Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

I Don’t Know

June 9, 2016

And I mean that with every ounce of my being.

I don’t know shit.

But.

I’m showing the fuck up anyway.

Doing the deal.

“What are you going to do?” She asked me two years ago this July, we were just pulling into the Caribou Coffee shack on my way to the airport in Minneapolis.

I had been having a rough couple of months.

I had a severe, like ridiculously severe, in an air cast, out of work, in bed, crying like a baby, unable to do anything for myself, except put on funny stripe socks to bolster my mood, ankle injury and I was heading back to precarious work and the not knowing.

The constant not knowing.

It could have killed me.

Or not.

In the end, it didn’t.

I do remember telling her, my friend who doesn’t have my disease but has some sense of it, she’s a smart cookie, that it ultimately doesn’t matter.

I have a purpose.

I have one primary purpose.

And as long as I take care of that I will be alright.

“I just really want to use heroin,” she wept into the phone.

Well fuck that.

We got together.

We sat over tea.

We did the deal.

We hugged it the fuck out.

And I feel like stellar motel in the sky with lucy and diamonds on the soles of my shoes.

I could dance party until dawn and work a full shift with my boys and be absolutely spot on.

It does not matter what I do.

Well.

Ok.

There are some things I need to do, help others, be a good friend, show up, share my experience, strength, hope, the good stuff, the what works for me stuff.

I don’t advise.

I just give some suggestions and let it go.

Sometimes it is heady and intellectual, but tonight, for me, it was all heart and love, unconditional love for a woman who’s name, ha, I just realized, I don’t know her last name.

If this was a lover.

I might, um, a, be you know.

I tiny bit ashamed of myself for not having his last name on the tip of my tongue.

But this?

Fuck no.

It’s not important.

What is important is that I made myself available and I mainly just listened.

I’m not a doctor.

I’m not a therapist.

Yet.

But.

I have a special set of skills and with those and some experiences to share, some working knowledge of a basic text, I have a purpose.

I have a point.

I was just reflecting on this as I was looking over air fare to Wisconsin for July 4th weekend.

Yeah.

I know.

Am I fucking nuts?

The Midwest in July.

Do I want to die?

The mosquitos will be big as rescue helicopters.

The humidity will make my curly hair a wild mess.

I will get some stares.

I have a few tattoos.

And though they are more prolific in the Midwest than they used to be, I guess folks be watching LA Ink or something, there are still few women who have neck tattoos or chest tattoos or partial sleeves, let alone all three.

Plus.

Heh.

My hair will be pink.

Which.

Whatever.

The last time I was there it was half purple and blue.

I got a few looks.

I got proselytized to as well outside of the ice cream store in downtown scenic Hudson on the river.

Nothing like a young girl, a teenager, somewhere between sixteen and eighteen I would guess, talking to me about God.

Oh doll.

I know God.

And I know God well.

Do I understand God?

Fuck no.

Does God understand me?

Yup.

Do I need to know what God is or does or how God works or doesn’t work?

Nope.

I just have this deep, unshakeable belief in this entity that absolutely and completely loves the fuck out of me.

Who also has a wicked sense of humor.

And.

Never, ever, ever.

Ever, ever?

Never.

Has failed to take care of me.

Ever.

I don’t always get what I want.

But I have never not gotten what I needed.

And so often.

All the time really.

I am surprised, blown away, beleaguered by the love I am given.

All I have to do is turn and shine that love on someone else.

And I am taken care of.

Taken care of in the best sense of the world.

Sometimes I imagine, my small, petty, limited mind.

That my God is a gigantic sunken living room with white fur carpet everywhere.

Hella plush.

Big old pillows everywhere.

Warm soft fuzzy

There is a fire pit.

There are big, huge, gigantic floor to ceiling windows with let in oodles of warm gold light.

I am held in this luxurious love.

Sometimes God is a memory.

A sense of flying.

A swimming through the aqua blues and greens of the pool at the high school in DeForest, swimming laps back and forth in the last lane, the one by the windows, when on a quiet Sunday the pool was empty, the parking lot empty, and no one in the pool be me swimming in and out of patches of aquamarine love.

Held.

Perfect.

Serene.

A float.

Sometimes it is the emotional, melodic beat of drums.

The pounding in my heart that echoes a song.

A rhythm.

My body moves without thought and dance.

Dance is God.

Music is God.

Love is God.

All of it.

I am all of it.

Subsumed.

Taken.

Ravished.

Overtaken.

God is art.

God is standing love struck like a bulldozed girl on Valentines day who finally gets the red carnations call over the loud speakers in school from the principal’s office, come get your flowers at lunch break, to find out that it was her secret crush who had a secret crush on her too, in front of Kandinsky’s “Accent en Rose” at the Pompidou when I moved to Paris in my 40th year of life.

Cold.

Wet.

Miserable with the rain and the getting lost and the hungry but not sure for what.

The aching legs from walking lost in the Marais, the wet socks, the squish, so un melodious, of my Converse as I stepped onto the escalator up to the fifth floor.

Sacre Couer in the distance.

The towers of Notre Dame.

Montparnasse.

The sky mottled with grey, purpled, black, silver lined rain clouds, the bent heads scurrying through the courtyard underneath the flimsy arms of tourist stall umbrellas.

Wondering down the hall.

Wonder (ing) in wander.

Wander (ing) in wonder.

Awed and overcome.

Constricted with the pleasure of art unfolding around me.

Then I turn and see the Kandinsky and I am rose flushed.

Flashed out in love.

High on art.

Stranded in the wilderness of my romantic heart.

Bereft and beguiled.

Beatitudes battering my breath.

Caught.

There.

High in my throat.

Tears welling up and sweltering onto my fevered face.

God.

Is in the details.

In the ellipses between the frames.

In the pause before the eruption of fireworks after the rocket has launched into the sky.

God is.

Or God.

Is not.

What is your choice to be?

I already made mine.

Love.

Always there.

Always holding me.

Always this.

Always this.

Always this.

Love.

My love.

Just.

Love.

 

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Oh, Sweet Friday

April 30, 2016

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

One sparkling, clean, fresh, tidy home.

I got up early today and I did the deal, wrote, breakfasted, coffee’d, wrote some more, and ran up to the market to pick up a few things for the weekend–my little co-op will be closed for International Workers Day on this Sunday, May 1st.

Which marks three years back from Paris for me.

I remember leaving so well, like it was yesterday and I am marveling at the amazing amount of life that I have lived since I have returned from my adventure in trying to be French for a little tiny time in my life.

It was so very, very, very hard.

But it was so worth it.

Every tear I cried, sluiced away in the memories of buttery smells from the patisserie by Square D’Anvers–which I am quietly and joyfully reminded of every time I ride my scooter to work past Tartine on Guerrero Street.  Tartine is the only place I have ever smelled that same delicious baking smell from outside of Paris.  It has something to do with the butter they use for making the croissants and something to with the bread making.

I am no expert, but my nose, well, it knows.

Three years since I moved back from Paris.

And here I am at the nadir of my last month of my first year of graduate school.

Here I am heading into a well deserved weekend from a great job with children I love and a family I respect and am privileged to work for.

A family that confirmed they want me full time for the summer.

Whew.

Although there will be changes in my schedule which I am not horribly thrilled about, I’ll start much earlier with the family than I do now, for instance.

I will be back to working 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

40 hours a week.

I’ve been averaging 35 hours a week when I’m not in school and 28 when I am.

Plus, I have worked a few extra hours here and there and been hyper flexible with them in regards to coming to the house and doing extra stuff for them when they have travelled.

We will review at the end of summer in regards to fall employment.

I am not afraid of that, although I felt a momentary twinge of fear, it went away fast.

Forget you fear, even should the family decide to not run with me as their nanny and I really can’t see that, although, who knows, come this fall, I will find other employment or it will find me.

l have ten years of nanny experience and I’m getting a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology to be a Child Psycho Therapist.

Who the hell wouldn’t want to hire me.

Yeah, humility, not always my strong suit, but I certainly don’t need to be anxious about employment, I have always, always, always been taken care of.

As long as I put my recovery first, everything, absolutely everything has followed.

It has not always followed the way I thought it would, but everything has been better than what I could have planned or hoped for.

I mean.

If I had had my way, I’d still be in Paris.

But God had his way.

And.

I’ve been back in San Francisco, making it through the crazy tech times and the boisterous economy and the sky rocketing rents.

Side bar.

My land lord sent me a text asking for my e-mail address and my first thought, was “fuck, here it is, she’s really raising the rent,” and then I remembered what my person said to me–“be positive Carmen, don’t always go to the worst case scenario,” and decided that wasn’t the case at all and sent her my e-mail.

She replied by sending me an invitation to her birthday party.

Ha.

Oh.

I fucking love my crazy head.

So.

Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of that practicing being positive.

“You seem to be coming through this whole Burning Man thing, the not going, really, really well, I am so impressed,” my person told me last night.

I reflected.

Yeah, it was hard and I was sad, but it passed quickly and I know, really deeply, that there is something else I am supposed to be doing, some other experience.

I don’t have to know what it is.

I just know that I need to have the experience rather than Burning Man, otherwise I would be going to Burning Man.

There are no mistakes in God’s world.

I’ll go next year.

And what with confirming my full time employment with the family I was also asked to go with them again to Stone Tree, the place they rent out for weeks in the summer for a part of their summer vacation travel plans.

I will once again be up in Sonoma, outside of Glenn Ellen for a few weeks come this summer.

They go twice, once in the early summer and then again right before school starts back up for the boys in August.

I also found out that they will be traveling to Oregon, but I won’t be going with them, I’ll stay back, do some house work and then.

Hmm.

Maybe Wisconsin?

I have really felt a pull to see my best friend from back home and what with my other friend being in Minnesota not too far from the Twin Cities, I may kill two birds with one stone and see a couple of dear friends.  I have to double check dates and times.  I won’t get paid proper vacation time for it, but I’ll get a short week, 28 hours, for their time away and I will still get my full week of vacation time for my second year school retreat, also in August.

It looks like summer is going to be big regardless of what I do.

It’s not here yet though.

My sparkling clean house attests to that.

First the weekend.

Yoga in the morning, shower, breakfast, coffee, writing, meet my person.

Then.

Yes.

My date.

Eek a mouse.

Finally here.

Yay!

It’s the weekend.

I am officially arrived.

Thank fucking God.

Seriously.

Sit The Fuck Down

April 22, 2016

And write.

Martines.

Jesus.

It ain’t Friday yet.

But it’s so close I can taste it and I am so ready for the weekend, it’s been on my tongue for days.

Confirmed date tomorrow night.

Confirmed will be shaving my legs.

Wink, wink.

Nudge, nudge.

Yeah.

Like that.

I was going to go on a blind date with a gentleman and hit a dance club, but I was pinged yesterday by a lover who I would rather hang out with than someone new and well, I already know how the date will go.

REALLY, REALLY, REALLY.

Fucking well.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

That being said, I was looking forward to dancing and this specific paramour does not strike me as the dancing type of guy.

Although he does remind me of the slightly sad, Russian dancing bear in a John Irving novel.

I don’t know that I will ever tell him that, he’s got a lot of swagger and bravado.

And sexy.

And well, most guys don’t want to hear that they remind me of a morose bear.

I don’t know that he knows quite how sad he is.

However.

That is none of my business.

He is also hella fun and we hit it off and yes, hit it, the last time we hung out.

So.

More of that, yes please.

But the dancing had to happen.

My energy is high, the moon is full, and I am all yoga’d up.

“You must be really flexible,” a possible date messaged me after I mentioned I was heading out the door to the yoga studio.

Thank you God for the yoga studio on my block.

REPEAT.

On my block.

So freaking convenient.

Seriously.

I had such a great experience with it today too.

I had reverie at that end of the class when I was in the last and final resting pose, after doing a terrific heart opener and I had this epiphany and massive amount of gratitude overwhelm  me.

I realized that this man, a friend of mine to this day, my first love, my first crush, unconsummated love, unrequited love, disaster of a best friend, but the best and longest friend and someone who no matter what or where, I am still connected to, I realized this man saved my life.

I mean literally.

When I was not able to check out via drugs and alcohol, when I didn’t have a solution that was stuffing substances down my throat or up my nose, I was in need of some sort of relief or I might have died, I am not kidding, and this man was my relief.

I loved him and in that love I found a kind of solace and comfort that I couldn’t find in myself.

Never mind that it was fantasy or unrequited.

One, it was safe, it was unrequited, he wasn’t interested, able, or other, to engage in a romantic love with me.

Two, it was a way to check out and not be present in the horror of what was happening in my life when I was in highschool.

The house wasn’t burnt to the ground.

But there was definitely a scorched earth policy happening in my home.

And as it got worse I found myself escaping into what ever I could and often that was books and or fantasy.

It was a few more years before I was able to find relief in alcohol and drugs from the disease of discontent that I was absolutely full blown in, although it would not be without much time, work, and perspective before I reached that conclusion.

Today on the yoga mat I had a sudden vision of myself as a ballet dancer and I remembered my friend and how he impersonated me my second semester freshman year at UW Madison.

I think the statute of limitations is up, so yeah, um, ha, I defrauded UW Madison for the grant and scholarship monies due me and my friend, a guy friend, my best friend, went to all my classes and got away with it until someone from our high school busted him.

He was a great actor and pulled it off until that point.

And when he had to leave, well, I didn’t drop out officially, so I just took some more failed grades, except.

Ha.

In ballet.

My friend pulled a C in the class.

He told me later the teacher had a crush on him.

Yeah.

Like the whole world at the time probably did.

He was improbably attractive then.

Not that he isn’t now, just, well, different.

So.

Here I am in yoga having this reverie about floating through the air like a ballerina and also some cross dreams of floating in blue green water-I was a swimmer in highschool–and I am blasted with love and gratitude for my friend.

He loves me.

We love each other.

Haven’t seen him in years, five maybe, but we still are connected.

And in that moment, in the yoga studio, on my back, breath flowing in and out of my lungs, my heart just blew open with joy and the realization of how much I owe this person for letting me just have those great big love feelings.

They, the feelings and the fantasy, really did save my life.

They buoyed me up through very trouble waters and times.

They got me through.

And for that I have unlimited love for him.

Not unrequited.

Not needing to be fulfilled, just this deep special, enduring awareness of love for this man and how affecting it has been and how lucky I am to have had it.

To still have it.

We talked earlier today as he was leaving the house on a beautiful spring day in Minnesota with his twin girls heading to their first music recital as first graders.

I could hear how joyful and happy he was and it made me happy to hear it.

I had him on my mind after the yoga class and then something else reminded me as I was at the park with the boys and I called him out of the blue.

“You will let me know if you get to Wisconsin, I mean it, I will drive to see you,” he emphatically stated on the phone.

He’ll be in Madison for family late June early July.

I’ve been thinking July 4th weekend to go back and visit my best friend who lives up in Northern Wisconsin in Hudson, across the river from the Twin Cities.

“I’ll drive to Hudson, it’s actually closer than Madison,” my dear friend said.

“I haven’t made a decision and I need to see what my summer is going to look like, but yeah, since I’m not going to Burning Man, well,” I paused.

And said it.

“I’m feeling a big pull to come to the Midwest, I’m not sure why, but it’s been there for a few months and I feel like it’s time,” I smiled up at the trees, the playground swings full of children, I felt full of joy.

“You come and I will drive to you, I got to run, one minute warning,” he chuckled.

“I’ll keep you posted,” I said and hung up the phone.

I didn’t say I love you.

It’s implied.

He loves me.

I love him.

It’s all just love, love.

And once and awhile it’s making love to a man who reminds me of a sad Russian circus bear, who really, when it comes right down to it, reminds me in a way of my friend.

If that means having my cake and eating it too, who am I to analyze it?

I’m just here to have fun.

And my God.

I’m this much fucking closer to Friday.

And the music is good.

So excuse me.

I have a little more dancing to do under this full moon before my night is through.

And my weekends begun.

See you Friday y’all.

Or.

Ha.

Depending on how my date goes.

Saturday.

Heh.

 

Hello Again

September 18, 2014

Old friend.

I was sitting in the sunshine, sipping a cup of herbal chai tea, relaxing with a book, flirting with a stranger on 7th and Irving, waiting for the clock to slowly tick its way to 6p.m.

I don’t know why I check my phone.

But some ties are timeless and sometimes you just know.

I didn’t know the number on the caller id.

I don’t know anyone who would be calling me from Minnesota.

I saw I had a voicemail.

I listened.

The call had come in two minutes prior.

Despite having the ring off and not having the vibrate on, something resonated in me and I had looked on the phone, looked to see the message, looked up to listen when the handsome man in his 40s sat down across from me at the cafe, regarding my bare toes with some amusement, I almost expected him to kick off his work shoes and join me in my feckless bare toe extravaganza.

I listened to the voicemail instead and called back the number.

My finger just hit it.

Sort of like a junkie plunging a needle or a rat tripping a lever on a maze.

I got my piece of cheese.

The man sat across from me, handsome, flirtatious, get off the phone I said to myself, too late, too captured already by old habits, old friends, old ideas, and old sentiments.

Pulled almost immediately back into the Midwest and school girl longings and old-fashioned, old-time, old worn out ideas of crushes and first loves.

Yeah.

That was the friend who called.

Two years and out of the blue.

A phone call.

And like it is with some friends, the immediacy of the friendship comes back and there is no pause, there is just the immediate plunge back into the friendship.

Like the panels of a cartoon the ellipses between two panels may denote seconds or days or weeks, perhaps months or years or decades, but the time is gone in a flash. the tether of the space between the two moments is tied and leapt over with nary a thought.

What took you so long to call?

I know why I did not.

I did not have his number.

I lost it right before I went to Paris.

I love my friend.

He is the oldest friend I have, the person who has known me the longest and seen me the most in the bottom of despair as I have ever gotten to, from the young age of fifteen to the not so advanced, but still starting to get up there in age, 41 years old.

Which means he has known me and I him for 26 years.

That’s no small time to sneeze at.

And we probably could regal each other easily with old bawdy tales of high school, or after high school hijinks.

Actually it was the after high school high jinks that probably connected us in a much tighter means than the actual school days.

I love my friend.

I repeat.

But I do not love where my head goes in connection to him.

And I do not love that I chose to return his call when there was a lovely man sitting across from me who wanted to engage, yet, I could not, I was pulled into the conversation.

Why had I picked up the phone?

Why had a returned the call?

And why do you call me to tell me you broke up with the woman you were in a relationship with for so long?

Why is not a spiritual question and I don’t ask it often.

But I did, in rapid succession, watching the man’s interest in me fade, he finished his coffee, raised an eyebrow, stood, smiled at me with a wry look, and sauntered off into the sunset.

Or at least the Inner Sunset.

But out of my line of sight and right on down the road.

I love my friend.

But I do not love the threadbare idea of waiting for him or even looking like I am or that we were ever, ever, ever meant to be anything more than friends.

Let me slay this idea now.

Which is part of why I have not gotten a hold of him.

I know his name, I know his family, I know where his parents are and I have their numbers, I could have called, but I wanted to leave him be.

I wanted to let me be with the history and leave it at that, history, a fond recollection of love and friendship, some longing, and hazy romantic fantasy regret that was already so long ago abandoned.

“Your only amends to him,” she said, leaning over the table in the cafe, “is to leave him alone.”

I was mad you see.

Though my friend was uncertain when we spoke tonight when the last time we had spoken was, I remembered.

I did not until he had mentioned it.

Then.

There.

Valentines Day.

Two years ago.

He called because he was thinking of me.

No fair.

Foul ball.

You don’t get to do that.

Not when you live thousands of miles away and you know our history, I cry, no fair.

No fair to say you were driving through the countryside and thinking of me; not on Valentine’s Day, nope.  I don’t think so.

So, you know, I did some inventory and I took the suggestion and I left it be, I left him be.

Oh.

Yeah.

He popped up.

Now and again, I would want to talk to him and tell him about my adventures.

But now I wonder.

If he’s a fantasy, if the story I told myself for so long was an idealized romantic story that was never going to pan out, no way to change that which is unchangeable, what if I was a fantasy for him too?

What did I bring to him?

Undying affection, adoration, some sort of ego balm?

Does it matter?

I don’t know.

I don’t know what the future will bring, we’ll be friends and maybe some day down the road we’ll hang out again and it will be exactly what it’s always been-a tale of two misfit friends that circumstance threw together.

And nothing more.

The love will always be there.

But the fantasy does not need to be.

I am done with that story.

I allow myself a new chapter.

A new tale.

A different future.

My future is mine.

Not his.

 


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