Posts Tagged ‘tattoos’

Translucent Honey

September 12, 2019

On the time that covers you.

Golden down

Whisper quick

Flicked with lust

And

The first kiss

Blush of love.

September sun against surreal

Blue skies.

Your eyes

Blue too.

Pupils dilated.

I remember.

Oh soft my heart that does always bear such remembrance.

Push my memories aside.

Focus on the now

Cloud of time.

Reminisce no more my love.

Lost in songs,

Mixed tapes,

Love letters,

Tattooed messages of

Forever

&

Eternity.

Momentos of our brief,

Too brief.

So brief.

Why so fucking brief?

Time.

Yet there.

There

It goes again.

In the whippet quick beat of my heart

Pulse dancing to the possibility

That one day.

Oh.

One day.

I will.

(yes please)

See you again.

Until then my sweet.

 

~Stay golden~

 

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A Girl

February 25, 2019

And her books.

I just looked at the gigantic stack of books on my desk/kitchen table and laughed.

Hands up.

You are surrounded.

I should give up the idea of my table really being at all for dining.

Although I do eat breakfast at it every morning, it really is a repository for my books and notebooks and handbooks and readers and pens and my new white board with all its definitions that I am trying to make myself read as often as possible.

I really am in PhD land.

I mean.

You, dear, gentle reader, most likely already know that.

I went from a daily blogger to a weekly blogger, at best.

I actually am uncertain when the last time I wrote a blog was.

Maybe when I was headed out to DC for the weekend last week?

There is so much work that my schooling demands right now that I hardly have time for anything else.

Which, I guess, is good.

It’s something I get to be grateful for.

As.

Ugh.

I broke up with my boyfriend today.

It’s not the first time we have broken up, first time was last January and man, that might have been the worst pain I have felt in sobriety.

Including the time my best friend died.

It was so painful that when I wrote about it I had people reach out to me to see if I was ok.

I know that the language I was using was liken to someone dying and it certainly felt like I was dying.

It’s a kind of pain I’m not about to wish upon anyone.

We reconciled, after a few hits and misses sometime in February or March.

Then we tried it again, with variations, trying to figure out the best way forward.

We had success, we had setbacks, we tried not seeing each other, we tried just hanging out, we would spontaneously erupt into passionate embrace if we were any place semi alone.

We stopped again.

We started again.

We tried being just friends.

We cried.

A LOT.

Fuck did we both cry.

We went to New York in July and had a marvelous, terrifyingly amazing, soul rending romantic and heartbreaking time.

We decided to give it a break and let each other gently go.

I to Paris, he to his other pursuits and work and stuff and things.

He had things to work on.

I had things to do.

Through all the tumult we have loved each other.

We are the loves of each others life, soul mates, the ONE.

And.

We haven’t been able to be completely together.

For reasons I just cannot articulate right now.

I just can’t.

Maybe one day.

Just not this day.

When we left each other in New York it was amidst many a tear and then I headed off to Paris.

We “practiced” not being in contact with each other.

It was excruciating.

My best girlfriend in Paris convinced me I had to stop, I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t helping him by standing by waiting for him to do the work necessary for us to really have a go at being in a relationship to each other.

I decided in Paris that she was right and it was over.

And it was.

For a little while.

We decided again on no contact, except sending each other mail.

I have a heart-shaped box full of mail, including the Valentines Day card he gave me last week with the most adorable pair of silver unicorn earrings anyone has every seen.

I’m his special unicorn.

And you can just fuck off if you snorted through your nose at that.

We’ve always believed the other person is magic.

Our love has felt like that.

Today he told me that after being with me he finally understands all love songs.  That he has a secret decoder ring, me and our experience being together (and apart and together and apart), that all love songs make sense now.

God.

I might start crying.

I have been on and off all day.

Makes it challenging to read the stack of reading for school, but I also am proud to say I muddled through more than one might expect considering the circumstances.

I just want to put my head down, have a good cry, and write a lot of painful poetry.

But.

I soldiered on, met with ladies, did readings, did the deal, did my laundry, roasted a chicken, read for hours, wrote discussion posts for school, responded to discussion posts from school and took down all the photographs of us together that I had up in the house.

Sigh.

So.

Yeah.

We mailed each other love letters and cards and kept in contact that way, romantic, sad, sweet, painful, loving, all the things.

It certainly made shopping for stationary fun and stamps and I can’t tell you how often my heart skipped a beat when I saw mail in my mailbox.

We had agreed after I came back from Paris in July that he had things to work on and that it would be best to not connect until February.

But things happened.

Deaths.

Not really my place to talk about, but I reached out and we reconnected and well, fuck, one things leads to another doesn’t it?

Back in it again for December, my birthday, Christmas, oh the pretty, pretty gifts we gave each other and the love oh, god damn it the love.

I got more tattoos.

He got more tattoos.

We talked.

A lot.

We started texting again, making plans to see each other.

I tried to internally change my point of view of what I needed in the relationship.

We took off the holidays from discussing the relationship and where it was going or not going and just loved on each other as much as school/work/travel/business demands could be met.

We decided to go on a trip.

We went to DC last week.

It was lovely and sad and sweet and hard.

And.

We started the process again of saying goodbye.

We did.

Then we didn’t.

Then we came back.

And this Tuesday.

Insert therapy here.

Mine, my own therapy, not me being a therapist, and I shared about it all, my therapist has been in on everything since the beginning, and she said simply, “your needs are not being met.”

I broke down into tears.

It was true.

They were not.

“It’s not working,” I said and sobbed.

Though there is no lack of love.

My God.

The love.

I just cannot express how much love we have for each other.

We can’t be together right now the way things are.

So.

We made plans to see each other and cleared a lot of time and talked and cried and listened to Bach cello sonatas and held each other and made love one last time and looked into each others eyes and said goodbye.

It was the most kind, gentle, sweet, tender, sad, SAD, break up.

Full of spiritual principles and honesty.

It was excruciating.

Heartbreaking.

But.

Oh.

So.

Beautiful.

And there.

Cue the tears.

Oh my fucking God this hurts.

Not as bad as the first time.

But still.

Awful bad.

I know I am a going to be ok, but right now, I just want to curl up in bed and not do another thing.

I will grieve, I will be sad.

I will let myself have the experience of the loss and I will let go.

Gracefully and grateful.

I have never had love like this before.

All else was a facade.

I don’t know that I ever will again.

I just know I am beyond grateful for the experience, despite the pain.

The pain lets me know how meaningful it was.

REALLY.

Meaningful.

I gave him my copy of The Princess Bride as he left.

I had bought it last February on a trip we took together and over the course of a couple of months I read it to him, on that trip–his head in my lap, and then I recorded myself in the subsequent weeks reading the chapters so he could listen to it on business trips.

His favorite character was Fezzik.

No wonder he’s the love of my life.

Now.

Forgive me.

I must go and cry for a little while.

Sweet dreams my love, know that I will always love you.

Always.

Always.

Always.

Your, baby girl.

Tattoos and Tears

August 27, 2018

I just want to write you poetry tonight.

I just want to talk to crows and croon love songs to the full moon.

I keep thinking about adding to my Coup de Foudre tattoo.

Hearts and lightning bolts.

More hearts.

An explosion of hearts.

I think about you.

I cry.

Sometimes I yell at you in the car.

“Don’t give up on me, don’t stop chasing me, this is it, this is the push, don’t stop.”

I want you to come for me.

I want to be the one.

I think about not having you for years.

I still dream about being with you for all my years.

I think about my impending PhD.

I ponder the thinking and reading and writing I will have to do.

And maybe you won’t be a distraction.

And maybe you will.

And maybe you will be the carrot I use to get through the program.

He’ll come back to me when I am a doctor.

He’ll come for me.

As though you’re the reward for doing the work.

I want to grow old with you and be stupid and silly and mad.

I want to have dumb arguments with you and then have make up sex.

God.

I haven’t really thought too much about the sex.

I think I am afraid to.

I will get lost in the glory of the memories and beat my heart harder on the wall around you.

I long for you.

I dream about you.

The moon full in the sky beckons me to you.

I think about you walking outside.

I think about you sleeping.

I wish to be wrapped up in your arms.

I long to not be heartbroken.

Heart broke open.

Heart in the mouth of crow flying across the miles to you.

That’s the tattoo I keep thinking about.

A crow on my back flying with a heart in its mouth.

An anatomical heart.

With wild daisies growing out from it.

I feel hollowed out.

I miss you baby.

I miss you much.

This isn’t even a poem.

This isn’t even a blog.

This is just a list, a litany, a compilations of thoughts about you.

I can’t stop thinking about you.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

I can’t go on without you.

And yet I keep going on.

I have changed and I can’t tell where it is leading me.

I just fervently hope.

Pray.

Wish.

That it leads me back to you.

I just want to be your Buttercup.

I just want to be your baby.

Baby.

I just want to be yours.

Always.

Forever.

Your.

Baby Girl.

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.

Foiled!

July 14, 2017

But not really.

I mean.

Yes, I am a bit disappointed that the Friday 8:30 a.m. yoga class I was going to hit up was cancelled.

Boo hiss.

But.

On the other hand.

I get to sleep in!

Yes!

Especially after a full week and a very, very, very full day today.

It was a good day, but it certainly had some big pockets of anxiety.

Not mine either.

The family I nanny for left today for three weeks.

THREE!

Oh my God am I so excited to have some down time.

I actually.

Wait for it.

I have the whole day off tomorrow!

The whole fucking day.

Can you tell I’m excited?

Like.

Over the god damn moon.

No clients.

No internship.

No paperwork.

Not as though they didn’t try.

Ugh.

I had an e-mail today that I wasn’t paying much attention to as I was busy helping the parents get ready for their trip.

I had to do a lot of monkey wrangling today and the monkeys did not want to be wrangled.

When I showed up the oldest boy was already in his travel clothes with his back pack on his back.

Oh dear.

They didn’t leave for the airport until 4p.m. today.

It was 9a.m. when I showed up for work.

Sigh.

I could tell it was going to be a challenge, but I was game for what was happening, although I thought I might lose it when the two oldest siblings just about killed each other at the playground.

They are really physical kids and sometimes I think they go at it a little too hard, somebody gets too aggressive, somebody pokes too hard, or pulls hair or bites and all hell breaks lose the the sister goes bananas.

I mean.

The lady can howl bloody murder.

I also know when she’s faking for attention, so there’s that, but like, the rest of the playground doesn’t know that, she sounds like she’s dying but it’s just dramatics.

I let it go as long as I can, hoping they will work it out and once in a while I do have to intervene.

And of course, though it was pulling teeth to get them to the playground, when it was actually time to rally and go back up the hill, we were at the Noe Valley Rec Center, they didn’t want to go home.

Haha.

Ah.

Nanny life.

They did get home though, and by the time I got them across the MUNI tracks at the end of Church Street and heading up the hill on Chenery, they started to get excited.

So too, did I.

I could see the end of my shift in sight and though I was going to have some down time in between my client that I saw tonight and the end of my shift, I was happy that my shift was about over.

It did seem like an extra long day.

Just the anticipation and the anxiety and the double and triple checking the passports and visas and id’s and snacks and last minute laundry, and cleaning out the fridge (I was given three pounds of asparagus as a parting gift and two avocados that hadn’t been eaten.  What the hell am I going to do with that much asparagus?  Soup maybe.) and getting the keys to the house and making sure I had an extra set of car keys if there was an emergency and also co-ordinating the cars and the all of it.

It was a lot.

So yeah.

Four o’clock and I was able to zoom out.

I got a check for the overtime I worked this week.

Yeah.

Overtime.

And I’m interning, but whatever I got to make it through and yes, I am a bit disappointed about the lack of yoga but the additional sleep in time will be nice.

The time I had in between work and my client this evening was spent running errands, post office, zip home, drop off package, collect mail, tidy house, clean bathroom, masturbate, ahem, I needed to de-stress after I sat down and checked my e-mails.

They booked me a client for tomorrow!

NO!!!

I said no clients.

I wanted to have this one fucking Friday free.

What the hell?

I was upset.

I have plans.

I thought about contacting the person I am seeing tomorrow and saying, well, shoot, sorry, I got a client, but then I saw it was a consult and I was like, no, this is bullshit, I marked the calendar clearly and I do not want to take a consult tomorrow.

NO.

I started an e-mail and then I was like, why the hell am I fucking around.

Call my assistant director.

I did.

We cleared it up.

I have tomorrow off.

Which is fucking good since I’m getting my hair done.

Cut and color and a blow out.

Please and thank you.

I laughed with the mom today when she asked if I was doing anything fun, besides working at my internship while they were on vacation.  And I told her I was going to a ritzy upscale salon downtown to get my hair did.

I always feel a bit out of place there, so many ashy blondes with razor cut layers, so much money, the atmosphere is very white, upscale, wealthy, which is fine, I just feel a little out of place, although I like to play like I have money and I hazard I tip better than the majority of the clients, much better.

The cut and color will still be a pretty fucking penny, but I don’t care, hello student loan summer disbursement.

Thanks overtime check from this week and last week.

I got the cash and I deserve to be a little spoiled.

Anyway.

I do like Harper Paige (good grief even the name sounds like ash highlights and toner), I get a sassy cup of coffee, fashion magazines, and the prettiest smock I’ve ever worn getting a hair cut.

And.

I know the colorist.

I have known her for over twelve years and she’s amazing and probably has as many tattoos as I do and we have a lot of mutual friends in common, I mean a lot.

So.

She’s the reason why I’m “slumming” at a fancy pants salon down town.

I’m even going to skip taking my scooter and splurge on a car.

Get all dressed up, wear some stockings, put on some heels and a pretty frock and really play the part, you know, tattoos be damned, I can look hella polished and femme when I want to.

I’m so excited.

It feels nice to take the time and let myself be properly pampered.

I may even book a massage over the next couple of weeks.

I have a tentative MOMA date with a girlfriend Monday after I meet with my supervisor and some lunch dates and coffee dates with friends lined up.

Nothing solid yet, but I’m going to enjoy my time “off” so much.

I’ll still be taking clients.

Just not tomorrow.

Heh.

Here’s to a very well deserved day off.

I mean.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Sunshine & Rain

May 17, 2017

I got both today.

Loads of sun this morning and early afternoon.

Perfect for sitting on the deck of the houseboat and writing and drinking cafe au lait, watching the boats go by, flirting with the boat cats–there are three brown tabbies that nestle on the houseboat that is docked next to this one, soaking up the sun.

The rain was forecasted for tonight and the rain will last, according to the weather, but I am hoping there will be small reprieves when the sun comes out again, until I leave on Sunday morning.  There is a chance for sun again on Saturday and I do hope that happens as a friend and I are going to go hit the Clingancourt brocante and vintage market.

I expect that the rain will push me into the Louvre tomorrow to see the Vermeer show and drift about.

I don’t ever have a plan when I go to the Louvre, go in, get out, drop some postcards at La Bureau de Posts–nothing quite like getting the Louvre postal stamp on your postcard.

Slight aside.

I got an amazing congratulations baby card today in my travels about, one that says congrats on twins in French!  Super happy I found it, I will be dropping that off for sure from the Louvre.

Today I did the Pompidou as my museum.

And there was no need to do another.

It filled me up with art.

I saw a Vassily Kandinsky I had never seen before that I quite liked, I love his early works quite a bit, and this fell into that category.

I also saw some beautiful photographs and I took loads of photographs from the top deck of the Pompidou.

I got some great shots of Sacre Couer and also of the Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower ones I am quite enamored with as the storm clouds were coming in dark and fierce.

The down pour that followed was insane.

I had met a friend at the museum and we ran through the streets, well, ok, I didn’t run, not so much, the ankle is getting better, but it is not racing through the wet streets of Paris better, between awnings and eventually we ducked into a Japanese restaurant.

Some hot tea and a little sushi later, semi-dry, and walking back to the houseboat on the Seine in the rain.

Sometimes when it rains in Paris it is fucking desperate and awful.

I remember when I moved to Paris in the winter of 2012 how bad it was, so cold, so dreary, but tonight it was neither, after the deluge, the rains were misty and softer and the streets got that glow from slick water on pavement and the streetlights, green, gold, crimson reflected on the pavement.

So gorgeous.

I got back wet and I had to take a lot of pains to get on the house boat without breaking my ankle, but I did, and I’m dry now and all sorted out.

I took some time to go through my photographs and post those up to my social media and I also took the things I bought today out of their packaging so that I would have more room to smash them all in my carry on.

I am about shopped out.

I spent just about all the money on shopping that I have earmarked for myself.

Um.

Because.

Heh.

I finally let myself buy some French lingerie.

I had to.

I have always wanted to and so.

Well.

I did.

I got two of the prettiest bra and panty sets ever and a body suit.

I couldn’t help myself.

It was trop cher, ma cherie, but I had it in my budget and so I let myself do it.

It felt pretty glorious and truth be told it was really letting myself have a treat.

A treat that I continued to let myself have by also getting a few more Claire Fontaine notebooks and some makeup from Sephora.

Yes.

There is Sephora in San Francisco, but I wanted to buy some here, I try to get a thing or two from the Paris Sephora since it was in Paris in 2002 that I first discovered the makeup store.

I bought a lipstick and some Urban Decay eye shadows.

Sure.

I paid a few Euro more than what I might have at home, but every time I use it, I will think of Paris and that is well worth the cost.

And.

Yes.

I got my tattoo!

C’est très superb!

I got the French word for non-conformist on my left forearm.

“Anticonformiste.”

In script.

It is super pretty and fits well with my other tattoos.

I had fun talking to the artist, Manish, who is visiting from Nepal.

I also got to have some cute conversations with a few gentlemen who walked into the store to get tattoos, one older man who was quite excited by my dragons and then proceeded to show me the one on his arm, beautiful work, and we chit chatted in French about tattoos for a while and where I got mine and how much fun they are.

All the fun stuff.

I have had such a lovely time.

And I still have a few days left for some more.

The rain speaks to me of sleeping in and a slow serene day at the Louvre tomorrow.

A demain, mes amies.

Et.

A bientot!

Who’s Life Is This?

May 13, 2017

I said to my friend as I sat on the deck of the houseboat we’re sharing on the Seine, eating my salad in the sun slanting golden through the clouds over Le Grand Palais.

My friend pithily replied, “it’s yours.”

Oh shit.

It is.

I felt my heart swell up with gratitude and tears well in my eyes.

The tears they always well easy, but sitting on top of a houseboat in the middle of the Seine, located at Place de la Concorde/Champs Elysees, I felt blown up with joy.

This is my life.

And I’m on a houseboat in Paris.

It’s a pretty fucking amazing life, this.

I say it all the time, luckiest girl in the world, but it really feels that way, I can also see challenging things as lucky too, I have perspective, part of the reason why it felt so shocking to me is how I left when I moved away from Paris.

Broke.

Or.

How I left it last Christmas.

Heartbroken.

To just be sitting on the top deck, under an awning, waving at the Bateaux Mouche going by with their decks heavy with tourists, eating my dinner, in Paris.

In Paris.

It astounds.

I am grateful to be here, ready to be settled in one spot for a while.

It’s felt like non-stop moving at certain points and I’m happy to be moored for the rest of my time here.

I got up super early this morning.

Which was not my intention.

NOT AT ALL.

But.

I woke up at 4 a.m. wide awake.

And as much as I tried I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I rolled around, drifting in and out of thoughts, half dreams, revery, but never sunk back into sleep.

So.

I got up at 5:30a.m. and took a super hot shower, god I love hotels for super hot showers, plus huge over head rainfall shower heads, and let the water wash away the travel and the weary and washed out my hair.

Oh my God.

People.

My hair.

It’s huge.

The humidity isn’t bad, but it’s greater than what I am used to in San Francisco.

I have a lot of hair.

But right now.

It feels like.

I have.

A LOT.

It’s pretty huge.

It, my hair, has led to some interesting conversations, mostly with men, actually, all with men.

I got propositioned this morning as I left the hotel to take a morning stroll around Pere LaChaise Cemetery.

I mean.

I was basically offered cunnilingus for breakfast.

I was like.

Wow.

Paris.

It’s 7 a.m.

I’m going to wait though, and grab a cafe creme before entertaining that thought.

Yeesh.

I also was told by a way too friendly taxi cab drive that I had an amazing smile.

Thanks.

Now stop looking at me in the rearview window and drive, you’re making me nervous.

I’m pretty friendly and gregarious and sometimes I forget that doesn’t always translate here.

Smile?

Sure.

You must be a hooker and want to blow me in my cab and pay an extra fare.

Douche bag.

I also forgot, and it took me longer than it has in the past to pick up on it, I don’t think about it at all living in San Francissco, that I have tattoos.

And.

It’s warmer than the last two times I was in Pairs, I was here over two different winters I was not showing any skin.

And though I am not showing a lot, one can see that I am sporting more tattoos than the average bear.

As I was standing in the lobby to check out of my super hip boutique hotel the woman at the front was telling the other clerk that his tattoos were too big and that she couldn’t get anymore if she ever wanted to have a job outside of working at Mama Shelter.

I wanted to intervene, in French, and say something, but I played restraint of pen and tongue, nobody asked for my fucking opinion.

But.

Folks here definitely have some ideas about what tattoos mean.

Whore.

Anyway.

Like I care.

Like I give a fat god damn.

I am sitting on a houseboat in the Seine writing my blog.

This life, my life, is so fucking amazing and you know, I’ll probably go get another tattoo while I’m here, because, well, that’s what I do.

Heh.

I get to do whatever I want, well, as long as I accept the consequences.

So, I smile, and I’m joyful and if that means I get some over reaching flirting once in a while I can deal or stares or comments.

It isn’t any of my business what people think of me.

Shit.

It’s none of my business what I think of me.

I don’t always think well of myself, so I try not to think too much of myself.

Just enough.

Just barely enough.

But.

The truth is, I am more than enough and I deserve to be here and I work really motherfucking hard.

I’m happy to be on a boat in the Seine rocking on the waves of the boats rolling by.

It’s an experience I quietly dreamed about my first time walking the Seine by myself in Paris in 2007.

Seeing all the houseboats, dreaming about owning one or renting one.

When the cab dropped me off I had gotten there early and I knew which one it was by the photos from the reservation, but no one was around, just the tabby cat sunning itself on the deck.

I stood for a while, then the cat got curious, as they do, and came over and gave me the once over and deigned to let me stroke him and then I just said, fuck it, and hopped on the boat.

Standing with a goofy too big smile on my face in the brilliant afternoon sun over Paris.

On a boat.

I’m just going to keep going with this.

It will fade off I am sure.

But for right now.

Well.

Basking.

Just glowing with it.

All the things.

For.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Me.

No More Tattoos

February 20, 2017

There.

I mean.

I don’t know that I can say no more tattoos, tattoos I think will continue to happen, but.

No more tattoos there.

Specifically on my collar-bone.

Whoooee getting my touch up today was not intolerable, but I had some dread going back in, which is fairly unusual for me in getting work done.

Especially with something so small, but the location and the thinness of the skin over the collar-bone, really was, well not excruciating, but challenging for sure.

I have an idea for a tattoo I’d like to get next year but aside from that I have no other tattoo plans in sight.

In fact.

I was thinking that the one I get next year may be it for a good while.

Then again.

A lady can change her mind.

It’s just that I am not feeling the need for more ink.

Granted.

I’ll probably get to Paris in May and go to Abraxas and want a tattoo.

I do like me a tattoo as a souvenir of my travels.

I have two from Paris and one I got in New York.

The rest of my work has been gotten here in San Francisco.

I have had one primary artist.

Barnaby Williams.

He is currently at Tiger’s Blood in Alameda.

I first went to Barnaby when he was the owner of Mom’s in the Haight.

I had made an appointment to get a dragon tattoo from Barnaby.

I walked into the shop into a huge bear hug from the man and big mournful eyes.

“Hey,” he said quietly, “how ya doin’?”

I teared up.

“I’m ok, but um, I don’t want to do the dragon tattoo anymore,” I said, eyes blurred and starting to sniffle, “I want to get a memorial instead.”

He nodded.

Sat down and drew out the tattoo for me.

Two white French Tulips.

(Shadrach’s favorite flowers)

And the last line of the elegy that Dylan Thomas wrote for his father.

Until I die/He will not leave my side.

It was written in beautiful calligraphic script.

The flowers he outlined and used white ink on, white does not traditionally stick very well, but it seems to have weathered the test of time.

I have had the tattoo for 9.5 years and it still looks bright and fresh.

It was the biggest piece I had gotten up until that point.

The other two were small, a cover up on my left shoulder of my name in flames, a cover up that Barnaby later covered  up with a dragon, classic little known tattoo–the cover up of the cover up.

In the end, so far.

Barnaby has done two dragons on me, both left arm and right arm, and a beautiful pink Jackalope surrounded by French Marguerite daisies, my favorite flowers.

I have had work done as well.

By Ross K. Jones out of Idle Hand on Haight Street.

Although when I got tattooed by Ross he was out of a warehouse space in the SOMA before warehouse spaces in the SOMA were at a premium.

Ross tattooed my first set of stars.

Seven stars for seven years of sobriety.

To this day I can say that Ross has one of the gentlest approaches and best bedside manner of any tattoo artist I have had.

I have one tattoo from a guest Chinese tattoo artist at Abraxas in Paris when I was there last year at Christmas, his name was Bin and we “talked” via Google translator.

He did the Reve (pop a circumflex over the “e” in reve and you get “dream” in French) piece on my chest plate.

Despite the area being a thinner place of skin, he was fast, smooth, efficient, gentle, it was quite a bit less painful than I thought it was going to be.

Barnaby has done one star as well–he did number 10, which was a bit bigger than my other ones and I had him do an homage to Van Gough’s Starry Night painting, but I asked him to use yellow and pink in the tattoo (thereby balancing the pink of the other stars that I had and complementing the sky blue ones I have as well).

Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed on Polk Street, has done two of my stars.

Number 11, which I had him do as a black star to homage David Bowie’s passing last year and also my 11th year in recovery.

And.

This current new star, star number 12.

Which is a soft pastel blue with black outline.

I like my tattoos.

They tell me a story.

They are beautiful art pieces.

I am connected to each in memorable ways and each has meaning to me.

They needn’t tell anyone’s story but my own.

I often forget I have them and will be startled occasionally when someone references them.

In Paris it was challenging, albeit not so much the last time I was there since it was winter, when I have shown off a lot of tattoos.

There are plenty of shops and plenty of people with tattoos in Paris, it’s become quite a bit more acceptable, but I have gotten some stares, tell you what.

Especially at the swimming pool or just walking the streets or going through the Metro stations.

I forget about them too, living in San Francisco.

It seems like everyone has one.

But some, well, some are better than others and I can tell the jail tats from the gang tats from the home-made gun tats and the sleeves of suddenly wealthy dot-com kids who made it big in the 90s to the hipster tattoos and throw back retro vintage Sailor Jerry tattoo art that is so popular today with the Millennials.

I was getting tattooed and pierced long before it was popular.

I don’t care about the time line on it, it’s just an observation.

I am grateful though, that I have had such great artists in my tattoo history.

I am proud of my ink.

Sometimes it is a mask to hide behind.

Sometimes it is a shield.

You cannot hurt me I have done the hurting already.

Sometimes it is art.

It is beauty.

The narrative of my recovery and the sheltering sky storms brewed up in my psyche.

Just another indelible way I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m serious.

Courtesy of Mat Moreno out of Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn.

I have a heart tattoo with cherry blossoms on my left inner arm.

Heh.

 

 

I Don’t Know

June 9, 2016

And I mean that with every ounce of my being.

I don’t know shit.

But.

I’m showing the fuck up anyway.

Doing the deal.

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

I had been having a rough couple of months.

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

The constant not knowing.

It could have killed me.

Or not.

In the end, it didn’t.

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

I have a purpose.

I have one primary purpose.

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

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

Well fuck that.

We got together.

We sat over tea.

We did the deal.

We hugged it the fuck out.

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

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

It does not matter what I do.

Well.

Ok.

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

I don’t advise.

I just give some suggestions and let it go.

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

If this was a lover.

I might, um, a, be you know.

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

But this?

Fuck no.

It’s not important.

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

I’m not a doctor.

I’m not a therapist.

Yet.

But.

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

I have a point.

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

Yeah.

I know.

Am I fucking nuts?

The Midwest in July.

Do I want to die?

The mosquitos will be big as rescue helicopters.

The humidity will make my curly hair a wild mess.

I will get some stares.

I have a few tattoos.

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

Plus.

Heh.

My hair will be pink.

Which.

Whatever.

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

I got a few looks.

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

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

Oh doll.

I know God.

And I know God well.

Do I understand God?

Fuck no.

Does God understand me?

Yup.

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

Nope.

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

Who also has a wicked sense of humor.

And.

Never, ever, ever.

Ever, ever?

Never.

Has failed to take care of me.

Ever.

I don’t always get what I want.

But I have never not gotten what I needed.

And so often.

All the time really.

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

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

And I am taken care of.

Taken care of in the best sense of the world.

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

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

Hella plush.

Big old pillows everywhere.

Warm soft fuzzy

There is a fire pit.

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

I am held in this luxurious love.

Sometimes God is a memory.

A sense of flying.

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

Held.

Perfect.

Serene.

A float.

Sometimes it is the emotional, melodic beat of drums.

The pounding in my heart that echoes a song.

A rhythm.

My body moves without thought and dance.

Dance is God.

Music is God.

Love is God.

All of it.

I am all of it.

Subsumed.

Taken.

Ravished.

Overtaken.

God is art.

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

Cold.

Wet.

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

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

Sacre Couer in the distance.

The towers of Notre Dame.

Montparnasse.

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

Wondering down the hall.

Wonder (ing) in wander.

Wander (ing) in wonder.

Awed and overcome.

Constricted with the pleasure of art unfolding around me.

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

Flashed out in love.

High on art.

Stranded in the wilderness of my romantic heart.

Bereft and beguiled.

Beatitudes battering my breath.

Caught.

There.

High in my throat.

Tears welling up and sweltering onto my fevered face.

God.

Is in the details.

In the ellipses between the frames.

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

God is.

Or God.

Is not.

What is your choice to be?

I already made mine.

Love.

Always there.

Always holding me.

Always this.

Always this.

Always this.

Love.

My love.

Just.

Love.

 

Eleven

January 18, 2016

For eleven.

I got my eleventh star this eveningIMG_8287

I think she’s pretty.

IMG_8293

Courtesy of Danny Boy Smith @ Let it Bleed.

Deep in the heart of the Tenderloin.

Wow.

Not much has changed and so much has changed.

I am beyond grateful that the reason I was in the Tenderloin was to score a new tattoo.

Not to score.

I haven’t been over to Polk Street in quite sometime.

I used to live up at Washington and Taylor and would frequently ride my bicycle up Polk and then up further, up, up, up California Street, then onto Washington, ending at Taylor.

High.

Up above the crack smoke filled streets and the dirty self-medicating junkies and the cross dressing prostitutes.

I was surprised to see a couple of girls working the streets.

I mean.

I should not have been.

It is the Tenderloin.

Maybe it was just that I haven’t seen a working girl where I live in some time.

Not much action going on in the Outer Sunset.

Although I’m sure things are shaking and moving in and out of the 7-11 parking lot just down the street from my house.

I was glad to walk the streets and not be a street walker, to be coming from my last hour of classes at my first weekend back to my second semester of my graduate school program, to be heading to get a tattoo to celebrate my eleventh anniversary without picking up.

Rather than picking through the garbage strewn gutters or standing under an awning smoking a cigarette and wondering how the hell it all went wrong.

Instead.

I find myself wondering how the hell it all went so wonderfully right.

Graduate school reinforces that premise every time I walk the halls of the university.

Every time I sit in class and raise my hand.

Every time I have a positive interaction with a professor, a student, a fellow in my cohort.

I am full, constantly, of wonder and awe.

Not withstanding I am also a little tired, it was a big weekend, but I did it, I’m through, and I don’t know if it’s an actual lighter reading load then last semester or that I am used to doing the work, but it feels easier.

Perhaps I am just easing into it.

Gratefully so with much surrender.

And.

Really.

Just a stunning amount of perpetual incredulousness that I have made it this far.

I really should not be here.

If life were fair.

I would be dead.

I also have been recognizing, noticing, and in great awareness around the myriad of strikes that have just been against me for so long.

Poverty.

Drug abuse.

Alcohol abuse.

Sexual abuse.

Neglect.

Trauma, trauma, trauma.

I don’t think about it often, I don’t need to ponder the mysterious ways of the Universe, it was just brought home today in my first class of the morning.

I shared about not having real health insurance.

I have Healthy SF, in case you were wondering, but though it provides a lot of the things that having health insurance covers, it’s not the real deal.

And as I explained to my class over a discussion about what it is like to live with the constant, chronic, high level of poverty and what it was like to grow up–though I did not see it at the time–in that dire place of not enough, I realized it was a miracle, a fucking huge ass miracle, that I got out.

The cycle got broken.

I emerged.

A phoenix from the ashes of a crack pipe.

I mean.

Let me not put to fine a point on it.

But the affects still linger and I don’t always realize them.

The shame that comes from being poor, the hot lunch program at school, the American cheese in a box, being the scholarship kid, the kid in need, or the homeless teenager, who despite having a full ride to her first year at university, couldn’t keep it together to keep food in her dorm fridge.

The constant stress of not having the money to afford health insurance, with a few exceptions here and there, worrying about if I would get sick or hurt.

I related how when I did get hurt, my ankle injury, and how I was out of work for six weeks I was blessed with amazing friends who came out of the woodwork to help me.

The GoFund me that someone started so I could pay my rent that month.

The anonymous twenty dollar bill I found in my messenger bag one night.

The rides to and from places.

The gift card for the grocery store.

I have a community of love and friendship that I leaned into really hard.

But the affects of being raised with the absence of so much, I never really contemplated until, irony, no?

I got into graduate school.

Which is a privileged place to be.

Granted.

I am.

Again.

A scholarship kid.

No shame in that.

Although, yes, I admit,  I am loathe to share it with my cohort, I somehow, still think that I don’t quite deserve it and somebody will take it away from me.

In class today the lecture covered what happens to people who live under that kind of stress, who live with PTSD, poverty, drug abuse, alcoholism, for those that self-medicate in the streets, for the homelessness and the racism that we inflict on each other.

And I just felt like gasping for air.

My palms got hot, I got hot, my flight or fight or freeze got activated.

I was alive and charged up and saddened to hear what was being said and then reacting too, to some pretty naive comments made by some well meaning, but hyper privileged classmates.

So.

I shared.

I shared what it was like, what it is still like–do you know that I will get penalized by the government when I go to file my taxes for not having “real” health insurance–to be a person without.

The thing is.

I don’t believe I am a person without anymore.

I have so much.

Love.

Abundance.

Joy.

Stars–like eleven!

I have a good job, I am in graduate school, I live in San Francisco (still, haven’t gotten priced out yet!), I eat organic food and drink expensive coffee.

What I found fascinating, though, in class, from a very astute and experienced PhD professor, is that the affects of poverty don’t dissipate for about three generations.

A lot of the stress that I carry with me, even when I am flush, may well continue to be with me, to be in my body, to just be there.

I have felt it.

I have put name to it.

I have done inventory.

I remember once writing the fear a letter, saying, “dear fear, I hear you, you may be right, but I promise, I will take care of paying rent, you wont’ be homeless this month.”

I had it taped up to my wall by my writing desk for months.

It was when I was living up in Nob Hill.

I don’t know if those affects will always be there, as so much as been lifted, so much space has been made in my heart, in my body, so much psychic change has happened for me, that I believe these intergenerational traumas will end with me.

That is my belief.

And not only that.

The experiences, the wealth of knowledge, the how I got through, the how it works, the passing it on, they are the true measure of my abundance and ability.

These things mark me, but they are not me.

I am more than the sum of my parts.

I am the light that shines around the edges of those black stars.

I go forth.

Into this furthering light.

Into this ever expanding place of being held.

Always.

Further.

Into.

This deepening love.

 

 


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