Posts Tagged ‘Harley Davidson’

Sudden And Unexpected Stimuli

January 20, 2015

May cause surprise tears for no good god damn reason.

I wasn’t in a bad place, in fact, I was in a really sweet place—my back patio, sitting in the sun enjoying an after lunch cup of pumpkin spice black tea, a little hold out from the holidays, and I heard it and I felt my heart lurch and the prickles of tears at the corners of my eyes.

And damn it man.

I was all good.

I was.

Until I heard the loud, low rumble, of a Harley Davidson motorcycle go booming past.

My ex rides a Harley.

I don’t think it was him.

Although I did at first.

I expected the sound of the muffler to suddenly quell and to hear the engine cut out and get a text chirp that he was here.

That’s how it used to work.


I apparently have an emotional connection to motorcycle muffler sounds.


There is more than one Harley in the neighborhood, my housemate reminded me, and his is not the only Harley in the hood–he does live in the hood however, four and a half blocks away, so there is the possibility it was him.

Whether or not it was is not the issue though.

Just the sound of it.

It was not something I had any awareness was going to trigger such a response.

Not that I thought, oh, it’s been a weekend, I’m done with the process, I have done enough feeling, let me go back to normal.


In a way, I had done just exactly that.

I got up, had breakfast, did my genuflection upon my knees, I jest I don’t really genuflect, but the posture of humility by going down on my knees to help me get right with God is one that I find really helpful.

God, please show me what you would have me to do.


That’s where I go.

I write.

I wrote four pages long hand after breakfast and into my second cup of coffee.

I wrote about my feelings, I wrote about having the day off and having no idea what I should do, but that I would be taking it easy, that I did not, in fact, have to go out clothes shopping, I did not have to deal with my scooter (nothing’s really wrong with it, but the friend who adjusted the idle did so a little higher than I need and it made the ride home yesterday a little untenable), I could, perhaps, just stay put.


I had to get out there a little bit; I had to get groceries, I mean really.

When this lady has no apples in the house, it’s time to go get my shop on.

I did my writing and then snuck in a ten-minute meditation.

That too, the meditating really helps.

I decided I would stay close, just get my groceries, cook some food up for the week (red beans and brown rice, chicken and tomatoes with Italian herbs and black olives, garlic, onions and broccoli).

I would then do something for myself that looked like fun and easy self-care.

I would sit in the sun and read.

I got back from my grocery outing, may I just repeat, for the zillionth time how lovely it is that my commute to the grocery store is along the Great Highway next to the Pacific Ocean, the beauty of it gob smacks me every time, prepped my food and then made up a plate to have outside on the back patio.

Lunch was raw veggies and homemade humus and a hard-boiled egg, a banana for dessert and a chaser of pumpkin spice tea.

Totally simple and easy, which is usually what I want when I am making food I don’t plan on eating right away—I jarred up my stew and rice and froze some of it too—I plan on taking it into work.

I picked up the Stephen King novel I’m totally into and let the sun shine down on my face.

More than once, I slipped the bookmarker in between the pages, shut the book, and closed my eyes, drowning in delicious white, warm, golden, sunshine.

I am a whore for the sunlight.

I need it, I need to capture as much as I can, soak it all up and store it in my body at the cellular level—ward of depression—and well, it just feels so good to sit in the sun and be smothered in it.

I was thus reposed when I heard the rumble of the motorcycle pipes.

I couldn’t ignore them.

And I was surprised by how deeply it touched a part of me.

The sadness, it’s still there, muted a touch from going about my daily routine, but still there, still needing to be felt.

Not my plan, man.

Can’t I go back to enjoying my book?

I could not.

I packed it in, made a fresh cup of tea and went up to my housemate’s pad, where she was prepping popcorn for an afternoon movie.

We had tea, caught up, and I told her about the break up.

It was nice to get a little more out there and also get to hear a little bit about how she is and what’s been going on in her life.

The helpfulness of listening to someone else rather than focusing on my little trials and tribulations is beyond measure.

Then I got to do it again, twice more.

I met with a couple of ladies in the late afternoon and did some work with them and shared my experience around what had happened and then let it go some more and showed them that I didn’t have to do anything stupid about it.

That yes, I could indeed have the feelings, and then let them go.

Oh, I’m sure they will come up again.

They did along with a hyper awareness of my space when just a little while later I was sitting where I usually sit on a Monday night and I heard the sound of a motorcycle.

He’s not going to come here.

I told myself that.

And I knew that to be true.

But the feelings, they were there.

Sadness, and also a dark expectation of anticipatory dread, will I see him, what will I say? How will I handle this?

He won’t come here.

I heard it repeated in my head and knew that to be true and the only thing to do was focus on the next action in front of me, then the next, and then the next action after that.

And one day, soon, I suspect.

I will hear a motorcycle and it will just be a motorcycle.

Until then.

When I do.

Which I will.

I live in the Outer Sunset, it seems every other person is riding one; I will take my focus and put it to helping someone else out.

However that looks.

In whatever way I can.

This is not about me.

It’s just a feeling.

And this too.

Shall pass.




November 28, 2014

Full of thanks.


On the back of a sporty Harley Davidson, motor rumbling under me, blue sky above me, scuttle of clouds, flash of sun, ocean off to my right, heading down Sunset Avenue, San Francisco.


This is my life?

This is my life.

Quite a bit different from last Thanksgiving when a friend wrangled me an invitation out to Marin to hang out with his buddies from school.

Not that I had a bad time last Thanksgiving, it was just a new time and an uneasy time for me, getting back into being in San Francisco, getting a new rooting in the soil, sandy soil that is.

“What has happened to you,” she said to me tonight as we hugged in the kitchen at a dear friends Thanksgiving celebration.

“I moved out to the Sunset, that’s what happened to me,” I smiled.

Lot’s has happened to me since I have moved to the Outer Sunset and so much of it is so different than what I expected.

I feel constantly and continually surprised by this little community at the edge of the world, the edge of the sea, the edge of San Francisco.

It may just be the best place for me to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

I have a boyfriend.

I have a job.

I have a writing practice.

I have a graduate school application I have to get my ass into gear about and finish up this weekend.

I have a four-day weekend.

Day one.

Well, so far so fucking good.

Go re-read that part about riding around on the back of a Harley Davidson with the sun warm on my back and the Pacific Ocean shimmering in the sun and ask me what don’t I have to be grateful for.

New experiences?



Check and double-check.

So many fine, amazing, and beautiful friends in my life.

Some of whom I got to see today.

And a community that I belong to that has seen me change and grow and evolve and for what may be the first time in a while, certainly in a year or so, Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving, I feel that I belong.

That I am in the right place, that I am in the spot, that I have a spot to come home to and people who want me for who I am and what I do.

I don’t do much, but I do it well and for that I am grateful.

I show up.

On time.

With helpful intentions.

I still think of myself an awful lot of the time, but I am able to be present for others, and for my life, which is one and the same, I think, sometimes, that showing up for my life is a reward and a risk, a dare.

A dare to live outside the box, and sometimes, yes, in the box too.

I felt a moment of gleeful exhilaration on the Harley today.

I was thinking random Thanksgiving thoughts for the past few years, comparing last year to this year and the year prior when I was in Paris and those darn French folks with their ways that don’t celebrate the pen-ultimate American holiday.

With the pen-ultimate American sport–football.

In France it is not football, but futball–soccer.

In French class, Thursday, November of 2012, crying, tears slipping down my maudlin face because what was everyone doing and why were the all in class, it’s a holiday for fucks sake, why are you not having some turkey?

I was crying over a soccer ball exercise in my French class.

I was homesick.


Was I homesick if I was homesick for football, which, in case you were wondering, I don’t watch.

I am a fair weather Packer fan, suppose I always will be since I did grow up in Wisconsin.

Twelve years of being, mostly in San Francisco, I am almost a Giants fan (sorry, Gigantes, though, the damn Milwaukee Brewers still have my heart–Cecil Cooper why did you have to give my third grade self that signed baseball?  Robin Yount, why did you have to be so cute? Gangly, yes, but hella cute, you know?), but nowhere near a 49ers fan.

Sorry folks.

But yet, football, a soccer exercise, French class, Paris, what was I doing, so far away from home?

How could I be homesick for something I never really liked?

Especially when I was in the city that I had been pining to be in for so long?


That’s the haps.

I was fantasizing.

It gets me every time.

I shot the Paris fantasy in the foot and I am good with that and don’t doubt that I will go back, I have friends there, fellowship, and I love Paris, it’s a beautiful town (a little too much dog poo, but you know, every city’s got to have their thing), but I don’t want to live there again.


I want to live here, in San Francisco, out by the beach, fog or sun, rain or shine, this is my place and it feels like my time.

The second thing that happened that Thanksgiving back in Paris that made me homesick?

Sons of Anarchy.


I had downloaded the episodes on my laptop, this self-same archaic, almost obsolete little machine, and cued one up to watch that rainy night in Paris after having an awkward ex-pat dinner at the Lizard Lounge in the Marais, I had gotten lost trying to find the pub and was still feeling a little sorry for myself if the truth were told.

My room-mate came in blustery from the rain and work and sat for a while then we took a cab back to the 9th arrondissement, to rue Bellefond, he dropped me and went to go hang out with friends in the 18th for another ex-pat dinner.

I stayed in, made a cup of tea, sliced up an apple and had it with some creme fromage and watched Sons of Anarchy.

You know you’re homesick when scenes of the motorcycle gang rolling through the dock yards in Oakland make you tear up.


I am not ashamed to admit it and today, remembering it, I chuckled.

Two years later, one year of living it out, making it work, not knowing what was going to happen or how, just living it to the best of my ability one day at a time, I’m here.

In the city I belong to on the back of a Harley driving down Sunset Avenue heading home to back an overnight bag to go over to my man’s place and enjoy the gifts of being a local.

I’m not a native San Franciscan.

But I am a local.

And I belong.

For that, and so much more I am utterly and completely grateful.

Now excuse me.

I have someone to go canoodle with.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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