Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Punked

May 2, 2015

But not for long.

I made it through the week and that is saying something.

I changed or something changed and it all changed.

It was still a tiring week though and I am grateful that I have the weekend off and although a bit disappointed to find out that my person is not available to meet again this week, I will get to see some friends and head over to the East Bay to see my dear heart who just had a baby a few weeks back.

I still get to be of service and I get to hang out with friends.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

I’m not 100% sure how things are going to fall out tomorrow.

Suffice to say that I’m going to get picked up either here or in the Inner Sunset around 2p.m. and then accompany my friend to North Berkeley where we will be seeing the mama and the baby with a few other friends and doing the deal.

It’s nice to take the deal over to the new mom.

I feel very grateful that I get to help out.

In whatever small way I can, which was really, just making the time to do so and contacting a few people on the phone.

You know, that thing that everyone stares at but rarely seems to talk on anymore.

I saw someone make texting motions to indicate a letter she recently wrote someone and I had to take a pause.

First.

How long can the letter be if you are typing it out with your thumbs?

Second.

That I even knew what she was referring to.

“Oh, you’re one of those people now,” an old friend said to me when I flipped open my new cell phone and took her number.

I was very proud of my old Sprint flip phone and I had it for quite some time.

Until I dropped it in the toilet at Tosca.

Oops.

No need to really elaborate on what I was doing in the stall, it was not peeing, I assure you, and how flummoxed I was when I fished it out.

I had just placed a call and my dealer would be rapidly swinging through North Beach to make his delivery.

He always rang me and I would come out from where ever I was and hop in the passenger side door and we would chit-chat for a few minutes as he drove around the block.

Catch up.

You know.

Like friends do.

Friends who deal drugs to you at any hour of day or night and make a nice fat income off you.

“I don’t know why he’s calling me,” I told her frantic on the phone.

“I don’t owe him any money,” I continued.

I always find myself grateful for that, I never asked for fronted drugs and I never copped unless I had money.

Which was part of the problem at the end.

“I don’t have a problem with cocaine,” I told my room-mate in a huff.

I had overheard him explaining to a friend of his who was visiting (who had happened to get me mighty high at the End Up the prior weekend) that I had a problem.

They were smoking cigarettes in the kitchen, adjacent to my room, and whispering in gossipy undertones about why I was still in my room at four in the afternoon.

You would be too if you hadn’t gone to bed for three days.

Please.

When I next saw him I had my words, “I don’t have a problem,” I continued, zooming into his space as he was frothing milk for a cappuccino, “my problem is that I don’t have enough money to afford doing the amount I want to do.”

Um.

Yeah.

Mission Control.

We have a problem.

But I did quit.

And I was shocked to get the message from my dealer.

He wanted to “talk” to me about something.

I was walking up Valencia Street where it ends at Mission and heading home towards my new little tiny rented room at the foot of Bernal Hill on Kingston at 30th.

And I was freaking out.

“First,” she said on the phone, “you don’t have to call him back.”

“But what does he want?” I cried, “I don’t get it, why is he calling me?”

She laughed uproariously.

I did not know what was so funny.

“Carmen, honey, he probably wants to know if you want any blow, he’s probably wondering where his good customer has gone off to.”

The rooms and I ain’t never going back.

“Oh,’ I said.

“OH!” I cried out, “of course, that makes perfect sense.”

I never did call him back.

I realize tonight that yes I am tired.

But not that kind of tired.

Not the kind of tired that was soaked into my bones.

The constant repetition of I’m not going to do it, I’m doing it, I don’t want to be doing this, why am I doing this, please stop doing this, I’m killing myself, don’t do it anymore, I’m not going to do it anymore, it wasn’t that bad, I can do it just this weekend, it’s a three-day holiday, I’ll just get a couple of grams, it’s not a problem, I don’t have a problem.

Fuck me.

I have a problem.

And I am ok with it.

I have a solution today.

So, tired.

Yeah, sure, it was a long week, but it was a week full of joy, yes some exhaustion and some tears, and some frustration, but also a burgeoning of flexibility in my schedule, an unleashing of wild pink hair, a happiness to have rent paid, my student loans paid off for the month, and friends that I get to see and a new baby in the mix.

I don’t mind getting a little tired to have that.

As well as reconnecting with an old friend.

Who was swell when I said, I got to go, friend, I’m beat, the groceries in the bag got to get in the fridge and I have to get on my bicycle and pedal out to the beach.

And that is alright too.

A quiet Friday night in is not a bad thing at all.

I’ll be ready for the rest of the weekend and refreshed.

Because tomorrow.

I’m sleeping in!

Leap Of Faith

April 25, 2015

He leaned forward.

And jumped.

I was two steps below what I would have like to have been to make sure that it was not such a leap, but the boy was ready to not be napping and to get down stairs and be in the world.

His arms wrapped around me.

I caught him.

I always do.

His leaping lizard ways do cause my heart to lurch into my mouth at times, but the sweet and absolute trust in me he has, makes me feel always at the ready to catch him.

“I love you,” he said and buried his face in my shoulder.

“I love you too, bug,” I said and squished him close to my heart.

It never fails to amaze me.

This thing called love.

I felt love of all sorts tonight.

I met with a dear friend after work tonight and we hung out and had tea and talk all things girlfriend and life and the stuff of it.

I went where I always go on a Friday night, that bastion of crazy good and weird and wonky, Our Lady of Safeway.

I texted with a darling friend who just had a baby last week to check in on her and see how I could be of some service.

I’ll be heading over to her side of the bay next Saturday to spend time with her and the new little guy.

I rode home, slowly, in the thick of the night through shrouds of fog and wind and mist that slowly materialized into rain.

I did my stretches and strengthening exercise and though I did not want to do them, I did them anyway.

I have love of self too.

It doesn’t always manifest itself in the most logical of ways and that is why I also have a big community and fellowship that helps me discern when my feelings are having their way with me.

But love.

Well, love can have its way with me.

I may get hurt.

However, I will still have the experience.

I want to experience it all.

I have taken some leaps and leapt into some uncomfortable situations, painful, life affirming, and experiential all.

I don’t see myself sitting on the side lines with anything at the moment.

I am committed.

I sound like I am talking in circles and I am, but I know what I am talking about and as it winds itself out of my head and down into my heart I see where the wound is and how that it might sting, like, a lot.

Or not.

I don’t know.

So I took some action, reached out, and now, well, the results are not mine, the words, with a little help from my friend, thank god for friends, the timing so not mine, but the feelings, succinct and sure, are all mine.

I look forward to what ever happens next knowing that I have asked for what I need given the information I have been given.

And then life, well, it continues forward.

Through the rain and the gentle mist and the days and the nights, through the music and the poetry.

To the hair salon!

Yes.

Tomorrow I go in for a much-needed hair cut and color.

“I’m thinking of _____________,” I told a friend tonight as we were comparing schedules in regards to going out to Berkeley next Saturday.  “I don’t know that I want to do color, everybody is doing color now (meaning blue and green and purple and what have you), I was doing color before color was a thing, I think I’m going in a different direction.”

I will take photos.

Don’t worry.

It will be fun to have a ladies day at the salon too.

I’m going to do the deal and then meet with my person at Tart to Tart and do some reading and checking in and then some lunch and the salon.

I’ll be heading up to Solid Gold in the venerable Tender Nob.

That nice narrow strip of town nestled between the bourgeois in Nob Hill and the hoi poi in the Tenderloin.

It’s not quite the same as the tech smash-up of gentrification and the homeless drug addicts strolling around Mission Street, but it is a clash of worlds and I am grateful that I get to navigate it the way I do now instead of the way I used to.

I have come a long way, baby.

There’s a coffee shop that I used to score at just around the corner from where I get my hair done and it’s always a fond trip down memory lane for me to go past it and occasionally even go in for a fix before getting my hair done.

Caffeine, that is.

That’s a leap of faith too.

All the things I have done that I can forget about.

All the ways that love as aligned to get me where I am now and where I will go next.

As I sit and look around my home and everything that has happened here in the last year and a half and how much I have done and seen and grown since moving back from Paris with $10 in my pocket, I am truly amazed.

Awed really.

Look ma!

No hands.

I’m doing this life thing.

It’s not just fantasy in my head.

And I have been in some fantasy in my head over the last week.

I took some action and, well, I get to let go of those results too.

Surrender is an act of faith too.

“Shh, sweet darling,” I said as I gathered him up from the stroller, “Meow is right here.”

He hung his head down onto my chest, clutching his stuffed cat to his body and clung to me as we climbed the stairs into the house heading straight up into his room, where I tucked him in and turned on the sound machine and a little fan.

I brushed the hair of his face, tucked him in, and bent down to kiss his forehead.

“I love you,” I said and my heart grew a little more full.

“I love you too, Carmen Cat,” he said, finishing with a sleepy, “meow,” has he turned over onto his pillow and burrowed under the covers.

I almost fell over and tumbled down the stairs myself.

Love.

It will catch you unaware and bash into your heart.

And I find.

There is not protecting myself from it.

I am open to it all.

To know that.

Is to know.

Grace.

And.

I am graced.

Waiting For Life To Begin

March 12, 2015

I was alone.

You were just around the corner from me.

I am never going to know exactly which corner he is just around, but he is.

I texted back a dear heart who asked someone out on a date tonight how that was amazing and acknowledged, that yeah, it’s a lot harder than you’d think.

But.

Oh.

The freedom that I get when I get that shit out-of-the-way.

I’m free to notice the proliferation of flowers blooming in Golden Gate Park on my ride home from work.

On Wednesday’s I ride straight home and either meet with a lady at my place or take a shower and hit the spot up the street in my pajamas.

Yeah.

Like that.

I am not at all ashamed of the fact that I went up the street to 44th and Judah in my Hello Kitty night-shirt and yoga pants.

If Hello Kitty is good enough for Burning Man, she sure is good enough for the Outer Sunset.

It felt rather freeing.

No make up.

Hair down.

Flip flops.

Sweatshirt.

I’m in my hood, yo’ I can roll out like this.

It made me realize how grateful I am to be out here and also that I really am home.

“I like thinking out you out by the beach,” she said to me this Saturday at the celebration dinner in Oakland at the Lake Merrit Chalet House.

I like thinking of me out by the beach too.

And now that it’s Day light Savings time, I was able to catch the sunset on my ride home to the Sunset.

It was delirious.

And the flowers in the park were going off.

I even saw the buffalo in the paddock.

I don’t often see them as I usually am riding home in the dark.

There is so much to see when I allow myself the space to see it.

The gaggle of frisbee golf players tee’ing off as the dusk settles over the trees for one last round before night arrives.

A robin hopping in the soft dirt of a tree next to Spreckles Lake, the bright orange of his proud chest.

When I realized that I was moving on and pushing forward and making the next decisions on what I need to do now with graduate school, um, nothing, that I could in fact, uh, just you know, enjoy the show for a moment.

I believe I actually relaxed a little.

I mean I have plenty going on in my life, lots of wonderful ladies to hang out with, I’ll be heading to Berkeley this Saturday for a baby shower, spending the Saturday following going out to my inaugural visit to Alcatraz.

However, there is a tendency with me to be onto the next thing right away, that I must have something to shoot forward to.

That is me checking out of the here and now.

It’s not enjoying the song on the stereo, waiting for the next track, which will be better, and then the next after that.

I have been messaging back and forth with a gentleman on OkCupid and though he hasn’t asked me on a date yet, and I’m not concerned if he does or doesn’t, I think he will soon.

He’s French and the French do things slightly different.

There’s this lovely getting to know you period that I am enjoying.

And it doesn’t hurt that he says extraordinarily flattering things to me in French.

I don’t know which is better.

The things he is saying.

Or.

That I understand what he is saying, because my French is good enough to comprehend when a sexy French man is telling me he finds me ravishing.

Either way it feels a little like a courtship and that’s nice.

It’s also a slowing down.

He mentioned that in a message when expressed that although he really likes living in the United States, there’s two things that bother him.

The first is that we all seem to have a fear of each other.

Yup.

I can relate to that.

And that as a culture we are never quite happy with what we have, there is this constant striving for more.

Oh.

Yeah.

I know that too.

What was your favorite drug?

More.

I remember how my perspective shifted the first time I heard someone say, “if you don’t like what you have, why would more make it better?”

That gave me pause.

I love what I have.

My lovely little home by the sea.

My bicycle.

Even my Vespa.

Yeah, it’s not working and I’m not riding it, but I know how to get it fixed, and when I have the time to spare I will.

I have a great job with a family that loves me.

I got kisses galore from the boys today and snuggles and that was really nice, especially the reading time before nap time, oh the cuddles today were just smashing.

I am in great health.

My phone bill is paid.

I have money in savings for when my laptop goes kaput.

And I also realized after checking out the new MacBook Air on-line, that I now qualify for an educational discount through Apple.

Hell yes.

There is so much for me to be grateful for.

I have a purpose.

I have a point.

I am of service.

I have family and friends and love.

Oh love.

So much of that.

I don’t have to wait for my life to start, there’s nowhere I have to get to for it to be better.

It’s the best it’s ever been.

Even if I don’t have all the things I thought I would at this point in my life.

I have something far better.

Peace of mind.

Serenity.

Abundance.

Joy.

Prosperity.

Spiritual richness.

Oh gosh.

I guess that ‘hippy’ school I got into is indeed the right fit for me.

Who knew?

I still need to buy myself some flowers to celebrate that achievement, but I can feel myself being a lot happier about it and sharing it with my fellows has been really gratifying.

If I can do it.

So can you.

“You’re going to love school,” he said to me tonight.

And I will.

But I don’t have to wait for it to get here to enjoy right now.

Right now is pretty fabulous.

Me and Hello Kitty.

We’re just perfect.

What The Fuck Was That?

February 12, 2015

I just had the most intense flight or fight response I have had in quite sometime.

I got a lot of news about some people I care for in short period of time.

Including a friend who has been trying to use like a gentleman and not having a good go of it, someone I love and care about and had to tell, hey, I love you, but I can’t talk to you when your intoxicated.

Then not being able to get a hold of someone who I was worried about and had a brief monstrous flash of what could be wrong.

Fortunately I was incorrect, but it was an intense moment, standing in the door way of my studio pacing back and forth trying to get a hold of someone on the phone while receiving texts about my friend using drugs at the same time.

Ack.

Then, well, I go where I need to go and on Wednesdays that’s changed since the break up with my ex.

I used to see him on Wednesdays on the regular before we were dating at this one spot in the Inner Sunset.

Then my job changed and I stopped going there, and when we broke up, it was completely off the table to show up there.

We agreed to the 90 days no contact and I have honored that.

So.

You know, surprised, might be an understatement, to see him walk into the Beach Burrito not ten feet away from where I am standing at 8:25 p.m. this evening.

Fuck me.

I went tharn.

That would be, like a rabbit caught in the headlights as it’s about to be mowed down by a car, made up word stolen from one of my favorite works of fiction.

Watership Down, Richard Adams.

I was knocked over by the feeling.

Ow.

My heart.

Really?

Right then.

Relapsing friend.

Another friend missing in action.

Catching my breath, trying to breathe, then my ex walks into the fucking burrito shop ten feet away from me.

He waved.

I don’t know that I did, I don’t think I waved, that is.

I don’t know what I did.

I did of course.

Tear up.

Wallop!

Smash!

Run!

My heart beat, my eyes watered, I was shell-shocked.

It shouldn’t hurt like that.

Like what?

I mean, I don’t know.

I haven’t been in a serious relationship in a while.

Despite it being short, it was sober and real and intense and lots of emotions were stirred up and it was a deep learning experience.

I feel things.

I am a sensitive bunny.

That’s why I like the jackalope, it’s got some horns.  One doesn’t fuck with a jackalope, one might get pronged.

Ah.

My heart on a pair of horns.

But my God has me, takes care of me, makes sure that I can handle exactly everything that I have been handed.

My best friend calls thirty seconds after I see the ex go into the burrito joint with another woman.

I am standing looking into a room while I am on the phone with her, the room, full of smiling faces, warmth, laughter, friends, all I have to do is take a breath, pray, and walk over that threshold.

Sit down and be enveloped in my fellowship.

Thank you God for this experience.

I have not been painted into a corner, I was just made vulnerable, soft, washed out with salt and tears and hollowed out to hold the light that was there, Christmas lights, white on the floor, glowing in the dark, softly blurred from the tears running down my face.

I am grateful for this.

I am grateful for these feelings.

It means I am alive.

And I can hold more than one emotion at a time.

There’s room for them all.

Even for humor.

I mean, it’s funny, the details are more convoluted and ridiculous the more that I looked at them, how human, how connected the people in my life are and how the picture continues to change and grow.

“Look at all your hair,” he, a friend I was surprised to see in my neck of the woods, said to me afterward, when the lights came up, the candlelight done for the week, to return next Wednesday, same time, same channel, hopefully less an  ex boyfriend eating Mexican next door.

I hugged him.

God he felt good.

“What are you doing over here, didn’t you move to Berkeley?”  I asked.

“Ayup, class today,” he said and sparkled at me.

Damn.

You look good.

But you’re not on the list.

I asked you out once before.

You said no, let’s be friends.

And friends we are, but you know.

When you bury your face in my neck and smell me, I wonder, you know.

We caught up.

I told him about what had happened, in a bit more detail than here.

There are things I can write about are through my own lens and there are things that I can’t.  I don’t want to write about people I know and love except in the vaguest way–anything that is unkind or breaking a confidence, I just cannot put here.

Other people and their lives are not my business to write about, how I feel, what I do, how I live my life, my experiences, those are the things I can write about.

I’m tiptoeing a fine line is what I’m saying, but I could tell my friend that I saw tonight in a bit more detail, namely because he didn’t know any of the people I was talking about.

Then we talked about money.

Student loans specifically.

“I figure I just take the next action and if I get in, God will put the money there, it will happen,” I said.  “I mean, it’s only $50,000 a year, for three years.”  I think I may have blanched saying that, but since my friend’s in nursing school he knows, his tuition at a private university is about the same.

Just a little thing called faith.

“Hey let’s bounce,” my friend’s ride came over.

He hugged me again, I mean hugged me.

It was snuggly.

Boy howdy I needed that.

Then it slipped out, “are you sure we shouldn’t get together and snuggle,” I whispered in his ear.

“I mean, I know you don’t want to date me, we’ve already covered that ground before,” I teased him.

“Well, I think, maybe, I should rethink that, we should go out and have dinner,” he said.

“Yes we should.”  I said and hugged him back.

I wasn’t expecting that.

I don’t know that it could have happened at a better time.

And though he wasn’t on the list, since, I had asked him out over a year ago, he would have been on the top of it at a certain point in our acquaintanceship.

Everything works out.

I don’t have to know the how and the why of it.

I just need to know that it will.

Fall into place.

 

Everything falls into place.

It falls right into place.

Because you’ve got a big heart, baby.

Oh, you’ve got a big heart, it’s true.

Act Like You Are Single

January 8, 2015

What would you do?

I asked myself this question when trying to decide on a course of action involving planning for an upcoming anniversary.

I am throwing myself a little sobriety party.

Yeah baby.

Dancing.

I will be here.

Disco party at Public Works on Saturday, January 17th, around 10 p.m. or so, it would be lovely to see you and I will be shaking my geriatric ass.

Well, I’m not that old and I have been told a lot recently that I look younger than my age.

Thank you.

“You had a natal birthday recently, didn’t you,” she said to me in her lilting British accent.

“I mean, I had no idea.” She paused.

Had no idea about what, I thought.

“Oh!”

I laughed, you mean that I am 42?

Yes.

That.

See, it’s called good clean living.

Almost a decade of not drinking or using, not imbibing extra dirty vodka martini’s on the rocks with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale PINTS as my beer back (that was my regular at the end, that and a couple of grams, oh who am I lying to, double the couple of grams, of cocaine and a pack and a half of cigarettes), plus five, mostly, with a three-week relapse into the insanity of consuming sugar (for me, not many folks have an issue with the cookies, but just keep ’em away from me, ‘k?), of not eating sugar or flour, on top of riding my bicycle all over the city, and yeah, I look pretty good.

I also have good genetics, let me not belabor that.

But I chalk it up to the not ingesting the naughty stuff as the primary reason for my general attractive looks.

I am a lucky girl.

I am also having a little tea party for those folks not able to make a late night on the dance floor, at the Samovar Tea Lounge in the Castro.

I am quite excited for both events.

I really had to ask myself, though, what it is that I wanted.

Not what my friends wanted or what my boyfriend might want, but what I wanted.

I kept getting the run around from the staff at Samovar about booking a private event for ten people

That was the original invite, ten folks, some ladies that mean a lot to me, and my boyfriend, and one gay “uncle”.

But the lounge wouldn’t break me off the room for under a certain amount of money and I figured, man, I just want to have some tea and a nice salad after getting my new tattoo.

Oh yeah.

I like to celebrate significant anniversaries by getting inked.

I will be adding a piece to compliment the 9 stars I have on the left side of my neck.

I will be getting one larger star on the right side of my neck, 10 stars, ten years, but since it feels a bit more significant, double digits and all that, I am getting a larger star on the right side.

Plus it will be a slightly different design than the ones on the left.

I am going to keep the colors, baby blues and soft pinks, and I am going to keep the style of the star the same, but the interior will be a replication or interpretation of Van Gough’s Starry Night.

I want a star with swirls of stars within it.

I will also be celebrating my ten years by making sure that  I have me application to CIIS completed and turned in.

I have two folks lined up to write letters of recommendation and I have my transcripts ordered.

I wrote a six page, 1800 word autobiographical essay as the writing requirement.

I have a one page statement of intent to write and then the $65 processing fee.

I want to have that all tied up before or on my anniversary.

Which is not next Saturday, but Tuesday of this upcoming week.

Tuesday, January 13th.

It still boggles my mind when I think about it.

So, here’s to not thinking.

Here’s to just being.

And continuing to learn that I have to take care of myself.

I mean, I have some practice and all that, but I have noticed a pattern of waiting to see what the boyfriend is up to before making plans and that was not on the menu today.

When I realized that I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I had to do it.

I also realized that I would be imminently more desirable and datable to my boyfriend if I am doing the things that make me happy.

Like writing my blog or my morning pages.

Or making a tea party reservation.

I did laugh when I realized that he would be the only straight man there, but I figured he’s going to be able to hang just fine.

Or that I wanted to go dancing.

That I sort of need to go dancing, and then I saw that Public Works was having a Fleetwood Mac Disco dance and that was it.

I bought a couple of tickets and set up the event.

I invited 175 people.

I have thousands of “friends” on Facebook.

I suspect about ten people will show.

I don’t care if no ones comes.

Well, maybe a little, but I am over the moon that I advocated a little dance party for me.

It’s important for me to be available to my guy to do things, but it is also important for me to be available to myself and my friends too.

I was asked out by a girlfriend this Saturday for a little lady time dinner action and catch up and I said yes, it’s been too long.  I need to continue to cultivate my friendships with the women in my life.

I am happier for it.

And I suspect that the happier I allow myself to be, the better I will be in this relationship, heck, in all my relationships.

So, just for today, “pretending” to be single is the way for me.

It’s a good thing I have had a little practice with it.

Ha!

 

Hello Darling

July 6, 2014

It’s so nice to see you again.

How have I missed you, let me count the ways.

One.
Not being stared at because I have tattoos and funky hair.
In fact, my hair is less funky than many here.
Case in point, my dear friend with the shaved tribal design on the side of her head picked me up today and I didn’t even look twice at the cut, its fabulous and so is she.

Two.
Yup.
I have the tattoos.
Nope.
I don’t watch Nascar and I don’t have single tribal tattoo of barbed wire on my upper arm.

Yes, if you ask nicely I will let you look at them.

Yes. They hurt.

Next.

Three.
You don’t hesitate to throw down a dance party with hula hoops at the drop of a hat in Noe Valley.
That is just how you roll.

Four.
I have to dress warmly here.
Despite it being July.

Why?
Because its July and everyone, tourists excepting, knows that it’s winter time here out by the coast and the fog is thick and cool and the wind is chilly and yes, I did leave my house in a fuzzy pink sweater and a jacket.
It’s July people.
It’s cold.

Five.
It’s home.
It just plain old is.

I love you San Francisco and whenever I leave I get to return to that dear fact.

I love my best friend in Wisconsin, probably more than any other person on the planet.

However, Wisconsin is not populated with a plethora of her.
Just the one.

Now, that doesn’t mean that there are not like-minded folk there, there are.
Like her husband.
And some mutual friends, and some old friends, but overall, I am more at home here than there.

That is not to say that I did not entertain thoughts of moving back.
I always do when I go there.
It is inevitable.

I get this soul enriching experience with my friend and experience a kind of joy and deep belly laugh that I only have around her.
Plus.
I get her kids who I just adore to smithereens.
Especially her oldest boy who, no surprise, is my favorite.
Although the two younger ones are amazing little creatures too, it’s the eldest that has my heart.

I made a vow to always be a good person for him, to always be the best me that I could be to always practice kindness and compassion and love, generosity, humility, honesty, and to strive to be the best me possible.

His mom did something for me that no other person in my life did.
She helped me when I needed help.

There were plenty of people who wanted to help me or tried to help me, I’m sure there were, but she was the one who stuck it out and she was the one who stayed by me and my crazy when it was really, really, really bad.

She was the one I called when I hit rock bottom.

She got me where I needed to go and she said the most piercing, horrifying, awful thing to me.
A sentence, one sentence that sent it all home.
That nailed my coffin shut on my using, though I did not know it at the time, but it hurt so bad to hear what she said that I could no longer ignore how deep and how bad I had gotten into the drugs.

There was a part of me, a large part, I won’t kid, I won’t lie, I won’t try to hide it, that wanted her to swoop in like a mama bird and take care of me and get me into rehab and then, you know, let me live with her and her family until I was up on my feet again and I would have home and shelter and care until I could care for myself again.

We talked long over the phone trying to figure out what I would do and where I would get help and I don’t know if I floated the idea or what or how it came out, but the hope that maybe I could go back to Wisconsin and set up camp at her home got thrown out into the ether.

Just like the words that followed, the deeps silence that greeted my idea spoke to me and was perhaps the thing that allowed the words she said next to sink into my heart.
Break my heart.
Open me up to something else and allow for my journey to really begin.

Deep.
Long.
Breathtaking pause.

Then.

“Carmen, I love you, but I can’t, I can’t let you stay in my home, I don’t think I can trust you around, S.”

Oh.
Oh dear sweet Jesus.

It sunk in.

All the way in.

How bad I was.
How bad it had gotten.
The depths had been reached and I had no further bottom to dig to.

I wiped tears off my face, knew she was right.
And wanted to prove her wrong.

But her child was more important.
And that’s how it’s suppose to be.

The child is more important.
She had her priorities straight and mine were lined up, chopped up, diced up and snorted with a bloody bill that would wind up back in my sad, depleted wallet after being licked clean of any residue left on it.

I vowed that I would never be anything but sober around that little boy.
A boy who is not so little anymore.

A boy who breaks my heart with his deep beauty and grace and gazelle legs and hazel brown, green, gold flecked eyes, who told me again and again that he loved me and wrapped his sun warm limbs around me and let me hug and kiss him and squish him and dote on him.

He does not need to know any of that history.
He just get to know the love and for that I am so beyond grateful.

My friend asked after my writing and my progression with it and where it’s going next and truth be told, I don’t know.

I really don’t.

I can dream big dreams of publishing dreams and money and glory and forever and ever material success and satisfaction.

But it all matters not one whit to the important and real commitment I have to this way of life I live and what I do in it.

My community, my fellowship, my recovery.

If you had told me years ago that I would get to help save lives and not have to go to medical school and rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to do so, I would have jumped at the opportunity.

Little did I know that doing a lot of drugs, sleeping with men whose names I didn’t know, and stealing where the prerequisites to my job.
My true purpose.
To fit myself to be of maximum service to my fellow.

I have a purpose.
I have a point.

And the writing gets to be my own little side thing.
My little hobby that maybe, well, I can still dream–will manifest in something wild and wooly and wonderful, I know that, but it’s not the point of my life, I have another calling too and that purpose and that point is the reason that I get to be a part of a the life of my friend and her family.

I get to sit on the dock and watch the boys jump in and out of the water, get to hold the one in my lap, with my arms wrapped tight about him at sunset and putter around the lake on the pontoon boat and see a bald eagle high in a tree, to help build a fire and make s’mores on the Fourth of July while lighting off boxes of sparklers (or ‘parklers as the youngest says, always dropping the “s” on his four-year old words), to go wild blueberry picking in the woods and to hug them and hold them and know that I am known and loved and trusted.

I am trusted with my friends children.

I am the luckiest woman alive.

I am so lucky to be loving you.

(more…)

Stairway to Heaven

May 27, 2014

Hello friends

It’s been a few days.

I have missed you.

I have so much to write about, I may not get it all out here tonight, but I will give it a shot.

I was away for the last three nights in Bradley, California for the 9th annual Lighting in a Bottle Festival.

I had never heard of it before this year and really hadn’t much inclination to go.

However, the opportunity to spend a weekend camping with a dear friend is not to be missed and you know, maybe I might see some music that I like.

Moby.

Moby

Moby

That’s right.

I got to see God.

No.

I don’t believe Moby is God.

But I do believe that he is a conduit for a higher power that so moved me I nearly danced my knees to pieces.

And I was so close I could almost reach out and touch him.

The set was beyond belief, I still cannot tell you how exactly it happened, but we just gradually made our way closer and closer to the stage, being there for the previous act helped, and the next thing you know while they are changing sets, we, my friend and I, are down in front, center stage.

It was so good.

So good.

This good:

Front row Moby

Me, front row, Moby

I was filled up with light.

Yeah.

I know.

Cheesy.

Corn ball.

Over the top.

But, whatever, I won’t argue with you.

You get to be right.

I get to be happy.

Man, was I happy.

Then the round of stair climbing truly began.

The festival was set up in a emptied lake resevoir that had dried up and the event was spread over quite a few acres, I am not sure the exact parameter of it, but it was probably spread out over two, two and a half miles.

And there were stairs going in and out of the gullies and valleys.

You could not make it from one side of the event to the other without going down some pretty big drops and long climbs in and out of the gullies up and down the stairs.

Now.

I am already a bit injured, from the scooter accident I had two weeks ago and the attack of the skateboard last week, and my legs were sorely taxed.

I must have climbed those fucking stairs a thousand times.

Perhaps I exagerrate.

But, not by much.

My friend and I postulated that we probably walked anywhere between three and five miles a day.  Maybe more.  I am not sure, but there was a lot of walking.

A lot.

Unlike Burning Man it was not flat and there really wasn’t much bicycle riding, although I did see some valiant efforts to do so and there were pedi cabs circling about.

The other thing was that there were vendors there, unlike Burning Man which is a gifting community and I found it a challenge to not compare the festival to it (the lights, the rigging work, the stages, the shade structures, some of the art and the artists, have all been to Burning Man).

For example The Front Porch was there:

The Front Porch

The Front Porch

An art installation that debuted, I believe, please do not quote me for fact, three burns ago on playa.  It features a front porch facade that is pulled by a tractor and the back side has a working kitchen with an oven, where yes, dear, you can bake cookies.

There is nothing more magical than the first time I saw the Front Porch rolling across the playa at Burning Man and I was riding my bicycle through a dusty night following the sound of bluesy folk music and the smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies being baked.

My goodness.

Free goodness too.

Nobody charges you for those cookies at Burning Man.

However, when I saw someone handing out slices of watermelon from a cooler I overheard this conversation:

“Oh my god, WATERMELON!”

“I’ll take a slice,” the man eagerly reached forward to the proffered piece.

Then he hesitated.

“Is it free?”

No.”

“Dollar a slice,” the vendor replied shutting the lid to the cooler.

The man retracted his hand as though he had been bitten.

That dude made a lot of money off the participants.

I suspect all the vendors did.

And I don’t begrudge someone making a living, but it was such a contrast to the kind of de-commidication that I have found so warming at Burning Man, that well, I was bummed out a bit by it.

I found also that the act of commidifying the spiritual aspects of the even made me quite judgemental about it.

I was also wearing my Ms. Judgy Pants with all the out right drug use happening.

Esctacy.

Molly.

Cocaine.

Pot.

Mushrooms.

Acid.

I saw so many fucked up people.

I saw more out right open use of drugs than I have in all the burns I have gone to, seven, combined.

I found it disgruntling and a bit disturbing.

Hey, let’s serve you some raw vegan gluten-free food, its organic too!

It’s gonna help you get over that cocaine/alcohol/acid/mushroom/GBH/K/Molly hangover you got going on.

Just in time for you to get to that yoga class you wanted to make.

I was mystified by it.

The quest for spirituality through incessant drug use.

I mean.

I get it.

I understand, I sought escape too, one time, dontcha know, but to see it encouraged to the point that it was, made me feel a little jaded about the entire event.

Though, in fact, despite myself and my nay-saying ways, I got to have that little spiritual awakening myself.

However, it did not come from drugs.

I came from music and it was so powerful that I hesitate to write about it.

Not from the stand point that I want to convince you.

I am not interested in convincing anyone.

I know what happened.

I was there.

I was aware.

I was not checked out and it completely took me by surprise.

Lying, exhausted from being up late the night before, climbing many sets of stairs, remember, pitching camp in the dark, dancing my ass off at Moby, followed by little sleep, awakening early, too early the next day, by seven a.m. when the hot sun chased me out of the tent, walking more, up and down those stairs, probably mildly dehydrated, in an oasis, I had an awakening.

Not unlike the one I had about seven and a half years ago after doing a lot of amends in my life.

I was underneath a shade structure, spent, lying on a mat on the dusty dry ground, head propped up on a pillow I had scavenged from the ecstatic dance group that was going on nearby, I closed my eyes and tried to rest.

Rest, however, can be a challenge when there’s a dj playing music and the bass is so heavy it shakes the ground beneath you.

But it happened.

Somewhere in the middle of the sound, carried on the waves of bass, brightened in the hot air, blue-ified sky, high above me, the sound blew in and out of my heart and broke it open.

The dj was spinning a Paul Simon song from the Graceland album that I had played so often during a certain period of my life that I still know all the words by heart.

I sang along to the words, the song being mixed with a classic four four beat, bass trembling beneath me, warm ground cradling me, I rose into the sky and cried it all out.

The grief, the loss, the idealized fantasy life that I had surrounded myself with so long ago, the ideas of who I am and what I am finally melting out of my soul, like a hard sugar candy crust that had finally been cracked.

Yellow, sweet, golden, I basked in the music and let it hold me.

I don’t know that I can fully articulate everything that happened in those moments, but the deep realization that grieving is not linear and has no time line, struck me again, that I could still be holding onto to these old thoughts and ideas, beliefs of who I am and what I am, to let go those concepts.

Who wouldn’t cry?

I had a lot of small epiphanies after the grief riveted out of my heart and I will write more soon.

It’s just late, my friends.

And I missed you.

But I missed my bed too.

Tomorrow.

More.

Love.

For you.

Or magic, should you prefer.

Magic

Magic

More Magic

More Magic

Black Light Magic

Black Light Magic

Light

Magic, it’s everywhere

 

 

 

Try It You’ll Like It

May 13, 2014

That’s the problem, I thought to myself as I walked past the man in the doorway at 19th and Valencia, I know I will like it.

That’s why I got to say no.

I was pushing the stroller anyway.

Not the best time to take a hit from a proffered crack pipe.

Ah.

The Mission.

You can gentrify it the fuck up.

You can take stupid photos with a stuffed gorilla at Beta Brand.

You can get your Marina eyebrows down at The Balm.

You can eat your overpriced, albeit, I hear quite tasty tacos, from Tacolicious.

I still will always prefer El Farolito.

I remember, all too fondly as I don’t eat them anymore, the taste of a super quesadilla suiza with carne asada and salsa and hot marinated carrots and jalapenos and corn tortilla chips, fifty cents extra, shit, I remember when the chips were free.

But, you can’t quite get rid  of the crack heads in the door ways.

I was actually surprised to be offered a pipe.

A. I was pushing a stroller

Then again, I know there are some crack mamas out there, I am well aware from my own personal experience, that yes mom’s can smoke up some crack.

But.

Still.

B. That anyone offered it to me.

When I hit the pipe, and I hit it only a handful of times, but more than enough to know that stuff is cray cray, I was not interested in sharing it with anyone once I got going.

I was interested in hiding the fuck out in my room.

Or plywood shack, as the case may be, which it was when I was 19.

C. Because I have never been offered a crack pipe hit before.

Yes, even in the Mission.

I have scored crack.

Good old 16th and Mission BART station.

Where would all the heroin mules work if they didn’t have that little crossroads of hell?

Actually, crack is the only drug I have scored on the street.

I never did heroin–although it was offered to me on Market Street once.

I never bought a bag of pot from some one on Haight Street offering, “kind nugs”.

I don’t even like pot any way, but when I did smoke it, really quite allergic to it, so the only time I ever did was to convince some guy I was dating that I could rip a bong hit too.

I had a cocaine habit, though, yes, yes, yes, ma’am I did.

But I was all bougie about it.

I had my drug of choice delivered.

And he got it to me damn quick.

I can only recall a handful of times that I did not have bag, or bags, in hand before I could have gotten a pizza delivered to me.

The best thing about it, the being offered the crack pipe, is that I didn’t want it, I wasn’t interested, I was so neutral, “no thanks,” I said, and walked past.

I remember once, about oh, 9 years ago, fresh sober as a new souffle wobbling from the oven, walking down Valencia Street and smelling crack.

I freaked out.

I got so spooked.

It was like I went from 0 to homeless in 60 seconds.

I got on my phone, made a ton of phone calls, prayed, tried to not pee my pants, tried to get the whiff of it out of my nose.

I have since smelled plenty of crack in the city and I will say, it can be disconcerting and I don’t enjoy it and I recognize it like a bomb sniffing canine int he airport, but it doesn’t make me freak out.

I just would rather not be around it.

For those reasons, and perhaps a few more, I don’t say, hang in the Tenderloin.

Not really my scene.

What struck me too, today, as I walked about the Mission in search of a park that had some shade for my little bunny to play in, is that the veneer of high-tech and gloss and art is a thinning patina of slap together condominiums that actually look trashy and tacky and dumb down the reason why the Mission became gentrified in the first place.

It had some character.

The character is still there, but it is caked over by tourist and junk.

I hate it when the neighborhood starts selling junk and trinkets.

I don’t want the neighborhood that I birthed my San Francisco self into to become a tourist destination, even though it already has.

I am not a grouchy displaced Missionite either, don’t get me wrong, I will still hang in the Mission and I still belong, but I don’t want to live there anymore.

I couldn’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t have wanted to live there.

And I still do kick myself, a teeny tiny, bit for turning down the large studio with huge corner window on the second floor of a building at Valencia and 22nd above Herbivore that I could have gotten into for $850.

The window looked out over to Jay’s Cheesesteak and the studio, well, it wasn’t just big, it was huge.

But the floors were carpet and I was smitten with the studio I had found in Nob Hill, which had crown molding and pressed tin panels and Victorian details and polished wood floors.

I took the smaller, more expensive, studio in Nob Hill.

And that’s ok.

It is what it is.

The Mission is different.

The city of San Francisco is different.

And frankly, I am different.

All of the above is ok.

I get to live here and I am lucky to have gotten to live here for as long as I have.

Being crack free probably has a lot to do with that.

You know, probably.

I think, anyway.

So, yeah, dude in doorway was right.

I would like it.

But I got a taste of something even better.

And I like that so much more.

So much more I can’t even express it.

It is the bees knees.

The cat’s pajamas.

And all that jazz.

I really like it.

I really do.

 

I’m Back!

April 22, 2014

Sort of.

The Internet connection is still shitastic.

And my landlord told me two days ago that she paid to have a faster service.

Not down here.

Nothing’s faster.

Get your money back.

Oh well.

Hopefully, at some point I will have access, there always does seem to be a magic moment when I do manage to sneak online then I will transfer the blog from here in my MAC Word documents to my WordPress site.

I have missed this!

Four days since I have last blogged.

Me no likey.

I had entertained the thought of writing my blogs long hand then taking photos of them and posting them via my Iphone, but I never got around to it.

I did read a lot.

Nearly finished Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue.

Now that I have my computer back, I don’t know that I will be kicking through the book quite as fast. I will certainly finish it, it’s good enough to be finished, though, and I have to say there are some bits of it that don’t quite sit well with me. Perhaps it’s because I worked around the neighborhood that the author is describing and I lived in a rather rough part of East Oakland. There’s something in the language of the characters that does not ring true.

Fiction is not supposed to be “real” per se, but it has to read true to me and there are times when it does not read true.

Then again, it’s a good enough read that I am going to finish it.

Not tonight, though.

Tonight is all about the blog, if I do manage to get it up online.

I am writing it anyhow.

As I was riding my bicycle home along Irving, flying into the wind, the salty smell of ocean, very fresh tonight, the breeze bracing, brisk, almost cold, but not quite, I kept thinking what am I going to write about?

What did I do over the last few days that is noteworthy.

I cried a little bit on the corner of Hyde and Grove outside the Burger King across from the main library.

And not because what you think.

That is, should you know what that neighborhood is like.

Crack head central.

It wasn’t cuz I was smoking it, scoring it, or looking to turn a trick.

But I got all sorts of propositioned.

I wasn’t crying either because I had lost my abstinence or gone off on a flame-broiled binge at the Burger King either.

It was because my scooter, out of the blue, stopped running.

Right at that particular corner.

It smells bad.

See aforementioned crack head reference.

Add to that the charred smell of carcinogens people were stuffing into their glazed 4/20 faces.

Oh, yeah, yesterday, on top of it being Easter, it was Easter on 4/20; everyone was baked out of his or her heads.

Wafts of pot smoke.

Ponderous billowing clouds of smoke drifting all over the city, but most especially from the Upper Haight.

A neighborhood I had the pleasure of riding my scooter through.

I took her out yesterday.

I was not thinking about Easter.

I did not know that Kezar was going to be closed.

I did not know that because of the massive construction project happening in Dolores Park that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were having their Hunky Jesus contest and Mary Magdalene Pageant in Golden Gate Park, as well as the traditional little kid fest Easter Egg Hunt that was happening.

And yes, oh wise city that you are, who decided to schedule Sunday Streets (the event where the city shuts down a length of street and leaves it open to bicyclists and pedestrians only) in the Upper Haight?

What the holy hell?

I was completely not ready for that.

I had thought that I would ride my scooter to my commitment at Church and Market around 5:30 pm’ish and have a nice late Sunday afternoon ride.

I was chilling in the back yard enjoying a big mug of chai tea after having had a delicious kale salad with all sorts of fresh veggies in it, a salad I had after a beautiful walk on the beach with very few people out (I should have cottoned to it then, that the city was crazy elsewhere. Whenever it’s nice at the beach and it’s empty, something else is happening.).

I knew it was weird for the beach to be so deserted; it was 70 degrees out yesterday, clear, sunny, gorgeous, light breeze, beach weather in San Francisco for sure.

I just figured it was because it was Easter Sunday.

I was not thinking about the melee just a few miles away from the quiet, sleepiness of the Outer Sunset.

Nope, I was thinking I would chill in the back yard for a bit, read my book, enjoy the sunshine and when the time was right, why, I might even take a nap.

Plans changed.

Quick like.

I got a text message from a friend asking me what I was up to and it became apparent quick that I needed to meet up with this person and grab some coffee and then go to an earlier showing of get my head on straight I done fucked up, with my friend.

He was not in a good place and I said meet me for coffee at three p.m. and we’ll hit the four o’clock at Our Lady of Safeway.

I got my stuff together, pulled on my gloves, popped on my helmet, pulled the choke out on the scooter; kick started her up and zoomed off into the Inner Sunset.

And right into the worst traffic I have ever seen in my life.

For all of two intersections I stayed behind the cars in front of me.

Then something in my head said, “Fuck this,” and I graduated to splitting the lane in Nano seconds.

I cut through traffic, I rolled up through the maze of crazy taking it really slow, there was no other way to do it, but getting through.

It was crazy pants.

I don’t ever want to do that again.

But I can say with no little pride, that I did not kill it once, that I glided through, carefully, but I did it, I got through.

It still took me 45 minutes to get to Church and Market.

But get there I did.

I stopped.

Got coffee.

Did the deal.

Hung with my friend.

Then afterward as he was leaving to hit a dinner commitment I got a message that my laptop, my baby, my blog-producing machine, was ready for pick up at the Apple Store downtown.

Woohoo!

I hopped on and headed out.

But I got to admit, something felt weird, I felt weird, things felt off, the scooter felt, well funny.

I had a hard time suddenly relaxing into the flow and I got uncomfortable.

Should have listened to that feeling.

Because as it turns out, nothing says good times like stalling out at Hyde and Grove.

Well, maybe having all the hairs on my neck stand up and whirling around as a huge man with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth comes up and tries to hug me.

“Yo, It’s cool, I know you from the meeting, you Cindy, right?”

“NO, I am not and I don’t know you, back off,” I said and put my arm up to fend off the incoming hug.

“Yo, my mistake, it’s cool,” he said and turned to jog down the stairs to the underground.

But that was it.

Last straw.

I could put up with the homeless dude trying to offer to help me kick it over, “no thanks, I got it,” I could handle the guy that tried to solicit me, “not hooking,” I handled the guy who spare changed me too close, “Nothing, I got nothing,” but that last dude did me in.

I fired off a bunch of texts and started making phone calls.

I got a number for a tow company that deals with motorcycles and I got a friend to come down and keep me company until the tow came.

And when the tow came, revelations.

“Didn’t the guy who sold this to you tell you about the reserve tank?” He asked.

“No,” I said.

And in all fairness, he might have, but I had no recollection, and I had checked the tank three times and each time I saw that it was half way full, even with all the stop and go traffic, it was half full.

“When it gets to about half way, you need to turn this little knob here below the choke to the reserve tank, otherwise it won’t feed gas to your engine,” he demonstrated, and then started my scooter right up.

Then what?

Only charged me $20 for the service call.

My hero.

“Bike Guy Motorcycle Tow—you never know when you’ll need a tow.”

Stephen Goodloe, you are my hero.

My friend made it down to me about the same time as Mr. Goodloe did and said he would follow me home as I rode out into the dusky twilight, headed, yes, back through the park, but by this time the roads had cleared and it was smooth sailing all the way home.

I didn’t get my computer.

But I did get to learn about the reserve tank!

It’s nice to be sitting at the keyboard again.

I look forward to heralding you further with more tales from the life of Auntie Bubba again real soon.

Like tomorrow.

If I can get online.

LETS GO HARDER!

February 17, 2014

He shouted in my ear.

I smiled and danced away.

Twirled away, closed my eyes and watched the music smash against my eyelids.

The gentleman, it was his birthday, then approached my darling friend Bonne, “let’s go harder!”

“Let’s just pace ourselves,” said Bonne and smiled.

Bahahahahaha.

This from a lady who had a bowl of chicken soup before the dance-a-thon and the previous response not a response from the little old lady with bad knees who had a cup of herbal tea at a cafe before meeting up with my friend to go to the End Up.

Oh yes, that bastion of drugs, house music, and late night parties all San Franciscan.

The End Up serving San Francisco’s after hour scene since 1973.

The End Up

The End Up

Where I have ended up frequently in the past, but not so much in the last few years.

The idea to go was Bonne’s a few weeks back she texted me and another lady friend who had cut a rug, literally, at a house party back in December and we had all vowed that we would find time to do this thing called dancing once again.

And we did.

I still cannot believe that we did.

We got there at 9p.m.

“You ladies are the first ones here.”

The bouncer said checking out ids and bags, no drugs here sir, promise.

Not even any caffeine.

Well, not for me anyway, my friend had gone over to the Shell Station across the street and scored a Red Bull.

Oh, back in the day.

I have bought cigarettes there, gum, Red Bull, and most importantly, sunglasses.

Yup.

Nothing better than rolling, literally and figuratively out of the End Up into the bright morning sun.

Our birthday friend was sporting his sunglasses inside.

At 10 o’clock at night.

I had almost talked myself out of going out tonight.

But I didn’t want to disappoint my friend and in an effort to get out and do things, I had said to a number of folks, that yes, I will take your suggestion and have some fun.

I had fun today.

I did.

I slept until 9:30 a.m.

That is fun and quite unusual for me.

I took the morning easy, mellow, slow.

Wrote.

Ate breakfast.

Meditated.

Then took a bike ride along the ocean.

When I came back for lunch the back yard was calling my name, so I ate lunch al fresco, ensconced in an Adirondack chair facing into the sun and read my book.

Then I drank some tea and sat outside for almost an hour reading.

When I finished my book I did the unthinkable.

I had a nap.

Craziness!

I napped on a Sunday.

I am surprised the word did not come crashing to an end.

After the luxurious 45 minutes of snoozing I had in the middle of the afternoon, I rode my bicycle up to Cole Valley and dealt with my playa bike that has been needing attention since, well, since I was at Burning Man in, uh, September.

I got it over to American Cyclery and the owner happily took her in.

He even tagged it for his own private project.

I was actually quite flattered.

It was sweet.

I had a bit of time on my hands and ducked into Free Gold Watch.

Pinball!

Free Gold Watch

Free Gold Watch

The Machine

Bride of Pin Bot

Play Boy

Play Boy Pinball

I have walked past Free Gold Watch a number of times on Waller Street, but never actually went in.

I had been under the impression that they were just a t-shirt printing shop, not really an arcade.  But arcade they are.

They even had a Ms. Pacman.

I played The Machine for a while, getting back into my groove from so long ago when I used to play pinball down at Challenges on State Street in Madison.

I dated a manager there and knew loads of the guys running the place.

In fact, I believe I dated two guys that used to work there.

Yeah, I just admitted that I dated arcade dorks.

Fuck off.

They were both cute though, in their little brown polyester pants and striped referee shirts.

Sigh.

Oh, memories.

The Ms. Pacman cracked me up too, I noticed as I was dropping a quarter into the slot, the sticker that says, “she swallows!”

Holy crow, batman, what the hell.

I have never seen that before, but it was original signage on the game.

Ha.

She swallows indeed.

I spent about an hour playing games then headed off to Church and Market for my commitment, after that, a cup of tea at Church Street Cafe.

Because, yeah, that’s what I do before going out dancing, I have some herbal tea.

Bonne laughed at me when she came to the cafe and saw me all curled up in a big leather chair with my tea and the newspaper.

“You look so cozy.”

Indeed, I felt cozy and I did not feel much like getting up, but I did, I did and I rallied and we went.

She caught a cab and I rode my trusty steed down to 6th and Harrison.

I thought it would be amusing to take some shots of my bike while I was there.

The Whip

The whip

I was given lighting instruction by a man with a very large parrot on his shoulder who was bouncing along to the music seeping through the door and smoking a cigarette at the curb.

We had a fun little chat and then it was time to go in.

The music was great, but much to both our chagrin, the coat check was closed down for the night.

Fortunately it was not as busy as either one of us had suspected it would be and we were able to keep an eye on our things.

Feck.

I had my messenger bag with me, I was not about to let that out of my sight.

All our things stayed on the dance floor, occasionally nudged out-of-the-way of the birthday boy or the two Asian couples that were so obviously on E it was adorable to watch.

I mean, at one point the four of them were all in a circle holding hands and swaying to the music.

It was really too cute.

Addled, absolutely, but sweetly so.

Bonne and I also had us a little photo shoot, because, come on, why not?

We’re at the End Up and we are not drinking or going HARD, we are just dancing and smiling and hugging and having an awesome time getting down to some old school House music.

We played tourist at the End Up.

It was hysterical.

Bon Bon

Bon Bon

41 at the End Up

Three Day Weekend Work it Out

Water Fall/End UP

The Famous Water Fall

I remember once meeting a woman who was 40 and she went dancing every weekend at the End Up and it was her life and her exercise and her all.

“Shoot me dead,” I told a friend, “if I am ever 40 and still dancing at the End Up.”

Well, lucky for me, tonight I was 41.

Ha.

Never say never.

And as the morning winds its way into the wee hours just before dawn, I think, I am really lucky to have such a good girlfriend and such an awesome experience.

Really lucky.

And to then hop on my bike and cut through the crisp night air, plunge through pockets of cold magnolia blooms scenting the air in the Upper Haight, to the spice of eucalyptus in the Pan Handle, and the fresh pine evergreens as I flew, really, there was no traffic, down the center of Lincoln Avenue, and turn my steed faithfully home.

Because, yes Virginia.

Fun was officially had.


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