Posts Tagged ‘hawthorne lane’

Scheduling

October 27, 2017

And moving forward.

I spent a great deal of time talking with the mom today at work regarding the rest of the school year.

What the family needs.

What I need.

It’s been a little over ten months with them.

We are going to sit down and renegotiate the contract in December, make sure my health insurance needs are being met, talk about vacation times, and schedules moving forward past spring when I graduate in May.

I asked off for a little travel time in February.

And I asked off for May 18th.

Which is the day before I graduate, the day before the commencement ceremony.

I suspect that my mom is going to want to spend some time with me.

She has told me that she and her partner will come to San Francisco to see me walk, to see my graduate with my Master’s Degree.

I have some feelings around that and no little nervousness, I haven’t seen my mom in a while and there’s a sense of wanting to show her a different San Francisco than the last time she was here.

Oh.

I didn’t entirely disappoint, I think.

I took her to Hawthorne Lane for dinner.

I took her out to the bars.

I took her to Coit Tower.

I can’t remember if we did Twin Peaks.

I took her to Chow on Church Street.

Philz Coffee before it was hip and Phil flirted his ass off with her.

I got her quesadilla’s from El Farolito, super quesadilla suiza with carne asada.

I took her to Tartine.

I did pretty good

I also ditched her at some point to get absolutely shit faced obliterated.

I was just going to go out for a few drinks with a friend at Blondie’s in the Mission.

I had already been with my mom for a week, I had taken her to London, on my credit card which I was soon to max out, but it still had a few dollars on it, hung out with her, fed her, bought her smokes, and drinks, and tuk tuk rides around Buckingham palace, to the Wheel, to the National Gallery, to see a show, we saw Stomp, I took her to a fancy tea place where we got stinking tossed on fancy ass over the top expensive cocktails.

So.

I was ready for a little mom break.

I ran down to El Farolito and got her the quesadilla.

I called my friend and said, “I need a margarita, I need a break from my mom,” and she said, “I’ll see you at Blondie’s in a half hour.”

I got my mom situated in my apartment on the couch in the living room, my room-mate was out-of-town, thank God.

And I got dressed and fled into the night.

I had two double margarita’s on the rocks with extra salted rim and when my friend said “let’s have another!”  I got a little scared.

I could feel it coming on.

It was probably coming on before I even got off the plane at SFO.

I think I knew.

I could feel it in my body, I knew it in my conscious even if I wasn’t saying it out loud.

I was going to score.

I had all the reasons in the world to get fucked up.

I had been with my mom for a week in a hotel room in London, flown there and back with her, I deserved a fucking drink.

But I knew if I kept drinking, well, something else was going to get up in the mix.

I looked at my friend and said a bit under my breath, “if I drink more I’m going to want to do blow.”

I said this because this was the friend who had used to be sober who had done that AA thing and had said to me once while we were on a run that maybe I might have a problem because of how I didn’t like myself when I used.

I had no idea what the fuck she was talking about and was aghast.

I didn’t like myself?

Truth was I fucking hated myself, but I couldn’t let myself see it.

She had told me that all I had to do is let her know if I wanted to use and she would help me to not pick up.

What ever that meant.

So in that moment, two double margarita’s in, with the urge to call my dealer on my phone and arrange a little something, something for delivery, I said, to the best of my ability what I thought was a plea for help.

Her response?

“I could definitely do some blow!”

Fuck me.

I sighed.

I know I sighed.

I got my phone out of my purse and I dialed my dealer and arranged for him to meet us at Blondie’s.

I went across the street.

“Hey, where are you going,” the cute guy sitting next to me said.

I flippantly replied, “my friend wants to do some blow so I’m going to the ATM across the street to get some cash before my dealer shows up.”

“Holy shit!” He jumped up, “me too, can I get some too?”

And like that, I had a new friend.

I was so popular.

Ugh.

I will spare you the dirty details of the night.

It was so close to my bottom that it was a pretty intense scene.

And I remember all of it, oh yes I do.

Right down to getting back to the house, while my mom was still asleep in the living room, with a couple of grams of blow in my bra, what I hadn’t yet used, to chop and snort and cram as much in as I could before she woke up.

I was that kind of addict.

I did not fucking matter that my mom was in the front room, probably heard me come in, probably knew what I was doing, nope, didn’t matter.

Because once I started, the party was not over until every fucking last bit was gone.

Suffice to say my mom’s last day in town was a bit of a rough one.

I muggled through.

I guess what I’m getting around to is that maybe I’ll want to show her a nicer time than I did before.

We are both in different places, and I also hope to have some time to celebrate my graduating from graduate school.

A nice meal somewhere with friends, good coffee, laughter, connection, company.

A party.

I should throw myself a little party.

Ah, May, you’re a bit away.

But when my employer and I walked through the months and worked on getting my schedule lined up with theirs, well, there you were, a tiny bit bashful but a little smile on your face, a daisy tucked up behind your ear, saying here I am, let’s have some fun.

Yes.

Of course, my dear.

Let’s.

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Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

I mean, I didn’t get up until 9:15 a.m.

So sleeping in, especially considering that I am up three hours earlier tomorrow so that I can meet with my supervisor–whom I would have met with today but it was a holiday.

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

I went to a yoga class that I used to be able to go before I started my current nanny gig.

I had lunch with my favorite, most loved person in the entire world.

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

I got to have lunch with the person I hold in the highest esteem, who loves me unconditionally, who sees me, who supports me without question, who witnesses everything I do, who helps me see when I am self-sabotaging, and how to change that and be better and stronger and sweeter and softer and live my life to the fullest full definition of happy, joyous and free.

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

We met at Souvla on Divisadero and had great big salads and talked and got totally caught up and I revealed myself and there was no shying away from me or judging, only complete sunshine and love.

I am beyond grateful for this man in my life, I wouldn’t have the life I have without him.

He is a human, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting him on a pedestal, he shows me how to be more human myself, more vulnerable, more willing to show up and more present in the moment when I do.

He is the greatest gift and I do not know what I would do without him.

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

We travel in a similar way, carry on only, get situated, go get connected with fellows and then walk and see and witness and art and churches and more art and museums and cafes and sitting still next to each other and also knowing that we both are self-sufficient travelers, that neither of us is afraid to say, give me space, I want to do a wander on my own or nap or whatever.

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

We are talking about going to Barcelona together and maybe taking the TGV to Paris or Marseille, probably Paris as we have friends there too and I will need very much to see my Parisian girlfriend and her new family.

Next May.

When I graduate from my Masters of Psychology program, a grand European tour with my mentor, I couldn’t really think of a better gift, his company means so much to me.

So.

Yeah.

Lunch was fucking fabulous and we also dished and laughed and I talked about needing to set firm boundaries around any extra nanny work that may try to weasel its way in when my employers are away in July.

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

I wanted to catch the last day of the Matisse/Diebenkorn show.

Of course.

It was sold out, even as a member of the MOMA I couldn’t get in to see it.

And truth be told, I don’t really care a fig for Matisse, and I’ve seen so much of his work in Paris that I didn’t feel that I was missing out.

I could have my girl date with myself just fine wandering around all the other galleries without having to stand in the huge, and I do mean HUGE, line that was queued up for the show.

I strolled through the second floor galleries and got acquainted again with one of my favorite artists in the museum–Clyfford Still–1906-1980.  I adore his work, there is one painting especially that always gets me and I did my stare in awe and wonder at it for a good fair amount of time before taking myself for a cafe au lait at the Sight Glass cafe on the 3rd floor of the museum.

I sat and dreamily dreamed and people watched while sipping my coffee–days off always included cafe breaks and nursing a coffee while people watching.

Then I hit the Larry Sultan photography exhibit, which was extraordinary.

And.

Since everyone was in line for the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, the gallery was practically empty.

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

Then having some time and seeing that the sun had decided to cut through the fog and make an appearance, I strolled through Yerba Buena Gardens, and yes, got another coffee, this time iced, and planted myself on the sheltered terrace of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sipped ice coffee and watched the clouds scut through the sky.

I am always so overwhelmed and grateful for the gardens and the art and the fountains and though the skyline has changed dramatically in the fifteen years I have been in San Francisco, there is still all this familiarity for the place I was sitting in.

How many times had I gone through that park high or drunk?

Smoking cigarettes and slamming extra caffeine to keep up with the high-end dining restaurant that I worked at, Hawthorne Lane, how many times had I caught cabs in front of the Metreon to go to my dealers or to have myself carried to the End Up or 1015 or some underground party.

So many times.

And the dread and the terror that was just below the surface of my skin, beating my heart with fear as I walked the paths through the garden to work, short cutting on my way to the restaurant to work a double to make up for all the money I blew on blow.

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

Coiffed, sweetly dressed, yellow silk flower in my hair, expensive shoes on my feet, Hobo purse in my lap, having just left an exquisite show at the MOMA, I sit happy and serene, joyous and free, in that same space, quietly and consistently showing up to make amends to the area and to assuage that damage I did to myself.

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

I have to say I will always keep striving to find them.

Grateful for sunshine, clarity, serenity, communicating my needs, being emotionally transparent.

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

Life is more than fair, you know, if it were fair, I’d be dead.

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Cures For The Every Day

July 18, 2016

Emotional hang over.

Get eight hours of sleep.

Get up and drink cold brewed iced coffee from the last of the Mojo Coffee I brought back from New Orleans.

Go to yoga.

Cry on the mat.

A lot.

Then do the fucking pose.

Breathe.

Do it again.

Go home.

Shower.

Realize that it doesn’t matter that I am terrorized to have confrontation.

Will do it anyway.

Finding over the course of the day as I focus less and less on the “problem” and more and more on the solution, that it will work itself out.

Even though I am afraid.

That’s ok.

Be afraid.

Just don’t not take any action.

Today’s actions also included meeting with two ladies back to back and doing some reading and sharing experience, hope, strength, faith versus fear, and lots of letting go.

I had a nice breakfast too.

More coffee as well.

Did some writing.

Wrote a really long gratitude list in which I also expressed being grateful for the challenges in my life as I get to grow from them and through them.

Get my ducks in a row and then headed out to the MOMA to visit with a couple of friends and get a dual membership.

Seriously.

This is the way to go.

My friend and I split the dual membership which is $150 for the year.

So, $75 a piece and I can go any time I want for the next year.

Considering that a one time ticket to the museum is $25 I’ll pay it off in two more visits.

Plus.

I get to bring in 2 people with me as visitors.

So.

You want to get your MOMA on.

Let me know.

Even if I just go down and get you in and do a gallery or two, I figure that may happen once in a while, pop in, just see a few things and pop out.

Plus.

The place is huge.

They really added onto it and it’s now 7 floors of art.

So much scrumptious, delicious, devastating art.

I was so happy.

I got to see some of my favorites from the permanent collection that I always love to see–Warhol’s Triple Elvis, of course the various Marilyn’s, the Dolly Parton’s too, so good.

Rothko.

Gerhard Richter.

Hopper.

All the Calder pieces, so many!

Diane Arbus photographs.

And the Oculus bridge!

I was so happy to see that they kept that part of the museum.

It is one of my favorite bits and I walked across it happy in the moment and also softly aware of the moments prior when I walked it first.

That being back in 2000.

Wow.

Sixteen years of going to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

I have always had a membership since I moved here in 2002.

Excepting while it was closed for the renovation.

My information was still in their system and it was a lovely little trip down memory lane layered with so much gratitude.

See.

I used to work down town, at Hawthorne Lane, which is now Benu I believe, and I used to go to the MOMA cafe on my way into work and sit in front of the museum and smoke cigarettes and drink lattes and people watch.

A lot of times I was also recovering from a hang over.

Or I was still high from the night before.

I used the bathrooms all the time.

But.

I never used in them.

I couldn’t ever bring myself to.

It was sacrilegious.

It was my church.

Art still is my church.

Museums are where I go to commune with God.

Get high on art.

I just couldn’t do it.

I don’t recall a single time being able to allow myself to do it.

I didn’t have a problem using the bathrooms at the park across the street, or at Starbucks on 3rd and Howard, or at the Metreon.

Fuck.

I could get high all over the city.

The W Hotel bar right there on the corner.

Or.

Dave’s sports Bar on 3rd at Market.

But the MOMA?

Fuck no.

I just couldn’t do it.

And I was so grateful to know that my bastion of art and love was never tainted with that.

Granted I don’t have a problem going places I have used before, but I am quite grateful that I never did there.

It was sort of like how I felt about music.

When I first was in the club scene here in the city I was all about the ecstasy and the cocaine and the dancing and the getting out.

But.

Eventually I didn’t enjoy it anymore.

Spending too much time in the bathrooms and not enough time on the dance floor.

Or.

Just wanting, desperately to be home in my room before the sun came up so that I could use the way I wanted to use without anyone bearing witness to it.

It was not a good scene.

And.

Eventually I couldn’t even use at home with the music on.

It got real quiet.

And.

Real uncomfortable.

Real fucking fast.

All the small reminders as I was downtown, which is a different downtown than it was eleven and a half years ago, but still, plenty of sense memories to recall and remember and to get to be at the MOMA.

A place, one of the first places, I went to when I first came to SF in 2000, that I revered and loved and still do.

So much.

It was an honor and a privilege to buy my membership.

Despite my fears of financial insecurity.

Despite my over magnifying mind trying to blow up a simple boundary request at work into a scenario where I am homeless and alone living with a feral cat in the park.

I got to amend my behavior.

I got to drop a few bucks and make good on my promise to live this day fully, with love and presence and the gift of being there with friends and running into my sweet Parisian friend from school and her husband.

I am so graced.

And.

I don’t have an emotional hang over at all.

It dissipated in the groundswell of gratitude flooding my heart.

Happy.

Joyous.

And oh.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Free.

 

A Little “Light” Reading

July 26, 2015

Oh.

Bwhahahahahaaha.

Fuck me.

Aside from the hefty price tag of the readers–$208 and change, the weight of what I have to read for my first semester at grad school also nearly pulled my shoulder out of my socket when I lifted the bag off the counter.

Jesus on a flaming raft.

The bag was heavy, nearly as heavy as the three-year old I look after during the week.

He’s about 35 or 36 lbs, he’s a solid kid, stocky, strong, wily, he can throw a tantrum with the best of them or snuggle in your lap like the largest, cutest, kitten on the “Meow Meow train,” all aboard.

At least when I carry him he’s resting on a hip or holding on to me, “pick me,” he will say.

“Why does he always get to ride in the stroller?” The five-year old demands to know.

“Physics, kiddo,” I say, using the apt answer that my best friends husband gave me as a pat answer to the question, “why.”

And at least with this, it’s partly, if not completely so.

it really is a law of physics, less weight for me to haul around, easier to push, much easier to wrangle, although the smart guy knows how to get his brother to unbuckle him when he gets that glint of monkey pants going in him.

Ugh.

Slight sidebar.

Just that feeling.

That one there.

When you are listening to an album that you, I, I, used to listen to when writing in Paris, but now it’s on your Iphone and sometimes when I get a text, the song will pause and I will know that I am being reached out to.

I haven’t had any one reach out to me and I miss someone and don’t know when I will hear from him again.

The heart aches.

It was not a text.

It was just the song ending.

End aside.

I made my way downtown, resolute to get the readers for school.

I ignored the fact that the universe had conspired to not actually have me be in a great big SUV with my friend heading towards the Grand Canyon on a wild and wooly road trip, rather I was to be traversing the canyons of down town San Francisco.

Wending my way through the towers and condos and banks and business high rise windows.

The streets empty.

There really is not a reason to be a Mission and 2nd on a Saturday.

I got off the New Montgomery MUNI station and rode the escalator up into the blue sky, the leaves of the trees lining Market Street pressing into the frame of light coming from the square above me, the street lamp, old-fashioned and burnished with the seeing of too many tourists and the discarded cups from Starbucks stuck into the hands of beggars and street performers.

I suddenly remember the first time I came up on escalator onto Market Street, that first time it was Powell Street, and how I felt seeing a similar street lamp and tree branches–the sky not blue that day, but a mottled March grey one with low hanging clouds and cool breezes.

I walk down 2nd Street past the closed doors of the American Red Cross where I have taken so many classes in adult/children CPR and first aid, all the re-certification and tests, the small rubber babies with molded faces that pull off so that the next bored student nurse can be certain its been sanitized before she puts her small mouth to the fake child to push air into it and thump it’s chest with the first two fingers of her dominant hand.

Then, I glance to the right, I have no idea why, and there she is, The Palace, where I have had so many drinks, one was never enough and more was always on the menu, after many a shift at Hawthorne Lane, most times extra dirty vodka martinis with three olives and pints of Sierra Nevada.

Occasionally the glass of champagne before a shift to celebrate a friend’s success or bolster another friends hair of the dog before going into work.

I turn on my travels, down Mission Street, longing to walk further, the Van Heusen sign reminds me of all the starched cream shirts I bought there for my shifts at the fine dining restaurant and how annoyed I always was to spend my hard-earned money on them or laundering them.

I think about the MOMA and wish it were open.

I would go in a hot second and sit in front of a Rothko or wander through the photography exhibit on the second floor, or climb to the top and cross over the suspension bridge, or find the secret doorway to the miniature courtyard that faces out towards the Yerba Buena Center and the park.

I think of all time terrible and awful.

How, even in the utter depths of my using I was never able to bring myself to use in the MOMA.

Although, damn it, I tried.

The best I could do was use the bathrooms to wash up and brush the tears from my eyes that only seemed to surface when I was surrounded by the house full of art, art that I could no longer access because it hurt my heart too much to admit that I was down for the count.

Then I would wash my hands, pat dry the wet circles under my face and go to the cafe and order a non-fat latte and sit out front on a metal back chair and put my feet up on the balustrade that separated the down trodden masses looking for scraps from the tourists like small black starlings with bright eyes hopping under the table legs, except held back by that small barrier of wealth and privilege that I pretended to belong to.

I mean I did wait on them didn’t I?

I would smoke my cigarette, then another, not chain-smoking, but so close as it became a game of semantics, drink my coffee, then head back to the restaurant to make more money that I would later spend, no matter how cleverly I would ration it out–the twenties in my left pocket only to go towards rent, not coke, ok?

Do you hear me self?

Don’t dip into the left pocket.

Or the bra cup, or the left sock.

Never mattered.

Once I got going, it was going to.

Didn’t much matter that brave lecture I gave my “sober” self (sober only in the sense of having abstained while working, which soon wasn’t really happening either), the money always flew, like pigeons circling in weary circles above the sunset lit buildings at the BART station.

I sat and waited at the front counter of the Copy Central store while the one attendant finished a job for a woman wearing navy blue and white polka dot slides and a pony tail that was just a touch too high up on the back of her head.

The stroll down memory lane exiting itself back outside, perhaps over to Dave’s Sports Bar on Third between Mission and Market, where we often ended up after a posh cocktail or two at the Palace, to really get it on.

Didn’t hurt that Marilyn the bartender knew all the words to Chicago, the musical, not the band, and if you sang along with her she would gladly sell you a case or bottle after hours, shhh don’t tell.

The memories were abruptly supplanted with reality, as first one, then the next, and the next, and the next reader was plunked down with a thud that was not satisfying so much as it was terrifying.

“Double check the readers to your syllabi,” the woman said.

I did.

Everything was there.

I pulled out my debit card.

I paid.

I left and walked back to the MUNI train station and as I did the days and ways of old were smoothed over, a soft hand blotting back the memories, a supplanting of this person with that person.

Eleven years ago when I was walking that same route there was no way I could have foreseen the purchase of graduate school readers.

I was too busy cursing that woman who had once again trembled on the lip of indulgence and instead of withstanding, fell over and promised herself, yet again, well since I already have started, I might as well do it up good.

I marveled at the weight in the bag as the readers thumped against my leg.

My graduate school student leg.

It was much less than the weight I used to carry on my back.

I can deal with this so much better than that.

That stack of reading sits on my table, just on the other side of this computer, and as I look around the sweet, safe, room I have nested for myself, I am grateful.

I am so very grateful to have walked down one side of the street and been able to reverse the wreckage to where I am today.

Scared.

Yes.

But free?

Even more so.

Well, I might be tied up with some reading for a bit.

But.

I think you catch my drift.

Rock Bottom

January 13, 2012

Seven years ago, last night, which was rapidly becoming this morning, which was becoming please God help me, I hit rock bottom.

I was at the lowest point in my life.  The worst kind of hell that was possible I did not know what to do, but I knew it had to stop.

I was working at Mercury Lending, LLC.  I was a mortgage broker, in title, but really what I was doing was cold calling people to get them to re-finance their mortgage on their house.  I got a lot of hang ups. I got a lot of take me off your list.  I was bad, bad, bad at what I did.

How in the world did I talk my way into the job, I still do not know.  But I did.  I worked on commission and I had not made a single commission since I had started, three and a half months previous.  I was living on cash advances from my credit card.  And they were fast approaching their limits, fast.

Especially since I had just gotten back from a week with my mother in London, on my credit card dime.  I had gotten drunk and coked up one night and opened my inbox to see a “deal” from Travelocity on round trip tickets to London.  And in a brown out, I bought two.  One for my mom and one for me, including accommodations across the street from Buckingham Palace.

I was tapped out.  Scared about making rent, worn out, I had sworn off the cocaine for the umpteenth time and I was tired.  God, I was so tired.  I don’t know how I was showing up for work, I really don’t.  Running on nerves, pride, and too much caffeine, which never seemed to be enough as I would still feel like crawling under my desk and sleeping half way through the day.

Two things happened that fateful January 11th, 2005.  Number one, I got my fist re-fi! Oh my god, it just could not have happened at a better time.  My commission was “small” in comparison to what most of the guys in the office were making, $2200, but after months of not making anything it was worth celebrating.

Number two, Jennifer called.  Jennifer and I knew each other from Hawthorne Lane.  We had been tied at the hip when I worked there, but the relationship had a lot of ups and downs, as most friendships based on waiting tables, drinking, doing ecstasy, and   smoking cigarettes at after hours parties, do.

Jennifer relayed that Paul had finally asked Colleen, a friend and co-worker at the restaurant, to marry him!  And he had pulled the trigger with the little blue box, and boy howdy, I needed to get my ass down to the restaurant and see the rock as soon as I got off work.

I was happy to comply.  It would be good to walk in with a little of my own upbeat news.  Especially, as I had gotten fired at Hawthorne Lane three months prior.  I had started at the mortgage firm and worked days and then I would haul ass over to the restaurant and work nights.

It was horrific.  I was always trying to come down, stay up, manage, juggle, get it right.  And no matter how hard I tried I could not quite keep it together.

The owner, David Gingrass, called me aside about three weeks before firing me (during the month I took off from drinking) and asked to speak with me privately.  He called me the Pied Piper of Hawthorne Lane.  He said he could not fathom how I could go out, dance all night and then come into work, get raving customer comment cards, up sell the food, and walk away at the end of my shifts being always within the top three in high sales.

But he hated, man he had a cold way of looking at you, the way the rest of the staff was incapable of pulling it together.  He said that my mood, my mood, set the tone for the entire restaurant.  If I was in a good mood, so was everyone else. If I was in a bad mood, so was everyone else.  He had never seen anything else like it.  And despite the fact that I could pull it together to do my job, the rest of the staff couldn’t.

He told me he could not afford to have half of the cooks on the line falling apart because they had been out with me partying the night before.

Man was I pissed.

Nothing pisses me off more than when some one else is right, and boy, was he right.  Despite my vehement defensive arguments to the contrary.

I made it three more weeks before he found a chink in my armour and fired me on the spot.  Thus began the downward spiral that was to culminate three months later.

I did not actually have a problem walking into Hawthorne, the staff had been horrified when I got fired and I was feted quite a bit about town.  When I walked into the bar that happy hour to congratulate Colleen I was just going to congratulate her and walk out.  Get on the bus and go home.

This is not what happened.

Jason, the bartender saw me, said, “the usual?” And before I could say no thank you, I was nodding my head yes and in a twinkling of an eye I had a full pint of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in front of me with a double dirty Kettle One martini on the rocks as my “beer back”.

I remember this feeling of resignation take over me as I lifted the beer to my mouth, I really was not planning on having a drink.  Then it hit my palate and all bets were off.  The bitter hops perked me right up and I chased that mouthful of beer with a good big pull from the martini.

Colleen came out to show me her ring, but I had already stepped out the door to call my dealer.  I left my drinks on the bar, went outside lit a cigarette, said fuck it, and dialed up Miguel.  I confirmed I wanted three grams and walked behind The Thirsty Bear to the Wells Fargo ATM next to the Star Bucks.

I had placed my order, gotten my money, and was back to the restaurant before my cigarette had finished burning.  I hugged Colleen again, tipped Jason, and walked out the door to the W Hotel lobby bar to await Miguel.

He arrived within twenty minutes of my call.

He was good like that.

He called my phone, I stepped outside, leaving my Chimay on the bar with my coat draped on the stool.  I lit a cigarette and waited for him to pull up in his nondescript Saturn sedan.   He pulled to the curb, I opened the door, we exchanged money for cocaine, he kept it in an Altoid tin, he drove around the block and dropped me back off at the corner.

I walked back into the bar, took a sip from my Chimay, ordered a martini, and went to the bathroom to do my first key bump of the night.

Twenty four hours later I was doing cocaine that I had stolen from some one else’s stash, after roaming all over town, drinking here, drinking there, snorting this, snorting that, playing strip poker at some one’s apartment at 4 in the morning, closing the bar, Doc’s Clock on Mission, opening another, Clooney’s on Valencia, and finally sneaking back into my place as the birds were madly greeting a new day.

I had officially lost my way.  I knew I was done.

I said, please God, help me.

And I never used again.

 

 


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