Posts Tagged ‘The Button Boy’

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.

 

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Sunshine Day Dream

October 21, 2015

I woke up to daisies on my doorstep.

Not a bad way to rise and shine.

Happy.

That will be my principle today.

Not that I had any time,  not a single down moment or minute, to spare, to call my person and check in with her that my principle was such, but it was.

October is one of my favorite months in San Francisco.

It’s a gorgeous kind of Indian Summer that most out of towners are not aware of, the sun shines bright, there is a lick of cool in the wind if it’s windy, there’s not usually fog and there usually is sun and high, wide, blue, blue, robins egg blue, skies.

My kind of weather.

My outfit was inspired by the flowers.

I wore my bright yellow polka dot shirt and pig tails with a daisy, fake, but still, in my hair.

And gold on the eyelids.

I could have been a bumble bee if you had stuck some antennae on my head–I wore black tights as well–in fact, I had a moment when I thought, if I didn’t already have an idea for a costume for Halloween, I would go as a bumble bee.

It would be super easy.

Maybe for when I go trick or treating with the boys this year, they were in their police office costumes all day today and are definitely ready for the holiday.

Although, Halloween is on a Saturday this year, so I may not be trick or treating with the boys.

Still it’s nice to know I have a couple of costume ideas and options before the day sneaks up.

It always sneaks up.

And then it’s suddenly here and everyone is raiding Mission Community Thrift and Buffalo Exchange and all the stores in the Haight and no, really, I don’t want to spend money on an outfit, but I don’t also want to be left out.

I only have been invited to one Halloween event so far and I am not certain I want to head over to Berkeley on a Saturday night to play Halloween with the kids.

Maybe.

I also just checked and I do have another invite to the party at the Park Gym, that’s a possibility.

Although, I am not sure about heading into the Mission on a Saturday night Halloween.

The Mission on a Saturday night is enough of a horror show as it is.

I heard of another party in Glenn Park.

Who knows.

If I do go out

I will probably dress up like a pin-up girl.

I have all the stuff.

Polka dot dress with a flare out skirt and crinoline, high-heeled pumps, and I know how to draw on a pretty good cat eye.

What I would need, is someone to do my hair pin-up style.

I know a lady who does her’s in a victory roll and it’s hella cute, but I have never done one and I have neither a flat-iron or a curling iron and I can’t tell you when the last time was I owned hairspray.

Never?

But it would be fun.

I did have a couple of girl friends that wanted me to go to the Armory party, there’s great dance music going on there and there’s another good party at Public Works, but I am hesitating to commit to anything right now.

Committing the most now to getting as much reading done before school rolls around this weekend.

In fact, I set my alarm a little early for tomorrow so that I can get to the rest of it.

Halloween.

I may pass you by.

However.

I am interested in getting dressed up and going to the ARTumnal Burning Man event that rolls around in November.

I got word from the photographer/architect/artist that I am collaborating with for a project he wants to present there.

I would love to see my work out there in the public eye.

He was quite happy to receive them.

I was happy that he was happy.

I really quite adore them.

In fact.

I am thinking of submitting them to The Bastille–the publication in Paris that published one of my stories when I was living in Paris.

They reached out to me today and said they were looking for submissions.

It’s not paid, but it’s a chance to have my work in another publication and I would get a copy of the publication and an invitation, haha, to read from my work in Paris at Shakespeare and Company.

Not that they would pay to fly me over.

I was thrilled when they picked my story The Button Boy to publish and invited me to speak at the event and read the story at Shakespeare and Company.  But by the time the publication came out I was already living back in the states.

I do want to have a reading one day at Shakespeare and Company.

I mean.

Really.

What writer doesn’t?

So in lieu of going to Paris, not that I won’t hey, you want to go to Paris?

Let’s go!

I speak some French and know a few folks over there.

But realistically.

I think the ARTumnal is more likely for me to get into than Paris at this time.

I do want to go back to Paris, especially since one of my fellows in the program at CIIS is from Paris and it would be tres cool to hang out with her there–ma poulette across the Atlantic.

I will too.

I can tell.

I keep digressing on the Paris track.

Ah, the Bastille e-mail is doing it to me.

Anyway.

I would like to go to the ARTumnal.

The tickets are pretty steep.

But I am thinking that I want to be there.

I know I will see people I love and care about.

I know I will see some art and I might even see my own poems somewhere in the big mix of spectacle and carnival, music and mayhem.

If I don’t go out for Halloween, I definitely want to go and get dressed up for this.

Oh.

Shoot.

I just looked up my school syllabus.

I am in freaking class that weekend.

Damn it.

Ugh.

I don’t know that I can get out to it.

FROGS.

Oh well.

At least the poems are done.

And I am happy I wrote them.

They make me happy.

That’s what important anyhow.

Happiness.

Sunshine.

Daisies.

Love.

I got it all today.

Who needs more?

What A Day

August 12, 2013

What a day.

What a fucking day.

Whew.

I am tired thinking about it, exhilarated, and don’t even know where the hell to begin.

In no particular order.

Went to Outside Lands courtesy of my employers with my friend Radha.

We saw Hall & Oates, A-trak, Willie Nelson and Family, Vampire Weekend, and someone else who I am entirely forgetting, New Orleans funk brass band with guest Aaron Neville.

We sat and had Blue Bottle coffees in the VIP area and marvelled at the crowds.

We walked a lot.

I danced my butt off at A-trak.

And we left early.

I did not stay to see the Chili Peppers, I just was done in by the day, the dancing, the walking, the emotional excitement–although I heard them as I rode my bike from my place back into town, I had left my bicycle there and Radha and I walked from the house to the festival.

Yup.

I put the deposit down on my studio in-law in the Sunset.

Yes, folks, I am moving back to, not really sunny, San Francisco.

I will be living in the fog belt but I don’t care, I have Trouble Coffee, Judalicious (where I had lunch raw vegan “tacos” on collard green leaves with avocado, cashew sauce, shredded red cabbage and carrots, sunflower seed “pate” and for dessert a nectarine from the local organic co-op market), Java Beach Cafe (I am envisioning some Sunday paper action on the patio in the sunshine–it’s not always foggy by the beach kids), Golden Gate Park, and lest I forget, the ocean.

I am not really living in the City by the Bay, but in the city by the Ocean.

It is just a bit different out there, it feels like it’s own little quaint beach community and I am excited to explore it.

By bicycle.

Home

Home

By foot.

By slow meandering walk to the beach.

By bonfire.

By moon light.

By hold my hand and walk with me in the surf.

Heh.

I move in after I get back from the thing in the desert where they burn that guy for like being the man, dontcha know.

I don’t have an exact date pinpointed when I am back from playa, but I know that I probably won’t move in until that weekend following the end of the event–I am projecting a September 7th or 8th move in date.

The studio is gorgeous.

My friend really has done it right.

The bathroom (which I christened, yes that’s right, I peed on my turf) is all lovely tile and tidy silver and chrome with a lovely medicine cabinet, well-lit, and clean and bright painted.

The walls are fresh painted.

The lighting fixtures all brand new, including a ceiling fan and domed lights.

The floors still are in the process of being finished.

My friend was going to put in carpet and changed her mind.

Yay!

Hardwoods.

Oh.

So.

Loverly.

The closet needs finishing and the kitchen is not complete yet, those details will all come together in the next week or two and frankly there is not a rush, it’ll be done and ready for me when I get back from the burn.

And eventually there will be a new deck out the back door and a new window so the studio will be even brighter.

I was actually surprised by how much light it did capture just from the little glassed in door in the back that leads to the yard and current patio.

I am going to have access to a yard!

I can hear the ocean from the back porch.

I can open the door and hear the ocean.

So much nicer than the gun shots I heard last night and the relentless drag racing and side shows that were going on last night.

Some folks got shot last night over here.

It was intense.

The news reported that a man was hospitalized for a gunshot, but no name, nothing said, a single line on ABC 7’s website.

I heard the shots last night.

And I heard the rumour mill at the BART station when I was headed into town.

Rumor was more than one person was shot.

I can believe that, there was a lot of return fire.

I am breathing so much easier just realizing that I am not going to hear that anymore as I drift off to sleep.

Ocean waves here I come.

I made it home tonight unscathed and in wonderment that I made it from 46th and Irving to Rainbow before they closed, and then to the Civic Center, onto BART, and back to the Gracelandia without incident.

The ride back, this time I did all on Lincoln and it was actually much more manageable than I thought, was foggy and chilly, and spooky and ethereal.

The entire city is bundled up in fog.

Then back to Graceland for the stack of mail to open and my groceries to put away.

And what’s that in the mail?

Ah.

Yes.

My student loan bill which has come out of forbearance and I have to make payment on before I leave for playa.

All the big money decisions whomp!

But I have it.

It’ll go in the mail tomorrow and I won’t have to worry about it while I am out dancing in the dust or getting my nanny on or doing my writing.

Of which there will be more as I also got something else in the mail.

The Bastille.

I am published.

Right.

There.

In.

Print.

My name, spelled correctly, thank you very much, and my story, The Button Boy.

It is so cool (even though there’s a typo in the last paragraph) to see my work, my name, my words, printed on paper stock.

I was also quite impressed by the journal.

It is a much higher quality print then I thought it was going to be.

 

****And here is where my internet went down last night at Graceland.  I tried again this morning to post and have now finally gotten some connection here at the nanny gig in North Oakland.

Sigh.

I hate when that happens.

Oh well.

So it goes, here’s the story from yesterday and hopefully there will be internet connectivity when I get home tonight, home, funny thought that.

Graceland for a little while longer.

 

“Dear Carmen”

May 31, 2013

We like your writing very much.

Holy shit.

I am getting published.

I knew it was happening, or I should say, I had some suspicions it might.

The magazine contacted me while I was still in Paris and asked me for an author’s bio and a different file format for my submission.

I had forgotten about it.

and would like to publish “The Button Boy”

Wait, did yo say you would like to publish The Button Boy?

You did not.

Wait.

You did!

Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick.

I cannot believe that my first publishing credit (ok, I am going to clarify that, it sounds like I have not been published and I have, The Peacock, also in Paris, published a piece I wrote, but it is a student magazine and I was not a student there, I knew the editor and she needed something in a pinch and I tossed out a little epistolary to accompany some photographs in the magazine, so technically I do have publication credits.  And there is this, my blog, which is published every night, but neither were submitted publications) is a short story.

Not only a short story, but a science fiction short story.

“May I make a suggestion,” my room mate said as I was laying my weary head down on the table top at 36 Rue Bellefond.  I was either beating myself up for not doing enough work, or I was castigating myself around my edits to my book, or I was dying of fatigue from having crammed in a full day of walking the cold, wet, mean streets of Paris, taking photographs and trying to live the idea, the fantasy, of the kind of life I was supposed to live in Paris as a struggling writer.

Where is my tiny violin playing for me right now?

“NO, I don’t want your suggestions,” is what I thought, “sure,” is what I said.

“Well, when you are tired of all this work that you are doing, and I know that it is work, you are putting in a lot of time, doing things in Paris, writing, taking pictures and stuff, why don’t you write something fun for you.”  He said unfurling the scarf from around his neck.

“You know, just write something completely out there, something that has nothing to do with what you’re working on.” He said and stepped toward the stairs, turning on the overhead light.

“Hmm, I hear you, you may be right,” I said.

I was being flippant.

But something dinged in my head.

Something said, he’s got a point.

Do you want to be happy or do you want to be write.

I mean “right”.

“I do have an idea for something, now that you mention it,” I said and he paused foot suspended in mid air.  “I saw something on the Metro the other day that I could not figure out what it was and I suddenly got a line, a sentence, and it’s been stuck in my head now for a week or so.”

“There ya go, buddy, write about that,” then he trundled up the steps and I sighed and went back to editing the photographs I had taken that day, a job in and of itself that took anywhere from an hour to two hours depending on how many I had taken during my walk about Paris.

in the next issue of The Bastille.

“You should come check it out!” She said to me one afternoon as I was rinsing out a tea cup in the kitchen of the Scots Kirk Church, “I go every Monday, it’s a lot of fun, and yeah, there’s some drinking, but most people are pretty chill and there’s some good stuff and I love going.”

I knew what she was talking about, I had seen the flyer for it in the window at Shakespeare & Company on one of my first visits to the famous book store across the river from Notre Dame.

Paris Spoken Word Open Mic.

I googled the event.

I made plans to go.

I did not go.

I had a baby sitting gig.

I got a case of nerves.

I was tired.

I was full of excuses.

I don’t have anything to say.

“Hey, I’m going to go this Monday,” Hannah said to me as we hugged outside 65 Quai D’Orsay.  “You should come, you don’t have to perform, I just like to watch actually, we can just hang out.”

“Ok,” I said, I had begun to see, with the help of someone wiser and more experienced and oh, I don’t know, not me, that I have limited perspective and that I often make fear based decisions and that I need to practice saying yes instead of no.

And fellowshipping is good.

So go.

I went.

I performed.

I got high from the adrenalin of getting on stage.

The lights bright, the faces rapt, I felt caught, captured, held, and I recited “While You Were Sleeping”.

I had them in the palm of my hand and I knew it.

Then, I was hooked.

I went back, I did more poems, I did “Cry Baby” and I did “Into the Pink”.  I read a long free verse poem called “Fevered”  I read an old poem about an old lover that I wrote on a break in between a double at Hawthorne Lane while having coffee at a cafe on Market Street in San Francisco back in 2002.

At one of the Open Mics the MC mentioned that The Bastille was closing down it’s next round of submissions, if you want to submit then go to blah, blah, blah.

I wanted to submit.

I had a feeling that I would get in.

I was feeling cocky and high from the performing.

I did not always nail it, but when I did.

I really did.

“So, I just wanted to let you know, I took your suggestion,” I told my room mate one evening.

“Which one,” he said without breaking a beat.

He had given me a lot of suggestions.

“The one about writing something fun,” I said.

“Oh!  Awesome, good on you,” he replied, settling down at the chair kitty corner from me at the table.  “What did you write about?”

“I actually wrote a short story, a science fiction short story at that, I have never written science fiction before, either,” I said.  “I was at Odette & Aime and I did not feel like I was done yet, but I was finished editing, I did a full chapter, and I read for an hour and I was just suddenly poked to take out my notebook and write something completely different.”

“Good for you!” My room mate exhorted again, then he told me about his day and I zoned out a little thinking about how I wanted to write more of these short stories, how good it felt to write.

We’ll be in touch to let you know when it will come out and to get a free copy to you.

I’ll send them “While You Were Sleeping,” “Cry Baby,” and something else, I thought as I looked over the submissions page.

A little voice said, send “The Button Boy”.

I had put it, the short, up on my blog and my friend had given me a really detailed and lovely response of his reaction to the story just a few days prior.

I never expected that they would choose it.

I never thought, boy, when I get my first piece published it will be for a magazine in Paris and it will be a science fiction short story.

SCIENCE FICTION!

Not a poem, not an essay, not one of my blogs.

A science fiction piece that I was inspired to write because I saw something on a little boys’ head that did not make sense to me, I made up a story to explain the unknown.

This is how Gods are created and constellations and mythologies, personal mythologies, my history.

I can still see that little boy and the gigantic plastic button, which I learned later is a hearing aid, on the back of his skull with a little wire running into the black nest of his short cropped hair.

I can see the car I am in on the Metro and I know where I am going.

And now I know what piece I need to work on next.

But just for this moment, just for today, I get to celebrate this little victory.

I get to bask.

Then back to work.

But for now, the basking.

Bask.

Bask.

Bask.

All the best,
 
David & the rest of the editorial team DSCF5360

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