I can learn how to ride clipless and complete a journey of 569 miles (I don’t care what the route map says, I rode 569 miles) on a bicycle, I can learn how to juggle calendars and use new software that I have not used before.

I can learn how to interface.

I watched my friend multi-task e-mails and two huge computer screens and a mouse pad that’s not a mousepad, but is, and an Iphone and then just lean back and tuck her Mary Jane clad foot underneath her sweater dress and chat about the dog and the weekend and how things are going with this project, I was in awe.

I want to do that.

And I can.

Granted, I have some learning to do.

“Lucy”  I can hear Desi’s voice in the back of my head while she pretends to know how to dance, having snuck onstage in a red and white pleated skirt and samba top with a basket of fruit balanced just this side of precarious on top of her scarf wrapped head.

I can’t fake this.

However, I can fake a kind of confidence in myself that I do not have, but I do, if you catch my drift, until I get the basics under my belt.

I remember when I was working for this small law firm about five years ago and I did not know a thing about being a legal secretary or filing appeals at the clerk of courts office at 850 Bryant, or how to ask for the information the attorneys needed.

I did find out though.

And fast.

One of the partners was blown away that I had the tenacity to ask a set of questions of a potential client, questions that they were going to need to ask, and I just saw what needed to be done and did it.

Same with learning their accounting needs.

Same with learning how a to put my bike together, I have done it twice now.  I can break it down and set it up.  Granted last time I put the front wheel in backwards, but that got fixed.

Ok, sure only after riding it for three days, but it got fixed.

“Yeah, I took it in to the shop this weekend and ended up behind the counter at one point helping a customer and I felt good, but I knew it wasn’t the right spot,” I said.

“I like being of service but I don’t like being passively aggressively manipulated with flattery into doing something,” I continued.  “I found myself uncomfortable with how I was approached and how dismissive it was to be asked to work for them again via text, but then never have a sit down face to face offer made to me.”

We really want you to work for us but cannot summon the courtesy to have a cup of coffee with you to discuss our needs and your needs.


“So you’re learning what flattery is and you were able to see passive aggression in someone else, that is progress,” he said to me outside of Cafe Flore on Market street.

“Yup, and I suppose I could have said hey, yeah, I’ll work for you, this is how much I want, even though I know they would never pay it, I decided I did not like being treated the way I was being treated and did not even ask what the pay rate was, I just passed and said no thank you.”

“You are growing up,” he said, “how’s it feel making adult decisions?”


But kind of weird in a good way.

I bet lots of people don’t know what they are doing when they start out, I’m starting out at something and I would not have been asked if they did not believe I was good, that I have potential, that I can be of service.

I have all those things.

I have been asked to do lots of things that I thought I would never be able to do because some one else said, “I think you would be good at this.”

My potential is always recognized by someone else.

Not me.

But at least I have stopped saying it out loud.  I paused and sat and listened and took notes and I am going in on Friday and look at that, I am suddenly working every day this week.

I took myself to Herbivore for a little dinner celebration of one.

I looked out the window onto the Valencia Street corridor and thought of how far I have come and all the things I have gotten to do and now am getting to do more and I felt overwhelmed and awed and scared, but scared in a good way, an exciting way.

A life changing way.

Just keep saying yes and move out the way.

This is my mantra.

I can do this.


What’s in Paris?

October 5, 2012


That’s what’s in Paris.


I have had a lot of people, today, at Rainbow, today, at the bike shop, and countless times over the last few weeks, ask me, “what’s in Paris?”

Paris is in Paris.

What else?


The Louvre, you may have heard of it.

The Pompidou, the Musee D’Orsay, the Tuileries, the Orangerie, Notre Dame, Sacre Couer, Victor Hugo’s house, Place de Vosges, the Seine, La Musee de la Vie Romantique, Musee de Edith Piaf, Cafe Flore, the Eiffel Tower, French men, cheese.

Stop me.

I do not need a person.

A job.

Or a reason to go to Paris.

I am going because I am in stinking love with the city.

And like an indifferent lover, I may get the cold shoulder, I may get the brush off, I may be sent to the back of the line.

So be it.

I suspect the pleasure will be well worth the wait.

It usually is.

I am going to Paris because I cannot seem to stay away.  Much like how it was that I came to be in San Francisco.

I am not going to live in Oakland.


Well, I will always have a place to land, Graceland, how I love thee.

But I do not think of it as a residence, Oakland, it is still a rather mysterious country, one in which I am not really settled, nor do I actually want to be.

They say once you go Oakland, you never go back.

I am going back.

Er, forward.

Oh, and I am not coming back.

That is the other question.

How long will you be there?

Until they kick me out.

And maybe longer.

I have no definitive idea.  John Ater has said that you do not really know a place until you have lived there for at least two years.

So, shall we agree to say two years? I am going to move to Paris for at least two years.

I do not know if I will come back to live again in San Francisco.


But that is so distant, so nebulous, so outside of my scope of abilities to predict that I cannot say.  I cannot say how long I will be in Paris, but let me say I am getting ready to leave for good.

The going away party invitation has been sent out.

That was a little weird.

Carolyn asked for a picture to send with the Facecrack invite.  I sent a photograph that was not me and I got a chuckling repsonse to send another.  I did and it is odd to see the going away party is for me.

Who is going where?

Your are going where?!


I am also going to go Coastanoa this Sunday and see my darling friend Tami wed.  I will get a day with Joan and a beautiful ride down to the event.  I have never been, I hear it is exquisite.

I have been thinking there are places I have never seen in San Francisco and a few that I have not seen in quite some time.  Before I leave I should make a point of going to some of these spots.

I have never hiked down in and around Sutro Baths.

I have never been to Alacatraz, but honestly folks, it just sounds so depressing.  Who the hell wants to visit a prison?


I have never been to Angel Island.

Hell, there are neighborhoods of San Francisco I rarely go to.  When was the last time I was in Portola?

I would like to go to the ocean a few more times.  I never did get in a surfing session despite all the saying I wanted to.  I have never been the Californian girl who surfs.

I have not been to Stinson in a really long time.   A walk on the beach would do me good.

Or a horse back ride.


I know!  I have not been to a night-time beach bonfire in ages.  And I have not spent the night on the ocean in a sleeping bag in ever.

The last time was nine years ago?


I went with Dustin Sorge and we camped on the beach when he was visiting from Wisconsin–Stinson one night, I believe, then up the coast to the Redwoods and Eureka.  It was lovely, but odd.  We looked like a couple but we were not.

I would like a do over on that experience.  I was also getting into my drinking pretty hard on at that point, although not so much into the blowcaine yet.

That was a big yet, it was right around the corner.  Oh yes indeedy.

So, a beach night is a must do.

I also have not made a good run on the museums for a bit.  I should go see the Cindy Sherman show at the MOMA.  I can’t remember the last time I went to the DeYoung.  Or the Legion of Honor.

So much to see.

People to see as well.

I have brunch next Sunday with Christy at The St. Francis Fountain, coffee later that afternoon with Jefferson, and of course a few weeks left to work.

Squeeze in a sex session or fifteen.



Another date with Mister Busy Pants.

Or not.

I hear he’s busy.

You only have a few weeks left, baby, unless you plan on flying over to Paris.

Which is cool.


I have never been to the pinball museum and I love pinball.  I also have a little bit of a hankering to go to The House of Air.  I have been once and I had a fantastic time.

Trampolining in a gigantic aircraft hanger?


A walk through North Beach.  Coffee at Cafe Trieste.  Oysters.  I need oysters, although I am sure they are available in Paris.

Clam chowder.

Although, I will avoid the wharf, I may go on a ferry ride, I love the ferry.

A last movie at the Castro theater.


This suddenly got very real.

When am I going to do these things?

Or see everyone?

Or buy that suitcase?

Or sell those clothes.



There is nothing I really have to do.

The ticket is bought, the passport is ready, the job has been given notice, the party is being planned–without my help–I just need to show up and be present for each day, each moment.

What is in San Francisco?

Stephanie asked me before I moved.

“I don’t know,” I replied, “but I do know this, I will find myself, it is where I am supposed to be next.”

“What is in Paris,” Jerry asked me as I bumped into her in the aisle at Rainbow tonight.

“Paris,” I replied.

I did not add, that is where I will find the rest of myself.

San Francisco birthed this being.

Paris is where I get to go to now that my wings have dried.

I am ready to fly.

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