Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

Here Again

July 11, 2019

These old memories.

They bang at my head.

A washing of blue jean sky,

Salt tenderized by the sea.

Light.

So.

Californian.

Like my soul,

Built on mussel sea shells

Found by the sea shore.

Sally sells them for a penny a piece.

(find a penny pick it up)

In a brown paper bag I left them.

Hiding, the shells–

Underneath the Volkswagen’s seat.

The bounce of light against the

Rear window in the back seat of the Bug.

Little girl.

Brown eyes wide.

Watching the clouds scroll by,

Catching glimpses of ocean blue between the dunes.

Side mirror reflections bring me back to now.

Decades later.

Decades.

(All day long you’ll have good luck)

Four to be exact.

Those days down by the sea

Watching the water foam over the shore,

Tiny sandpipers scurry.

Coppertone baby in white panties,

Already insecure in my body,

Scampering at the edges of the sand burning bright

Heat rolling up my legs from my feet.

I am.

Curly headed.

I am.

Sweet lipped.

I am.

Brown as a nut berry.

(See a  penny, let it lie)

Pink soled feet softened by the rasp of sand.

Now I am plagued by these,

Photographs of melancholia–

Nostalgia tinged with seaweed.

The cry of mermaids in the grotto.

Sun high.

Heat on high

Cooking hotdogs on aluminum foil on the hood of the Volk’s.

Sand, a grit in my teeth.

Running back to the water, the ocean nips at my feet.

I find another shell for my paper bag.

(All good luck will pass you by)

Listen for the soundtrack to these memories.

One that drifts on the radio dial of Northern California

70s folk rock.

The outlines of my heart.

The nook in the cafe.

A flash of vinyl, the undertone scratch of needle finding the groove.

The light.

The light.

The light.

The smell of salt.

The hint of driftwood bonfires at the edge of night.

Golden foiled light in the dying

Embers of my childhood.

Bespoke.

Bag of shells.

Halo of white sun as I close my eyes to

Everything.

Lost again in that bright light.

Washed out in the sun.

Freckling my face.

I am.

Softened now

By these.

Kisses of eternity.

A Time I Will Never Forget

September 1, 2018

I am appropriating your words again, my love.

You renamed something of ours.

It was appropriate.

The re-naming.

I approved.

I responded.

I know.

No contact.

I don’t know that you saw it.

But.

I hope that you did.

And I said.

“Nor will I, my love.”

Nor will I.

I can’t forget that time, our time.

The city we were in.

The heat.

The warmth of you next to me on the stoop in Brooklyn.

Our picnic that I put together.

The way the day’s sun had warmed the cement, the call of the birds settling in the trees.

The same birds that would awaken us in the morn.

They seemed to call to me.

Here.

Now.

Be with him.

And I gave myself to you.

I have no regrets.

In the giving I was given to.

The sacred radicalism of our love.

The driver the night before as we came over the bridge from one borough to the next.

She asked us if we were married.

We weren’t.

But you know.

We were.

We are.

Married and joined in some other way.

I felt betrothed to you.

I still do.

I write about that sometimes.

I haven’t told you that.

I still write your name, in its fullness, in my morning pages, and that I am married to the great love of my life.

Then.

Yes.

I list all the places we will travel to.

Places we have already been.

But will need to go back and reclaim.

And places that we will go to.

And make them ours.

Today I was in such a place.

Out by the sea.

Rockaway Beach.

It is not a particularly luxurious spot.

There is something rough and redneck about it.

And yet.

As I ate my three egg omelet at the table in the cafe while I watched the ocean come in and go out, I could not stop thinking of you.

I could see us in the hotel room where I am staying.

Alone.

My room-mate never showed for the intensive.

I could see you and I here.

Together.

Then in the cafe later, having a very late breakfast, drinking too much coffee, making plans to build bonfires at the beach.

Telling each other stories from our rebellious youth.

I could see your face across the way.

So real.

I teared up.

I cried over my three egg with cheese and bacon omelet.

Then.

Damn the music sometimes.

One of the songs that you put on my dance card came over the sound system.

REALLY?

I thought.

Really.

Now.

In this moment.

Right now as I am figuring out the tip for the waitress.

She wasn’t great but she’s my waitress and she’s going to get at least 20%.

Once a waitress.

Always a waitress.

And that song.

Not even a recognizable Elvis song, or an obvious heartbreak song.

Just something to dance to.

Remember.

When you made me that playlist.

And we went to the beach.

It wasn’t the best time at the beach.

I think we actually fought.

But we made up.

We always made up.

I wish we were making up now.

Instead of being nostalgic for another time.

A past time.

A memory that grows, though not distant, removed.

I miss you baby.

I wish I was making more memories with you instead of trying to reconcile not being with you.

I wish I was writing you poetry that you would actually read.

I wish you had been next to me, not just at the cafe.

But at the beach.

I saw the plume of a whale spout.

Then a humpbacked breached.

I gasped a loud and reached for your hand.

I almost fell off the damn rock I was sitting on.

Reaching for something that is not there.

Grief.

Yes.

Grief.

For a time I will never forget.

For a man I will always want.

For a love that is not mine to have.

But.

I had it anyway.

And no one can take that away from me.

Not anyone.

Now.

Or.

Ever.

Random Images

July 8, 2018

Daydreams and revery.

Blues songs on the radio station you programmed in my car.

The blue of the ocean in my rear view mirror and the trembling thought of wild-fire in my heart.

You like a car in a meadow filled with flowers and tall grass.

A car with the windows open and soft snow falling inside it.

I saw that car today.

Barbara Lewis on the stereo.

A soft kiss of nostalgia.

I wanted to climb into that car in the heat of summer, to cool off, to be dusted with that soft snow.

I would open the door, climb in and settled down.

No need to change the channel on the radio station.

Just lay my head back against the seat and let the snowfall of memory engulf me.

I could ride around all day in that car.

Eyes closed.

Leaned back.

Checked out in the glossy remembrance of your embrace.

Your smell would wrap around me like a chambray shirt.

I want to curl up there.

On that seat.

In that car.

Drive forever.

I would look up at the ceiling and realize that the roof top was open and the snow fell from the heavens above me.

And then notice that it was not snow falling.

But stars.

Soft and cool.

Stars dusting my shoulders and glittering in my hair.

Star shine.

Moon shine.

Love shine.

I would hold your hand.

Press it to my mouth.

Wanting only to drive down the night into the sunset of my never-ending always longing desire for you.

I don’t know where that meadow is.

Full of flowers and light and monarch butterflies.

Birdsong.

Love song.

Heart song.

I don’t know where that car is either.

Yet.

I sense it there.

In the whispering of my psyche.

In the skeins of time.

Waiting.

Just waiting.

For you to pick me up.

And.

Drive me home.

 

Well, I Almost Did It

December 25, 2017

Not cry that is.

But, sucker for nostalgia, lonely hearts, and Elvis Christmas carols.

I caved and cried a bit.

Christmas Eve alone.

Which is ok.

Really it is.

I’ve had plenty of special this Christmas season.

And I won’t be alone tomorrow.

I’ll be going to the East Bay to meet a friend and see her new place and go out to a movie matinée and a meal.

It will be sweet and the traffic will be easy.

I wasn’t completely lonesome today.

Sometimes being alone is just perfect and needed.

Lonely and alone are two very different things.

I was alone most of the day, although I did get out and do things.

I went to yoga, and it was a great class.

I left feeling so good and literally said out loud, “I have to figure out how to do this more often.”

The yoga studio is super close to me, but my schedule, shocker, conflicts with many of the classes.

I wish that had some early morning week day classes, but so far there’s just one, a 7 a.m. on Tuesdays that just recently started.

I haven’t gone yet as my therapy appointment is a 9:30 a.m. cross town in Noe Valley on Tuesdays.

I figure I could actually do the class if I set myself up right the night before, bring breakfast with me and coffee and have it at work, skip doing the majority of my morning routine, and cram in a yoga class before therapy.

I just haven’t tried it yet.

This Tuesday, however, I don’t have therapy, my therapist is away for the holiday, and I have been thinking that I will go to the 7 a.m. class and see what the timing is like.

A sort of dry run.

I’m not expected into work until 11a.m. so I’ll have plenty of time to do the class and do my morning routine.

I may even get a Friday morning yoga class in this week too, my family will be out-of-town for a long weekend and I have all day Friday off.  I haven’t booked in anything yet though, holding out to see what will arise.

Something will I am sure.

So, yes, yoga today and hot shower and hot latte and hot breakfast and lots of writing.

The lady bug I was supposed to meet with cancelled so I took myself to the Inner Sunset, got a cafe au lait and went to the nail salon.

Manicure.

Pedicure.

Eyebrows.

Lovely.

I wanted to go to Marnee Thai for a late lunch and was surprised to find them closed.

So I headed back home and had a really nice bowl of soup.

I noodled around a little here at the house and knew I should get out otherwise I might catch a case of the sads.

So I stuck a chicken in the oven to roast for dinner and some Japanese sweet potatoes and set off for Ocean Beach.

I saw a few Christmas tragedies happening, a drunken Santa Claus that I had seen stumble into the Fireside Bar on Irving and 7th which is right next door to the nail salon I go to, tumble off the MUNI and bumble his way across the street with “Santa Baby” playing loudly on a boom box and totter into Pittsburgh’s bar.

Which has most of the neon blown out in the sign so it just says “urgh’s.”

How I think that Santa must have felt.

I had seen one other tragic Christmas moment at the nail salon.

A woman walked in looking for a highlighter brush for a hair dye kit.

She was pretty glazed, Valium or something of the sort, and she knocked over a bunch of salon merchandise and then literally sat down on the floor in front of the accessories and mumbled how was she going to do her highlights before the Christmas dinner had to be cooked?

Yikes.

Merry Christmas lady.

But.

For the most part, it wasn’t a bad day, really, just quiet, like I said, and I managed to sneak into Java Beach and get the last cafe au lait of the day before they closed down for the night.

Decaf, I mean, really I like my coffee, but I try to not have caffeine after four p.m.

Then.

I strolled down to the beach.

The sun had already set, but the twilight was so pretty.

I took a lot of photos.

I love, love, love, the new phone camera.

It really takes some nice shots.

IMG_0042

IMG_E0034

The above is not the best shot, it’s a little fuzzy, but the camera does this “live” photo thing that is pretty amazing, it shows my facial movement as I line up the shot and it’s really cool to see it, plus the filters are exquisite.

I liked the filter on this one.

The beach was super quiet and it wasn’t quite as cold as I thought it would be.

I walked for a bit and enjoyed it immensely.

Then I came back to the house and pulled a perfectly roasted chicken out of the oven and had myself a damn fine meal.

I headed back out planning on doing a meet up with my fellows over at the Palace of Fine Arts, but only found folks meandering around the parking lot.

Apparently the facility had forgotten to alert them that the building would be closed for the holiday.

So I said hi to a few folks and then went for one more walk.

The Palace is pretty special and at night it really shines.

IMG_0043

The Christmas lights on the houses around the park too were just beautiful and though I didn’t have the night I was expecting it was a nice walk.

I queued up the Elvis Christmas album in the car and drove back to the Outer Sunset.

And yes.

Sigh.

I did tear up a little bit, but you know, the writing, this little blog, it helps me put things into perspective and I’m not so sad anymore.

Rather.

Just grateful as all get out that I have so much in my life.

Merry Christmas Eve!

May all your Christmas wishes be granted.

 

You Are A Magician!

October 10, 2017

I got the sweetest text tonight as I was wrapping up at my internship.

My boss had sent me a message extolling my baking prowess.

I made the family an apple tart tonight.

It was going to be a pie, but they only had tart baking dishes so I changed up what I was doing and made a butter pastry, yes, by hand, it’s not that hard, and did my version of apple pie filling.

The nice thing about it too.

All the apples came from their tree in the front of their house.

It reminded me of when I learned how to make apple pies.

I was twelve, we had just moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Windsor, Wisconsin.

I went from being in an urban multi-cultural neighborhood and school to rural white country in a blink of an eye.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, the racial stuff, the class system and structure, I got lumped into the “farm kids” group even though we didn’t live on a farm.

And yes, I have drank milk straight from the pail underneath a cow’s udder, I remember very distinctly that it was warm, but I was no farm girl.

I can pass for one though.

I currently pass for very urban, the tattoos do that and my funky style of dressing, which has been evolving for years, but it is still quite urban.

However.

I can pass for a country girl too, not so much a farm girl, but I know a lot about living in the country and the seasons, canning and jarring, making preserves, putting up food for the winter.

We had a pantry in the cellar.

And it was a cellar.

Oh, sure, we had a basement, but we also had a cellar too, an unfinished one with a dirt floor, which was spooky as fuck and after one winter of storing stuff there I declined to ever go near it again.

Some places are just too goddamn creepy and I had a penchant for reading Stephen King in highschool, which did nothing to help matters.

Anyway.

This country girl can also jam and she can bake.

My mom taught me.

We had an apple orchard on the property–4 Red Delicious Trees, 1 Golden Delicious, and 7 Cortland trees.

I don’t know that there are any Cortland apples in California, there might be, but I don’t recall seeing them in the stores.

I have dreamed once or twice about having my own apple orchard.

A modest one.

Maybe a hobby one.

I would be a famous writer.

Or better.

A writer who just made money writing.

I would have a big house and a small barn.

I would put up apples and preserves and make apple jelly and apple pies, apple sauce, and oh!

Apple butter.

So freaking good.

And of course.

Lots of apple cider.

I would write in my office in the barn and have a braided rug and a rocking chair, a big desk and a fireplace.

I would drink hot tea while the snow fell and be super content listening to the hush and crackle of snow falling.

I would fall asleep under large comforters.

I would have my bunny slippers of course.

It’s a sweet fantasy.

One I could imagine having here, partially, but it would be outside of the city, obviously.

Or.

Maybe I could just have my own house and I would have the trees that I like, a couple of apple trees, the Envy varietal or Pink Lady, I also really like the Mutsu apples.  And a persimmon tree.

Fuck I love persimmons.

And it’s persimmon season.

When I get done with my blog I will be having both and apple and a persimmon as my evening snack, I shall cut them up, sprinkle them with cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice.

The best.

I might have a pear tree too.

And definitely a fig tree.

Then a little kitchen garden–tomatoes, lettuces, onions, herbs–rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, heck, maybe even some sweet corn.

But really I want tomatoes, like the ones my grandfather grew in his garden in Lodi.

My grandfather helped my mom quite a bit with the planning of our garden in Windsor, we had an acre of land and the back of it was a big sprawling yard, halved by a grape arbor and then the back was the orchard and the garden.

The garden wasn’t as big as my grandfathers and I remember my stepfather (step asshole, step asshat, step misogynist, oops, sorry, digression) got some weird ideas about what to grow.

One year it was a god awful amount of cabbage and he decided we were going to make sauerkraut.

We made so much sauerkraut that four years later I could still find it in the pantry in the basement, not the cellar mind you, but the basement.

Another year it was potatoes and broccoli.

There was also a small strawberry patch, some raspberries, and red currants as well as rhubarb.

One of my mom’s masterpieces was her strawberry rhubarb egg custard tart.

God damn it was a miracle.

And my mom taught me her pie crust recipe.

Which, to this day, I can see on its index card in her small recipe box, the way she wrote her letters and the fanciful swoops and curves of her lines and the flourishes.

When I think of my mom sometimes I think that her creative soul can be found in her cursive handwriting.

I didn’t even need to look at the recipe card after a few years, I had made so many pies that it was unnecessary.

I made apple pies, of course, until the cows came home.

This is a saying, not literal, although there was a farm just down the road that the dog liked to go occasion once in a while to piss off my mother by rolling in the cow manure.

There is nothing fouler to smell than a dirty dog in cow shit.

Anyway.

My mom taught me well and it was nice to dip back into those memories, to feel the seasons change, to think about fall abundance and harvest.

I miss baking sometimes and I’m a good baker, so it was super sweet and a bit special to make the tart for the family I work for.

I cooked a lot today for the family as it was a stay at home day for the kids, Columbus Day school observance, but the pie made me the happiest to make.

I didn’t need to taste it, I don’t eat sugar or flour, so that was out of the question.

But oh.

I smelled it.

And it was so good.

It reminded me of home, the days crisp and cool and the leaves turning and the grass still green but cold now on my feet when I was out picking through the windfall apples in the tall orchard grass.

I am so glad and grateful that I get to live in San Francisco.

But once in a while.

Yes.

I do get a touch nostalgic for the Midwest.

And baking today felt good.

Sweet.

Homey.

Cozy.

It stirred me and I was grateful for it.

And touched too, that the mom would send me such an effusive message.

I am glad they liked the pie.

I probably liked baking it more than they enjoyed eating it.

That might not seem possible.

But.

Well.

I think it is.

Cures For The Every Day

July 18, 2016

Emotional hang over.

Get eight hours of sleep.

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

Go to yoga.

Cry on the mat.

A lot.

Then do the fucking pose.

Breathe.

Do it again.

Go home.

Shower.

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

Will do it anyway.

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

Even though I am afraid.

That’s ok.

Be afraid.

Just don’t not take any action.

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

I had a nice breakfast too.

More coffee as well.

Did some writing.

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

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

Seriously.

This is the way to go.

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

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

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

Plus.

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

So.

You want to get your MOMA on.

Let me know.

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

Plus.

The place is huge.

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

So much scrumptious, delicious, devastating art.

I was so happy.

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

Rothko.

Gerhard Richter.

Hopper.

All the Calder pieces, so many!

Diane Arbus photographs.

And the Oculus bridge!

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

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

That being back in 2000.

Wow.

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

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

Excepting while it was closed for the renovation.

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

See.

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

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

Or I was still high from the night before.

I used the bathrooms all the time.

But.

I never used in them.

I couldn’t ever bring myself to.

It was sacrilegious.

It was my church.

Art still is my church.

Museums are where I go to commune with God.

Get high on art.

I just couldn’t do it.

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

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

Fuck.

I could get high all over the city.

The W Hotel bar right there on the corner.

Or.

Dave’s sports Bar on 3rd at Market.

But the MOMA?

Fuck no.

I just couldn’t do it.

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

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

It was sort of like how I felt about music.

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

But.

Eventually I didn’t enjoy it anymore.

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

Or.

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

It was not a good scene.

And.

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

It got real quiet.

And.

Real uncomfortable.

Real fucking fast.

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

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

So much.

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

Despite my fears of financial insecurity.

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

I got to amend my behavior.

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

I am so graced.

And.

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

It dissipated in the groundswell of gratitude flooding my heart.

Happy.

Joyous.

And oh.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Free.

 

I Choose Happy

October 22, 2014

It’s such a nicer choice than entitled.

I reflected as I listened to someone rant about not being in a relationship and how God, the Universe, the powers that be, etc, owes the person a fucking partner.

Not I, said the fly, on the wall, my head pressed back into the chair, clam and serene as fuck.

I was happy.

Happy that my day went well, long, tiring, but really fulfilling.

I got up and did my deal this morning and had a great breakfast and even had time for a second cup of coffee while I was doing my writing and then off into the great wide world that is the glory of San Francisco in October.

I think October in San Francisco might just be my favorite time of year.

Fall is always a favorite–the air, the coolness, the sun still shines bright, but that lick of chill that makes one pause and stuff a sweatshirt in the messenger bag for the ride home–the smell of burning fires on my ride home, the smell of clover that has just been cut in Kezar Triangle as I rode my bike to work, the stacks of pumpkins, the orange lights making the Conservatory of Flowers look like the Giant Pumpkin from Charlie Brown.

Granted the orange lights on the Conservatory of Flowers may have something to go with the Giants being in the Worlds Series.

Go Giants!

Ahem.

I love fall and this city does know how to do it so deliciously well.

Persimmons are in season.

Halloween is just around the corner.

I’m thinking about going as a jackalope.

Ha.

Or a bunny if I can’t wrangle up some horns.

The season is bright and clean and I have to say it is the one time of year that also reminds me of Wisconsin at certain moments.

Winter in San Francisco certainly does not remind me of Wisconsin, but there are certain nooks in the city when I turn the corner on my bicycle and suddenly, the light, the clear air, the flaming sugar maple on the corner, and I could be in Madison, a patch of grass, bright, shimmering, green and lush and I could be heading out to the East side or Vilas Park or Monroe Street.

It’s not always like this for me, but this is the one time of year that does make me a touch nostalgic for Wisconsin.

Apples.

Oh, the apples are in season now too and so divine.

Actually, that may be something to investigate, a field trip, and adventure, a sojourn to an apple orchard would be lovely.

I’m not sure there are any around this neck of the woods, but perhaps some research would bear fruit.

Literally.

It would make a good date for me.

And I go on dates with me too, a suggestion I made to the friend who was pitching a fit about being single.

Of course, I could feel a little bristle when I made the suggestion, but honey, I have been down that bitter road and there’s nothing at the end of the entitlement journey.

Certainly not a boyfriend.

I like taking myself on dates.

In fact, I just thought of one, something akin to the apple orchard thing, I think maybe a cruise down to Pacifica or nearby environs on my scooter might be in order.

I think there are a few farm stands along the way.

Or even a little further down the One.

I have been as North as I could go on my scooter–any further and I would have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and I’m not certain about doing the bridge on my scooter.

I was also happy when I told my date for this Friday that I would not mind grabbing a bite before the show and that the principle I was practicing was just that, happiness.

So what ever restaurant that looks like.

Although there may not be enough time between getting done with work and the show starting.

I’m not too concerned.

I’ll happily eat at work as well.

The happy started hitting me when I hopped on my bicycle this morning, the high clear blue skies, the scuttle of clouds, the sun-bright, the traffic light, the friend waiting at a bus stop that I waved to as I pedaled my way up Lincoln toward the Pan Handle.

The aforementioned smell of fresh-cut clover in Kezar Triangle the rush of cool air, exhilarating and refreshing, delicious with bright eucalyptus scent as I rolled toward the park, and the traffic, past rush hour, light on Oak Street, so I skipped the Pan Handle and hit the lights all the way to the Wiggle, then up and over to 17th street and then as I was stopped at 17th and Church a dear one of mine rolled by driving a MUNI train.

I waved to her and blew her kisses and grinned like a fool.

Happy.

Then on down 17th, hitting all the lights and a pitch perfect right turn onto Valencia, getting into the stride and rolling through all the intersections with the 13 mph wave for bicycles making my transit smooth as silk.

I wound up at work fifteen minutes early and stretched, drank some water, mellowed out a little from the ride.

Then I put some Pharrel Williams in my headphones and I did a little dance underneath the tree in front of my job while the sun dappled through the Japanese Maples on the block.

I was so happy, I replayed the song and danced my bike across the street, into the garage, and pranced my way right up the stairs to work.

I’m sure I amused the hell out of at least one of the neighbors if not a few of the construction workers on the house next door, but I did not care.

I was happy.

I still am.

It was a great principle to practice today and I am ever so grateful for these suggestions on how to better live my life.

Just the getting to live life can be enough, but I will often forget that it’s not a grind, it’s a gift.

And I like getting present(s).

Gifts make me, well, you may have already figured that out.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

 

 

Wash the Dishes

December 26, 2013

Wrap it up.

Bid adieu to Christmas.

Well, not quite, it’s still here, it’s still happening, the day has not quite ended, but I am back at the house sitting gig, my hands slightly softened from washing the dinner dishes at my friend’s house, the cat fed, the garbage taken out and another Christmas for me, put almost to bed.

A day of reflection and gratitude and sunshine.

Warm sunshine.

I took a walk this afternoon after doing my routine, that’s the nice thing about a routine, no matter what day of the year, I do it.

I don’t break away from it for my birthday or Christmas, or any other special occasion, I used to think that I could not afford to, but now I know that I do not want to.

My life, in great part, evolves because of the time I take in the morning to write, read, sit and be still, eat a good breakfast, and be settled in myself before going out into any day, any situation.

Christmas, then, being no exception.

Well, excepting I slept in a little.

The cat did wake me up to feed her, but I went back to bed after I did and that was luxurious and the nice hot shower after I woke up was lovely and the nice leisurely breakfast and writing and meditation.

Actually, said cat disrupted said meditation.

I was sitting in the big stuffed chair by the window in the back room, one of the only places the house gets any direct light, and there is a cat tree next to the chair.

About five, six minutes into my nice warm silent get right with God, the cat started washing it’s paws.

Yick.

Have you ever heard a cat clean it’s paws?

RASP, slurp, click, click, click (chewing it’s toenails), slurp, RASP.

Oh my god.

I stopped meditating right then and there.

But I received what I needed and I needed to get outside for a while, so I strolled up and down Dolores Street, enjoying the sunshine, the palm trees, the lack of traffic, the plethora of parking, and the occasional greeting being shouted out by other folks on their way to or from their holiday gatherings.

“Merry Christmas!”

He shouted, weaving around the sidewalk, “Merry, Merry, Merry!”

I crossed over to the other side of the street, definitely not engaging.

Although, I did find myself relaying a brisk, cheerful and bright “Merry Christmas” to a couple underneath the highway overpass who were torching up some rock.

It just sort of popped out.

And it was a better interaction than I had feared.

Which, all in all, most of my interactions are, even when awkward.

I think they are going to be awful, but they end up being fine, or good, or even great.

I don’t like taking CA Bike Route 25 because of that underpass, but it’s the only way to navigate Bayshore and it was the only way to go unless I wanted to go more than a mile or two out of my way and up and over Bernal Hill, and I still would have had to be on part of the wonky anyhow.

Made my hyper grateful that I was just there “visiting” that I did not have to take that kind of bicycle commute again.

I knew the underpass from years ago when I briefly worked in the Bay View wholesale vegetable and fruit markets doing some real basic data entry at wholesale market that a room-mate worked at.

I disliked the commute then, and I didn’t fare so well this time, but I got back and forth in one piece and the middle was lovely.

The house was warm and smelled amazing, in fact, it might just be the best meal I have had at the holidays in the last nine years.  The host had made the majority of the food to all the dietary restrictions of her guests–sugar and gluten-free–for all the mains and side dishes.

I had an amazing, beautifully cooked, home cooked, abstinent meal.

Now that is a Christmas miracle.

Of course there was amazing dessert for all, but I partook of  an adorable little raw fruit plate my darling host set down at my side without even asking.

I felt sweetly spoiled and taken care of.

That’s what the holidays for me are about and what, in my opinion, I miss about them from an earlier time.  Christmas was holy, special, a day were things weren’t open and places were shut down, where Christmas Eve was about the grandparents house and you had to make plans.

That it was not instant, effort was made, and when the effort wasn’t made it was really obvious.

The effort was made tonight and I felt really honored.

I also felt like I needed to show my gratitude and help where I could.

Which meant before the meal basically lighting candles, and having catch up conversation with old friends who had moved over to the East Bay.

But after the meal, meant washing the dishes.

And I don’t know what it was and I don’t know why I had my Christmas moment there, but that’s where I had it.

Normally, I have my Christmas moment in front of my Christmas tree at night watching it with the lights off, I get swept with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and rightness coupled with sweet nostalgia for all past Christmas trees.

This time it was over the dish pan.

Maybe it was the little kids, three of them, two boys and a girl all around three years old, being coaxed to say “Merry Christmas,” for the camera.

Maybe it was the pattern of flowers on the eggshell china.

Maybe it was the smell of the meal being wrapped up and put away for delicious left overs or the wife of a friend saying, “let me get a dish towel, I’ll dry.”

But suddenly, I was in the kitchen at my grandparents house in Lodi washing dishes over the sink, looking out the back window at the golden light falling onto the snow from the bay window in dinning area, listening to my aunts gently gossip, my hands plunged in the water, washing a plate, being quietly swept up into the adult dramas as the younger cousins sat huddled impatiently around the Christmas tree waiting to unwrap presents.

Dinner dishes always were done before the presents on Christmas Eve were opened.

And I was there, in Lodi, in Wisconsin, smelling the turkey and ham, hearing the fire crackle, listening to my uncles talk gruffly with my grandfather and wishing I hadn’t had the sticky popcorn ball my grandfather had made–dyed either bright red or bright green, wrapped in clear cellophane, made with thick, gooey heavy corn syrup, heated up, then mixed up with the popcorn that my grandfather grew–and yet, I can still taste it and am grateful to it.

Rituals.

Traditions.

Routines.

They bind me to who I am and where I came from.

I can never decide if I am more Californian, having been born here, raised my first formative years here, having spent nearly the last eleven years in here.

Or Wisconsin, having moved there at the age of 5 and staying, with a few detours, for almost 25 years.

I suppose I am a mix of both and I can be grateful for that too.

As I navigated the pee smelling streets and passed the crack couple having their holiday hits, I realized that I can perhaps make a hybrid of the two parts of me here, that I started by allowing myself a Christmas tree this year.

Maybe next year I make some traditions for me.

Or I visit Hudson, Wisconsin.

If I want a taste of that Midwestern thing.

That’s something to think about next year.

For tonight, a cup of tea, a cuddle with the cat, Downton Abbey’s Christmas Special, and I say thank you Father Christmas, it’s been a wonderful day.

Thank you, too to my friends who made sure I was included all the day long.

I feel loved and that, any day, Christmas, or otherwise, is a gift.

 

 

Not Tonight, Dear

September 28, 2013

I have a headache.

Serious.

If I was dating someone I would not be having sex right now.

I might be curled up in a fetal position asking for some cold ice water and a few ibuprofen.

But not blog?

Fuck, I can’t quite do it.

I am tired, which is most to do with a couple of back to back long shifts, but hey, you know what, rent, she is paid.

I made enough in the last few days to cover rent for the next month and have a few bills left over to do a little grocery shopping.

And next week I have full-time work as well.

Plus, I confirmed that I do indeed have an interview on Sunday for a possible position.

I still think they are going to pass on my services, but whatever, take the action, let go of the results.

Which should be the thematic for tonight’s blog.

Take the action let go the results.

I feel the results might be shite, but I write nonetheless.

As I was standing at the N-Judah stop in Cole Valley I listened to the conversation of a trio of French men and thought, well, at least I don’t have to figure out what they are saying, although I sort of wanted to, then I wanted to wittily say something about the conversation they were having.

But they weren’t just French, they were Parisian and that accent and the rapidity of the words, not a conversation I was about to butt into, without making a complete ass of myself.

My tired self.

My tired head ache self.

God I don’t want to finish writing this.

I wonder if I am coming down with something.

I think, though, it is just the hallucinatory feeling of being tired and sort of wired at the same time.

The weekend is upon me and I wonder what I will be doing.

And whom I may be kissing.

OH.

My favorite J. Davis Trio song just came on, “Breath of a Tiny Dragon”.

My head ache could fade off a little here.

Nostalgia.

So much for this song and all the layers of memory and feelings I have when I hear it.

First, I love it, well, because the female doing the vocals sounds a bit like me, she’s doing more of a spoken word vibe then singing, and she does sound like me, or I like her.

There were people back in Madison that actually thought it was me.

I have had people here in San Francisco hear the song and think it was me.

Nope.

But I can certainly sing the hell out of this song.

I love me some J. Davis Trio.

Wish they would do a West Coast tour and bring it up North to San Francisco or even Oakland, anywhere Bay Area would be hella tight.

Shit, I might even go down to San Jo to catch them.

I digress.

My fingers feel funny.

I think maybe I am a little hungry?

Uh, hmm, yeah, duh, I am.

I haven’t eaten my little night snack.

I have such a routine around it though, I always write my blog before I have one last nibble and one last cup of tea.

It’s my ritual.

How the hell am I going to be in a relationship when my blog gets more action than I do?

I suppose I am jumping the gun a little on that one.

Hey!

The Mister’s horribly busy work week ended today.

I told myself, no expectations, no regrets, no resentments, no getting let down.

I do that, I get all worked up and excited and then the let down.

Nope.

I say he’s busy and will be taking the weekend to recover.

I can wait until Tuesday.

Oh yeah, and what was that epiphany I had at Burning Man?

I am the ball.

No more chasing.

The man knows where I live, heck he was the first man to be in my home, he helped move me in, he helped me put together the bed from Ikea, he kissed me on the mouth, soft, soft, sweet, sweet, like persimmons that surprise you with cream and cinnamon in their orange pumpkin hearts.

Sigh.

Head ache is waning.

Is it the ritual?

Is it the compilation of words, or is it now, good Ipod shuffle!

The Belbel Gilberto on the player.

Who knows.

Maybe, perchance, it is because the words pile up and I am relieved to see that I have committed to my commitment once again.

See, I would, oh Chet Baker, I do fall in love to easily too!

I fall in love too terribly hard, for love to ever last.

My heat should be well schooled, because I have been fooled in the past.

I fall in love so easily, I fall in love too fast.

See, easily distracted.

Or dehydrated.

Or tired.

Or sore.

Definitely a little sore too.

I did not actually ride my bicycle in to work today, I caught a ride in with my room-mate.  We hit Trouble for some morning coffee to celebrate a significant anniversary in her life and then she dropped me off at the first nanny gig in the Castro.

I walked from 19th and Sanchez to Cole and Frederick today.

That may also explain some of the fatigue.

I walked a lot, with both my boys, in strollers at different times and then just by myself, because, why, well, I like to walk.

I am on my bicycle so much that I like to take a day off once in a while, slow down, stop and smell the roses.

Or touch the tress.

Seriously.

I do not know what compelled me.

Yeah, I’m crying over you.

I’ll be your saviour steadfast and true.

I’ll come to your emotional rescue.

Is it cheating to just write down the song lyrics to the music I am listening to?

Who cares!

It is strangely applicable and soothing.

As soothing as the bark on the tree I stopped to touch.

I stopped, reached my hand out and looked up into the canopy of leaves, the dappling sun flashing through to throw shadows of dark green on the rich velvet grass.

I sighed and sniffed the air.

I think the Japanese tourists who walked by thought I was high on acid or something.

The girl giggled.

I just smiled back.

I can stop and pet a tree once in a while.

What?

They say, who “they” are is beyond me, but you know what I mean, that sex is the best cure for a headache, that having an orgasm will eradicate one.

The paradox, of course, being that you don’t want to strip down and get naked and intimate and sexy.

But you know what, my head ache is almost gone.

And my blog is done.

Nighty night.

 

I love you baby, and I always will.

Ever since I put your picture in a frame.

I love you baby, and I always will.

Number One

July 21, 2013

This post does not really count as my daily blog post.

I was asked to contribute to a blog about women in their 40s.

I sent my first piece and she has asked me to contribute again.

Here, then is the piece I finished earlier today, which will come out in a few weeks on her blog 40s Represented:

 

What Was When

 

When we thought we would be best friends forever.

When we thought no other person, place, thing, or attitude could stand in our way.

When we were tied at the hip and our boyfriends begrudgingly made friends with each other, as there were no way we would choose a boyfriend over a friend.

Well, unless the sex was really good.

But even then, even then, it seemed that we would be together, forever, the four of us, always.

There was the time we realized that soon we would be heading away from each other, one to law school, one to graduate school, one to nursing school, one to get her Bachelor’s degree.  We did mushrooms as a ritual to bind ourselves to each other.  Our own little blood sister ceremony, except with psychedelics instead of actual blood.

We were inseparable.

That is what it felt like.

However, feelings are not facts, and the separation occurred and the boyfriends became husbands and the hobbies and jobs became careers and she graduated from law school, and she got her Masters, and she went to nursing school, and she lost her marbles and moved out West.

“Pusher, juice lady, pusher,” my friends gave me shit, I had mixed the mushrooms with frozen orange juice, ice, sugar, and champagne (mushrooms do not taste good on their own)

They gave me shit about a lot of things.

And they were always honest with me, pointing out foibles I would not have stood from other people.

“You’ve never had girlfriends, have you,” my best friend asked me one day after a long shift at the restaurant we all had met at, became friends at, became partners in crime, agents in arms, bestest girlfriends, ever, ever, and forever, amen.

“What are you talking about?” I asked my girlfriend and knocked back another swig of the Warsteiner she had poured into a frosted half liter glass mug and spiked with lemonade, a German summer drink called a Radler.

It was hot, the A/C was off for the evening, there was no one left in the beer hall and we were in the bier garden with our feet up on the benches, hanging out, talking smack, being girlfriends.

“Honey, you told B. that she had a ‘mom cut’ when she asked how you liked her new hair cut,” my friend said, “and she does, but you don’t say that to a friend.”

“It’s a total mom cut,” I said in defense, “why should I lie?”

“Because you hurt her feelings,” my friend said, “you don’t have girlfriends do you?

“Nope,” I said, and lit a cigarette.

I generally got a long much better with guys, they were easy to understand and I knew where I stood with them.  Women, however, strange nebulous creatures with emotions and make up and brunches, and family goals; nope, I did not have girlfriends.

Then, I took a risk, I took the risk that would be one of the biggest pay offs in my life, I said, “Would you be my friend?”

And she said yes.

She is still my friend today.

Despite being thousands of miles away, married, in a successful career, with three boys, and a home in a small scenic town on the Wisconsin, Minnesota border, we are still best friends.

Life happens.

Careers change.

People move.

Friends do horrible things to each other.

“You talked to me about the guy you fucked last night,” she said to me, tears standing bright in her eyes, “do you remember that?  Do you?”

We were at the airport and I was leaving, I was leaving after a disastrous 32-birthday weekend.  My friends had done an intervention on me.

“I was telling you about the baby I miscarried, and you were too wrapped up in your story of the guy you met in the bar,” tears overflowed, soft, slow, a dripping line of salt that corroded my heart, leaving me scarred by her hurt.

 

“I am sorry,” I said.

“I am done with you, I really am, they are trying to convince me, but I am done,” she finished.

I had contact with her once more, about a month later; she sent me magazines, a carton of cigarettes, and the novel Bridget Jones’s Diary.  She wished me luck, we chatted on the phone and then no more.

Eight years later I wondered where we had gotten to, what had happened, when, and who were we now.

Our collected group, smashed brains shrooming on the front porch of my house in the soft blooming July night so many years ago, declaring we would always be friends, to the end, to the death.

Forever.

But forever is a story that we tell ourselves before life intervenes and parents die, babies are born, and lovers ask to be partners ask to move away, careers burgeon, and houses are bought; the feeling though, at 40 is still there.

I cherish that time.

I don’t want to go back to it, but I am grateful for the time I got to have those women in my life.  They taught me the rudiments of friendship and I still look for those stalwart values in my current set of friends.

Not nostalgia so much as an honoring of those times and those memories and the seeds of friendship that were planted in my garden of female friends.

Sometimes a flower dies and you think, that was going to be a fixture in my garden forever, but you mulch it, and take the experience of it, and the memory of it, and use that to plant new seeds, new flowers, new friends.

I would not be who I am without those first girlfriends.

 

What happen is not a mystery, not shrouded in some gauzy film of noir, no, what happened was life.

 

No big secret there.

I honor those women, though, I always will.

They were in my thoughts as I traipsed about the cobbled streets of Paris on my 40th birthday and had lunch with a new girlfriend at a bistro in the Opera neighborhood and later at a café in the Montmartre with another new girlfriend.

“I am taking us all to Paris!”  I exclaimed, “For my 40th, we are all going to Paris.”

They did come with me, just not in the way I expected.

 

 


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