Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Hello Friday

August 12, 2017

My God.

You smell amazing.

There is nothing.

I mean.

NOTHING.

Like coming home to a package from Chanel.

Oh.

God damn.

And even thought I knew what it was, I still unboxed it like it was a surprise.

I was so giddy.

So happy.

The biggest smiles.

And.

The most delicious of smells.

Yes.

That’s right.

I am back to my scent.

I have adored wearing Rose Flash, it’s been a nice little thing to have and I get sweet compliments on it.

But.

It is not Chanel.

It is not my scent.

My signature scent for decades has been Chanel Egoiste.

Pour Homme.

That’s for Man.

Yeah.

I wear a men’s cologne.

I never set out to wear a men’s cologne, it was a complete accident.

There are no mistakes in God’s world.

It was meant to be, but I didn’t know it at the time.

I found it at a discount store in the mall, one of those stores that specializes in products that have been discontinued.

It wasn’t in a box.

It must have been a sample from the big department store that was closing across the way.

I don’t know.

I had only been in the big department store once, I can’t even remember what the name of it was it wasn’t one that I was familiar with, then again it was in a land I was also unfamiliar with.

Iowa.

Yeah.

For a very strange year when I was 20 years old, I lived and worked in Newton, Iowa.

The short version of the story was that I was there to help my sister raise her child while her husband waited to get out of prison.

Actually they weren’t married yet, that happened at the prison a few months after I moved there with her to help her with my niece.

I swear.

This is the short version.

The long version is the book I wrote, the second in my memoir trilogy (yes I wrote a trilogy, no, it’s not published), called The Iowa Waltz.

Anyway.

We had moved there, my sister and I, as her fiancée was caught breaking bail in Wisconsin and was extradited to Iowa to serve out his sentence at the minimum security prison outside of Newton.

I got a job waitressing at Palma’s, this crazy Greek restaurant where the owner insisted that all the “girls” wear heels when working.

And dresses.

I might have gone to that department store to buy a dress, I think, in fact, that was why I was in the mall at all.

I certainly did not have a lot of extra money to spare, my sister was getting food stamps and WIC.

And I lied my ass off to get the bartending job.

My first shift the woman training me rolled her eyes, “you have got to be kidding me, you don’t know how to make a margarita?!”

It was a margarita night.

It was on special.

And.

It was strawberry.

I learned really fast.

And within a few weeks I was zipping around, tottering really, god how my feet hurt, the other bartenders and making pretty decent tips.

For Iowa, anyway.

The wife of the owner was the “bar manager” and she was a notorious Sambuca drinker and what is that Italian wine, god she drank it by the bottle and it was red and always chilled, Lambrusco?

And.

Fuck.

She smoked.

I mean.

I smoked, probably a pack a day at the time, but she smoked rings around me.

We were allowed to, oh the good old days when you could smoke while you worked.

Gagging.

Voula!  That was her name.

Shit, that just popped right up in my brain, I have not thought about that crazy bitch in a while.

Voula smoked three packs a day, easy.

It wasn’t that she necessarily smoked that much, but she always, I mean, always, had a cigarette burning in an ashtray.

And not just one, but five, sometimes six or seven.

“Do not put out any of her cigarettes, do not dump them, don’t do it, doesn’t matter if the ashtray is full to overfull, do not dump it, you will get the wrath of Voula,” my trainer told me.

She also told me under no circumstances to flirt with Voula’s husband.

Ew.

Yuck.

Why the fuck would I?

He was gross.

Balding, smoked just as much as she did, except he smoked cigars, and he had a big paunch and swinging jowls, I mean, not attractive.

“She will fire you if she thinks you’re flirting with him,” the head bartender told me, “she’s fired four girls in the last month.”

Fuck.

I won’t flirt, like I said, gross.

But.

I had drawn his attention.

And he made it clear.

I don’t remember what he said or how but it translated to I needed to buy another dress for work, and there was no mention of a clothing allowance or a uniform stipend, the money had to come out of my own pocket.

So.

The mall.

I must have found a dress.

And somehow I wandered into this strange little store next to the big department store, cheap trinkets, discounted stuff, old holiday decorations, odd toiletries and make up, junk basically.

But.

There.

On the shelf in the back right hand corner of the shop.

The bottle of Egoiste.

I do not know what compelled me to smell it.

I must have been registering it before I opened the lid and inhaled.

Oh.

Holy Mother of God.

It was the most amazing thing I had ever smelled.

Warm and spicy, musky.

Sexy.

Vanilla, coriander, sandalwood, rosewood, subtle cinnamon.

Not that I could have told you that then.

Fuck.

I was nineteen.

It just smelled amazing.

It blew my mind.

It was $19.99.

I had twenty-five dollars in my wallet.

I did not hesitate.

I bought it.

One of the best decisions ever.

I got fired two nights later when the boss lady’s husband decided to keep the bar open late and play poker with his buddies and he wanted a personal bartender.

Yup.

You guessed right.

Me.

I never once did a thing.

Nothing.

Didn’t matter.

I was fired when I came into work the next day.

“Get out of my bar,” she screamed at me, “you’re fired you fucking whore.”

Yeah.

And goodbye.

Funny thing.

I actually got my next bartending job because of her.

“Wait, what?  You worked for Voula for two months?” The woman interviewing me said, she was the owner of Boots and Spurs, why yes, I did work at Iowa’s largest country western night club, how did you guess?

I nodded, abashed, I had indeed gotten fired.

“You’re hired!” She exclaimed, nobody makes it two weeks with Voula, let alone two months.”

She laughed out loud, “hell, I only made it four days, she was one of my first employers, years and years ago now.”

“You must be amazing, when can you start?”

And so began my illustrious career in a country western nightclub.

But that’s a blog for another day.

Or you know, just read the book when I finally get it published, there’s plenty of stories there, believe you me.

Anyway.

I was hooked.

I fell in love in Iowa with a men’s cologne from Paris.

So many, many years ago.

And I got a bottle today in the mail.

Such an amazing gift.

I opened it and smiled and laughed and giggled and hopped up and down a little.

And then I opened it.

Oh.

That smell.

So good.

So, very, very good.

And just for a moment.

I was transported back to that small town mall in Newton, Iowa (home of Maytag Washing Machines!) and my 19-year-old self.

My god.

How far I have come.

How very fucking far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Best smelling one too.

Heh.

 

 

 

I Didn’t Do Much

August 3, 2017

But I did a lot.

I mean.

I really did.

I didn’t even go to yoga.

No.

I slept in, I lounged in bed, I was dreamy and soft and it felt so nice to lie there and let my body be and not spring forward and charge off into my day.

Oh.

I had thoughts of going to yoga.

But they were dispelled for better things.

I took the morning easy.

I ate a lovely breakfast and made myself a latte.

I made some phone calls.

I talked to people I loved.

I got right with God.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I mean.

I can fill a page, the words they stream endlessly out of my finger tips, scrawled across the page, margin to margin, all the thoughts and dreams and feelings there on the paper, my pens in a mug on my table at the ready.

I do go through my pens.

My cheap little guys that I buy at Walgreens.

I am particular.

I only like the Wexford black ink pen.

That’s the generic gel ink pen that Walgreens markets.

I love it.

I begged a friend, who asked me what I wanted from San Francisco, when I lived in Paris, to bring me back pens.

The gel ink is the smoothest and the pen is just the right grip for my hand.

Ask me sometime.

I’ll show you the place it sits on my fingers and the writer’s callous there.

Yes.

I have a callous on my middle right finger from writing.

I rather adore that callous.

I also have a distinct muscle in my forearm, again, my right side, I am right-handed, that is pretty developed solely from doing the writing I do every day.

I love words.

Can you tell?

I did more than write today, although I did not go far from my house.

I made it to the back and sat in the sun for a brief moment in the afternoon around 2:30pm when there was fleeting sun that came through the fog.

Mostly I stayed home.

I did work on the house.

I cleaned out my closet and got a bag of clothes and a couple of pairs of shoes to sell to Crossroads.

I also moved everything in my kitchen, and pulled up the rug that I’ve had for the last three and three-quarters year, it was just a simple rag rug, but it had gotten pretty worn out and a bit ragged and I’ve been wanting to replace it for sometime.

I ordered a replacement on Amazon and it was delivered yesterday.

So.

Everything got moved, and I pulled up the old one, shook it out super hard, I did not toss it, it still has a use for me–I’ll be taking it to Burning Man and lining my tent with it.

I also had a long conversation with a woman who was referred to me by a friend in the fellowship who is going to Burning Man for the first time and she had a lot of questions and I just let her pick my brain for nearly an hour and told her where I was going to be camped and all the fellowship and community that is out there and it felt really nice to share my experience, strength and hope with her.

After I finished our conversation I got serious about re-organizing my space and cleaning, everything got dusted, even all my books.

And I winnowed through my books.

I’ve been wanting to sell a bunch of them for sometime.

I only have so much space in my in-law and though the idea of having a big library and loads of bookshelves is super serious appealing.

MY GOD how I want that.

Someday.

A house with a big library, books upon books upon books, paper, ones I can pull down from the shelf, hardcovers, and read, and inhale and love on.

But.

I repeat.

My space is small and I have only so much room and the stacks of books were starting to collect too much dust and really I haven’t had much time for pleasure reading since I started grad school.

So.

I dusted them all off, sorted through the ones I was absolutely not going to part with.

Like.

My copy of Bastille, Issue #2.

The small press that published my short story in Paris, “The Button Boy.”

Poorly edited, there’s a typo and a misprint.

But.

Fuck.

My short story.

In print.

In a publication.

I can say with no small amount of writer’s pride that my first publication was in Paris.

Not selling that guy.

Then a few books that were given to me as gifts and hold far too much sentimental value to ever let go.

Ever.

And the funny thing is, whatever doesn’t sell, I will happily take back and keep.

There will be some that don’t.

But for the most part I am such a sucker for the printed word, I tend to buy hard covers or first runs, so when I do sell I tend to be able to sell most of what I have brought with me.

There was a little sadness packing up the books.

But.

It’s stuff.

And when I came home tonight from doing the deal up the street.

Fuck was it good tonight!

I was so happy to come into my super clean, super tidy little home.

Fresh and clean and dust free, with a new carpet in the kitchen.

And.

Ha.

A “new” book on my table.

I discovered a book I bought two years ago, right before the first semester of my first year of grad school.

I had never gotten to read it.

Two years later.

I started and I’m 37 pages in.

I have my hopes that I will finish it before my text books start arriving in the mail, because as soon as they do, that’s the end of my pleasure reading.

I assure you.

Sneaking in one more day of leisure before I go back to work on Friday.

Yoga, this time for sure, in the morning.

Shower, morning prayer, writing, breakfast, go sell the clothes, go sell the books.

And then a mani/pedi.

I have a client consult in the early evening.

And that’s it.

The days of leisure and pleasure reading will soon be over.

It’s been a sweet little bite of time off from my day job.

My house is clean.

I did a lot of cooking today too, all my meals for Burning Man are in the freezer as well as covering my first weekend of my first semester, so I don’t have to cook or deal with that.

Yes.

It’s a few weeks out.

But it’s nice to have it done and there won’t be down time soon like I have had.

Sigh.

I have no complaints though.

It’s been a good run.

I feel rested.

I feel rejuvenated.

I feel ready for the next chapters.

And I feel happy having taken care of my home.

My sweet little sanctuary by the sea.

It may be small.

But.

It’s all mine.

And.

I do love it so.

Yes.

Yes, I do.

 

A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

Surreal

July 15, 2017

Having a Friday off.

It didn’t feel like a Friday.

My mind was confused and wobbly.

My phone has been working oddly, text not ringing through, missed phone calls.

Sleeping in.

I mean.

For me.

Really sleeping in.

Although I awoke, as per usual in the early morning the sun light muffled and opalescent in the fog which reflects back this brightness that is at once soft and dull and too bright to sleep.

I got up and used the bathroom and crawled back into bed.

I looked at my phone.

Too early.

I have hours, literally hours before I need to be awake.

I lay for a while running through my day.

Shhh.

Stop it brain.

Let it go.

Don’t make all your plans right now.

You don’t need to be anywhere but back asleep.

There was a moment when I almost just got up.

Then.

Miraculous miracle.

I feel back asleep.

And I slept for another hour and 45 minutes!

I was shocked.

I hopped out of bed and took a super hot shower.

I pulled up my hair.

No need to wash it when I am going to be getting it done, I mean, that would be ridiculous.

And I did get it done.

I am very happy with it, even though the blow out doesn’t suit my true self, it’s just a little too polished, a little too sleek and slippery, not my real curly textured hair.

But.

I always get the blow out.

It feels so luxurious to have someone spend that much time on my hair, the gentle heat and the round brush and I just close my eyes and drift off.

My colorist did a beautiful job on my hair and no more blond highlights, all back to a nice dark chocolate-brown.

Of course my natural color is not quite as dark as she took it, but the color fades after a wash or two and then my softer highlights begin to show through.

And.

Yes.

The grays too.

They are there, springing up at my temples, in the part on my head, streaks of silver.

At lest they are silver and not grey.

They are pretty little glints in my hair, and really, I have nothing to complain about.

I mean.

I am 44 after all.

It is pretty standard for women to be greying far earlier than 44.

I have good genetics but nature does march on and I have noticed them more in my hair and I am not upset by them, just curious to see how they come in.

Almost as I am with the fine web of lines around my eyes that I see more and more when I smile.

“You are such a friendly person,” the mom I work for said to me yesterday.

We were talking about how security is at airports and how she’s been stopped and what it was like and how I have been stopped and what that was like and that it will tend to happen more for me if I am showing a lot of tattoos.

I told her I forget often times that I have tattoos, even when I am currently thinking of getting another on my right forearm and having the one on my left forearm, the one I got in Paris, touched up (as it will be difficult to take time out of my schedule and hop a plane and go back to Paris to get it touched up), that I will not realize until someone says something or stares.

“You have such a big smile,” she continued, “no one notices the tattoos so much as the smile.”

Such a nice thing to hear.

And from an employer.

I am grateful, so grateful for my employer.

I am also grateful to have some time off.

I’ll be doing a few more yoga classes during the week days.

I will find my playa bike for Burning Man.

I won’t be mail ordering it, haha, not after the last one got stolen.

I will probably also source my Aids LifeCycle bicycle, I have a couple of leads and am going to be pursuing checking them out.

I will be hitting the Imperial Day Spa with a girlfriend tomorrow after my internship, she’s been sick and asked for some hang out time and suggested the spa for an afternoon of detoxing with a good hard sweat and some cold plunge action.

Of course I said yes.

I’ll be going to my internship tomorrow, as per usual and doing laundry at the laundry mat, the washer hasn’t been replaced yet here at the house.

And I’ll go to my 7p.m. commitment on Divisadero.

It’s a good day.

Sunday will be similar to most of my Sundays–yoga, self-care, grocery shopping, meeting with a lady and doing the deal, going to a church somewhere and sitting in a folding chair, cooking some food for the week, writing.

And it will be chill.

As I still have my supervisor meeting at 9a.m. at Fell and Gough on Monday morning.

But.

Instead of going to work afterward like I typically do on a Monday.

I will be going to the MOMA with an old friend who I don’t get to see very often.

I ran into her a couple of weeks ago and we discussed getting together and we both love museums and I have a MOMA membership.

I love that  membership.

It is such a nice thing to do, go wander around and look at art, and to do it with a friend is so nice.

Especially one whom I used to see on a weekly basis and now don’t see for months at a time.

I’ve suggested a MOMA date to a lot of my friends as I slowly start mapping out the time that I have off.

I don’t know what the middle of the afternoon will look like as I still have my internship in the evening at 6:30p.m.

I am sure I will find something to do.

It is odd having the time off from work, like I said, being downtown today on a Friday, getting my hair done, I was all confused and distracted by the amount of business people out and the rushing here and there and the traffic, but it was so nice to sit still and be taken care of for a little while.

I’m going to leave it there.

It was such a lovely day off.

Divine really.

I am excited for more of such days.

And grateful for every moment of this one.

Every single moment.

A Day Off

July 10, 2017

To remember.

Nothing striking or out of the ordinary.

But just a lovely day.

A sweet day.

A day when the fog actually lifted and I saw some sunshine, surprisingly late in the day too, it cleared off around 6:30p.m. and was clear all the way through to sunset.

Albeit chilly, it was such a welcome reprieve from the constant summer fog that I made up my mind right quick to get out into that sunshine and eat it up.

I deserved a sunshiny walk on the beach.

I did a lot today.

Laundry, grocery shopping, cooked two separate meals, both lunch and dinner so that I would have plenty of food prepped for the week and then some to toss in the freezer.

I made a sort of jambalaya, my own edited version, with shredded roast chicken, shrimp, Andouille sausage, pork, corn, black olives, onion, garlic, brown rice, crushed tomatoes.

Super yummy and I froze 3/4s of it.

I ate a big bowl for lunch, put a couple of containers in the fridge for meals and I also roasted a chicken for dinner–I happily ate salt and pepper roasted chicken with tarragon butter and brown rice that I seasoned with turmeric, Spike, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper–savory rice.

I love cooking and I love having a full fridge at the beginning of the week so I don’t have to squeeze in a shopping trip to the store when I am in the middle of a full tilt boogie schedule.

I also went to yoga and got my sweat on, super challenging class, I fell in one of the poses.

Splat!

On my belly and just laughed out loud.

So I feel, so what?

I tried the pose.

I am certain I will fall again, as long as I can laugh at myself, though, then I’m ok.

When I start taking myself to seriously then I know I am in trouble.

I met with a lady as well and did the deal and read and talked and fuck.

It was so good.

I called my person and had a good long check in.

I called a friend who’s going through a hard time and suffering a big loss.

I had a really nice and connected day.

I also took a car over to Cheap Pete’s and picked up my two prints that I brought back from Paris.

I am super happy with the way they turned out and I spent some time re-arranging the art on my walls to accommodate the new pieces.

I don’t have much space, but I think I arranged things well and I’m very pleased with the additions to my collection.

Very pleased.

I really do like my home.

It does feel like an extension of me, of my personality.

It is tiny, but it’s me and I am grateful for all the things I have and all the ways I get to express myself.

I also like that wherever I look there is something pretty to rest my eyes on.

This is my sanctuary and I adore it.

Sure.

I want more space.

But that will come when it comes.

I am experiencing this deepening of faith in places I never knew I needed to have deepened, seeing experiences and suddenly have the knowledge that though I did not know it at the time, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Seeing what I needed to see.

And being seen.

Regardless of my ignorance.

I was seen.

And all the things that have led me here were all the experiences I need to have.

So being in this little in-law at the edge of the city, by the edge of the sea, for whatever length of time I am supposed to be is quite fine by me.

I am happy.

I am warm.

My home is sweet and I have precious memories of every foot of it that make me smile when I least expect it.

I have been smiling a lot recently.

I repeat.

I am very happy.

And yes.

Life is full.

But I had such a restful day.

Yes, I did do a lot, but I found all sorts of down time too.

I read a little bit from a novel, novel that, reading something that is not psychology related, a John Updike novel I had gotten last year for my birthday.

My birthday is in December.

Ahem.

I don’t have much down time for pleasure reading, and sometimes I feel that I shouldn’t even, but in the end it was too delicious to not.

I also read a few more letters in the book of Chopin’s Letters that were sweet and nostalgia inducing.

I love the old language used, laced with bits of French.

Lines that caught my attention I underlined and starred, the turn of a phrase that I found enchanting or a sentiment that I echoed and felt stir me.

“I kiss you heartily.  Remember me as I remember you.”

And this.

“I wrote it only to arouse a pleasurable emotion, such as greetings usually produce.”

How often have I written something just for the pleasurable emotion of the writing?

So often.

And.

“I press you to my lips and say goodbye till we meet.”

And.

“Give me a kiss, My Life.”

I love how he capitalized “My Life,” how important the person to whom he is writing becomes as I read the letter.

I sat in the sun on my back porch and read these letters and glowed.

Then.

Yes.

I decided it was time for a walk on the beach and it was as I had hoped.

Deserted.

The all day long fog and chilly breezy had deterred most of the city from even bothering with going out to the beach.

I saw one tourist family picnicking.

A father and son in wetsuits with boogie boards.

A couple walking a dog.

A paddle boarder out in the surf.

And me.

There was no one there.

Me, the sand, the ocean, God.

It was beautiful.

I walked the surf, rolled my jeans up, they are still a little damp hours later where a high tide splashed me, stuck my flip-flops in my basket bag and collected seashells.

Yes.

I did.

I collected shells.

Shush.

That’s the kind of girl I am.

I write poetry and collect sea shells and I am just fine with that.

I get to be many, many, many things.

And now that my well is replenished.

I will go back to being a nanny and a therapist.

The week is full.

But full in a good way.

Thank you Sunday for your gifts.

I feel that Monday and I shall be great friends just from the beautiful reprieve I had today and all the things I got to do to take care of myself.

Luckiest damn girl in the world.

Seriously.

All The Beautiful

June 26, 2017

Babies.

Well.

Two of the beautiful babies.

I got to spend time with a very dear friend today and her 6 week old twins.

Oof.

Such goodness.

Beauties.

There was hours of catching up, I haven’t seen her in seven weeks, eight maybe?

We saw each other right before I left for Paris and had the twins while I was there.

I have missed her and it was so good to reconnect.

We talked and talked and it was wondrous to see her with her babies.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

I got to hold them too, one of them for a super long time, hours, literally, of having a small warm baby on my chest, snuggled in and cozy.

I brought her some homemade frittata I had made this morning–prosciutto and asparagus with parmesan and some nice chocolate and some flowers and the twins some gifts.

My standards–Jellycat bunny rabbits and my favorite children’s book–“I Am A Bunny” by Richard Scarry.

It was a gorgeous day and I managed to avoid most of the traffic for Pride.

I’m so grateful there are events like Pride, but I have to tell you, I don’t have much band width for those kinds of crowds anymore.

I was more than happy to be ensconced with my friend in her apartment catching up on all things life and school and love.

We had such a nice time together.

I will be spending more time with her in July when the family I nanny for is on vacation.

I will be surrounded by babies.

Even though I won’t be nannying for the three weeks the family is away.

I will also be picking up consultations at the internship, so even though I won’t necessarily be adding in clients at that time, I will be able to do consults, which is basically an initial assessment and counts towards my hours.

Which I am more than happy to pick some of that up when and where I can.

My friend though was quite happy to hear that I’ll have some time in July and she’ll be ready to get out of the house a bit more at that point and we can stroll around North Beach and be together and have coffee and cafe time and baby time.

“You can still have one!” She said to me, “look at you!”

Yes.

Every time I hold a baby, especially a newborn I do have a flashing moment of what would it be like, but I’m 44 I don’t expect that’s coming down the pipeline.

I have plenty on my plate as it is.

And I have gotten to have so many babies in my life, I am grateful, so grateful, for all the little ones I have gotten to take care of.

I laughed and smelled the little one in my arm and told her I was happy exactly as I am.

I am happy.

“You look amazing, so beautiful,” she said, and her husband concurred.

I have been given some really nice compliments lately.

It’s been nice.

It’s nice to have people see me and my happiness.

I am very happy.

Astounded with it at times and beyond grateful.

I really like who I am.

I like the shoes I wear, literally and figuratively, I got a new pair of “I’m a therapist” shoes to throw into the repertoire, Fluevog had a big huge sale and I couldn’t help it, I picked up one more pair.

They are investment shoes though, seriously, I will have them for years and years and years.

And some of my basic therapy clothes and wardrobe is starting to trickle in.

I just did a little bit of online ordering from GAP to fill out my therapist wardrobe.

I feel pretty damn grown up.

And loved and seen and happy and yeah, I don’t have complaints.

Sometimes I feel like there’s not enough time, but I have been squeezing in the time to be social and do my recovery and make work and take on clients and I have full days.

Super full.

They go fast and here it is the end of the weekend and it starts all over again.

I was invited to stay for dinner at my friend’s house, but I knew I needed to get back home, again managing to avoid the Pride traffic and super grateful for my scooter to zip through the avenues, I needed to take care of some things here and get myself ready for tomorrow and my supervision meeting before work and work and then being prepped for a new client tomorrow night after work.

I needed to get myself sorted.

I only have Sundays off now and so far it’s working, I do manage to be ultra creative about getting stuff done.

Finding pockets of time here and there.

Sometimes they are not big enough but I manage to sneak things in, a little grocery shopping here, an errand there, some time researching for clients, sometime writing for myself, cooking, laundry, you know, all the things.

The only thing suffering is my manicure.

I could use another two and a half hour block of time somewhere in my week.

It’s not going to happen until next weekend though.

And I also am in need of picking up my framed prints from Cheap Pete’s.

I thought I would do that today, but the twins were so dreamy, I stayed later than I had thought and it was super nice to help out my friends.

I will miss them so much when they move back to France.

Good thing I like going to France.

I know there will be visits.

Anyway.

I get far, far ahead of myself.

Right now.

Well.

It’s been a really good weekend and I am happy to wrap up the writing, tie up the loose ends and get ready for the week.

It’s sure to be busy.

It always is.

Ha.

That Was A Session

June 21, 2017

I’m a therapist.

It was so clear.

It was so obvious.

It was like getting whacked over the head.

You are a therapist.

I was in it with my client and although it was just a second session I could feel it happening, I could feel the alliance happening and who knows where it will go, but it’s a start.

I have clients.

Two this week.

Three next week.

And so it builds.

I was also a space cadet today.

I left my bag with my nanny shoes at work.

And when I realized I had already been on my way to the internship to see my client and I did not want to risk losing time to turn around and go back.

When I finished with the session I couldn’t remember if I had actually carried out the bag with me, having then left it on the sidewalk outside of my job.

Or.

If I had left it inside the house.

I called and text my boss but got no response.

Then I had a horrible vision of my bag, with my very expensive Dansko walking shoes, on the sidewalk and it getting scooped up by an entrepreneurial type in the neighborhood.

I debated going home, but I needed the piece of mind more than the extra few minutes I would have gotten at home.

So I zipped over to work and sure enough it was at the house, inside, thank God.

I thanked the dad, hopped back on my scooter and zoomed home.

It was a fast ride, the rush traffic having dissipated and in the end I was only home five minutes, maybe seven, past when I had predicted I’d be walking in.

It’s nice to be home.

I love my little studio.

Yes.

I would love to have more space.

I surely would.

However.

In this time in my life I am willing to be in a little space that holds me so well and is pretty and full of color and things to look upon that make me happy.

Speaking of which.

I expect to hear back soon from Cheap Pete’s.

The framing shop I took my two Paris prints to.

One a Marilyn Monroe by Phillip Hausman I got at the Jeu de Paume in Paris and the other a vintage Scandal sheet cover from a vendor at Clingancourt.

I am looking forward to adding them to my collection.

Although, truth be told, I don’t have much wall space left at all.

I have an idea to rearrange a few things and move around a couple of pieces and I think they will fit just fine.

And.

In other news.

I got my financial aid disbursement.

Hurrah!

So very happy.

I put half of it in savings immediately.

I will be using that money for my therapy costs as I move through my school program.

I will also be purchasing some new clothes for the doing of therapy.

I have a small wardrobe, but I realized that I need to expand a little, a few more pieces of professional clothing that I can interchange with my current wardrobe.

I was talking to my therapist this morning.

Yes.

The therapist has a therapist.

Duh.

Anyway.

Just that it’s nice having a change-up in my wardrobe and it helps me to be in the mindset.

Which is how I forgot my nanny shoes at work.

I took them off to put on my “therapist” shoes.

My new Fluevogs.

They are funky, but not too crazy and I do feel like someone else when I wear them.

It feels important to switch gears from nanny to therapist.

Even if the client would probably be completely happy with whatever I am wearing, well, perhaps, but really, it feels right for me.

It’s like pushing a reset button.

I carry myself different and I put on a different hat.

Or pair of shoes.

If the shoe fits.

Fucking wear that shit.

And I have totally lost my train of thought.

I am tired and just did a Facetime chat with a friend who’s been trying to catch up with me for a couple of weeks.

I am just starting to take clients, I can’t imagine how things are going to look when I’m back in school.

I probably won’t know what hit me.

But.

My god.

I am so grateful that I have started my internship now.

If I had to handle the training and the clients and the newness of it and juggle a full load of fall semester.

Um.

No.

Super grateful to have this time to get adjusted.

I also know that I won’t have to work as many hours.

Right now I’m working 40-41 hours a week as a nanny.

When school is in I’ll go back down to 35 and that will help.

Shit.

That’s five clients right there.

Add the three I have now and I could reasonably be doing the same amount of work that I am carrying now.

Of course.

It will be different.

I will also have to carry a full-time grad school load.

With all the reading and writing that entails.

Shh.

I tell myself.

Hush for now.

Don’t spoil the moment.

I had a good day.

I was a good nanny.

My charges loved on me, I got to hold the baby for a few hours while it slept, I made a dinner that the entire family raved about (pancetta spaghetti carbonara with julienned sugar snap peas, pan sautéed asparagus with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, hearts of romaine salad with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, a soft-boiled wild hen egg and sprouted sunflower seeds), “Carmen, you are a REALLY good cook,” said the seven year old.

Thanks sugar.

I do love cooking for those I care about.

And.

I was a therapist.

A damned good one at that.

I think I have earned my cup of tea.

With that.

I call it a night.

Sleep well my friends.

Sleep well.

 

Going Dark

June 9, 2017

I have been scrubbing my Facebook page of all my blog posts.

It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

It was actually an interesting little trip down memory lane.

It was good to see the pictures and posts and the blogs and to see how steady I have been in my pursuit of this endeavor.

I suspect that as of this blog the readership will go down.

Down  a lot.

But so be it.

It’s the price I pay to get to continue doing this, my little love, my bunny, my pet project for the last seven years.

I will happily sacrifice readers to keep doing the writing.

I was talking with a friend and my words ran away with themselves.

I got so excited about writing and poetry and I just started gushing.

My heart raced.

Words get me all crazy.

I’m not a crazy cat lady.

I’m a crazy poetry lady.

You should have heard me reciting Shakespeare earlier.

I got all kinds of excited.

Ah, Old English you do me so well.

Heh.

Today I actually had time for poetic pursuits, not so much writing it, but perusing it, looking up some old favorites and wondering to myself if it weren’t time to go replace some books of poetry that I used to have in my small library.

When I moved to Paris back in 2012 I sold off all my books.

All of them.

It still hurts to think about a little, some tenderness there, but I wanted to throw myself at the Paris experience and I knew I wasn’t going to pack a bunch of books up with me and carry them across the pond.

No.

I sold them.

I stored a few personal belongings of my own, small framed art works and pictures, my notebooks, my own writing, in a friend’s garage, but aside from that I got rid of everything else.

Books.

Clothes.

Shoes.

Everything but my bicycle and some clothes in a roll on suitcase.

I came back with that same roll on luggage and my bicycle.

And.

Ten dollars.

I don’t regret it, but yeah, I did have a moment today when I realized I had sold my copy of Pablo Neruda’s 100 Love Sonnets.

That I didn’t have my complete works for Shakespeare, leather-bound from my undergraduate days.

Or.

Sigh.

My collection of TS Eliot.

Also from undergrad.

And.

Oh.

My OED.

My Oxford English Dictionary.

I sold that too.

I think this may be the first time I have ever admitted that in writing in a public forum.

It was a graduation gift from a set of girlfriends in Madison who were my best friends for years before I moved to San Francisco and became a raging drug addict whose friends wanted nothing to fucking do with her whatsoever.

I managed to keep that damn dictionary through years of moves and geographics and even pretty damn far into sobriety.

But.

I decided to let it go.

It was for God to have.

It was always Gods.

I went into Alley Cat Books on 24th Street a few months ago to see if the OED was still there, I was on my way to an appointment and really did not have time to stop in and look, but the last time I had been in there, the dictionary was still there.

Granted that had been over a year and a half ago.

I didn’t see it, but they had re-arranged the store and I was too shy and pinched on time to ask the clerk if they still had it.

One day I’ll replace those words.

And one day these words will be replaced.

All words are infinite.

All moments meaningful, lustful, alive, here and present and a live and loved in my heart.

I don’t have much contact with any of those old girlfriends, but they live in my heart.

And I won’t ever forget what it felt like to get that gift at my graduation party.

I can still feel the weight of it in my hands and I knew the moment it was set in my arms what it was.

I was blown away.

To be seen for what I love is important.

Although not important enough for me to have to do it, the writing or the reading, all good writers have to read too, I love an audience, but I don’t need one to write.

God is my witness.

My heart is my muse.

I am a channel and I don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going to go.

Only that it will.

These words.

Into the ether.

Into the void.

From out my fingers, from out of my heart, with passion and providence, into the universe.

Perhaps the words will fill the voids between stars, the emptiness that needs be filled by poetry until all the worlds are seemless and held in beauty, together under the great bounty and soulshine, the light will cover the dark.

Or not.

I don’t know.

I can’t ever really know.

I will just keep writing and trying and falling and stumbling and getting up again.

I believe I will fly one day, if not this day, then the next.

And every word I put down an attempt at faith in something so much bigger than I, a tiny glimpse, a sliver of honey and lavender crystals, a shining cello note, a sting pulled, a plucking, a bewitching, an enamourement, a leap,  and love tossed I jump.

I don’t need to know where I land.

The leaping.

Well.

It is enough.

It always is.

 

Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

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

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

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

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

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

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

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

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

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

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

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

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

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

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

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

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

Next May.

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

So.

Yeah.

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

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

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

Of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And.

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

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

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

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

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

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

So many times.

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

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

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

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

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

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

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

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

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.


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