Posts Tagged ‘Cake’

In The Quiet

August 13, 2018

In between the sound of the ocean coming through the back door of the studio, the sonorous bellow of the fog horn and the running trains along Judah Street, I fell into the grief.

I knew I would.

I knew it would happen when there was down time, low time, time to allow the feelings to move and pass.

I was reminded tonight, as I sobbed with my head on the table at a cafe in the Castro, that the grief would come and it would go and I was not going to always know what would trigger it to happen.

I mean.

Some of it was obvious, that Stevie Wonder song playing in the grocery store with the refrain, “I love you, I love you, I love you,” crooning out of the speakers.

Great.

Tearing up as I get my bulk oatmeal and brown rice.

The sappy love songs at Firewood Cafe tonight, I don’t even know who they were by, I didn’t recognize the singers, I don’t listen to much contemporary pop music, they were just cheesy love songs, but they left a tender spot on my heart.

Some things were less obvious.

The Mason jars.

They were a surprise.

The grief overwhelmed me when I was putting away dishes from my dish rack this afternoon.

Mason jars.

I don’t have vases, so I use wide mouth Mason jars as vases for flowers.

I threw away the flowers he gave me last week.

He gave me flowers on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

My room was a bower.

They were beautiful.

I thought about pressing some of them, but it felt too sappy and mopey and when they started to wilt I decided it would be better to compost them.

I tossed out one of the bouquets that was fading faster than the other and contemplated letting the other stay in residence in my kitchen for another day.

After all the trash and compost don’t go out until Monday evening, I could keep them around for another day.

But there was something about not wanting to see them wilt further and needing to let them go.

So I threw them out too.

Pretty flowers in the compost bin.

And yes.

I did feel a ping of sadness when I closed the lid to the bin, but it wasn’t so bad and I was happy to keep on with my day.

A day that was a lot of chores and cooking, laundry, and tidying up.

A day with a lot of writing as well.

I wrote a tome this morning.

Then I wrote to him.

I have a journal that I bought and I have been writing him love letters in.

It helps to let him know how I feel even if they are not being read by him.

Writing helps me process.

And it help me find the grief, locate it, and allow a little more out.

So I was completely taken aback when I fell to pieces putting away the Mason jars.

I took the first one and something popped in my chest.

I realized that I was never going to be putting flowers from him in the jar again.

I literally burst into tears and started sobbing.

Retelling the incident to my person is what led me to having my head down on the table at the cafe tonight.

“You don’t know that,” he said to me.

He was right.

I don’t know that.

I hope so much that one day he will give me flowers again.

Then my person made a nod to my wrist.

“Did you give that to yourself, or….”he paused.

I panicked.

“NO, it’s from him, I can’t take it off, I don’t want to take it off, 3/4s of my jewelry is from him,” I said tearing up again and shaking my head.

It’s a beautiful silver infinity bracelet from Tiffany’s that he gave me for graduating with my Master’s Degree.

The infinity symbol was meant for us, that we, our love is infinite and never-ending.

It hadn’t even crossed my mind to not wear it.

I have worn it every day since he gave it to me.

What would it be like to not wear it?

Heartbreaking.

Just stomp on my crushed heart a little more why don’t you?

I love the jewelry he has given me.

He knows my heart well and has given me such precious things.

And yes.

He is the first man to ever give me anything from Tiffany’s.

I have a few blue boxes in my cupboard tucked inside sweet little blue bags, with thick white ribbons wrapping them all up.

I don’t want to think about giving those up or putting away my jewelry.

Not yet.

Maybe not ever.

Just, well, just not tonight.

I was able to let go of some things that don’t need to be in my house though.

Sugar and flour.

I have baked him a birthday cake and I have baked him cookies and made him nice pasta, imported from Italy, and cooked him lovely things.

I love to cook for someone I love.

He was the best person ever to cook for.

Ever.

But I don’t eat pasta and I don’t eat sugar or flour and I don’t foresee baking for a while.

Plus, I reasoned, I’m moving, best to clean out some of the cupboards.

So I put that in the compost too.

Maybe I should compost my heart.

Perhaps some flowers will grow from it.

I will water them with my tears.

Cut them when they bloom.

Put them in a Mason jar.

And.

There I will keep them very well.

 

Impromptu Dance Party

May 14, 2016

My date cancelled.

And then.

I got my period.

It’s a Friday night.

And.

I’m at home.

AND I DON’T GIVE ONE FINE FUCK!

I finished my Clinical Relationship paper.

It’s done!

Done!

Done!

Oh sweet Jesus, the relief.

Excuse me, I just had another impromptu dance party in my chair.

Happy, happy.

Joy, joy.

11 full pages.

APA format.

References, title page, all the things.

Proper like.

3,744 words.

Thank you.

Thank you very fucking much.

Lucky one.

I am two.

Lucky three, the one for me.

One, two, three I’m on my knees.

Oh my god.

I’m in tears.

This music.

I get high.

I was listening to Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Surfer Bus, twenty years ago.

Twenty.

In that house on Franklin Street in Madison, my roommates were my boyfriend Justin–he and I shared the big back room–we had a couple of Bengal leopard cats and a tabby (Mia, Tiger, and Porkchop)–and a king size water bed (giggle), Matt, Justin’s best friend, and Naboja–the heroin junkie from Serbia.

God we were wild.

Pot growing in the closets, cats running ruckus throughout the house, Matt’s girlfriend and I were arch nemesis (why?  I have no idea, but something to do with drinking the last of my milk and leaving the empty container in the fridge), Justin playing chess and smoking bongs, Naboja running in and out of the house with nefarious friends and black tar (God I was naive).

Justin cheated on me twice in that house.

And I stayed for five years.

(five years of no writing, no poetry, no words, no journal entries, note to self you die when you aren’t writing)

Oof.

The things I put myself through not knowing there was a way out.

However.

It was not all bad, there was sweetness and light and just as I introduced him to classical music and Blues and jazz (he became a total jazz junkie) he introduced me to Soul Coughing and Jeff Buckley, we saw them both in concert together–Buckley touring for Grace at the Barrymore and Soul Coughing on tour for Ruby Vroom at the Eagles Ballroom.

He made me listen to Sleater Kinney–saw them too, at the Union South of all places on campus, tiny little space and they slayed it, fucking killed it dead on the floor revived the bitch, then killed it again.

We saw Annie DiFranco at the Civic Center.

I think Justin was the only man in the audience who was straight.

Although his hair was so long from behind he could have been a girl.

We saw Primus, fucking loved Les Claypool so hard; he turned me on to Sepultura, although I had to be in the mood, once in a while, well, I was.

We saw Beck, Morphine, Cake.

So much good music.

He found a stained glass artist at the Farmer’s Market one sunny Saturday morning, I had closed the Essen Haus the night before, a crazy German restaurant and brew hall I worked notoriously long hours for, and he’d bought a pair of earrings from her.

They were long, almost a tear drop shape, navy blue, with small striations of sky blue and robins egg blue and white at the tips.  I eventually found that artisan again and asked her to make me sets of those earrings.

I don’t have any of them anymore.

Maybe I should look her up again.

They were gorgeous in their simplicity and when I wore my hair up and the sun hit them.

Magic.

That was what there were to me that day.

Magic.

Sex and love and passion and music and youth and beauty.

God.

I was so beautiful

(and fat and ugly and ugly and fat and you better do something about that or you’re going to grow up and be alone forever)

I had no idea.

I woke up tangled in the sheets on the water bed, Porkchop meowing at me, rolled out of bed and took a shower, I smelled like beer and cigarettes and rinder rouladen gravy and weinerschnitzle and schnapps and dirty dirndl.

Justin was not there.

There was no note, it was late, afternoon already, past noon, past one, heading into the golden bright light bouncing off James Madison park and the lake and I supposed that Justin was out throwing a frisbee at the park with the guys.

I showered and enjoyed having the apartment to myself.

I put on my favorite A-line skirt and a leotard, navy blue, and dried my hair into its big mass of curls.

I went into our bedroom and turned on Masters of Reality and began dancing, barefoot, to When Jody Sings (how interesting! I just realized my professor’s name for the Clinical Relationship is “Jyoti” is it odd?  Is it God? Is it counter transference?  Read my paper and find out), the skirt a soft, small print, I mean tiny, it was such a tiny print you almost couldn’t tell it was a print, of navy, red, and green plaid (it had been a house dress of my mom’s that never quite fit me in the bodice, so I ripped off the top and reconstructed it as a skirt) flaring out around my calves.

I love a skirt that flares when I spin.

I danced in the sunlight streaming through the windows, singing the song and delighting in my own self.

Justin was standing in the door way.

Smitten.

The look on his face.

I won’t soon forget.

I can still see it twenty years ago like it was this morning.

“Did you find your gift?” He asked me, smiling, his head tilted, bright eyed (high, oh so high) and lit up.

I paused in my dance, flustered, but pleased that he’d seen me in a moment (a rare one at the time) when I felt truly myself, truly beautiful.

Oh do I ache for her.

(yes, I know, I’m emotional, I got my period, roll with it please)

He walked across the wood floor, that odd way he walked sometimes, high, on the balls of his feet like he was cantilevered forward always rushing off into the future where things were brighter, higher, more rare and real, and he took my hand and led me to the window.

“These,” he said pointing at the earrings.

I had not seen them.

Hanging from the window screen, blazing in the sunlight like the ocean at sunset tonight when I rode my scooter home, thank you God for letting me live in San Francisco and see the fire of the setting sun on the water, thank you, dancing alive and dappled with shade from the oak trees rustling in the breeze.

“Oh,” I said, softly startled, inordinately pleased.

“They are so beautiful,” I took them off the screen and put them in my ears.

“So are you,” he said and kissed me.

The afternoon melted into evening and I wore them that night to work, they matched my dirndl.

And oh.

How far this woman has come.

So very far, across the country, through valleys and peaks and the lowest lows.

My voice broke tonight.

Sitting in the front row, the low lights hiding my face, the sudden tears, but nothing could hide the break in my voice as I described how grateful I was to be there.

Sitting there in that chair there, still not done with my paper (had to do the references when I got home tonight), but almost, the writing was done all 3,744 words, and though I was tired, up at 7:30 a.m. to do the work before I went to work, I was so profoundly grateful.

Who knew I was going to be this woman?

When I scootered off after school on Saturday night I snuck through Minna Alley.

It’s a one way.

There were needles and shit and homeless people and tents and crates and a woman smoking crack out of a pipe, the scent sweet, rotten, rotting, aching with the need to fill that hole that just cannot get whole.

“I was that woman, twelve years ago, sitting on a piece of cardboard smoking from a crack pipe, and now, now, here I am riding my scooter, that I paid for in cash, brand new, riding home from the graduate school that I go to around the corner,” I paused, my heart broke open.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the fucking world.

And my paper’s done.

And my heart.

Well, once again, it is on my sleeve.

Exactly as it should be.

My love.

Exactly where it belongs.

Just there.

Love.

Just there.

 

 


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