Posts Tagged ‘golden gate park’

Kidnapped

July 5, 2017

In the best possible way.

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

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

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

I balked.

Wait.

What?

NO.

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

NO!

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

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

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

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

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

Well, fuck.

He had me there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then.

There was sun.

And it was good.

I mean.

REALLY fucking good.

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

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

This past ride was his 9th ride.

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

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

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

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

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

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

God.

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

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

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

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

I had no money.

But.

I had a fuck load of heart.

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

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

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

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

My friend was my mentor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was right.

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

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

Great.

Out.

Doors.

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

Damn I swore a lot.

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

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

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

My friend just smiled and nodded.

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

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

We both laughed like hyenas.

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

But then.

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

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

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

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

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

He turned and looked at me and took my hand.

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

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

“You are a miracle,” he said.

And I am.

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

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

Fuck life without passion.

I get to live.

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

And this time.

Well.

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

But.

I will also be doing it for me.

Because I can.

Because I want to ride my bicycle.

I miss it.

And.

Um.

Ha.

My bicycle bum.

I miss that a lot too.

Heh.

Oh yeah.

It’s official too.

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

That’s right bitches.

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

Shit.

I better go buy a bike.

What the fuck have I done?

Ha.

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Ratchet It Down

March 31, 2017

I’m trying to get mellow.

It has been a long day, much was done, much accomplished.

Biggest accomplishment was getting out to do the deal at a spot up in Potrero Hill that I don’t get to very often anymore since it’s an 8:30 p.m. gig and I’m trying to not be out that late on ‘school nights’ but, I knew when I was watching the lights of the city come up as the sun set that I needed to go and get my connection on.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a while and get reconnected and get some good hugs and see some sweet faces.

Always a plus.

And now I’ll be able to go into work tomorrow and be a kind, tolerant, generous person, the kind of woman I want to be.

I told myself it was going to be a long weekend.

No days off for this lady.

So I wanted to be getting the connection in.

I will also be doing the deal all through the weekend, but there’s not much down time for me.

Super grateful I got all the school stuff out-of-the-way.

So much stuff.

I met with my advisor today who is also the head of the department, which is fun, I get to share my experiences and suggestions with someone who has a vested interest in creating positive change in my program.

I’m not quite sure how we got on topic, something to do with the goal of pursuing the PhD and how I will need to do a lot of writing and I just chuckled and told him that my writing is fine, that I have a writing practice that I have been doing steady as she goes for ten years.

And this little blog that I have been doing for 7 and 1/2 years.

I have a practice you might say.

I told him that there are some folks in my cohort who have expressed some jealousy at how fast I can whip out a paper.

But.

That I have a method to it, yes, the practice is super helpful, I mean, fuck, it keeps my typing speed at a maximum I’ll tell you that, but it also is a practice and the more I do it the easier it becomes.

And.

I have a method to my madness when I am writing a school paper and I shared that method with him.

His eyes lit up.

“Do you think you could do something for me?” He asked.

I nodded yes and he laid out his idea for a teaching panel about how to write papers.

He wants me to sit on it and help incoming students with the process of writing papers.

I was very flattered.

And I’m always willing to share my experience with doing the work.

Of course.

It’s work.

That’s the thing, it’s not hard per se, but there is effort involved.

Sometimes when I talk to people about what I am doing or how I am doing I apparently give off this casualness about the work, but it’s work, I show up and do every day.

EVERY DAY.

Twice a day.

And let me be honest.

It saves me, it nurtures me, it is art, it love, it is poesie, it is pretty flowers in my hair.

I can make up the most fantastical amazing things the words and ideas and images I can suddenly be standing on the Trocadero in Paris and be transported to the sound of the Seine and the batobus going by, the cars rolling over the bridge or me, on my bicycle rolling along the bike path headed towards Rue de Commerce to see some fellows and get to down and do the deal.

I can see squares with green grass and gravel paths and benches under beech trees.

Or.

Like tonight.

Riding my scooter home from Potrero Hill the moon, oh the moon, a heavy-handed ladle of butter in a midnight blue velvet enamel coated spoon, the syrup of sweet heady jasmine floating to me through the cool air.

Or.

How that one turn from Fell Street as it becomes Lincoln Avenue and the open swath of green grass that leads into the park proper, how the air there is always cooler and brushes over me like a cat with cold fur from being outside in the night.

Furry and soft and petulant.

Then the over blown smell of cut clover at Keezar Park, a rounded bend in the road and the moon now to my right peeking and booing from in between the Monterey Pines in the park.

Divinity.

I mean.

Shit.

I could go on like that forever.

There is a logic to how I write and there is a rhyme and reason.

Sometimes I can explain that desperate call in my heart and sometimes the words fail.

But.

I keep showing up anyway.

And that is the trick.

“Just breathe and show up,” I told myself this morning as I walked out the door, saying good-bye to my little home by the sea to scooter off to school and jump through the next hoops to do the work to eventually, one day, be a great big grown up therapist instead of a junior baby in waiting.

I jest a little.

But.

It is a long road ahead.

Nonetheless.

It is important that I acknowledge the movement forward.

It is a big deal.

All my papers signed off and turned in.

All the “t’s” crossed.

All the “i’s” dotted.

I even talked with the financial aid department today.

I wasn’t expecting to be in practicum this summer, it just came together that way.

The summer practicum costs about $2200 to do.

Basically $1,098 per credit, was what I was told, with the caveat of “don’t quote me on that, but I believe that will be the cost” from the financial aid admin I spoke to today.

I decided at one point that I don’t want to take out any loans for school this summer.

I have a little in savings from my tax return.

Then.

I  got a financial aid e-mail from the school and I thought, maybe I should, that way if anything happens I won’t have to dip into my travel savings.

I really want to give myself a nice break in May and be able to do all the things in Paris that will make going to Paris all the fun that I need.

So.

Tomorrow.

One more little hoop to jump.

My paperwork is turned into the registrar and it’s official, I am an intern.

But.

The “course” needs to be paid for.

I will do the application, give myself the gift of a worry free trip in May and get my grad school on when I get back.

Internship begins May 22nd.

I will be ready.

Yes.

Yes, I will.

Get It Done

January 30, 2017

Until I can’t get it no more.

I have a head ache.

I read a lot today.

A fucking lot.

So much.

But that being said I am done with all my Trauma reading for class as well as having listened to an hour-long This American Life segment, and I did all my Couples Therapy reading.

Holy shit.

There was so much of that.

I find it on again, off again, hilarious that I am doing all this work for my Couples Therapy class.

Irony, no?

I’m not in a relationship.

I have never been married.

Half-assed proposed to twice.

Oops.

Ha.

Make that three times, I forgot one of them until I wrote that sentence.

However, so much of Couples Therapy seems to be understanding what the individual wants and is feeling, I can get behind that.

I have done loads of work finding my emotions.

Like yesterday when I was feeling “fat.”

First, fat is not a feeling.

I was feeling sad and a bit disgruntled that it was harder to find what I wanted than I had imagined.  I was feeling overwhelmed by the options, none of which felt like they were good options for me.  I was feeling that I was not enough, not good enough to be shopping and spending money on myself or my pursuits.  I was also feeling a little guilty, like should I even be buying new clothes?  A touch of survivor guilt there.

And underneath all of that.

I was feeling really vulnerable and that I needed to have a nice protective shell around me and I wasn’t able to locate one.

That I was embarking on a new journey into some sort of professional type career and I’ve never done this before and I am feeling not enough and scared.

Ah.

There you are fear.

Always at the root of I’m feeling “fat.”

Thanks for sharing.

Heh.

So, yeah, I have some ideas about how to navigate feelings, I’ve been practicing.

What was interesting in the reading for me as well was to find some of my own patterns in past relationships, places I had lost my voice and instead of trying to share and be vulnerable I got shut in or I shut up.

I let the other persons needs completely supersede mine until I couldn’t stand it any longer and I had to get the hell out.

I’d love to not do that again, but the chances are I probably will.

The thing is not to not do the thing, but to be compassionate with myself when I do and also, to allow myself to be open and vulnerable.

Relationships will have conflict.

It’s how I navigate the conflict.

It’s allowing myself to navigate the conflict.

And to ask for what I need without expecting the other person to fulfill my needs.

I’m definitely learning some nice little tidbits, almost makes a lady want a relationship to practice on.

As though I don’t have plenty, work, school, personal friendships, family.

Loads of relationships.

I meant romantic, since I’m studying Couples Therapy this semester.

Anyway.

The reading.

It got done.

I did some other things today and when I stop to think about them, I realize that it was more than enough, but I did have a moment when I thought, I have to get out and do something, I have to.

So I rode up to the Inner Sunset on my scooter to get a manicure.

But the shop was swamped and the other place I sometimes go to was closed.

I got a little frustrated, there was nothing for me to do, I suppose I could have done more grocery shopping, but I wasn’t feeling it, I had done a little run to my co-op and didn’t really feel like doing more.

I didn’t need to cook more, I had done my food prep for the week earlier today.

I didn’t really need to buy anything.

I didn’t have a place to go or be.

It was an odd time of late afternoon, almost early evening and I realized that the best thing to do would be to just come home and do the reading I had somewhat handily denied to myself that I needed to do (a bit of, I’ll just read at work, or on the train, going on in my brain) and thank God I did.

I don’t think I realized how long the reading was going to be.

I read for at least three hours.

My brain feels a little soggy right now.

I have read for longer than that, pleasure reading, but scholarly work is different and requires a different kind of attention and focus.

Plus, the This American Life segment, which was an hour, reviewing syllabi, going over the practicum stuff for this week, and getting ready for the next open house on Wednesday and my interview on Thursday.

So.

Um, yeah.

A lot of time devoted to school today.

I did not write my Trauma paper, but I’ll be able to knock it out next weekend and it’s just 3-6 pages.

I’ll get it done in an hour.

It’s not a research paper, it’s a reflection paper, so I can just write about what I felt going over the first weekend of material, class, and the readings.

The rest of the week, when I have time to, I will be doing the reading for my Community Mental Health class.

I do not like the readings at all for this class, too much policy reading, stale, governmental readings with no soul or poetry or elegance to them.

Thank God the teacher has plenty of soul and poetry and elegance to him, otherwise I’d be dead in the water.

Public policy is not my milieu.

Nope.

I got done what I needed to get done and I’m happy with that.

Plus.

Two loads of laundry and a spotless, and I do mean spotless, house.

I cleaned.

I always clean before I need to do homework.

Nothing says procrastination like house cleaning over homework.

But.

My little space looks like a shining jewel box.

I was reflecting with much pleasure as I sat on the chaise in the corner underneath a big reading lamp, my home, so warm and clean and pretty.

Smelling homey and comfy.

I roasted a chicken.

Little Sunday rituals, self-care, and yoga in the morning.

It was not a bad day at all.

And though I did not manage to get my nails done, I did end up taking a scenic detour home from the Inner to Outer Sunset, through Golden Gate Park on my scooter as the sun was setting through the Truffula trees (what I call the Monterey Pines, I swear I think that’s the tree species that Seuss was referencing in his drawings), the washes of light blues and the underlining golden colors of sunset, the hydrangea blooming, Stow Lake, the water reflecting the last of the sun, the end of the day, golden and washed with glimmer.

It was a lovely reminder of where I get to live.

And when I got home and walked into my jewel box of a home I was glad.

Glad to be home.

Grateful to have time to devote to my studies.

And content with myself and my efforts.

I am enough.

I have enough.

I do.

I really do.

Hello Legs

May 5, 2016

Nice to meet you again.

Oof.

My goodness, it’s been a few months since I have commuted to work on my one speed and I am feeling it.

And.

I am feeling that I was very right in the getting the scooter.

My knees.

Oh.

My poor fucking knees.

They weren’t so bad on the way in, in fact, I was so jazzed up to be on my whip, I rolled into work at 15 minutes before I was due to be working.

Since I have been riding my scooter I gave myself a little extra cushion of time to make work.

I got there with beaucoup minutes to spare.

In fact.

I want to say that the ride took only a half hour, but I have never done the ride previously in a half hour, even though that’s what the watch was saying I decided to call it 33 minutes, which was my best time previous.

I had woken up this morning early to work on my Multi-Cultural paper and got through a good edit, I still am holding off on printing it, I want one more night of letting the ideas sit and percolate, I’ll do a final edit tomorrow and the reference page and then be ready to get it on for my last weekend of classes.

Which does not mean that school is out for summer.

It just means that the last weekend of classes will be done.

“You can help me celebrate,” I texted him.

Indeed.

There is so much to celebrate.

Life is good and big and full.

Even if my body is achey and rebelling at the exercise I gave it today.

Like I mentioned, I got to work really fast and was happy to spend some time stretching and working out the kinks.

And then.

The day progressed and I did a lot of standing, I mean, I usually do, but today I was entirely on my feet all day, tons of cooking.

Raw vegetable prep for the mom–carrots peeled, beans snipped, cauliflower roasted.

Then dinner for the family–salt and pepper crusted roast chicken with thyme butter, brown rice, steamed broccoli, and garlic butter pan sauteed asparagus.

God.

I love to cook.

I am always so grateful that I get to be of service at my job by cooking, it is such a pleasure to make food for another person, such an extension of love.

I remember the dinner parties I used to throw.

Before I got abstinent in my diet, ie, no sugar and no flour.

No potatoes.

No artificial sweeteners.

Um.

Yeah.

But I can still cook really well and most folks don’t really notice, except when I turn down pizza or something.

But man, when I used to bake and use all the goodies in the cupboard, it was something else, Christmas cookies anyone?

Cheese cake?

Oh the cheese cakes, gah, I used to bake them for the brewery I ran too, although that didn’t last long, it was super fun when I did, blueberry cheesecake with crushed graham cracker crust with roasted hazelnuts; chocolate chip stout cheesecake with chocolate graham cracker crust and black walnuts; the peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake; or the espresso cheesecake with chocolate covered espresso beans.

Dude.

The Thanksgiving I made a pumpkin cheese cake with maple syrup glaze.

Get out of here.

I still love to bake and it’s fun, although rare, when I get to do so for the family I work for.

Mom is super health conscious and loves, loves, loves that I eat the way I do and so models a lot of the family dinners on things that I can actually eat.

Anyway.

I made it about half way through the late afternoon when the body started to talk to me.

“Bitch, couldn’t take your scooter, wanted to ride your bike, got to prove something.”

Fuck.

I remembered why I was not riding my bike for work.

Bad knees people.

Stiff, sore, they swelled up a little.

I took some ibuprofen.

Then.

That one spot.

Right shoulder, where I have an old shoulder injury.

All tweeky from carrying my messenger bag.

And I didn’t even fill it up, I mean, it was half full at best.

By the time I was back in the saddle I was regretting the decision, however, I am grateful for it.

The sunset.

So spectacular.

In the park, rolling along, the smell of the trees, the wind nickering at my face, the coolness against my neck, the soft prickle of sweat and the air moving over my body, so delicious.

So good.

It was like getting kissed all through the park.

I am pretty sure I won’t be doing a lot more bicycle commuting on my one speed.

Should I decide that I want to do some longer rides I’ll have to invest in a road bike again.

Which is not really out of the question.

I would love to do the AidsLifeCycle ride again.

But not on my one speed.

I think my one speed is now officially delegated to trips to Noriega Market and spots in the hood.

Unless I move somewhere very flat.

The knees can’t take it no more.

I’m glad for the exercise though.

I have a weekend of long days sitting in class.

I’ll be happy to have gotten my body moving before being sedentary.

And.

Yoga tomorrow.

Sneak one more class in before the weekend arrives.

It’s almost here.

One more weekend of classes.

And of course.

Fuck.

It’s supposed to rain Friday and Saturday.

So I won’t scooter in.

Nor will I bicycle.

It’s MUNI or calling for a car.

The great thing is I have options and whatever way I get to school, I’ll get there.

It will be nice to reconvene with my cohort and see some friends and catch up and it will be really nice to have the summer off after that.

Well.

I’ll still have papers to write.

I feel like summer won’t officially happen until that point.

But it’s closer.

So close.

I can taste it.

Like the tangerine dream of a sunset tonight spread against the sky swirled with lilac sorbet and strawberry syrup, cleansing my palate, my heart of the weary and long road home.

There is great light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m.

Almost.

There.

 

4/20 Expect Delays

April 21, 2016

You are not shitting me.

Seriously.

San Francisco.

The amount of smoke over Golden Gate Park this evening as I was riding home was stupid.

I mean.

It can be foggy in the park, but this was something the fuck else.

It was already getting a little crazy out there when I was heading into work today at 12 noon.

Vendors setting up stands with water and ice.

Just chilling on the sidewalk waiting for the cotton mouth to commence.

I actually rolled through a smoke cloud at the Pan Handle.

I was grateful to get to work and not have to deal with it all too much, in fact, I had rather forgotten, I work in the Mission, people are always smoking up, not much different.

It was when I went home that it was messy.

All day love fest with the marijuana leaf and it was stupid on the roads.

I split lanes at one point as this car was not moving on the green light.

“GET OFF YOUR PHONE!” I hollered at the dazed and confused young woman driver who was texting and sitting through a green light.

Then I zipped by.

Thank you God for lane splitting.

Seriously.

I suspect pizza delivery drivers are making a lot of money tonight.

Grateful to have gotten home safe and sound, to lock up my scooter, shoot out a flirtatious text about a possible date and hustle up the street to the market to get some coffee before doing the deal.

And there’s the motorcycle

Hello ex-boyfriend.

Why you got to look so cute?

Ugh.

And I’m on my period, end days you know, but it does not seem to matter right now, I feel like I am just at the top of my game.

Not to be all ego and that, no rather my body is hormonally doing the dance of Saint Vitus trying to get some.

It did not help when he hugged me later.

Was that a “mmm” on my neck?

Maybe not, maybe it was just my imagination, like that hand at my waist lingering just a moment.

Dude.

Watch out.

His room mate caught me watching him walk out the door and I blushed to beat the band.

Well.

He does look good in those jeans and that blue flannel, flattering.

And moving on.

I know better.

I am pretty certain he’s got a lady friend.

And it ain’t me.

And I’m pretty sure it’s serious.

Or.

I’m pretty sure we would have hit it by this point.

There’s still chemistry there.

That’s ok.

I think right now I have chemistry with a lot of men.

I’m not saying that to stroke myself off, I’m still single over here, going to bed alone, but not lonely, thank you, in my little studio by the sea.

But.

There’s interest.

Oh yes there is.

This is fun, I thought earlier, intercepting  a few messages about “thinking about you” and well, yeah, me too, thinking about you.

I do sort of feel like I am on fire and it feels good.

I am a house on fire.

Burn me all down to the ground.

I’m not upset about this, I’m not looking to change it, I am completely accepting this heat and enjoying it.

Perhaps it is the apex of something.

“There is more to you than, that, that,”  he hesitated.

“That thing in the desert,” I interjected.

“Yes! You are so much more,” he beamed at me tender with sweet deep eyes, my friend patted my arm, “there is something that is going to happen in that time, you’ll see, it will be great.”

It will be.

I’m positive.

There is so much.

And.

There is more time than I thought!

I got my weeks confused.

I still have two weekends before my next school weekend, I had this big idea that I had to have papers written this weekend.

Nope.

I have another weekend before I go back in for my last round of classes before summer break.

I have never been more excited for summer break in my life.

Seriously.

So I can have some play time this weekend and not get my undies in a twist about having to write papers.

Thank God.

I’m still moving forward with reading and making sure that I am caught up with it, but I have some breathing space.

And as of yet.

A completely free Saturday.

I have thoughts of things I want to do.

Sex.

Ahem.

Heh.

Yoga.

Doing that deal.

Getting my nails done, a little mani/pedi will be a nice treat.

Sleeping in if I want.

Like I ever do.

Well.

I sort of did today, I decided to wait on the yoga before work until tomorrow.

Wednesday’s I go in a little early as I have an evening commitment that I am adamant about getting to, so I go in early and leave early, not the best day to squeeze yoga in as well.

But tomorrow.

Yoga it up I will.

And hopefully by the time I do head to work the 4/20 will have been cleaned up and swept away for another season.

Unlike my hormones and sex drive which just seems to be coming out of the closet.

“Oh my forties were insane, enjoy them!  It’s the best time, really, the sex was amazing,” she said and smiled.

I’m sort of understanding that on a very new level.

Maybe I’m just comfortable in my skin.

Maybe I’ve just been in one place long enough.

Easier to hook up with a sitting target than one constantly on the move.

Maybe, after all these years, I finally am embracing the sexy that I have been told I have.

“You are so fucking hot,” he messaged me.

Thanks man.

I appreciate hearing that.

It’s nice to be acknowledged and it’s really nice to just not give a fuck.

This is where I am at in my life.

I don’t have to ask for approval or permission.

Not from you.

Not from me.

I think God’s got me covered pretty good.

I’ll go with God.

And if you don’t think there’s a lot of God in sex.

Well.

You haven’t heard me in the throes.

Ahem.

It’s all about the love.

Or the loving.

But whatever it is.

More please.

Thanks!

 

 

You Needed A New

January 27, 2016

Cog.

Huh.

I never would have guessed that.

And in my own perverse little way.

I am a little proud of that.

I have ridden my bicycle so often and for so long that I basically had worn down the teeth of the rear cog and that was why my chain was slipping and my crank wasn’t turning.

Brava!

I mean.

I have had the bicycle for three and a half years.

But the last two years, living in the Outer Sunset, bicycle commuting to the Mission five days a week, putting in over thirteen miles a day, usually 14, sometimes 15, why, of course I had worn out my cog.

Damn Gina.

The shop also fixed the flat and actually replaced the tube for free considering that there was no evidence on my tire that I had punctured it, fault lay with the shop and they took care of it promptly.

It was nice to have my wheels back under me.

Especially after the shared Uber ride into work.

My God.

I don’t mind the sharing the resource, I don’t mind going out of my way a little bit to get from here to there–I like to think of it as taking the scenic route.

However.

I am scent sensitive.

No shut up.

I’m not being a fucking pussy about this.

There are two smells that really make me feel like I am going to vomit and I got both of them today.

The first was from an middle age woman with a bad bed head do and an obvious hangover.

The smell of alcohol was not so bad, yeah, I gagged a bit from it when she turned and asked if she could recline the front seat, um, ok?

But it was the smell of cigarettes.

Deep, dirty, skin yellow, brown in the wrinkles of the fingers, nicotine stained.

It was like driving with a sack of formaldehyde.

She reclined her seat, put in ear buds, popped on her sunglasses and fell asleep in the front seat.

The second passenger, though much more dapper and clean, was not a bouquet or roses either.

Nope.

He was a big smelly sack of raw onions.

I mean.

Fuck.

It was like he’d just eaten a raw onion sandwich and then shoved a few shallots under his arm pits.

I was like.

Dude.

The window went down and I got some fresh air, but it was a tasty ride.

So different to be on my bicycle, in the dark night, whistling through the Pan Handle, the rich smell of just turned dirt and the bark of eucalyptus trees.

The smell of evergreens in Golden Gate Park.

And the spot, the one spot, close to the De Young Museum, where Fenugreek must grow–the delicious smell of maple syrup always wafts out at me from the bushes, I invariably think about bacon, the skillet breakfast at a O’Malley’s in Waunakee where the family would go every once in a while for a Sunday breakfast, and waffles.

I could ride back and forth that little bridge a 100 times just to get to smell that again.

But I am too concerned with getting home, the whisk of my pedals beating the air and the sound of the waterfall splashing over Storybrook Crossing keeps me company.

A few critters, who though did not smell as bad as my companions from this afternoons ride, nonetheless, were not to be messed with.

A big rambling raccoon, that startled me in the grass as I turned onto Chain of Lakes and my front light hit his masked face.

And the dog, wait, what the hell, that dog is going to get schmucked crossing Lincoln, I should stop and scoop it up and.

Oh no.

That’s not a dog.

That’s a skunk.

I whipped past and watched the little critter scurry into the underbrush.

Lots of critters out and about.

I thought, as I rode, about how long I’ve been riding my bicycle, riding bicycles in general, in San Francisco.

I have bicycle commuted from the Mission to jobs in the Mission.

I remember, with much fondness the five minute commute I had for a year and a half when I worked at Mission Bicycle Company on Valencia and 18th.

I lived at Folsom and 23rd.

It was such a sweet commute.

I have commuted from the Bayview to the Mission–Palou and Third to 18th and Alabama.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to China Basin and Noe Valley.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to the Mission.

You may see a pattern here.

I do a lot of work in the Mission.

I have commuted from the Outer Sunset to Cole Valley, NOPA, and the Castro.

But the commute I have now, is the longest.

I also, briefly, for a few months when I was in transition and staying out in East Oakland (EAST not West, thank you very much) commuted from 51st and International to North Berkeley.

Yeah.

Like that.

I had some interesting rides.

The prominent scent was not Fenugreek however.

Although it did have a sweet, sickly smell to it, it was not a natural smell.

Nothing says good times like rolling through the valley of crack and prostitution on your way to nanny.

I have ridden a bike up to Twin Peaks.

I have ridden more than one century–that’s a 100 miles–though not for a while now.

I have ridden through parts of the Bay View that I don’t even think people now exist.

I have seen things.

I have been seen as well.

I whistled at a pedestrian about to walk into the street against the light as I was crossing Divisadero on Fell Street.

“Whoa!” He said, “thanks!”

Then, without much thought, he said rather loudly, “holy shit! You’re beautiful!”

Thanks man.

That’s always nice to hear.

Can’t say my ego minds.

Most of the time, though, it’s just me and the bicycle and my thoughts, which fortunately are usually not too loud, I’m in my body when I am on my bicycle, even when the knees hurt and the hips are a little tight and my bag was heavy with stuff tonight, I am in my body and alive.

It really is a gift.

I love my bicycle.

I really do.

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.

So.

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.

Yes.

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.

Grateful.

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.

Time.

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.

And.

In this this.

I exist.

At one.

Apart.

Final.

Complete.

In this time.

I am time.

Wounded.

Solaced.

Loved.

Graced with the singing.

The music of the spheres.

The metronome of God.

Art installation Centre de Pompidou

Clock at the Musee D’Orsay

DSCF5270

Ahem.

I have no idea where that all came from.

Ha.

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.

And.

There is a bubble of love.

That in which the eternal is always here.

In this moment.

Where.

Yes.

Mathilde.

Everything.

EVERYTHING.

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.

“How?”

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

“Yes.”

“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.

Trickster.

Clown.

Totem.

Creative energy.

Magic.

Sex.

Rutting.

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.

Yes.

Apples.

Belle pomme de Boskop.

S’il vous plait.

One Shot

October 20, 2015

It doesn’t happen very often.

And.

When it does.

It happens on the way home from work rather than on the way to work.

Every once in a while I make it the 6.5 miles from work to home without having to put my foot down on the pavement.

It is the most delicious and delirious thing and I realized as I was crossing Divisadero on Oak that I might actually have a unicorn of a ride happening.

I made the timed lights, I picked up my speed, I felt my left knee complain, I said, come on baby, we got this, and zoom zip, through the light and rolling down the Pan Handle and it’s all, almost, but not quite, downhill from there.

I have made it once to work from my house, 46th Avenue and Judah to Lexington and 20th, on my bicycle without putting down a foot.

It was a reckless ride and not something that I need to experience again.

I just wanted to see if I could do it, and I could, but it meant running lights, stop signs, riding down Lincoln all the way to the Wiggle and a lot of clever maneuverings on my bicycle that weren’t the safest.

I am really safe on my bicycle.

Some folks are nuts.

I want to live.

I have so much to live for.

Just the level of contentment I have for my little home right now, it knows no bounds.

I got the cutest message from a woman in my cohort about a photo I had put up on Instagram with my little nook in the corner of my studio that has a chaise lounge and a “new” reading lamp, that it looked like just the place to curl up and read all of Professor Dubitzky’s reading in.

Of course she didn’t say Professor Dubitzky.

Ha.

She said, “Milly D.”

Our inside, though, I am sure the professor does know and winks at it, name for the teacher.

What I love is that the class is all Freudian analysis and yes, that’s right, my corner seat is a chaise lounge.

The doctor is in.

Er.

The graduate school student is in.

I have started writing “I am a therapist” in my morning pages where I write my affirmations.

It follows right after the one that says, “I am an artist.”

And I added another today.

“I own a brand new Buddy Scooter.”

Yes.

I am back in the market.

I talked a lot about it with a friend of mine who is really good with money and negotiating and asked if he would help me go down to Scooter Centre and get a good deal on the scooter.

It does not look like they have the Buddy I want, I want the Buddy Italia in Avocado, in the shop.   Although, I bet they could get it in if they don’t have it in stock.

It’s a 170cc, goes up to 60 mph and gets 92 miles per gallon.

It also has a two-year parts and labor warranty which includes road side assistance.

It’s about $3200.

I could go buy it right now.

But.

That would mean using my prudent reserve and my student loan disbursement up.

I would feel uncomfortable not having a prudent reserve and I don’t like that feeling where there is nothing in the savings account.

So.

I talked to my friend tonight and told him about how I have been setting aside money and also that I expect I will get a bonus at work on my birthday again, which is a week before Christmas, so it was basically a holiday bonus, but whatever, I don’t have to label it anything other than a gift.

A gift that I am banking on using to buy the scooter.

In conjunction with the money I have been setting aside.

The plan, God is laughing, I hear you, my thought, is that I will go down on December 19th, which is the day after my birthday and hand my friend my money, I figure, go to the bank, withdraw the cash and walk in with cash and get a better deal, and let him do the negotiating.

Which means in 60 days I’ll have a new scooter!

This is the plan.

Who knows if it will happen, but that’s the thought process so far.

I won’t get burned buying a used “Vespa” again, although I wouldn’t mind a Vespa, new, they are a bit more expensive then the Buddy and I would have to wait a bit longer to save up the money, probably at least another six months.

I don’t want to wait that much longer.

My knees be aching again and maybe, yes, maybe, it’s time to stop commuting 15 miles a day on the thing.

It’s been 10 years of riding a bicycle in this city.

I would miss it.

And.

I would miss the exercise.

But.

I can do different things.

I can learn to surf, I got a wet suit.

I can scooter to a pool.

I can go to yoga.

The time that I would save from riding my bicycle would not be a great deal, but it would be significant enough that I think I would be able to take a yoga class or go swimming at a pool on the way to work.

Who knows.

I am not going to worry about the exercise part, it’s important to my life and I need it to keep the crazy brain at bay.

I thought all these things when I was riding through the park, the cool breath of October flowing over my body, ruffling my hair, there is nothing quite as sexy, to me, I don’t know that any one else who’s ever experienced it (not that I have asked), but, there is something so sensual about getting off my bike when I get home and after I lock up the garage I go inside my cozy, sweet studio, and sweep the hair up off my neck and it’s cold.

Cold.

From the wind and the air.

It is such a delicious feeling to lift the cool hair off my neck and swirl it up into a bun.

I shiver thinking about it.

I would miss that.

But then again.

I won’t miss the painful knees.

I did make sure to get to work early and do a lot of stretching, it’s the IT band in my knees that is too tight and I can do some things to strengthen the muscles around my hips, that’s why I was contemplating yoga a little while ago–although, really, in what time?  The stretching helps, but sometimes I think, maybe, just maybe, 10 years is a good run for bicycle commuting in San Francisco.

A decade of riding these mean streets.

I have seen a lot of change.

And more than one lost tourist with the Blazing Saddle logo on their bike stopped at Oak and Stanyan trying to figure out where they are on the map and where the hell the bike path goes and where is the fucking ocean anyway?  And the bridge, how do we get to the bridge?

I have even ridden folks through the Pan Handle and around the Wiggle to get them to go where they are going, I did that not too long ago, I was stopped, asked for directions and I noticed the glazed look coming over the woman’s face when I told her where to go and what streets to take, and just took pity.

“Follow me, just follow me for the next ten minutes, and I will get you to Market, at which point I will cross the intersection and you will turn left and be able to follow Market Street where you need to go.”

Just here to be of service.

I don’t have to think about it too much.

But it is exciting.

I like the idea of change and my life getting bigger and fuller and lovelier.

Not that more is needed.

I have everything I need.

And more than I ever expected to have.

So.

Much.

More.

So.

Much.

Love.

You Still Writing Your Blog?

October 7, 2015

He asked as we pedaled our bicycles up the hill past the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park.

I was riding home on my whip thinking about all the things that need to be done and the grocery shopping that I was about to embark on, so, so, so grateful to be meeting a friend after work who gave me a lift to SafeWay.

I got all the things I need to get through the week and then some.

It would have been two, probably three trips on my bicycle had I loaded up my messenger bag real full and rode my bicycle real slow.

I don’t ride my bicycle real slow.

In case you were wondering.

Although.

I don’t ride as fast as some.

If I was on a geared bicycle I would actually be faster.

I am on a one speed and it only goes so fast before I am just needlessly spinning my crank.

I coast down hill pretty damn fast though, and that is often where I will catch up to those who have passed me on the uphill climb.

Which is what happened as I sped through the park, thinking about autumn in Wisconsin.

There are parts of my ride home, specifically the Pan Handle, where there are some old growth oak trees, when I am reminded of fall in the Midwest.

The smell in the air.

The leaves scattered on the ground, the shadows falling from the trees and the old sodium lamp posts lighting the way.

I am reminded always of the CS Lewis book, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

The lamp-post always get that reference for me.

And.

There is a kind of magic about the park, especially at night, when the shadows are long and the stars hang low overhead, when it’s past the last of the day’s commute and the runners have done their runs and the bicycle traffic is light to none existent, and I feel as though the entire way is mine.

The soaring on my bicycle through the air, the whick of wind against my neck and pulling through my hair.

I passed by the DeYoung and started the slight descent to the Rose Garden that heralds the last big hill climb on my ride and then, literally, it is all down hill from there, down towards the sea, the salt wind, the bonfires kissing the dunes, and the shaded night heralding my heart home.

I usually holler out, “passing on your left,” but I actually thought I might startle the rider I was coming up on, so I just gave him a wide berth and whipped past.

“Carmen?!”

“Yup, that’s me, who’s that, you better pedal harder to catch up!”  I laughed as I hit the down slope on the hill, bottomed out and began the climb.

“Use your momentum coming down the hill to push you up the next one,” my friend taught me on training rides for the AidsLifeCycle.

I never forgot that advice and it’s really the only way to get up hills on a one speed in San Francisco.

I heard the bicyclist behind me drop it into gear and push up the hill.

“Hey!” He said, “it’s Max! How are you?”

“Hello!”  I said, “doing good, just got out of work, heading home, you?”

“Just left 7th and Geary,” he said, “heading home too, hey, did you start grad school, how’s that going?”

“I did!”  I said.

“I just had my second big weekend of classes, it’s kicking my ass, trying to balance all the things, working 35 hours a week, carrying 12 credits in grad school, doing the deal, you know, trying to not get too far into the future or I’ll freak out.”

“Yeah, I feel you, that’s a lot, but you can do it,” he said.

“Yup, I just keep focusing on what’s exactly in front of me,” I said and spun the crank.

Just keep my eye on the next foot fall, don’t get carried away thinking about how I just got my schedule “figured” out and the mom asked me today to totally switch my hours from a 1p.m. start to a 10 a.m. start next Monday and Tuesday–the boys have two days off from school.

And.

If I get too consumed with my schedule and I am not flexible with myself I will freak out.

“Hey, you still writing your blog?” He asked me next.

“Yeah, I’m sort of in awe that I am doing it, but it’s so helpful, it lets me get all the stuff out of my head, it’s like a nightly inventory [sic] I need it, I don’t think I can drop doing it, although I’m still not sure how I am able to find the time, I do.”

“It pops up in my Facebook feed every once in a while,” he continued, and we crested the hill and began the descent home.

“Nice to run into you!” I shouted as he slowed down to take the turn and I sped, yes, right through the stop sign and rolled on into the velvet night laying splayed out before me.

It does leave me with a sense of wonder, this little blog does, I am still finding words for my experience, still aching to share those experiences with you, the reader, lovely reader, hello, you do fill me with regard and wonder too.

I wrote last night about being mindful that I was writing for myself and frankly if I think about the people reading, or not reading, my blog, I will get weird about it, but that doesn’t mean that I am not aware of you, sweet reader, in fact, I regard you with respect and no small sense of honor.

Thank you for stopping to read the words.

Oh the words.

They do mean so very much to me.

Speaking of words.

I am knocking out the sonnets for the Burning Man poetry project I have had on the back burner for the last couple of weeks.

I was supposed to have some things ready for my collaborator, and I did, I do have some sonnets I wrote, but I did not like the way they read and there was something missing.

I found the missing ingredient.

And.

I have been flying.

I wrote out the supporting framework for ten sonnets and then fleshed out one completely yesterday.

Today.

Well.

I was on a roll.

I wrote two sonnets back to back and I probably could have written a third, but I did want to make sure that I addressed some reading for my Human Development class or I would be falling behind for the paper that I must have written in this upcoming week for the class.

I love when the words come and the images and the song of the world seems to croon to my ear and I am connected to that elixir of light and poetry.

I feel blessed.

Graced.

Lightened.

Enlightened.

And.

Loved.

I am such a lucky girl.

Full of words.

And wonder.

I am.

Just Got The Message

September 30, 2015

My new mattress arrives tomorrow!

Last night on this cruddy one I have had for the last two years.

I am not complaining, it’s done it’s job and I have slept on worse.

The fold out futon shenanigans that I slept on in Paris for six months was by far the worst thing I have slept on.

Well.

Not true!

I just realized.

I have slept on worse, and really, when I compare and contrast, even on a shitty mattress, it was a shitty mattress in Paris.

I had a friend once who said it didn’t matter how bad things were, if you just tacked on the end of the sentence, “in Paris.”

I was caught in a sudden rainstorm, “in Paris.”

I got lost, “in Paris.”

I overslept, “in Paris.”

I have to do my laundry, “in Paris.”

So.

Yeah.

That futon mattress, in Paris, sucked, but it was in Paris.

I have slept on far worse in Homestead, Florida.

Yes.

There.

On a piece of cardboard box that was slid underneath the thin tent floor of the two-man tent I was sharing with a friend, the cardboard scant protection from the sharp coral rock that our tent was set up on.

Even with the cardboard and a sleeping bag, I could still feel that rock underneath my back.

Imagine, I am imagining now, that for months I slept on cardboard boxes.

I have slept on plywood set up on top of milk crates.

I have slept in cars.

I have slept in the back of Grey Hound buses.

I have slept, on the ground.

I have slept on other people’s lumpy couches.

I have slept on the thin, worn out cushions in my ex-brother in-laws fathers’ camper truck bed.

That sucked.

I have slept in far worse places and on many a baggy couch with broken springs.

I have slept in dangerous neighborhoods were gunshots woke me up in the middle of the night.

I have slept on beaches.

I have slept in the woods, “camping” aka “homeless” in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

I have slept in the moldering basement of a duplex on a mattress on the floor.

I have slept cramped against my sister’s small body on a mattress on a floor.

I have slept in the bottom well of an old beater Dodge with a thin pillow braced against the door.

I have slept in far worse places on far worse beds, some which really had no right to be called a bed at all.

I am so grateful.

I have so much.

Do you see how much I have?

I have a full plate.

I have a job.

I have a bicycle.

I have this laptop.

I have graduate school.

(I have a lot to still read, but I’m getting caught up!)

I have stories.

(“Writers would kill to have some of the life material you have, Carmen,” Alan Kauffman said to me with an incredulous shake of his head, “you have had so many experiences!”)

I have love.

My God.

Do I have love.

I found myself pulled up 18th street tonight after work, my feet just knew the way and despite my brain saying, “go home, go read, go study,” I knew that I needed to be somewhere else tonight before I could do just that, go home, go read, go study.

And I found myself at Most Holy Redeemer in the Castro.

And I found myself at home.

I shared my piece.

I don’t remember what I said.

I got my God on.

I got on my bicycle and I got on the way back to the Outer Sunset.

And mysterious coincidence?

Is it odd?

Or.

Is it God?

I ran into a very dear, most welcome, super amazing and loving person on my way home.

“That’s H____________!”

I almost shouted his name.

I could see he was working with someone.

I almost kept riding.

But when you see your person, or I should say, when I see my person, I had to stop, flip a bitch on my whip, and pedal back to where he was sitting with one of my mates.

Oh.

Was it good to see him!

I got the best damn hug.

From him and from my contemporary and we just had us a great big love fest right there on the corner of Sanchez and Noe.

Thank you God for always knowing when I need to see my people.

We made plans to see each other soon and I got a brief, intense, full of love check in.

Then.

Merrily on my way.

Through the autumn turning Pan Handle, through the quiet dark of the park lit only with speculative sodium lamps and the bright white flare of tents being erected in the meadows.

There must be a concert happening this weekend.

I am out of touch.

I have been so busy in my own little world of school and work that I am not paying a lot of attention to other things.

Outside Lands has already happened, so it must be Hardly, Strictly, Bluegrass.

Translation.

Hardly, strictly, ain’t gonna be anywhere near it.

I’ll be in school this weekend.

I made good for the family already, getting them prepped by making not one but two homemade chicken pot pies for them–one to freeze and one to eat Friday when I am not there to make dinner.  Plus I made ginger chicken with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, onions, and water chestnuts to wrap up in lettuce for dinner this evening.

I’ll do more prep for them too.

And.

A little for me too.

Although, I am pretty set as far as groceries go since my dear friend helped me out with the pick up and lift back to my place last weekend from SafeWay when I was having my near panic attack.

I do have to do a little more reading.

(A lot, but who’s counting)

But I’m kicking through it.

Every morning before I leave for work I have been reading.

Every evening when I get home I have been reading.

Add to that I have managed, don’t ask me how, to continue with my morning writing routine and my evening blog.

I don’t have to know how it works.

I just know that it does.

And it’s going to work even better.

Even sooner.

I’ll be sleeping on a brand new bed as of tomorrow night.

My life.

It rocks.

And it’s not because I’m sleeping on any.

Rocks that is.


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