Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln Ave’

One Week Later

August 16, 2018

There is a buttery cowslip of a moon in the sky floating over the beach.

I looked at it.

I thought of you.

“You will always have the moon,” you told me a week ago as we lay together our last time.

Maybe not our last time.

But for this time, this chapter, this experience, it was the last time.

Whatever comes next is new and unknown and I do not know when we will meet again.

But I will always have the moon.

So too.

Conversely.

Shall you.

I looked up at the curl of cream yellow in the darkened sky.

My heart ached in my chest.

I wished you well.

I wished you  love.

I wished for you to be kind to yourself.

It was not the first time today that I thought of you.

I thought of you so often.

How could I not?

It’s been a week.

And like I said.

Wednesdays, well, lucky for me, they will always be yours.

So many things are yours.

That damn car wash on Lincoln Ave at 19th.

The one we made out in like hormone fueled teenagers.

I don’t know that I have ever, ever, ever had such an intense make out session.

I drive past that damn car wash all the time.

And.

Thoughts of you.

Or the park on the hill where we made out sitting on a bench overlooking the city.

Yeah.

That one.

The one I drive past every morning on my way to work.

You are everywhere.

You are in the avocado tree in the back yard that overhangs the porch at work.

The one the two nesting crows like to fly in and out of.

They are young.

They have not been there long, but I noticed.

You and I have an affinity for some things dark.

Crows being one.

I noticed when the young pair started flying through the yard.

They have a nest in the tree to the left of the house.

Crows mate for life.

And I think of you.

You the one I want to be mated to for life.

You who are gone now.

Far away.

And yet.

Ever present in my body, the ache in my chest, the tears pulling at my eyes.

Tonight, driving home.

You again.

A surprising gasp of pain when I saw the sunlight reflecting on the ocean water.

There was something to the juxtaposition of telephone poles and wires crisscrossed over the sea in the background and the glitter of light bouncing back towards my eyes.

The beauty of it struck me and it was all you.

All about you.

All in my heart and my soul and I almost had to pull over and sob in my car.

But I drove on.

To what I knew might be the worst.

The early evening sun setting in the back door windows of my room.

The light slanting in across my bed.

The bed that you last lay in a week ago today.

I miss you.

Your smell.

Your laugh.

The way you look at me.

The text messages and phone calls and the poetry of my name in your mouth.

All the silly sweet endearing nicknames you had for me.

I sat quietly in a five-minute meditation tonight, in a room you and I have sat together in so many times, so many Wednesdays, for this past year and change.

Sat in the dark, with my eyes closed.

Thought of you, far away, in another time zone, most likely in bed.

I imagined curling up next to you and holding you and smelling you.

The other night.

I cried out.

My duvet cover smelled of you.

How?

How!?

I washed everything.

Nothing should smell like you.

And yet.

It did.

And I cried into my pillow and looked out between the bamboo slats in the window shade and thought about when the time will come that the moon will be full and shine through and wake me up.

Insistent that I think of you in the dead of night, pulled from dreams by the bright shine pouring into the window.

You were the bright shine pouring into my life.

I miss you bunny.

I miss you.

So.

Damn.

Much.

I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

I Keep Up With You On Facebook

May 14, 2015

Good to know.

I ran into an old friend tonight at an unexpected spot and we got to reconnect, check in, swap tales, talk about work, life, change, graduate school, pattern making, dress altering, and Burning Man.

Oh yes.

That thing.

I picked up the most fabulous of dresses at Community Thrift a few months ago–blue sequins, marabou trim, teal, really the whole thing is glittery and teal and well, it will look amazing in the dust.

Except it fits for shit, too big and not properly cut.

So when I saw my friend I asked, for the first time really, to have something altered to just fit me.

I am excited.

She’s busy.

I’m busy.

But there’s enough time before the event for me to get one or two fabulous things together.

I always want fabulous things for the playa, but this year, I really do.

I’m going to get to play a lot more and spend more time hanging out and seeing art and well, going to Burning Man instead of doing “working man.”

Oh.

I dare say, I’ll still find plenty of ways to be of service and I will carry my weight and help where and when I am needed, but it’s going to be a fair different show for me and well, I went to be dressed up for it.

Besides.

Who doesn’t want a teal sequined dress?

I mean.

Please.

I’ll find somewhere to wear it.

Maybe even to work.

I’ve been known to wear some kooky shit.

But I like that.

I like that I have a skewed sense of fashion and I love to be a peacock.

I mean life is short, let me dress up for it.

It was good to see my friend in real-time, though, and I want to make sure that I am doing more of that–spending time with friends, not just interacting via social media and texting.

I need to have human connection.

It means an awful lot to me.

Besides.

I know that I don’t translate as well over the internet as I do in person.

Oh.

I suppose, this blog is me, but it’s not me too, you don’t see me fussing around my place, messing with my hair or trying on clothes or mooning over music or dancing or stuck in my head or daydreaming when I should be paying attention to the road in front of me.

I want to be seen for all that I am.

All my human ness.

All my frailties.

And my strengths.

I do have those too.

I want to be able to be vulnerable and tender in front of you, not just behind the screen of my phone or sitting at my table typing words onto my laptop.

I want to carry on a conversation, long, long, long, up late, past my bed time, sharing secrets, telling tall tales, laughing, drinking tea, being me.

I have a tendency to isolate and I wish to be more known.

Here in my community, in San Francisco, in the world at large.

I wish to see and be seen.

“I saw you on your bicycle this morning, riding up Lincoln,” my friend said to me tonight, “I almost hollered out the window at you.”

“Next time, do,” I smiled, “it really makes my day, I feel like I’m a part of the neighborhood.”

I feel apart of the city, the movement and action, the life that is happening.

I like being alive.

I’m feeling a little more alive today too, I’ve had just the tiniest bit of a cold since last Thursday and I think it’s finally starting to pass–all the family has it, I swear, even the dog seems to have it–and I’m not one who often gets sick.

In fact, aside from my ankle, I can’t remember the last time I was sick or when I actually had a cold.

And it’s low-grade.

I have a sort of husky, sexy, throaty voice, raspy like, which is amusing, and a tiny cough once in a while that produces, well, you know, stuff, and I have been just a tiny bit tired.

But not horrible.

Certainly not enough to call in sick.

But enough to slow down this week, make sure I’m taking all my breaks, eating well, sleeping well, taking good care to take good care.

Which is good.

I want to do things this weekend.

I want to get out.

I’ll be hitting an anniversary party Saturday afternoon in Golden Gate Park after I do some doing the deal in the Inner Sunset,then I’ll be off to the park, getting connected to my peeps.

I want to go out too.

My going out last week felt really off and rather awful after the heart-rending scooter encounter at the shop I took the Vespa too.

Side bar.

I actually forgot about the Vespa today!

What a fucking relief to not have that taking up head space.

I cannot even begin to express how good I feel letting it go.

End aside.

I’m not sure what’s happening Saturday night, but I feel something happening, a plan, winds stirring, something.

Change is always happening.

Flexibility.

Adaptability.

Love.

My stars aligning.

Who knows.

But maybe I’ll get my party dress out and see what’s shaking up in my world this weekend.

Not my sequined one, but that will get addressed soon.

I hear music playing.

Maybe some dancing?

Maybe I don’t have to figure it out right now.

Suffice to say.

I’m feeling happy and sexy and that’s a nice feeling to have.

Feelings.

I get to have more than one, you know.

I’m good at running with the happy and sexy ones for right now, however.

Bring those on please.

And you got some ideas about this weekend.

Do share them.

Do.

I want to see you in the real world, not just my phone screen.

I need to give you a hug.

And.

I could use one too.

Everybody’s Got Their Own Agenda

March 24, 2015

I heard her voice in my head as I shouted at the woman who passed me on the right and pushed me into traffic on the commute into work.

I had already had a few moments of uneasiness on my bicycle.

It rained last night.

Not a lot.

But enough.

The roads were slick this morning and as I was pedaling across Lincoln at 20th my back wheel slipped under me a moment.

I righted and breathed and continued forward, cautious, but aware.

Again the wheel slipped, just a touch, rounding a corner in the Pan Handle.

When it’s just damp enough to cause all the street oil to sluice up to the top of the pavement it feels scarier then when it is a full on down pour.

Slick roads are worse in my estimation than rain.

I thought about the rest of the commute and that I had time.

I always give myself ten minutes more than I need to get to work.

I like to get off my bike, stretch out my shoulders, wiggle out any kinks in my legs and drink some water.

I like to also have caught my breath and had a moment to get centered before entering the fray.

Monday’s especially can be a ruckus, especially after having two days with mom and dad, the charges are not always grateful to see me, despite having fun moments after I arrive.

Upon arrival I often hear a “no!” or “go away!” or the pitter patter of feet running to mom and dad.

That’s ok.

I’m used to it kid.

Sometimes I get the opposite response, but not always.

So, lots of time for me to travel my way cross town.

Monday’s are also a challenge for me as a bicycle commuter.

It is the one day of the week that I go into work early and as such I am in actual commuter traffic.

Not just car commuter and Google Bus commuter, but bicycle commuter, traffic.

I will forget, have forgotten, most other days that there are many, many, many more bicycles on the road then there used to be and also that four days of the week I am riding in to work outside of busy rush hour traffic.

Not so Mondays.

I generally am hitting the end of the rush, but I can get caught in it, or catch up to it, almost always on the Wiggle, sometimes in the Pan Handle if the lights are not in my favor.

I was doing alright after negotiating the Wiggle until I crossed Duboce and hopped onto Sanchez.

As I was crossing over Market headed toward 17th, a rider passed me on the right.

DON’T PASS ON THE RIGHT!

I yelled, startled.

Damn it lady.

You’re forcing me into traffic and riding in my blind spot.

Stupid lady.

I didn’t say bitch.

No.

I was annoyed though and thought about giving her a lecture on being polite to other bicyclists.

I mean, I pass cars all the time on the right, except when they are signaling a right turn, then I go around to the left.

Bicyclists and pedestrians, though, I always pass on the left.

And yes.

I am that annoying person who hollers out, “on your left.”

Sometimes I will whistle sharply if I think a person can’t hear me who may be crossing an intersection while looking at their phone screen.

But most of the time I pass on the left and I let you know that I am there.

It’s something I learned on training rides in 2010 when I rode in the Aids LifeCycle tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I learned a lot on those rides.

How to fix a flat, how to carry momentum to get up a hill, how to ride clipless, how to ride a back to back, how to ride a Century (100 miles) what it felt like to bonk, what I needed to do to not bonk, how it felt riding Whites Hill in Marin the first time.

How it felt climbing Mount Tam and doing the Southern Hills Climb.

How saddle sores felt.

I happily will skip having that experience again.

I occasionally rue not having registered for the ride this year, I was thinking about it a lot, but I decide to apply to graduate school and go to Atlanta for the International Conference, and see my grandmother in Chula Vista and go to Burning Man.

That’s more than enough for my plate this year.

And I still have a few ideas up my sleeve for travel.

I learned a lot of courtesy on those rides and what it felt like when another rider did not extend the same courtesy to me.

Sometimes I can be an asshole and need to prove a point and I could feel that come up in me when I saw the woman on her bicycle stopped at the traffic light at Sanchez and 16th.

I wanted to lecture her.

I wanted to tell her how it’s done.

I know better though.

It’s not my place to tell another person how to live their life and I had a flash of a driver yelling out the window at me to “wear a fucking helmet!”

Which doesn’t do much from saving my startled self when I get screamed at.

Hey asshat, when you are so focused on the behavior of someone else you’re ignoring yourself.

Just saying.

So when I coasted in to a stop at 16th and Sanchez I held my tongue.

I looked at the woman.

She was oblivious.

She was not seeing me as I was straddling my bike waiting for the light to change.

She also was fiddling with her phone and had ear phones in, so the likelihood that she heard me holler about passing on the right was nil, and she wasn’t going to hear me and my “friendly” I know better bicycle protocol about passing on the right.

I paused.

And I brought my attention to the road ahead of me.

The trickiest part of the commute, especially when its slick, the turn at Sanchez onto 17th.

There’s a great bike lane on 17th, but turning left I have to cross two sets of MUNI train tracks at a parallel instead of simply cutting straight across.

It is far to easy too slip on them.

I have in the past, but never gone down.

I kept my counsel, the light changed.

The woman hadn’t seen the light change, she was a bit behind me.

I signalled a left turn.

I signalled that I was slowing down, that’s a flat open palm hanging down at a right angle waving back and forth (think of a reverse beauty pageant queen on a float waving).

Then I signalled that I was coming to a slow stop.

A squeezing in of my hand into a ball.

I turned left.

I crossed at a diagonal and made it completely over the tracks with no slippage, I turned my head, the woman was directly to my left, riding in between the train tracks, not even in the bicycle lane.

“It’s your life lady,” I thought to myself and then, out of no where, I should move over, she’s going to pass me and cut me off again at the light.

I could just feel it.

Except.

Well.

She wiped out on the tracks.

She went down.

Hard.

I am still not sure how I avoided hitting her.

She was passing me and her bicycle nearly toppled me, I weaved to the right, and rolled off my pedals, sliding my feet out of my foot retention straps (oh how do I love thee my Hold Fast straps) and squeezing slow and steady on my brake so I wouldn’t slip too.

It all happened in slow motion.

I can still see her right hand, fingers spread, reaching to catch her fall, I can see how if I hadn’t swerved just at that moment, how I would have rolled over her hand.

I shudder.

She broke her basket on her bike and bananas flew into the street.

A car drove over one and the smell of ripe banana wafted over the tracks and assaulted my nose.

“Are you ok?” I asked, stopping, looking back, “do you need help?”

“I’m ok, I’m ok,” she stood.

I watched her pick up her bicycle and shakily run her hands over her body.

“Are you sure?” I asked again.

“Yeah, thanks,” she said and waved me off.

The car that had rolled over the banana was stopped a few feet a head of me.

I rolled up on her.

“She ok?” The driver leaned out the window.

“Yeah, she’s ok,” I smiled.

The driver smiled.

“Whew.”

Be careful out there kids.

I was a little discombulated but so grateful that I hadn’t yelled at her.

That I kept my lecture to myself.

I am certain she learned what she needed.

That’s the thing.

We all learn exactly what we need when we need it and I can’t hurry any one’s process up.

Mine included.

I can be right.

Or.

I can be happy.

And today I was very happy to make it to work in one piece.

Very happy.

While I’m Blogging

March 19, 2015

There’s an egg cooling off in a pan on the stove.

The new late night snack for me.

Protein.

Delicious.

Although I will miss my little apple and yogurt duo, it’s time to try something new.

It helped that I had it one last time last night and it was like saying goodbye to an old lover that just wasn’t treating me right any longer.

And I was checked out when I ate it.

So tonight I committed to try something different.

It will be what it will be.

I promise I won’t blog this entire post about a hard-boiled egg either, though it will be lovely, warm, creamy yolk, Judy’s Jumbo organic brown egg, with a sprinkle of pepper and sea salt.

Every time I eat a properly, for me boiled egg, I am always reminded of that movie about the woman who blogs all the Julia Child recipes after having made them and then eaten the results.

She, the character, grouses about eating a poached egg and then when she finally does eat it, all the richness and complexity of it, if it’s done right, a poached egg is heavenly, almost cheesy in its flavor and texture and really delicious.

A soft-boiled egg is the same for me.

And I should be able to eat it and not check out and it should be enough to tide me over until the morning breakfast comes.

I had lots of nice food today too, it was a busy day with the boys and the parents have friends visiting in town, so take out was ordered.

I had the burrito bowl from Papalote for dinner.

A burrito bowl, for those of you not in the know, is a burrito sans skin, meaning, no wrap.

“Will you get sick if you eat bread,” my five-year old charge asked me on the way back from the park, “can you touch it?”

“Of course I can touch it, I made you a sandwich yesterday with bread, I just can’t eat it, it makes me feel bad,” I said.

Which is far closer to the truth than most people can comprehend.

I am not a celiac, I am not gluten intolerant, I have an allergy to processed sugar and flour.

I break out into more.

And I want to eat it all.

It is no fun and I don’t like hiding pastry in my bag, so I don’t do it.

And I have a solution around it and active recovery.

Enough said.

Was it not a lovely sunset tonight?

It was glorious.

On Wednesdays I get done with work and instead of doing the deal in the Mission or the Castro, I rock my bike home and hang out in the Outer Sunset.

“You live out here?” He asked me as the lights came up in the candle light room.

“Yup, about a year and a half now,” I said, “right down the street, 46th and Judah.”

“Man, I want to live out here, it’s great,” he said, “I’m jealous.”

It’s not bad.

It’s pretty fucking good, who the hell am I kidding.

I love the ocean being so close and the sunset on my bike ride home through the park, then cresting down Lincoln Ave from Chain of Lakes, the air was bedazzled with burnt umber and gold and glowing with the sun floating into the sea.

I was blown away and smiled as I drifted down the last few blocks to the home front.

The only drawback is that I am riding my bicycle directly into the sun and it’s hard to see.

I don’t like riding without my glasses though and I don’t have prescription sunglasses.  Which I am starting to think I better get.

Especially for Burning Man this year.

I’m going to have to prepare myself for a lot more time outside.

A lot.

This means extra sunblock and some sunglasses.

Last year I went to the eye doctor and found out that my eyes have developed an astigmatism and I can’t wear contacts.

Which would have been perfect for the playa, but nope.

In the past few years, especially the last two, I have not done a lot of out and about during the day, I ended up being in the trailer of the family I worked for.  The little guy was super heat sensitive, so we spent a lot of time in the a/c.

I don’t foresee a/c in my next Burning Man adventure.

Although, who knows what’s going to happen.

I still don’t.

“You were a nanny at Burning Man?” The visiting mom and dad said with incredulity.  “Really?  Did you have any fun, did you have any time off to go and play?”

“No.” I said pretty succinctly.

“Oh tell them your playa name,” the mom I work for said, “it’s just awesome.”

I laughed.

“Mary F’ing Poppins,” I smiled.  “One of the mom’s I used to work for said I was like Mary Fucking Poppins with tattoos, and thus, my playa name was born.”

“Wow, I had no idea people do that,” the mom said, poking at the dad, maybe we could go…..”

I smiled and left the room to attend to the monkeys at the table, two visiting girls and my two guys.

And my burrito bowl.

I am going to be having a bit more of a conversation about Burning Man with the family come this Friday.

I realized that Friday is our six months anniversary working together and we should have done a performance evaluation at 90 days, which never happened.

Suffice to say I know that the family loves me and I love working for them and it’s a great fit, but I did think to myself it would be good to touch base about moving forward, especially since I know what my graduate school dates are for the retreat and the first weekend of classes.

And since I want to go to that thing in the desert where they burn the man, dude.

Both the mom and dad said we don’t have any criticism of what you’re doing, when I brought it up today, we don’t need to do an evaluation.

That was nice to hear.

But I made it clear that it was also about defining our goals moving forward and what they want from me and I from them and starting the communication process now instead of waiting until a month before the event and saying, uh, yeah, and I want to go to Burning Man too.

Mostly it’s because I want to take my vacation time separate from when the family does theirs.

Meaning I want to be paid for my time off.

And that may take some navigating, but I know that I can.

I feel really lucky right now.

Graced might be a better word for it.

I have a good job.

I have a good home.

I have a good life.

I am going to graduate school.

I am going to Atlanta.

I am going to San Diego.

I think I will be putting “I’m going to Burning Man,” onto that list soon.

And now.

It’s time for my egg.

I almost didn’t write my entire blog about my snack.

Almost.

Heh.


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