Posts Tagged ‘Mission Street’

Sold!

July 11, 2018

And bye-bye scooter.

I am no longer the scooter queen.

I took my scooter down to Scooter Centre today and sold her.

I knew once I had found out that they would sell used scooters that it was what I wanted to do.

No more mucking around with craigslist.

Then only inquiry I received via craigslist was actually someone trying to sell me a service.

No thanks.

This was just so much easier and I knew I didn’t have time to mess around with showing it off, talking about it, dicking around, making extra time for people to test drive it.

Nope.

I just wanted to turn over the keys and let it go.

Which is what I did.

We negotiated a price and I signed off the paperwork, the owner of the shop cut me a check and I was out the door.

I celebrated by depositing the check and taking myself out for a poke bowl for lunch.

Love some nice ahi tuna.

Especially on a warm day.

I decided to enjoy said warm day and I had packed up a book and a magazine that I planned on enjoying reading in the park that is close to my internship rather than taking a car share home and picking up my car.

I walked from Mission and 10th to Folsom and 14th, swung into Rainbow Foods, picked up some cherries and a Rau raw chocolate drink and meandered to the park.

I sat in the sun.

I read for two hours.

It was brilliant.

So to the sunburn on my feet.

Ugh.

I mean.

I wore sunblock everywhere else today but I did not think about the tops of my exposed feet.

Oops.

Oh well.

It was worth it.

To sit quietly.

To reflect.

Today was a super big day.

A lot of emotions.

A lot of movement through them.

Acceptance.

Sadness.

Joy.

Love.

So many things washing over me.

With big transitions thrown in.

Like.

The supervisor I want to work with underneath the umbrella of Grateful Heart Therapy replied back.

With a resounding yes!

Yes!

Yes!

She was super happy to work with me regarding supervision and she’s got the full supervisory accreditation completed.

All she has to do is some paperwork with the non-profit and she can supervise me and they can pay me out and do all the taxes and book-keeping for her.

Win freaking win!

And!

Oh the best, the best, the best!

She does have office space available for rent.

And she will rent to me!

So I have an office.

And.

Yes.

I received back the second letter of recommendation for the internship.

So, office secured, supervisor secured, letters of recommendation secured, updated resume.

All I have to do is fill out the rest of the application and submit it by August 11th.

I plan on having it done before I leave for Paris.

I want to be free and clear to enjoy my trip and leave everything in San Francisco for a while and give it all some breathing room.

Space.

Like the new space I will be moving into.

It’s officially unofficial.

I am moving out.

I accepted the terms of the buyout negotiations that I have been in with my landlady.

The paperwork is being drawn up and I will be signing it before I leave for Paris.

I am not quite ready to splash it about social media yet.

Until the paperwork is signed and I have the buyout money in my account it seems foolish to plaster it all over the place.

Suffice to say.

I am actively looking.

I messaged about a place earlier today while I was waiting for my office to open up at my current internship.

The one I had previously applied to turned out to be a scam.

If the price seems too good there’s probably a reason.

Not going to wire money anywhere before I see the place.

Anyway.

I am looking.

You know of something you let me know.

I have some buffer time, I don’t have to leap at the first thing that lands in my lap.

I can take some time to make sure wherever I go next is a good fit.

But.

Yeah.

I will be out by November 1st.

That’s the end date of my being here in my little studio by the sea.

I came home tonight and thanked her, my little spot, for all the lovely time I have had here.

I really am grateful for the five years I have gotten to spend here.

I have a few more months.

I don’t think anything will happen before I leave for Paris, aside from signing the paperwork and closing up the deal, but should it happen I would be happy to move on out when I get back.

Having space to do so is big.

It means I can be flexible, if someone says something great is opening up but not for a couple of months, I’m ok.

I am ok.

I keep reminding myself that.

It’s been a super stressful experience and the amount of anxiety and fear I have walked through is tremendous.

I am proud of myself for doing the work.

It was hard.

And I am very grateful to all the friends who I went to with questions, concerns, fears.

The shoulders I literally cried on.

I cried a lot this last month and a half.

It’s no joke out there.

I am hopeful though that the right place will come now that the wheels are in motion.

I doubt very much that I will need until November.

But.

If I do.

It’s ok.

I’m covered.

Taken care of.

Held.

Carried.

I always have been.

Even when I refused to see it.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Big Day

November 7, 2017

I got to work and walked in and sighed.

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

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

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

Which was really fulfilling and also a little exhausting.

And exhilarating too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What happens.

Here’s a snap shot of DNA Lounge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He wasn’t that gay that night.

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

Well.

Fuck.

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

Hung over.

Cracked out.

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

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

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

They wanted to hear more about the despair.

Because.

Well.

Drama.

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

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

And what it means to work with children.

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

She teared up.

Yes.

That.

Let me pull your heartstrings.

Let me show you how resilient I am.

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

Whew.

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

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

No wonder I walked into work and already felt exhausted.

Sigh.

It won’t be that bad.

It’s not that bad.

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

So that’s what I’m going to do.

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

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

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

A girl needs a little fun too.

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

I need to let myself let loose a little too.

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

And I’m so not dull.

Seriously.

Poetry In Translation

February 6, 2017

Is like taking a shower in a raincoat.

Yes.

I went and saw a movie today.

That was a line between two of the characters.

It was lyric and sweet and the sweep of it was soft and gorgeous.

I was unexpectedly free this afternoon.

I had some things come up and I had to change my plans.

I had managed to get up and go to yoga, even though I really didn’t think I was going to after the late night I had last night.

I had turned off my alarm and just planned to let myself sleep in, but I was up in time to make the late morning yoga class and I went.

I really didn’t think I was going to, even after I had gotten out of bed.

I went and washed my face and brushed my teeth, drank a glass of water, took my iron supplement and flax-seed oil and went to get dressed.

I opened the door to the closet and pulled off my yoga pants from the rack and put them on.

I almost laughed out loud.

It was just so automated, my body telling my brain what it wanted to do and just doing it regardless of the brain that was like, no, you’re not going, my body was like, sorry Charlie, as my hands pulled up my yoga pants and then my sports bra and top, I actually chuckled at myself, I was that surprised.

Sometimes I have smart feet and they just carried me along despite my brains weak protestations that I could just go at another time.

Yeah.

Sure brain.

You get me into some hot spots you know, why don’t you just take a back seat today.

The yoga was good, but hard, I mean, it was a super challenging class, but I found myself letting it be hard and doing what I could to keep up and just being there was more than good enough.

I came back home, changed and made breakfast.

I did some inventory and decided that I needed to change-up my plans for the day, but I was till going to head down to Let It Bleed and see my tattoo artist.

I need some touching up on the star tattoo I got two weeks ago.

But.

Shoot.

It’s not fully healed.

“Nope, I’m not going to touch it, the skin’s too tight, it’ll end up tearing, you’ll scar, we need to wait a little longer,” he told me.

So.

No tattoo for me today.

Suddenly having time, I called a friend in the Mission, let’s hang out, I said on the message.

I started to walk towards the Mission and decided to go see a movie before I headed over to my friend’s house.

I ducked into Opera Plaza and saw Paterson.

It was just the perfect reprieve and the perfect place to watch a matinée on a rainy Sunday in San Francisco.

The theater was actually quite a bit fuller than I had expected and it was cozy, smelling of warm buttered popcorn and the soft warmth lulled me and the movie with its fluidity of images and poetic moments, its small details and artistry drew me in.

I left happy and content and meandered a nice mellow walk to my friend’s house.

We chatted, had tea, he fed me an apple and a thick slice of brie, we caught up, compared notes about this and that, school, mutual friends, life.

It was just right.

Then I headed over to Firewood Cafe up in the Castro and had a big heart to heart with my person about the events of my day and got some suggestions and afterwards we went over to Diamond and 18th and hung out with a big group of fellows and I got to be held and it felt so good to sit next to someone who loves me and gives me perspective and also doesn’t sugar coat anything and yet advocates for me in a way I am not sure anyone has ever done before.

And now home.

Some Jeff Buckley on the stereo, I was just talking about the show that I saw him in when he was on tour with his album Grace last night with my friend in Oakland.

I love you.

But.

I am afraid to love you.

How I heard the news when he died, drowning in a river, the Mississippi to be exact.

I was setting up the Angelic Brewing Company for that night’s dinner service and had cued up Grace to play on the sound system and one of the waitresses walked past and stopped and said, “God, weren’t you devastated when you heard he’d died?  I haven’t been able to listen to this yet, thanks for playing it now.”

I gasped.

I had remembered only that day wondering when he was going to be on tour again, impatiently waiting for his long over due album My Sweetheart, The Drunk.

I ended up giving him a eulogy in my speech class that semester and crying shamelessly during it.

Music moves me.

When he sang Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah during the encore at the Barrymore Theater in Madison I just about collapsed with the joy and the exquisite pain of the music.

But you don’t really care for music.

Do you?

Things change.

But somethings are indelible on my soul and that song, those words, landed and stuck.

I have a great deal of perspective since then and have grown, moved, changed, evolved, but poetry is poetry is poetry.

And when I walked through the streets of San Francisco in the overcast grey and threatening rain I was glad for the light and the rain and the soft forlorn grey and the sweet surreal beauty of the sky over the Opera House, in the alleys of the Mission, the graffiti murals washed clean and bright in the tepid grey of the day, my heart shifted and the bloom of the umbrella over my head sheltered me and led me forward into the heart of the city that I am so-called to be a part of and belong to.

I am.

Even when the day was different then what I expected.

The open window lets the rain in.

The open heart lets the love in.

Thank you San Francisco.

I do so love you.

I do.

Thank you for loving me back.

It has not gone unnoticed.

No.

It has not.

 

Day By Day

October 27, 2016

I just get by.

Or.

So the thinking goes.

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

This is not a problem.

Granted.

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

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

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

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

Nope.

So not having rain today, grateful.

Tomorrow is another story.

Rain, rain, rain.

All week.

All weekend.

Ugh.

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

I don’t have plans.

I don’t have Halloween plans.

I don’t have a date.

I don’t have anything.

Well.

Ha.

I guess I have homework, there is always that.

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

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

Kiddo out sick from school.

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

Despite having brought it in with me.

I never touched it.

I did play a lot of Go Fish.

I did hang out and read him Harry Potter.

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

I made homemade pizza for dinner.

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

Story of my life.

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

I got up and did a lot of writing.

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

I felt a little lonely today.

There is that.

Loneliness happens.

But.

I know that I am not alone and that helps.

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

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

It’s a kind of body memory.

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

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

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

The goose hung high.

I was literally the proverbial boy whistling in the dark.

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

I was a flapper.

I had a pretty awesome outfit.

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

I got a lot of compliments on my outfit.

I was pleased.

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

I was going to get the sliders.

I got a phone call instead.

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

It was my dealer.

He was out and how much did I want?

I hemmed and hawed and said two.

Two grams of cocaine that is.

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

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

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

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

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

Fuck.

It was in brick.

I managed.

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

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

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

Dinner sat and got cold.

I drank another cocktail.

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

Where?

I have no clue.

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

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

I remember calling my dealer the next day.

And the next.

And well.

You get the idea.

So.

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

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

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

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

I never want to go there again.

I mean.

Never.

Happy.

Joyful.

Free.

Thank God for this life.

I am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Friday

October 1, 2016

I finally made it.

Tomorrow is my first day off in two weeks.

It feels surreal and already gone, wasted, like I didn’t do enough.

Sigh.

Sometimes the days they are like that.

But.

I did do a lot today and though I didn’t make it far past the church on the corner across from Safeway, it was enough after work fellowship to feel like I was plugged back into the matrix.

It didn’t hurt that I got a new phone today too.

The rice thing didn’t work with my old phone, I didn’t actually think it would, my phone was submersed for too long in the water, but hey, I tried, and having a day off from my phone was not a bad thing.

Weird.

But weird is ok.

I think that’s how I feel right now.

Just a little bit weird.

Not a bad thing, but just a little turned around, a little unsure the lay of the land.

And probably just a little tired and needing to decompress from the work week, the school week, the stuff and things, the phone.

All of it.

I am super glad I did not buy a phone yesterday as well.

The difference in the place on Mission Street versus going to the Radio Shack in the Inner Sunset was night and day.

First difference was they had a similar model Iphone to the one I dipped into the toilet.

I had an Iphone 5C.

I was able to get an Iphone 5S.

And.

It had a big promotional, so I got it for half of what I would have paid at the store in the Mission which was pushing me to sign up for a lease to buy the Iphone 7.

No thank you.

I mean.

Sure.

If I had a lot of spending cash, but I don’t really need it and the cost seems to out weigh, and I mean out weigh by a lot,  my needs for it.

I’d rather go get my butt back to yoga class and sign up for another six months of studio time then lease a new Iphone 7.

Besides.

I just wanted to buy it out right and not have payments over my head.

So I was super grateful to find out that though I thought I was being flip when I told the man at the store, “I know you don’t carry five’s anymore, but I don’t need a seven…”

And he replied, “actually we have some 5S’s in stock and they’re on promo and you’ve got an upgrade.”

And he got me a great deal.

Half, actually more than half of what I was looking to pay.

And.

The second biggest difference in the two stores, this customer service guy went over my contract with a fine tooth comb and got rid of some superfluous things, got me unlimited talk and text and got me a plan that is $10 less a month than what I’ve been spending.

That was awesome.

Even when I realized I had no contacts in my phone once it was turned on.

Although I did have some texts and was able to get a few numbers programmed in.

Then.

Later today someone made a comment about “why didn’t I back up to the cloud” and I was like, all fuck you in my head, then, I remembered.

Fuck me!

I had.

And now, this is weird.

I did it two days ago.

Two.

The day before I dropped my phone in the toilet I backed it up to the cloud.

I have no idea why, it just occurred to me out of the blue and I did it while I was at work.

I mean.

I have had that phone for years and never once thought to back it up to the cloud.

Then the day before yesterday I decide to do it, its super simple, not sure why I hadn’t before, and when I remembered that I had in fact done the back up I went into my new phone connected to the cloud.

And voila!

All my contacts back.

Fuck yes.

That was super nice.

Also super nice was the realization that I was trying to go to fast again.

And going to fast yesterday was part of the problem with dropping my phone in the loo.

So.

I cancelled an appointment that I was scheduled to be at to do the phone thing and not feel pressed for time and remade it for next week at the same time.

I got a positive response, confirmed and then when the phone wrapped up easily and quickly and I was paid and out the door.

I thought, fuck it, I’m getting my nails done.

I had the time and I don’t want to be out riding around a lot tomorrow on my scooter.

The crazy is already happening.

Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass is going on and there are a lot of extra drivers and people in the city and I just want to keep a low profile.

There is the off-chance I might take the scooter over to a garage of a friend who has a part for a cosmetic fix on my scooter that I didn’t have my shop take care of.

But.

That’s not confirmed.

The only thing that I will definitely do is hit my 7 p.m. spot and I’m thinking about going to yoga in the morning and committing to that now that my brain doesn’t seem so on fire with life in general.

I also picked up my favorite new perfume from Tiger Lily today, Rose Flash, and had a nice time chatting up the ladies there who remembered me and were happy to help me out with the task of smelling really fucking good.

I smell delightful I tell ya.

Tomorrow I think I shall be chill.

And I will probably do some reading for school.

The towering stack of text books to my right is not going anywhere soon and I need to read them.

All of them.

And write some papers.

Although I may not this weekend.

I may just do as much reading as I can and let the papers go until next weekend.

Anyway.

Friday.

I made it.

Thank you God.

Sound of me sighing.

Good night.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Those fuckers have big teeth.

heh.

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.

What A Long Strange Day

March 1, 2015

It’s been.

Not a bad day.

No, not at all.

Just strange.

Disjointed, out-of-place, off my schedule, up and about and going places and doing things, not much things, but things, that I don’t ordinarily do and places I haven’t been to in a long time.

24th Street for one, below Valencia Street.

It’s been a long while since I was in that neck of the woods.

I had a workshop that I was running up in Noe Valley today and it was sort of smack in the middle of my early afternoon.

Too early for me to get lunch out and about, but too late to get stuff done here in the neighborhood before I had to be up in Noe.

I did get a call from a girlfriend as I was writing this morning and we made plans to meet and hang out after my commitment was up.

A commitment that I am extremely grateful I got to show up for and do and be of service.

“You are gifted,” she said to me, “you really know how to do this thing.”

I’m not sure if she was referencing my style or the way I ran the workshop or what, but I do have to say, I was quite happy with how it came off.

I have never done anything quite like it before and it was a unique experience for me to go through.

One in which I did a lot of reflection around for the weeks coming up to it and one in which I was happy to say went off so well.

It was also fun to dress up for it and flounce about town in my polka dot party dress.

A lot of the workshop was showing the steps I took to be my authentic self in recovery and discussing body image and sexuality and how I have found growth, amazing growth in those areas.

It felt not only appropriate but down right correct to be dressed up in my outfit with my hair done up with roses and bright red lipstick on and just be me.

I have felt like I am stepping more and more into my skin and I so do like that.

Afterward I took myself out for a late lunch at a little Chinese restaurant, Tung Sing, on 24th.

Simple, light, easy, steamed veggies and shrimp, brown rice, green tea.

I ate half my meal, packed up the other half for tomorrow, and walked down 24th from Noe Valley into the Mission nibbling on an apple I picked up from the Farmer’s Market in Noe Valley.

Ah.

The Mission.

Loud.

Dirty.

Weirdly gentrified and old school drug addled all at the same time.

It was a boiling pot of tourists taking Uber straight to Balmy Alley in their Coach leopard print slip ons and Kate Spade clutches to snap photos of the murals to the homeless nut bag talking to himself on the corner where the line wound around the block to Humphrey Slocombe for artisanal ice cream.

Olive oil ice cream anyone?

I met my friend walking up the street and we window shopped and talked about life and schedules and Burning Man.

If I’m going.

I want to.

How I’m going to go.

I don’t know.

She’s already got her ticket, has a place to camp, is roaring into her second year ready to have a new experience after the debacles at the Gate last year getting stuck in the rain storm at will call.

I have no idea where I would camp, where I would get my ticket from, how I would go, what I would stay in, how I would do it.

But I suspect, do it I will.

She and I talked scenarios and meandered at a slow, leisure like pace.

We stopped at Philz so she could grab her coffee.

I declined staying for coffee.

I was actually a little overwhelmed by the crowds and the tourists and I cannot remember a time when I had ever walked into Philz before on 24th and Folsom and felt so not a part of.

It was such an awkward combination of tech guys and tourists and hipsters, but out-of-town hipsters, that I did not want to stay and intermingle.

Maybe another day.

Today I was grateful for my quiet, or quieter, life down by the sea.

There are tourists out here too, but it’s just a little different and not as developed and nowhere near as crowded.

So instead of grabbing a cup, large, no sugar, just cream, of the Greater Alarm, I went with my friend and looked at more shops and made sure to walk on the sunny side of the street.

I got my sunshine on, that’s for sure.

We walked up 24th to Noe Valley, stopping at Issa on 24th and Chattanooga and then over to Common Scents before hitting the Whole Foods salad bar.

Then.

Starbux.

Not because I like the tea or the coffee all that much, but because it’s central to my evening commitment, there’s WIFI and there’s big cushy window seats to people watch from.

And sky watch.

The sunset tonight was spectacular.

Not so much the news that I heard shortly thereafter, namely, that the spot I was headed to had been cancelled without notice.

Well shoot.

Who knows what I might have done with my day if I hadn’t been wandering around waiting to cover my Saturday evening commitment.

I was miffed momentarily, then whipped out my phone, looked up some information and headed off to catch the MUNI back to the Sunset.

Arriving at my destination early I popped into Tart to Tart and got a lemon ginger tea and read my book for about 45 minutes.

Then I ran into old friends also displaced from this evening’s routine.

We joked about being ex-pats and caught up.

It was as strange day, again, not unpleasant, just long and meandering and in some ways good for me to see that I have really grown quite fond of my side of town.

I’m a city girl for sure, just look at how I dress, but I need the quiet and the stillness out here, down by the sea.

I thought I would always be a Mission girl, for always and forever.

And while I know I will always be a San Francisco lass.

I may have turned the corner.

To becoming a local from the Sunset.

The Outer Sunset at that.

Who would have guessed.

 


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