Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Big Day

November 7, 2017

I got to work and walked in and sighed.

I already had a super busy day and I was tired before I even walked into the door at work.

Not in a bad way, just in a sort of thrown into unexpected places way and reflecting on what had transpired in the time before I got to work.

Super intense meeting with my supervisor and a lot of deep work around a specific client, who I saw this evening and got to apply all the things that I had worked on with my supervisor.

Which was really fulfilling and also a little exhausting.

And exhilarating too.

I felt like I was really being a good therapist and that my client was making some amazing headway.

I feel better and better the more I get to see my clients and learn about them and those that show up consistently and let me bear witnesses to their growth is really an amazing thing to witness.

At times exhausting, the work is challenging, but as I expressed to my boss today I am so grateful for it.

I didn’t even see my boss until after 4p.m. today, I was at work at the house, picking up my charge from school, and she was off and running her Monday as well.

I think we were both pretty tired from the day, but it was good to connect with her.

She’s great to work for and super flexible with my schedule.

Which is good since I’ll be going in late one more time next Monday.

I’ve been asked to come in again next week to work further on the lecture series, “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

The women that are running the project have a certain vision and they have produced so many of this lecture series they really have a clarity about what needs to come across and what resonates with the audience.

So.

Although all the work I did on the narrative was not for naught, ugh, I still am going to have to re-write it.

I could heavily edit what I wrote, but I think a fresh rewrite with the direction they want from me will make it a far stronger piece.

I have a very clear idea what they want and I know how to write it and I have the opening line in my head so I know where it will go.

Sometimes, most times, all I need is that opening line or thought, the idea opens the door, I walk in and then I start describing what I see, it’s like walking into a warm room with a rag hook rug on the wood floor, a fire burning in a stove, a rocking chair with a soft throw on the arm and a pillow against the back.

I just need to settle into that chair and write what I see on the walls, tell the story in the pictures I see.

There I am running away from home to San Francisco at the ripe age of 29.

What happens.

Here’s a snap shot of DNA Lounge.

Here’s a picture of me in the back patio of The End Up after having been up all weekend.

All the things and crazy dark adventures, a Polaroid on a push pin board.

That time I made out with my best friends boss at The Elbow Room in the photo booth.

And forgot that I had a strip of photos of us kissing.

It fell out of my wallet when I was looking for something, and my friend picked it up.

“Oh my God!  You made out with STEVE!  YOU MADE OUT WITH MY BOSS?!  He’s gay!”

He wasn’t that gay that night.

Here’s another one of a night at Bruno’s on Mission Street, all dressed up for Halloween and getting ready for a night out on the town when my dealer calls and hey, he just got out of 850 Bryant (the jail here in San Francisco) and how much do I want?

Well.

Fuck.

I’ll start with three grams and go from there.

Hung over.

Cracked out.

Dancing at strange parties with strange people and all the misadventures there of.

The producers wanted a little more of the nitty-gritty of my using and then what happened.

I had put too much of an ellipses in the narrative and it made it seem like I did a line of blow and then suddenly got sober.

They wanted to hear more about the despair.

Because.

Well.

Drama.

It gets your attention, and it provides the vehicle to show how far I’ve come, the things I went through, and who I am.

They also wanted me to talk a little bit more about my nannying.

And what it means to work with children.

“Oh, I think I know what you mean,” I said to the woman speaking to me, “that I get to give the kind of love to a child that I never had for myself growing up.”

She teared up.

Yes.

That.

Let me pull your heartstrings.

Let me show you how resilient I am.

It’s not necessarily a drama play, it’s what really happened, but I have ten minutes to cover all the things and they wanted to sharpen certain points for power, so that it lands with the audience and connects them to me and my story.

Whew.

That’s just going to have to sit on the back burner for a little while and percolate.

I have a full client load this week, therapy tomorrow morning before work, group supervision mid-week, when I normally don’t have it until Saturday–but I’ll be in class Saturday so I have to do it this Wednesday, and yeah, that, school, it’s a school weekend.

No wonder I walked into work and already felt exhausted.

Sigh.

It won’t be that bad.

It’s not that bad.

And I am grateful I get to do this project, it is nice to be wanted, it’s nice to know that I have been chosen because I have something powerful to share and that I am someone who knows how deliver a story.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

But the re-write has got to wait until Sunday after I get out of class, I just don’t see getting to it before then.

I still have reading for class I need to attend to, and well, the week full of stuff.

Grateful that I have pockets of respite and some lovely things planned too, that have nothing to do with work and school and clients.

A girl needs a little fun too.

Especially when there’s so much else to attend to.

I need to let myself let loose a little too.

All work and no play makes me a very dull girl.

And I’m so not dull.

Seriously.

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Hello Monday

October 31, 2017

You weren’t so bad.

Time went by quick.

When I thought it was going to drag.

There was plenty to fill the hours.

Supervision before work, work, a couple of clients.

Some sneaky grocery shopping in between work and supervision and again in between work and clients.

Sometimes I am amazed that I can get in as much as I do.

I am pretty efficient.

I just excused myself from a group conversation with my cohort along those same lines.

The thread of the conversation was in regards to using the pre-2021 regulations versus the post 2021 regulations for the BBS requirements to get licenced.

The lean of the conversation was that it was impossible to get all the hours in the amount of time listed.

I believe that I will get the hours in.

I have faith.

And if I don’t, well, fuck it, I will have at least tried.

I am sure that many in my cohort will scoff, but a few, well, they know me and when I set my sights on something I tend to get it.

There is much work to be done.

So much work.

But I feel that it will happen.

Or course.

I dream of coming into money so that I didn’t have to work while I’m trying to get my hours.

It would make such a huge difference if I didn’t have to work to support myself on top of doing my internship and gaining my hours.

But, for the moment, for today, it is what it is.

I have to work today.

Well.

I have to work tomorrow.

Although.

I have something exciting to do before hand.

I will be going to the Mission District to interview for People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

I had lunch with my dear friend yesterday, it already seems years ago, and we talked quite a bit about the project and how he knows the producers and the people behind it and how my name came up.

It was really quite the story to hear and I was so struck by how serendipitous my life is.

Some may call it luck.

I call it grace.

Either way.

I am excited to be considered and I’m interested to see what they ask me and what they want to know.

I suspect that they have been on my blog.

I had a spike in readership the last couple of days and though I have no idea who reads the blog, it is unusual to get a lot of reads without there being something pretty specific behind it.

Unless some one was missing me and just wanted to catch up on my life, I think it was probably the people behind the project.

I have no idea what they may think of my little blog.

Sometimes, most times, I don’t know what to think of it, only that it fills me and feeds me and that I want to continue doing it for as long as I can.

I could do this all my life, it feels.

What a gift, that, the desire to write every day and the gift to myself to give myself the time to do so.

Sure.

I could read some homework, but this settles me, winds me down, helps me ease into the evening.

And as such is more proactively self-care than doing my homework.

Oh.

I’ll get my homework done, I always do, but it does feel nice to give myself a tiny bit of a break from it.

Tomorrow will also be a kind of break too.

It’s Halloween and since I’m doing the interview I won’t be doing therapy and I also don’t have clients tomorrow night, it’s a “short” day for me.

It should be pretty fun too.

My charges have begged me to dress up with them.

So.

Yeah.

I will be dressing up.

Albeit, not quite like what I did over the weekend.

But I will wear a fun dress and bring some flowers to stick in my hair and I’m going to bring my make up kit too.

So that after I do the interview, no way in hell am I going to the interview in super big makeup, I will go to work and do a little makeup.

I will also help my charges too.

The big guy is going as an astronaut and won’t really need any makeup.

But the little lady is going as a unicorn and well, I think some glitter make up might need to make an appearance.

I know she’ll be over the moon if I do that, so yeah, I’ll be happy to indulge their sweet whims.

The oldest was particularly concerned that I dress up.

I was not going to and I had an outfit picked out for tomorrow to do the interview, black skinny jeans, soft cashmere sweater in grey, from Paris, my black high-heeled Mary Jane Fluevogs, but well, I guess urban chic is not going to be the order of the day.

Instead.

I will be wearing one of my Hell Bunny dresses.

It’s super cute, and it’s so totally Halloween, I think my charges will be super happy that I am in it.

Here’s a shot of it.

It’s called the Idaho Dress.

Why?

Fuck if I know, but it’s hella cute.

It’s got Day of the Dead skulls on it just like the dress I wore over the weekend, it’s from the same company, but they are different colors and the style of the dress is slightly different.

I am super happy to wear it.

I think I will have a very fun time with my charges.

They will have a little Halloween parade at school and then it’s off to trick or treat.

Not exactly sure where we will be going, but I have been asked to accompany them and I can’t think of something sweeter than taking a child trick or treating on Halloween.

So grateful for my sweet little life.

And that the hours passed quickly today.

All the things my friends.

All the things.

It’s Late

October 30, 2017

But not really.

It just feels like it is.

I had a half lazy day, half busy day, and a “I was half way out of it day,” at one point from going to bed so late last night.

2:30 a.m.

I cannot remember the last time I went to bed at that hour.

I had gone out dancing with a dear girlfriend.

We met up in the city at Brenda’s Meat and Three where I had wrapped up a delicious dinner with my person, cheese grits with shrimp, bacon and tomato.

My God.

It was so good, I could have licked the bowl.

The server laughed when I said that, and added, “I’ve seen it happen.”

I do not doubt it.

I once licked a plate at a meal out with friends, but I suspect I was a little tipsy when I did it.

The grits were just that good.

I will be having them again.

And I got a lot of compliments on my costume

I went as a sugar skull from Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

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It was my first time trying to do the makeup.

I think I did pretty good, all things considered.

The place that I stop at, Ulta Beauty over by the Nordstrom Rack and Trader Joes shopping area, was out of Halloween face paint.

I was like.

Seriously?

You guys are a freaking makeup store!

It’s three days before Halloween and you’re already sold out?

What the heck!

But.

I’m a clever girl.

First I asked what the lightest foundation that they had in the store was.

I’m brown-skinned enough that a very light foundation is going to look close to white on my skin.

Then I got a finishing powder that was tinted with green to pull any redness from my face and then another that was a translucent white powder.

Then I pillage the NYX cheap makeup.

Big white eyeliner, big black eyeliner, a pink one, a turquoise one, and a liquid eyeliner in lilac with glitter.

And I found a really cool blue lip gloss that was matte and had glitter in it.

I have no idea when I’m ever going to use this make up again.

But the end result, though not professional caliber, well, I thought, was pretty damn good.

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I actually got a lot of compliments last night, both at Brenda’s and at the dance.

My friend also had a great costume, she was a Hip Hop Zombie.

Which was apropos as we were going to the Time Travelers Ball in Oakland.

Great music, lots of old hip hop, lots of funk, so early electronic, old 80s and late 70s movies playing on the wall, great light system, a small fire in the courtyard, in a portable fire pit.

I ran into a few folks, from, yes, of all places, Burning Man.

I didn’t recognize the woman at all who came up and squealed at me, and how she recognized me with all that makeup on, I have no idea, but she did.

It was a good time.

And.

Heh.

Although I did not make the top three prizes in the costume contest, I did win an honorable mention and was given back my entrance fee and an open bar tab.

Which for me was hilarious to contemplate.

I had a La Croix.

It was tasty.

Heh.

And.

I had fun and I danced a lot, so much so that I was afraid I was going to break a sweat and my make up was going to slide off my face.

It stuck though.

It stuck really well, it took a lot of make up removing wipes and washing my face to get it off, in fact, I didn’t get all the white eyeliner off, man I tried, but I gave up the ghost at some point.

I was also up late as it was 9 hours a head in Paris and my best girl friend from school sent me a message on What’s App about having a Face Time session and I just said, fuck it, it is super hard for us to co-ordinate our time, so screw it, yes, I had a Face Time session this morning around 1:45 a.m.

It was so good to see her face and hear her voice.

Oh, how I miss her.

We got caught up and talked about all the things and made some tentative plans to see each other in the new year.

She may be coming back for a training and I’m pretty sure I’ll be in Europe in July and I’m going to make sure I go up to Paris and spend time with her.

I was in tears when I got off the call, it was super hard to hang up.

But man, it was late.

And I had lunch date that I wanted to be ready for.

I was going to sleep 8 hours, I was.

I set my alarm for 10:30 a.m., which is unheard of for me, but I figured, I can skip yoga, I got a workout dancing, and I want a full nights sleep.

of course.

I was up at 8:30 a.m.

Which is why it feels late right now when it’s not really.

I’m glad for it though, I did a ton of writing and I had a leisurely breakfast and a quick phone call with my best friend and plans to connect later.

Which was sweet.

So sweet.

And then off across town to Mario’s on Columbus and Union.

I hadn’t been there before, but it was classic, pure North Beach Italian Cafe and bar.

It was so good to see my friend and we chatted about all things art and kindness and words and poetry and talked about Burning Man, since that’s where we met three years ago, and projects, and life.

I am enthralled with that aspect of my life, that sometimes, out of nowhere, because I am moved to connect with someone, a new relationship happens.

It startles me every time.

It was like that with my best girl in Paris, we were sitting next to each other, an empty seat between us, at the first year retreat for our school.

And we turned to each other and we’ve never turned away.

The loveliness of it still astounds.

The people in my life who I love, who I consider my family, my loves, my friends, I am so, so lucky to know.

Beyond lucky.

Graced.

I am graced.

And tired.

Just saying.

I got a lot of other stuff done today too, grocery shopping, lots of cooking, lots of homework.

But really.

It was the connecting with my friends, with my people, with my loves, that made the most impact on my today.

An hour-long phone conversation sitting on a bench in the sunlight (the only sunlight that I got to see, man was it cold and foggy today) at Washington Square Park.

The confirmation of love.

The power of poetry.

The great gifts of kindness.

The art of being human.

It gets me every time.

Every time.

Halloween

October 28, 2017

It’s going to be interesting.

I agreed to go out with some girlfriends to Oakland.

I am fucking crazy.

But.

Well.

Dancing.

Friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Fellowship.

Costumes.

Which sound great, but on my ride home from my internship tonight the shit show of traffic that is already happening and the crazy, San Francisco likes it some Halloween, the crazy is already on.

Tuesday is Halloween.

But everyone is out celebrating this weekend.

So.

Today when I was feeling all sorts of sassy, before the week caught up with me and bitch slapped me and stomped all over me, christ almighty I was drained when I left work to go to my internship–I worked overtime at my day job this week, I was all worn the fuck out and thought, I am nuts to want to go out tomorrow.

It’s going to be crazy town.

I mean it already is crazy town.

It’s just going to be more of it.

And how am I going to juggle the costume?

I sort of have an idea.

I was thinking I could do a sugar skull.

I don’t have all the right makeup to do it, but I could probably pick it up.

The thing is coordination with my girlfriend and where she’s going to be in the city and where I will be in the city.

I’ve got my internship from 1p.m.-5:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Yeah.

I was not expecting that, but then again, I did say I was open for consults this Saturday, so there it is, I am no victim, I volunteered for it.

I also had a client cancel this week and a few cancel next week, as Halloween is on a Tuesday–both clients cancelled that night, so I was eager to make up some of the hours.

It just puts a little crunch on coming home and getting ready and going back out again.

I have 7pm plans in the NOPA to do the deal and afterward my person and I are going to get dinner at Brenda’s Meat and Three on Divisadero.

I figure we’ll be wrapping up dinner around 9:30p.m.

My friend wants to get over to Oakland around 10p.m. for the Halloween dance.

A lot of folks in my community will be there, so it’s good fun, but I just feel a tiny bit pressured.

Then again.

Dress up?

Makeup?

Dancing?

Girlfriends?

Um, yeah.

That actually sounds good.

So I am going to make the effort, I am going to try not to be the old lady who is going to bed early on a weekend night since she’s fucking drained from the week, I’m going to rally.

I am sure I will have a good time.

And then I can say with all honesty that I did something for the holiday.

I haven’t celebrated it in a while.

The last time I went out on Halloween was with this same friend and a bunch of other folks, I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts and my date went as a character from Game of Thrones.

I was nervous as all hell to have a Halloween dance date and it was weird and as it turns out, it was so not a good match, but I went out and had some dancing with my girlfriend and she and her boyfriend actually won the fucking costume contest!

They dressed up as Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction and they actually did the fucking dance on the stage.

It was brilliant.

I do recall that the music at said dance rather sucked, but it was fun to hang with my friends.

That was what, three years ago?

Yeah.

I suppose it’s about time I did something on Halloween.

I know I didn’t dress up last year, I’m sure I could have, I’m sure there was a party or five I could have gone to, but grad school, that’s been the thematic for the last two and a half years, I want to, but um, homework.

And yes.

Sure.

I have some, I have plenty.

But.

I want to play dress up.

I want to be social.

So I’m pretty sure I will go, even though it felt like too much effort to even think about after I got out of work tonight.

I have other Halloween things on the mind.

I have an interview on Halloween.

No.

Not for a job.

I love my job.

I’m not looking for another.

Unless it will help me get hours for my MFT licence and pays better than what I make now.

I suspect that won’t actually happen until I graduate.

Anyway.

No.

I was asked by a group that do this thing called “People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

It’s not a Ted talk, it’s not about big ideas, but about rather about unique life experiences and personal life journeys.

I was referred to it by a very dear friend of mine.

Said friend with whom I get to enjoy a lunch in North Beach on Sunday and catch up on all the things.

My friend did a lecture for these folks and in his discussion he brought up a poetry project that I did in collaboration with him a couple of years ago, my first semester in graduate school.

They were intrigued and asked if he’d forward my e-mail, they were interested in hearing my story.

It seems they have been doing this series in Tel Aviv now for three years and are taking the series to a global platform.

I was really flattered to be considered and I messaged with the director, I think he’s the director, of the project today.

And set up a time to go and interview with them on Halloween.

I am super excited to do it.

Of course I am.

I like to talk about myself.

Who doesn’t?

But I also like to share about how I have gotten through struggles, hardship, overcome difficulties, thrived and been resilient, how I have said yes to things, and therefore lived in Paris with my tattoo artist, flown to Rome to spend a weekend with a woman I had met in Paris at dinner, gone to London to spend Christmas Eve with a barely known acquaintance, gone to Burning Man 11 times, written thousands, yes thousands of blogs (2,286 to be exact, plus a few hundred more that I either scrubbed or archived off the site), how I met a woman in New Orleans and she collected me as an artist and took me to lunch and drove me all over New Orleans one afternoon, how I meet people, connect, talk, like the man in Green Point Brooklyn who’s sculpture I was so admiring of that he came out and talked to me and before you know it I have a private showing of his studio and the promise that when I could afford one of his pieces he would be happy to recreate my favorite one he had in his studio and ship it to me, (Doug Beube, his stuff is extraordinary) how I am a nanny, how I have worked with kids for over a decade, including nannying at 7 Burning Man events.  Or my most recent adventure, working full-time while interning part-time and going to graduate school full time.

Yeah.

That.

No biggie.

Or my spiritual life.

Which is the penultimate reason why I can do all of the above.

Regardless.

I have things to talk about.

I’m intrigued, and flattered, and more than a touched humbled that someone who I respect and admire referred me to this group of people.

It feels like a big deal.

And.

Some nice validation of who I am and what I do on a daily basis to do all the things.

So.

Yeah.

I will rally tomorrow and get my Halloween on.

I said yes, didn’t I?

And when I say yes.

Well.

Magical things happens.

They

Always.

Do.

 

Almost There

October 6, 2017

Almost to the weekend.

So close I can taste it.

I am ready.

I am so ready.

It’s been a long week, not horrible, just long.

I’ve seen my therapist, had a huge aha moment with her, felt some things get inwardly re-arranged and they’re still settling.

I saw my supervisor and we had an amazing session.

I have seen six clients this week.

I have two more to see tomorrow.

I have worked full days at work.

I have one more to go.

One more.

Then.

Saturday.

OH.

How I have been dreaming about you.

It just can’t get to me fast enough.

And the week has gone by pretty quick, for which I am grateful.

Sometimes anticipation of an event can make the time getting there super painful.

Exquisite pain.

“It’s almost Christmas!” My little girl charge said twirling around in her ballet leotard and tutu.

I hate to break it to you kiddo, but it’s the first week in October, it’s going to be a minute.

Despite, yes, ugh, seeing the first Christmas decorations up at Nordstrom’s Rack last weekend when I went to do some clothing shopping.

I mean, sure, they had some Halloween stuff up too, but really the bulk of it was Christmas stuff.

I was a touch horrified.

Let me enjoy the autumn please.

Let me have my Halloween.

“What are you going to be for Halloween?” My oldest boy charge asked me.

He was not satisfied with my response of “a nanny.”

“Come on!” He demanded.

“Um, a grad student?” I smiled.

“No!” He said, literally stomping his foot.

“What about a psychotherapist?” I added, trying not to chuckle too much at his expense, he was so serious.

“That’s not a costume!” He opened his eyes really big and huffed out air from his cheeks.

I don’t have a costume, although I could pull off a pin-up girl really easily, I have a couple of dresses that are retro pin-up.

But pin-up might be, um, well, a tad sexy for my nanny day job.

I might wear of Day of the Dead skull print dress.

It’s also a touch on the pin-up side, but I can down play the make up and hair, and make it cute instead of sexy.

Child appropriate.

I won’t see my therapist that day, she’ll be out of town, but I will have clients, at least I think I will have one, I have to double-check, it feels like one of them recently cancelled for that day, but I can’t remember off the top of my head.

So.

Whatever I do wear needs to translate to going in to my internship and seeing clients.

I get a head of myself.

It’s not Halloween yet.

Nor is it Christmas.

I am just anticipating my weekend.

And that’s enough.

I’m almost done with my antibiotics too.

Which is nice, they upset my tummy a bit.

I have one more day and then done with them.

I still have had intermittent tooth pain, but I’m dealing.

Just taking ibuprofen and trying to stay hydrated.

I feel like drinking more water is always helpful, no matter what.

I hope the pain passes.

I had it come on pretty bad yesterday at the end of the work day and it was distracting at my internship, then I woke up this morning and nothing.

A bit of pain in the late afternoon today, but end of day at work was doable.

It’s been not so hot over the past week.

I do hope it passes.

If it continues or gets worse I’m just going to suck it up and make another appointment and let my dentist poke around in there some more.

Not excited for that.

So.

Hey tooth fairy.

Cut this lady a little slack.

The dentist didn’t see any cavities, nothing showed up on the x-ray, so stop hounding me for a tooth, I ain’t got one to give.

Anyway.

Who cars about my teeth when the weekend is almost here.

I’m not excited, really, ha.

I have to also remember, in all the excitement to book my ticket for travel.

I need to book by October 15th.

Which means I should do it this weekend as next weekend, October 13th-15th, is a school weekend.

I am happy that I can still use the ticket and book flight.

It’s nice to look forward to travel.

Even if I won’t necessarily take it for a little while.

I will still get to take it and I won’t be throwing $435 down the drain.

I have wasted plenty of money on lesser things, but travel is sacred to me.

I love to get on a plane and go.

Oh.

I always want to come back home, but I do like to go somewhere new and explore it, sometimes I also want to go to somewhere I know.

I will always have a lech to travel to Paris, always.

It is familiar and still foreign enough and though I have been many times, there always is something new to see.

I almost found myself applying for a two month artist in residency for next year.

But then.

Haha.

I remember, um, you might be in school those two months.

Not going to happen.

It’s a prestigious fellowship.

It’s two months rent and $1,000 a month to support your time plus travel expenses.

Nothing to sneeze at.

I applied for it once, I think that’s why I got the notice in my e-mail today.

But I had to laugh after I took a minute to realize, of course I can’t go for two months to Paris in 2018 since I’m in school and have other really important obligations, but I laughed at the photo the fellowship was using as an enticement.

It was two people romantic and laughing in the sun on a bridge near Pont Neuf.

Which is a gorgeous and magical.

But the fellowship is for February and March.

Which are not sunny months at all.

AT ALL.

They are dark and cold and dreary and wet and rainy.

That photo definetly taken in summer or late spring.

Not way it was FEBRUARY.

Also it’s why, I bet, they do the fellowship at that time because it’s probably the least traveled time to go to Paris, thus cheaper, than any other time, maybe August, which is when the city basically shuts down in the heat and everybody leaves to go on vacation.

It was a lovely fantasy, though, to indulge in for a minute.

But really.

My time needs to be focused here.

Here is where it’s at.

All the things.

And Friday.

Hello weekend.

I have waited so long for you.

I can taste your nearness and it is maddening.

Seriously.

 

Deleting Photographs

November 3, 2016

Listening to jazz.

Specifically Art Tatum.

The scratchy sound of the needle dragging though the vinyl is succulent and the glow in my cozy, sweet home is warm and inviting.

I’m deleting photographs in waves.

I had over 10,700 on my hard drive.

They have all been safely moved to my external drive and I’m now in the process of deleting them off my laptop.

I have to say it’s challenging.

There’s a tiny part of me that wants to not delete them, what if they didn’t transfer?

But they did.

And the photos are taking up way too much space on my laptop.

It’s been running slow, telling me constantly to delete files, disk is full.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear you, I’m working on it computer.

Thanks to my special help, it takes a village, it does, I was able to secure my pix and now, ha!  Now I can take more.

Well.

Not yet.

But soon.

I’m figuring January.

I’ll be flush enough to get a new camera.

I’m not sitting horribly at the moment, but I did buy a ticket to Wisconsin and a ticket to Paris this past month, just paid rent, just wrote the check from my health insurance and bought my mom her birthday present.

I’ll be sending that off tomorrow.

I love sending presents.

I love the idea of seeing someone’s face when they get something I have gotten for them.

I like to give.

I’m a giver.

Shocking.

I know.

When I have been in financial straits I tend to make things, and truth be told, I’m thinking about doing that this year.

I’m not really in straits, I’m just not as flush as I would like.

I’m doing ok and I’m not going to stress, but I was also thinking that I love cooking and it might be nice to make chicken soup for friends at school.

Last year around this time I went over to a friend’s house and cooked food for him for what probably lasted him weeks if not a month while he was going through a challenging time.

Cream of broccoli soup with cheddar cheese and bacon.

And.

Chili with sirloin and three kinds of beans.

Plus a huge pan of cornbread.

It was right around this time, I do remember, it might have actually have been Halloween, I remember there were trick or treaters going around and I used candied corn and bacon, because I roll like that, in the pan of cornbread I made.

I miss baking.

I don’t miss eating it, though I can get nostalgic for it.

But I do miss baking.

Sometimes I wish I could just get all the stuff and bake up a storm like I used to when I lived in Wisconsin.

Sugar cookies with frosting.

Brazil nut toffee.

Popcorn balls.

Fudge.

With and without nuts, but frankly, it’s so much better with nuts.

I miss making cheesecakes and pies, pumpkin pies and apple pies especially at this time of year.

I miss that feeling that, warm, soft glowing feeling that I got as I puttered around my kitchen, mixing and measuring, baking, and kneading, frosting sugar cookies.

I do.

I always get a bit nostalgic for it when I’m heading into the holidays.

The photographs I have been deleting also reminded me of that.

I’m currently in the middle of the 1,000s of photos I took when I lived in Paris.

And I have to say.

Fuck.

I’m a pretty damn good amateur photographer.

There were some really good shots.

And I loved seeing the Paris around Christmas time photographs.

The lights were so gorgeous.

Definitely different from what you see in the states, but they had an allure.

I was also so broke when I lived there, taking pictures was all I could afford to do.

Although I did splurge during the holidays.

Mostly on postage.

I sent my family and friends postcards and Christmas cards from Paris.

I found a photograph of my table, one of my favorite perches at the neighborhood cafe at that was on the same corner where I lived, Rue de Bellefond, in the 9th, Odette and Aime.

I had a glass of water.

A cafe allonge, which is basically an Americano, or a black coffee–I was already skimping on the milk, the cafe cremes were just too pricey.

My notebook.

My bag of pens.

And tons of cards and postcards and stickers from the librairie that was by Square D’Anvers that I made myself a nuisance at.

I couldn’t really afford the pens and paper there, but I would treat myself once in a while, I would buy a card or if I was feeling extravagant, a Claire Fontaine notebook, I would wander the aisles and look at everything.

I was very polite to the owners and once that got used to me and the fact that I always bought something, even if it was tiny, went along way.

Bonjour Madame.

Bonjour.

And I would wile away the time in the aisles longingly caressing the notebooks and smelling the good paper smell.

I love paper.

I love books.

I love, love, love the way they feel and look and well, Paris was a hard place for that luxury when I was living there.

When I went back last Christmas I gave myself carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted to paper wise.

I actually had a challenging time with it for a little while.

Grow up poor and in scarcity, even when there is none, even when I had fat Euro, for me, in my pocket, Euro that was not needing to go to rent or groceries, or god forbid a cafe creme, I had a hard time spending it.

For a few days I was acting as though I couldn’t part with them.

I actually forced myself the first time to buy a notebook at a papeterie my first day there.

Yes, there are paper stores there.

Exclusively paper and pens and auto collants.

STICKERS.

God I love me some stickers.

Shut up.

I did get past it and I did allow a few splurges.

But truth be told.

I could have let myself have more.

That’s a thing.

Letting myself have more.

Nice coffee.

Nice candles.

Nice hair products.

It’s ok to take care of myself.

I still want to give, I do love gifting, there is just something about it, but I also want to let myself have things.

Whether it is an experience, which is usually where I spend my money–traveling.

Or.

A nice pair of pants.

I deserve to have nice things.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Lest I forget.

And the best thing about the photographs?

They remind me, gently of how far I have come.

When I moved back from Paris three years ago I was broke.

I mean.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

I have come a long fucking way.

Let me tell you.

And I’m so grateful for the perspective.

And that I documented my experience.

The photographs have been a joy to relive.

Looking forward to making more.

Having more.

Allowing more into my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Free.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Yes, always.

Plans, What Plans?

November 1, 2016

All plans shot to hell.

Not that I had a whole slew of them.

But.

I had hopes.

And no.

Not hopes for Halloween hook ups, candy, trick or treating, dressing up, or going out.

Although I was asked if I was “Frida Kahlo or just my fabulously styled self,” tonight.

That was quite a compliment.

I wore my Hell Bunny Day of the Dead dress today.

Oh.

I suppose I should have saved it for tomorrow, since tomorrow is Day of the Dead, but I didn’t plan on celebrating it and in fact I know that I will want to get out of the Mission as quick as possible to avoid the festivities once work is over.

No, none of my hopes for today had anything to do with the holiday except the fervent wish that it would not rain.

It rained.

I got wet on my scooter ride home and I took it real gentle and real easy.

It was messy out there.

My hopes were small.

Get some reading done for school, do some writing.

Except.

Well.

Damn it.

One of my charges was sick and another of my charges was home from school.

Grr.

No break time for studying.

I mean, I know better by this point, it so infrequently happens that I have time to do homework at work, and this is only Mondays and Wednesdays, the other days of the week there is no fucking way I can take time to sit down and flip through my school reading, then to believe I am actually going to accomplish anything.

But.

I always fare forth with high hopes.

Usually to have those hopes quietly dashed.

Oh well.

I did get to snuggle with the littlest one quite a bit since she was sick.

Which also led to her taking her nap on me.

I did manage to get her down in her crib for the first half hour of her nap, but lying down seemed to exacerbate her cough and she coughed herself wide awake, and very upset as she was so tired.

So.

I held her for the next hour and a half.

There are worse things to do for a living.

Heh.

And the nap seemed to help, she did end up rallying for the Halloween festivities and got all gussied up in her little Mexican embroidered dress and serape, her mom penciled in her eyebrow, put white sandals on her feet, and a flower headband in her hair, and!

A stuffed monkey.

She was the perfect miniature Friday Kahlo.

It just blew sugar fairy bunny unicorn sprinkles into my heart.

I’m glad I didn’t go as Kahlo, I wouldn’t have been able to hold a candle to her cuteness.

Her oldest brother was Harry Potter and her youngest Emmett from the Lego movie.

The youngest brother has asked me every time I have seen him since Halloween was brought up for costume ideas if I have seen the Lego movie.

I have not kiddo.

But god damn you were a cute Emmett.

I did take a lot of joy watching them get dressed up and seeing all the kids out in the neighborhoods going to school in the morning in their costumes and this evening when I left the trick or treating was definitely going on.

The grandmother of the brood came over to go along with the trick or treating and asked me what I was going to do after I left work.

“Homework,” I replied.

And I did just that.

I got out an hour early, and it was still a full eight-hour day, and hopped on my scooter.

I was thinking about heading straight home and doing the deal at the 8:30 p.m. spot around the corner from my house, but I kept having this whispering voice in my head that said, go, be of the world, be seen.

So.

I made my way to the Inner Sunset, got some carnitas at La Fonda Mexican Grill, and then hopped over to Tart to Tart and had a cafe au lait that I may regret later, but I think from how sleepy I felt afterward that it had the opposite effect.

I cozied up in a corner.

I did some writing.

I did some reading.

Not enough, it feels like it’s never enough.

But.

It’s a little more than yesterday, and all the little mores add up, all the minutes that I spend with the material are not wasted.

I am slowly walking toward my goal.

Which does seem at times to recede so far off into the distance that I can’t imagine ever getting there, but I know I will, and I know I’m worth the work.

So.

I got some done.

Happy to report that I also got to go see some folks and do the deal and that was good to.

Then the rain.

Which I wasn’t ecstatic about, but whatever, it looks like the next two weeks are clear weather wise.

Monday.

Not a bad day, a bit rainy, a bit long, but overall, no complaints.

Not that I ever really am justified in having complaints.

My brain just likes to create drama where there is none or no need for it.

Grateful for all the fun Halloween costumes and the cute shenanigans I have seen from my friends with kids in their families, it’s pretty freaking sweet.

I may not really dress up anymore or have a desire to go out and do Halloween.

But I do love the kids in the costumes.

The jack-o-lanterns on the steps glowing with candles.

The smell of fall.

Heh.

The panic of it too.

I had a moment on my way to work when I was all like, oh Halloween, how awesome are you, wait!!!

Is it Day Light Savings today?

I flipped.

Did I miss it yesterday?

Am I going into work an hour earlier than I need to?

Oh fuck.

It wasn’t.

But usually it is Halloween weekend, at least so I recall.

I was comforted by the fact that all my devices would have rolled back without me doing it, so it couldn’t have been, but I still checked in with a friend.

Made me laugh.

Happy Halloween friends!

I hope the Great Pumpkin brought you your every wish.

And.

Loads of candy.

Please.

Do.

Eat some for me!

 

 

I Had A Brilliant

October 31, 2016

Blog ready to go.

I mean I really did.

And usually all I need to get to that blog is a line, sometimes just a word, or an image.

I was messaging with a friend, cooking my Sunday afternoon roast chicken, and I commented on something and it triggered a thought and I was like!

Yes!

That!

That’s what I’m going to write about.

Then.

Well.

Fuck.

It doesn’t usually happen, I mean, it really does not, I completely forgot.

It was a “b” word, I remember that.

It was something that sounded like or reminded me of the word bear, but it’s not that and even if it was that, what the fuck am I doing writing a blog about a bear?

“Listen if you bring in the bear and you give it that much weight, that much suspense, you have to do something with the bear, otherwise, kill that chapter,” Alan Kaufman said.

Yeah, Alan.

I worked with him in a class for about nine months or so.

I was on a hot streak, I was writing like gang busters, I had put out a first draft manuscript for one book and was in the middle of writing the follow-up piece.

And there was a chapter in the book about a “camping trip.”

I put it in parenthesis as I was told when I got sober that was a cute way for me to label being homeless.

Which is basically what it was.

It’s not camping if you don’t have a home to return to after your trip is up.

But there had been a bear scare near where we were located and I wrote about that for the chapter I was presenting in class that week and Alan was not having it.

In fact.

Nobody was.

“I mean, Carmen, it’s really well written, you had me, I was right there, but then you didn’t do anything with it and why bother putting that much emphasis on something and then leaving your reader hang,” he concluded.

And although I liked the chapter.

Yes.

I did indeed scrap it.

I wrote another piece after that as well.

As well you know if you’ve been following my blogs, I have written manuscripts, but not done much with them and at this point, in life, in school, where I am.

I am just not going to make that much of a deal out of it.

If I wasn’t blogging.

Maybe it would be different.

But the blog provides me with something that is ineffable and I love to do it.

So why would I change?

It’s all really ego, after all, I want to say that I am a published author with a large body of works and a following, of course I would like to also make money from what I write, but I obviously haven’t pursued doing that.

And that’s like a total line of omission.

Yeesh.

What the fuck was Paris but a six month daily write-a-thon where I did finish another draft of the book and I did submit it to over 50 agencies and editors, where I did actually get published, with one short story in one magazine and a poem in another.

I have tried.

I tried really fucking hard.

But not much lately.

So.

This is just my little blog and I like it the way it is and I’m not seeking representation when I’m writing it, I’m not seeking fame, I’m not even seeking your attention, though, yes, granted, it is dreamy when I get it.

No.

This really is all for me.

And.

Sure.

I do get curious, I do want to have an affect, I do want to be seen as a good writer, but am I trying to get published right now?

No.

I will, most likely, I do believe, get published at some point.

There are just too many words in my head, too many stories, too many images to write about to not keep writing and with the constant practice I do hope to become a better writer, it’s not just about doing the writing though, it’s about doing the reading as well.

Not that I did much reading at all this weekend.

I ended up being really gentle to myself and slept a lot and hung out with friends.

Today I had an amazing lunch at PPQ Vietnamese over on Clement Street at 25th.

It had rained a bunch earlier and though it had cleared out by the time I went to meet my friend for lunch, it was still one of those dreary days when a good bowl of hot and sour soup is really in order.

We shared a pot of tea.

A large bowl, and it was large, of Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp and some shrimp fried rice.

We sat for hours and talked and caught up.

I was so grateful to spend time with him and talk about life, work, school, dating.

I’ve known him for over ten years.

It’s good to have friends that I can open up to, tell all to, not have to worry about judgements, confide in.

I have more of those than most I suspect.

And for that I am inexhaustibly grateful.

I do spend a lot of time on my own, I’m a tiny bit, a lot, of a lone wolf, but I have learned that doing it my way or on my own doesn’t always work out.

Heh.

Usually the results, well, let’s just say, not so good.

So.

I can’t remember what I was going to blog about, but there they are, all those lovely, delicious words.

I can tell you that I did good self-care today.

Roasted a chicken.

Made a perfect pot of rice.

Did my laundry.

Took a hot shower and washed my hair.

I even decided to let it air dry.

Hopefully it will be by the time I go to work tomorrow.

Heh.

It takes a while.

Oh.

But when I do.

How soft it is.

And tomorrow is Halloween and I don’t have a care in the world about it.

I do know my charges will be excited and that will be sweet to witness.

I do know that it has been a hoot seeing people out and about in their costumes all weekend.

I have always, will always, love San Francisco for embracing Halloween and all things dress up.

I do like a good costume.

The holidays are sneaking up and I have much reading to do, papers to write, and work to juggle, but just for today I let myself just be.

I read but a little.

I got tech help with a computer issue.

My tech guy was AMAZING.

And now I’m going to slowly wind it down as tomorrow is an early work day for me.

It was a slow, soft, sweet Sunday.

Thank you universe.

I needed that.

Holy Shit

October 29, 2016

Tomorrow is my first day off in two weeks.

And I was going to go to yoga in the morning.

But.

Um.

My blog had sex instead.

ER.

Hahahaha.

I mean I did.

Heh.

Just going to put that right out there on the front page.

With a lover who is a friend and well, hey, sometimes a girl needs a friend with benefits, it’s been a hell of a week.

I really will go to yoga again, I will, but I’m up late and don’t feel like not having a full nights sleep.

It seems nuts to actually get up earlier on the weekend to go to yoga then to just let myself sleep.

There was so much that happened this week and though I can’t speak to it all, an emotional toll was had.

Enough said.

Sometimes circumspection is the best thing.

Restraint of tongue and pen.

And blog.

I may actually go out tomorrow night.

What?!

There is a slight possibility that I may have a friend that can get me into Ghost Ship.

The last time I checked it was an $80 ticket.

And that was a few weeks ago, I’m sure that tier has sold out.

My friend was like, it’s late, but maybe.

I don’t really have plans otherwise.

I was invited to a party in Oakland.

But.

Um the bridge.

And BART.

And Halloween crazy in the city.

I’m not so sure about that.

I would rather stay on this side of the bridge.

Although if I had a ride over, I would go.

It’ll be a lot of folks I know and some faces I haven’t seen in a while since so many people I know got pushed out of the city to the East Bay.

That being said, I get a pass to Ghost Ship, I will be hitting that.

The Orb.

Dj Dan.

The Mutaytor.

Plus, I know some of the folks from Mutaytor.

It would be fun to see them at a show again.

The last time I saw them perform was Burning Man, years ago.

I actually danced on top of the stage scaffolding too, now that I recall.

Ha.

That was also the night I fought, and won, but that’s another blog, in Thunder Dome.

That must have been five years ago now.

They are a great group and I had a blast dancing.

And it’s been a hot second since I have gone dancing.

So yeah.

And despite not having a costume I’m sure I could whip one up pretty quick.

Two things fast come to mind, one I could be a pin-up girl, albeit one in Converse, although I love wearing my black suede peep toe Mary Jane’s that are 4 inches, I mean love those shoes, they are not the greatest for dancing.

I can actually wear them out for a long time, since they are a platform, but that’s just walking around or kicking it.

Actual dancing I’d rather do in my Converse.

I could go as a modern-day Frida Kahlo.

I was thinking that would actually be really easy to pull off.

I would wear my Big Mac painter bibs in navy stripe, which literally do have paint all over them, they’re vintage and the color is so close to International Orange, that I like to tell myself that they were bibs worn by one of the guys painting the bridge.

Then all I would have to do is braid up my hair, tie it up top my head and wear a bunch of flowers in my hair.

Pencil in my eyebrows and voila!

If I go, I think that would be what I do, especially since the bibs are super oversized and comfy as fuck and I could dance my ass off and there are big pockets and I could keep all my stuff on me–cash, id, lip gloss, phone, and not have to carry a bag or wallet or purse.

I could just lock every thing up in my scooter.

Pin up my braids, stick the flowers in my hair and done.

Yeah.

I am definitely down for Ghost Ship if my friend can get me a pass in.

Yup.

I just checked, the only tier of tickets left for tomorrow night is $85.

And since this lady just paid rent, I don’t think so.

That’s like groceries for a week.

But, yeah, if it’s free, I’m down.

Especially since the three acts I really would want to see are all playing the same stage–The Mutaytor first at 11:30, then The Orb, then Dj Dan.

Although by the time Dj Dan gets on I may call it quits, that’s a late ass night for me.

Anyway.

This is all complete speculation at this time.

I may just end up seeing my person, doing the deal at the place, and doing a bunch of reading for school.

I managed to get in some before work today and that made me happy.

Even a little is progress, even just a few minutes, nice digestible chunks of information.

No expectations about anything, anyone, or any plans.

I’m just going to let go and really let God plan out my weekend.

Whenever I make plans God laughs.

And laughs.

And laughs.

“Well you’re not as standoffish, I mean you still are, a little,” my lover said tonight, “I saw you, though, you didn’t bolt, you stayed and stuck around and talked to folks.”

“I’m trying,” I said.

“I know it’s not easy for you, this stuff is not your forte,” he added.

It used to be, but I um, had libations to lube the way.

I don’t have social lubricant like that any longer and though I can get down at a party or a group thing, my go to is lone wolf style.

But that makes for a lonely wolf.

“That’s the thing too, stop trying,” he added.

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” I said and laughed, and then added, “how do I do that?”

“Relax, stop looking, and just see what happens,” he ended.

He’s right, most everybody is.

Let go.

Surrender.

Stop trying.

Have fun.

“Oh, and really, do you want to be in a relationship right now?” He asked, raising an eyebrow, “do you have the time?  I mean, maybe just wait until you’re done with your program.”

Wait another year and a half?

Fuck that.

Then I thought.

Whatever.

I really can’t figure it out, since figure it out is me trying to fix me and there’s no need to fix me because I ain’t broken, I give up.

Surrender.

That is where it’s at.

Now and always.

Seriously.

No expections.

Equals.

No resentments.

And I’m always down for that kind of party.

Always.

 

 

Day By Day

October 27, 2016

I just get by.

Or.

So the thinking goes.

I was a little off today, a little not quite myself, a little quiet, a little introspective.

This is not a problem.

Granted.

It’s also not something that I care for very much, thinking about myself usually just breeds misery.

The day was just a day, I tell myself, sure, it didn’t exactly go my way, but I have no control over that.

Frankly I was just grateful it didn’t rain so that I could ride my scooter to work.

Mondays and Wednesday’s I’m up at the top of Eureka Street in Noe Valley and it’s no small climb, it’s not a good place to get to via public transportation, nor would it be an easy ride on my bicycle.

Nope.

So not having rain today, grateful.

Tomorrow is another story.

Rain, rain, rain.

All week.

All weekend.

Ugh.

I’ll probably take MUNI into work on Thursday and Friday and to see my person in the Inner Sunset on Saturday.

I don’t have plans.

I don’t have Halloween plans.

I don’t have a date.

I don’t have anything.

Well.

Ha.

I guess I have homework, there is always that.

What with the rain I suppose I could get a lot of reading done.

I had hopes to do some reading today at work, but that definitely did not happen.

Kiddo out sick from school.

So, although I had a fat baby nap, I didn’t have time away from my charges to actually sit and do any homework.

Despite having brought it in with me.

I never touched it.

I did play a lot of Go Fish.

I did hang out and read him Harry Potter.

I did dance party with the little girl and her middle brother when he got home from school.

I made homemade pizza for dinner.

I did, actually, have a really nice day with them, it just wasn’t the day I had planned.

Story of my life.

And I can’t gripe too much, I actually did some of the reading before I went into work today.

I got up and did a lot of writing.

I read a bit too and that felt good to be doing it, though it wasn’t as much as I wanted, anything is better than nothing and it’s a kind of steady progress which will get me there.

I felt a little lonely today.

There is that.

Loneliness happens.

But.

I know that I am not alone and that helps.

Even when I am by myself, I am not alone.

I also had a moment of free-floating dread that happens about this time of year and I always forget about it until it’s happening and then it hits me and I’m like, oh yeah, this time of year was the time when I started my slide to the bottom, to my bottom.

It’s a kind of body memory.

I had an excruciating bottom and it began at Halloween and lasted until the first weekend of January.

It was devastating and all the holidays have their special marker of horror for me.

Halloween because I had thought I’d escaped my disease, or it had escaped me, my dealer had gotten arrested and for a month was MIA and I thought to myself when it happened, good, this is exactly what I need.

The goose hung high.

I was literally the proverbial boy whistling in the dark.

I had plans that Halloween to hang out with friends and have a late dinner at Bruno’s Super Club on Mission Street.

I was a flapper.

I had a pretty awesome outfit.

A beautiful grey cloche hat with a black ribbon, I had very short hair at the time, slicked back with one kiss curl on my forehead, buckle shoe Mary Jane’s, fish net stockings, a short sassy black chiffon dress, a strand of baubles, a fake beauty mark high on my right cheek, and a long cigarette holder for my cigarettes.

I got a lot of compliments on my outfit.

I was pleased.

I remember I was just having my first or second cocktail of the night and we had just finished ordering dinner.

I was going to get the sliders.

I got a phone call instead.

I hopped up to take it and headed outside for a cigarette.

It was my dealer.

He was out and how much did I want?

I hemmed and hawed and said two.

Two grams of cocaine that is.

I didn’t think about it, I didn’t think, wait, what, you weren’t going to do this anymore, I just spit out a number and then said were I was.

I went back inside, ordered another cocktail, sat down and waited for my dinner to come, which I never touched, as my dealer called just as my plate was being set down in front of me.

I hopped back up, said I’d be right back and dashed outside.

He was idling at the corner in a nondescript grey Saturn sedan.

I hopped in, handed him $100 and he handed me two grams of blow and said, I haven’t had time to cut it.

Fuck.

It was in brick.

I managed.

And I managed to fall right back down the fucking rabbit hole.

I went straight to the bathroom and chopped up a couple of lines.

They were too rocky, too big, but I was too excited and couldn’t wait to break it down proper.

Dinner sat and got cold.

I drank another cocktail.

Our friend got done with his shift and a crew of us headed out to a Halloween party.

Where?

I have no clue.

I do remember being the center of attention at one point on the back stairway having a game of dozens with the host and smoking cigarettes.

I remember a lot of trips to the bathroom to break up the cocaine so that I could actually snort it.

I remember calling my dealer the next day.

And the next.

And well.

You get the idea.

So.

Hello late October, hello Halloween with all your scary and tricks and treats.

I’m not much into it anymore, though a girl does like to dress up.

I don’t like the feeling of expectation and the need to party that seems to overtake even most normal folks.

The dread, once it was named, eased off my body and I went up to see some fellows and get right with God and I left feeling reconnected and grateful for the gentle reminder of how fucking bad it was.

I never want to go there again.

I mean.

Never.

Happy.

Joyful.

Free.

Thank God for this life.

I am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.


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