Posts Tagged ‘The Haight’

I Almost Called You

April 13, 2019

But, of course, I did not.

The sunlight was streaming through the windows at my studio, just flooding in, and the urge to call, just pick up my phone and call was so strong I gasped out loud with it.

I also yelled at you again today in the car, “sack up and be a fucking man.”

Ah, emotions.

Hello.

I miss you sugar, but I’m not calling.

You can reach out to me under certain circumstances and I’m sure you know what they are.

I don’t expect that you will.

Sometimes I think it might happen and I get hopeful, but I really don’t think you will.

But the light, at sunset, so majestic and golden, it reminded me of our early days together and the day/night/sunset that I fell in love with you.

And then I realized we’re in that time now.

It would have been just over two years ago this past week that I met you with your friend for an anniversary dinner at the Citrus Club in the Haight.

I had not planned on going and was surprised to get the phone call saying, come out and have dinner, it’s your anniversary.

But.

Having just recently found out that you had a crush on me, I decided to go.

I don’t think I changed so fast in my life, striped right out of those yoga clothes and dressed up and hopped on my scooter.

I got there so fast I was the first one there and waited nervously for you to show up.

You seemed nice, but noncommittal.

Of course, you told me later you’d basically given up on me and didn’t think there was anything going to happen between us.

But there was.

And not too soon thereafter.

May 3rd, 2017, our first kiss.

God.

It still makes my heart do all sorts of somersaults thinking about that and how quickly we found each other.

It wasn’t very long after that I fell in love with you, falling into your eyes as the sunlight beamed through the windows.

Oh lover.

So it was really hard to not call.

And there’s so damn much I want to tell you!

So much.

I’m going to Cuba!

Havana, specifically.

I just got my VISA ordered tonight before starting this blog.

There is so much to do before I go, so much homework, work work, therapy clients to see, studying to do, I have to take my Law and Ethics exam soon and I have just shelled out $295 to the Therapist Development Center for all the study materials to pass the test.

I have a lot to do before I go to Havana in July.

But, oh, Havana.

I’m so distracted by the trip that I find myself barely able to focus on the things that need to be addressed before I go.

I also really didn’t have the bandwidth at all to do homework the last couple of days as I’ve been up early and at work early both days, the kids are on Spring Break and the parents are working extra and the grandmother is coming for a visit.

I had to juggle  a lot of monkeys the last few days, no time for homework and no time after getting home from seeing clients to attend to it either.

But looking up Havana, Cuba on the net.

Oh, I’ve got time for that.

Yes, yes, I do.

I have done lots of research and nailed down some specific experiences that I want to have.

Mostly because I know that showing up with nothing planned is not a great idea for me as I will be a single, I assume, woman traveling to a Spanish-speaking country.  I’ve already been told I will get catcalls, etc. And since I don’t speak much Spanish I really want to be prepared.

Also that there’s intermittent to little WiFi.

That the ATM’s don’t take American credit cards or debit cards.

And that no American cards at all are accepted anywhere, basically everything is done in cash.

I’ll need to get CUC when I arrive at the airport.

You can’t get the currency outside of Cuba.

So it’s not like I can go to SFO and drop some money and get it, I have to bring a bunch of cash with me and then exchange it in Cuba when I get there.

The casa particular I’m staying at requires my payment up front in CUC when I check in.

That’s $320, for eight days including breakfast.

Hella good deal.

In fact.

I should be able to really do quite a lot of things on a fairly small budget.

And I think I will end up booking a bunch of Air BnB experiences.

I believe I can pre-pay these by card before I go and then I don’t have to haggle prices when I can barely speak Spanish.

There are a lot of super interesting things I want to do and I sort of gave myself an itinerary after doing some research on Air BnB and just Googling random things about Havana.

One day I plan on doing an “Authentic Cuban Food/Market Tour” where I will get a tour of a big market and a lunch at restaurant with a local chef.  I’m planning on doing this pretty much the second day I’m there, first day will be just getting settled in and chilling out.  That way I have an idea of how the markets work and what to buy and what things costs.

I want to do a street art and walking tour with some graduates of the University there, take photographs and get out of the heavy tourist areas.

I also want to do some shopping with a local fashion designer and artist.

I want to go to the museums of course and I also want to do an Art Deco tour.  This is with a professor at the University and I figure it’d be a great learning experience, I really like Art Deco and wandering around with a professor would be some great insight into the city.

I want to take a Salsa class, because, hello, dancing, Cuba, yes please.

I also want to do some rooftop sunsets and drive around in a vintage car.  I mean, come on, $65 for getting driven all around Havana and taken to rooftop pools?  Count me in.  I’ll be skipping the booze part, but there are non-alcoholic beverages provided, so I’m set.

And I do like the driving around in vintage cars a heap, so I’ll be doing that more than once.  I have to do the drive along the sea wall in West Havana.  Bring it.

I’m also going to do a day outside of Havana, the spendiest thing I’m planning on doing, but when you look at everything the trip is offering, its super worth it.  For $120 a full 12 hour day, you get picked up at your place in a vintage car with A/C and driven an hour to Vinales, for a cave exploration, a hike into a tobacco farm, lunch, and horseback riding.  And they drive you back and drop you off where you’re staying too. Um, totally worth the price.

It won’t be Cuba without going to the beach, in yes, another vintage car, so I’ll be heading to the beach for sure, I’m still sourcing out the right fit here, as there’s a couple of different offers and I want to explore which beach feels right.

There are two other things I want to do that have nothing to do with Air BnB experiences that I found on the web and I am really excited about doing.

One is going to this fancy hotel with apparently the best rooftop pool in Havana and getting a day pass to hang out there all day, it’s $60 for the day and I think a day of just lying around a pool and using the spa facilities is worth the money and maybe sneaking in a massage too. Hence a day trip to the Gran Hotel Manzana.

And this private restaurant: La Guardia.

It looks amazing and if it’s good enough for Sting and Barack Obama and Natalie Portman, I definitely think it’s worth investigating.

Doing this research really made me think about you too, how we’d have such fun laying poolside, walking Old Havana, finding all the delicious things to eat, Cuban coffee, the beach, just all of it.

And I didn’t call and  won’t, but man, I think about you a lot.

Not every moment of the day, but when it comes to traveling you are so on my mind it’s a challenge.

I wish you well where ever you are.

I haven’t a clue to your schedule anymore.

I wish you would reach out and I’m ok that you won’t.

I’m still not over you, don’t think I will ever be, but I might, just might, be starting to get through.

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Things Change

December 18, 2016

Unexpected.

But for the better.

I won’t be going to Wisconsin for Christmas.

I will be staying here in San Francisco.

Although my person was very pro me going to Hawaii.

Who the hell isn’t interested in going to Hawaii.

As it turns out circumstances were just not a good fit for me to travel where I was going and after much heart-felt thinking I realized I needed to cancel.

I booked the ticket through an online site, Kayak, that lead to Priceline, that led to SunCountry and I was afraid I was going to have to bite the cost of the ticket.

$480 down the toilet.

According to Priceline’s little disclaimer about tickets being non-refundable, etc.

However.

Upon the urging of my person I called the airline and explained my situation and the person I talked to was super sweet and accommodating and they cancelled my ticket and gave me a voucher that I can use anytime in the next year.

I can choose to go to Wisconsin if the opportunity is right or I can travel to any of the other destinations the airline flies.

I looked at a few places, I mean, I have a week off, but it’s Christmas and the majority of the places that I was interested in going to were booked full.

So.

I have a year to re-book and that’s cool.

I am super happy that I didn’t lose the money and I am happy that I have a year, well, not quite, I booked the ticket in October, so I need to re-book by next October, but I can still use it.

I don’t know where I’ll go and I don’t have to decide right now.

I do know I will be here in the city and who knows what mischief I may get up to.

I figure I will do lots of yoga, buy a book for pleasure reading and go to the MOMA a few times.

Pleasure reading.

Drool.

Because, that shit is happening.

I mean for real.

Because I finished my Psychopathology paper!

My God.

That was a grind.

17 pages.

I thought it was supposed to be 18-20 pages but then I went back into the syllabus and saw that I had made an error, thank God I found that, and the paper “only” needed to be 15-17 pages.

So 17 pages were written.

4,912 words.

I had a friend who was like, what are you going to do to celebrate?

I responded.

Write my blog.

hahahahahahaha.

But really.

This is a celebration right here, right now.

I finished.

I made it.

I am officially half-way through the three-year program and that feels really good.

Despite my sadness at having to change my plans, I know it’s for the best, and plans change, things change, I get to be flexible and I am damn curious to see what is going to happen next.

I do believe that something awesome and fun is going to happen.

And despite a longing to be with my friend and her family I need to do what is best for the situation and that has been done.

It feels rather adult.

I guess one could say I’m growing up.

Which is good since in two hours I’ll be 44.

Heh.

“44!  No!  34!” My yoga teacher was so cute today, we’ve become friends and I invited him and his daughter and his partner to my pinball party in the Haight.

You too.

Come if you’re around.

4p.m.-7p.m. Free Gold Watch in the Haight–Waller at Stanyan.

Bring your quarters!

I’m going to be a Zazie’s for brunch and figure I’ll be signing up there around 12:30p.m. and I just got a text from my person who happens to know the manager, that she gave them the heads up that I was coming in (they don’t take reservations) and she also left me a birthday present!

I’m so lucky.

I’m so grateful.

I get to go to graduate school.

I get to go to play pinball tomorrow with my friends.

I got a voucher for my plane ticket and time to figure out where and when I am going to use it.

So many gifts.

So many.

I’m going to do yoga in the morning too.

It may be my birthday, but I can’t think of a better way to start my year than by taking care of my health and well-being.

God damn.

I really am lucky.

When I think of all the challenges and the things I have gone through to get where I am at, sitting here in this lovely home with my Christmas tree lit up and my school work done for the semester, I am absolutely amazed.

The gift of perspective might be the greatest thing I have in my life.

It is stunning to see how I have changed.

I mean.

Others have seen it and noted it, but I felt it, deep and true these last few days and I am moved by how much I have seemingly grown in such a short time.

Granted I think the seeds had been planted and watered and there was much sunlight of the spirit happening.

But I wasn’t expecting it.

I hadn’t looked for it.

I let go of a defect and found joy in its place and a lightning in my heart.

Love for myself, of myself, directed inward, and there.

A bloom.

A blossom.

A wild, fragrant flowering of brightness inside.

I feel lit up and a glow.

Warm and safe and taken care of.

I have no problems.

I really don’t.

Oh.

Yes.

Challenges, there will always be challenges, and room to grow, I don’t doubt that, there’s always room to grow, but problems, no I don’t have them.

Not now.

Not right here in this glorious moment of freedom.

School’s out for winter!

Ok.

That doesn’t sound as good as school’s out for summer.

But believe you me, after the semester I had.

It is hella sexy.

Hella.

Sing To Me

November 16, 2016

Sure thing pumpkin.

“Alexa, play Mike Doughty, Sunshine,” I said, holding my sick, feverish little monkey in my lap.

Alexa complied, “now playing MIKE DOUTY, Sunshine.”

I always correct her, “Doughty, Alexa, get it right.”

And he sings.

And I sing.

And my charge burrows into my arms and snuggles in my lap and is warm and feverish and sweet and a total cuddle puddle.

I told Alexa to play Doughty on shuffle and the next thing you know, “Sad Girl, Walking in the Rain.”

Um.

Oh my God.

New music.

Yes.

I had forgotten that his new album was released in October.

I hopped onto my phone, tapped my Spotify, and yes, there it was.

The Heart Watches While The Mind Burns.

I am listening to it now.

It’s good.

But I’m partial.

I am partial because I am a wordsmith and I have a tiny crush, always have, probably always will, sorry not sorry.

And because I can carry the octave he sings in pretty well.

I don’t sing all that well, but I can get out a little husky phrasing.

It was a good day for the singing.

My nose has cleared up and though I still have a cold it’s not as bad.

I also made myself get up and go to yoga and about half way through class I could tell I was working through it.

The cold is lessening its grip.

I am hopeful that by the time I get to school this Friday it will be completely out of my system.

Not that I would skip school if I was sick, I haven’t missed a day yet.

I will miss a half day on Saturday, December 10th, a dear friend is getting married that afternoon, so I’ll be missing the last class of my Child Therapy class, but I think that should be ok, I’ll miss the final project presentation of a few of my classmates, but I will have all of my own work done.

It will be the first time I have missed a class.

I firmly believe that most of the battle is won by showing up.

Show up to the screen.

I blog.

Show up to work.

I get a paycheck.

Show up to my notebook in the morning.

I get relief and direction for my day.

Show up to the yoga mat, again.

I get some anxiety out of my body, I feel better and I stand straighter.

I’ll fucking take it.

Show up to a church basement after work, in the dark, sit and get some relief, get some connection, get some not so lonely anymore feeling in my heart.

I ran into an old acquaintance, I’ve known him since the beginning of my recovery and I asked if he had gotten my invite to my birthday party.

I told him to come out.

We suffer from the same loneliness that so many of us suffer from.

I realized today though, as I was lying on the yoga mat, that I’m just used to that pain.

I was born in that pain.

I know that pain so well and how to navigate the dark swell of it as the waves build and peak, that the black silk heavy weight of those waters can pull me down in it’s comforting embrace.

But.

What if.

What if I choose differently?

Maybe I will be uncomfortable.

But I won’t be lonely and when I get used to being happier, which I am getting better at all the time, maybe I won’t sink into that drowned ship of isolation.

“When’s your birthday?”  He asked.

“Sunday, December 18th, pinball at Free Gold Watch in the Haight, I sent you an invite on facecrack,” I told him.  “Please come, and come again on Saturday, it’s good to see you there, and we usually fellowship after the meeting.”

I’m pretty fucking proud of myself for throwing myself a birthday party.

Sunday, December 18th, I’ll be 44.

I’m going to have brunch at Zazie’s in Cole Valley around 2p.m.

Then pinball at Free Gold Watch on Waller Street from 4-7p.m.

If you’re in town, come play!

I made a facecrack invite and invited about 200 people and 20 people are coming!

That’s actually pretty fucking good for facecrack invites.

Folks are pretty busy during the holidays and my birthday is the week before Christmas, I am always at odds with any number of holiday parties and galas and events.

So I decided to do what I really want to do.

Brunch with some of my dearest friends and then pinball.

I love me some pinball.

I’m happy to have gotten such a nice response to the invite too, of course who doesn’t like an arcade for Pete’s sake.

I’m very happy to be doing something fun on my birthday.

Last year was so hard.

Sad girl walking in the rain.

That was me.

I had to work that day and it down poured all day long.

Buckets of rain.

I had made plans to go to do the deal and then get a late dinner with friends and a man I was pseudo dating, for lack of a better adjective or descriptor and on my way to doing the deal, getting soaked, it was coming down so fiercely, he sent me a text and cancelled.

My birthday.

He cancelled on my birthday dinner.

I wanted, just then to get all upset and irate and have a resentment and take some one else’s inventory.

But.

I am reminded.

I don’t want to take his inventory as I don’t want to make his amends.

I cried.

It rained.

On my birthday.

Sad girl walking in the rain/wide brown eyes seek the sunrise/dryer in the morning light.

I wore a sky blue dress and a white crinoline underneath it.

The flippant edge of my dress buoyed up by the fluff of fabric underneath could do nothing against the sorrowful pound of my heart as I walked alone up Church Street.

Solace for me later in the laughter of my friends.

The relationship rapidly unraveled and it did not matter that I loved him very much.

It did not matter that he loved me very much.

It was working, couldn’t work, wasn’t going to work.

Then today, I thought of my birthday prior and the Christmas alone, as my boyfriend at that time of year decided to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife.

Don’t worry about breaking my heart, I’m doing it just fine on my own.

There’s a picture of me that day, Christmas day three years ago now, sitting in the sand dunes in that I got so many compliments on, so many.

I found it sad and sweet and funny too.

Alone.

On Christmas day, taking selfie’s in the sand.

Sad girl sitting in the sand.

Ha.

So.

This year.

Something different.

First.

There’s no man in my life to not live up to my stupid expectations around my birthday or Christmas.

I made my own damn plans.

I’ll buy my own damn flowers.

And.

I’ll take my own damn self out.

Thank you very much.

I also have plans to be with friends over both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And let’s not forget.

Pinball, bitches.

I’m super stoked to be doing all these good things for myself.

Just because I’m used to being lonely doesn’t mean I’m alone.

And.

Just because there’s comfort in the familiarity of pain.

Doesn’t mean I have to continue to nurture it.

I choose happy.

Damn it.

I choose joy.

 

Easing Back In

February 19, 2016

Not that I want to.

Nope.

Not at all.

I would rather just pretend that this week is pure and free and there’s nothing to do but hang out and walk the beach, drink coffee, write, color, chat with friends, go to cafes, connect with folks.

You know.

However.

I did gear back into the habit and routine of doing some reading for classes.

Of course.

I didn’t even make it through an entire article when I closed my eyes while I was reading on the chaise and I drifted off.

Fuck me.

Two days in a row with a nap.

Who is this person?

Well rested, that’s who.

And nicely set up for the weekend.

I have a yoga class, gulp, I’m taking tomorrow.

I am afraid.

I know that sounds silly.

But.

There it is.

I am afraid to do it wrong.

I am afraid to look stupid.

I am afraid I will love it and become one of those obnoxious yoga people that prance around town obnoxiously glowing and happy.

Wait.

I sort of want that.

Heh.

I remind myself that it is just showing up and that I am just exploring it and I have had two girlfriends in the last six hours offer to go to a class with me.

I am going to be just fine.

Let me just repeat that.

The yoga studio will not eat me alive.

I bet I even enjoy it.

And it’s a block from the house.

I told on myself too.

I knew I was going to back out if I didn’t make myself accountable to some people.

I called three people and told them I was going tomorrow and I still felt myself balking to even say it.

I know there’s something to explore there, when I have this much resistance it’s sort of the dark territory that I need to go into, headlamp on, yoga mat tucked under my arm.

I walked over to the studio today and checked out the facility and the schedule and it really is the best possible solution.

It is on my block.

I keep telling myself that as I spend stupid amounts of time looking for other solutions when it’s right there.

Like the elephant in the room.

I’m using my scooter a lot.

I’m going to need the exercise and the breathing is going to be great and the stretching will help and the sweating is needed and then I’ll be a hop, skip, and a jump away from my house, a shower, and then whatever I need to do.

I have been doing my Applied Spirituality work and instead of doing the yoga so far, I have implemented the physical part of the three pronged approach that I proposed by walking the beach.

I was out there an hour today.

It was glorious.

Mostly because there were so few people there.

It felt like just me, the sea, the sea gulls, ravins, the plovers, and hermit crabs.

I found two whole sand dollars.

I turned my face to the sky and the sun.

I almost got drenched by a wave without realizing it and ran laughing out loud out of the surf.

It was a good connecting.

I felt grounded and in myself.

I did some grocery shopping.

I cooked some food.

I confirmed with my friend coming into the city that we’ll be meeting in the Haight tomorrow.

It’s project rain so I’ll be on MUNI.

We’re going to meet at People’s Cafe, hang out, catch up, maybe do some window shopping, do the deal, grab a bite to eat and oh, that sounds so good.

Solid gold friend time.

And then.

Who knows what the rest of the weekend will bring.

I found out today that I don’t have either of the people I normally meet with on Saturday.

A free and clear Saturday.

No commitments.

I’m not going to make any plans.

Out loud anyway.

My brain will chatter about it all day for the next night and day if I let it.

I prefer not to.

I am just going to stay here, in this moment.

Change is coming.

Suffice to say, as I started this piece, I will be focusing on some homework.

I have to post up pretty soon to Applied Spirituality forum and since I have been doing the deeper work, really it doesn’t feel necessarily “deeper” but I have enjoyed it and noticed a different space in myself, an easiness in my being after I have done the coloring meditation.

Other than that, I will do the readings for classes and depending on how I am feeling work on one of the papers that are due for the next weekend of classes.

I have two this go around.

And lots more on the horizon.

I’m not there yet.

I do actually have wiggle room this week, I could foreseeably do no homework, but I don’t care for the anxiety that produces in me.

There is balance.

I can go about this life with some semblance of equilibrium.

I know I can.

And all these experiences, well, they are gifts, some uncomfortable to hold until I get used to the edges and pushing past those places of resistance.

Hell.

Maybe I just need to go out dancing with some girlfriends too.

I have a tentative offer for this weekend.

Again.

Not pressuring myself.

When I spend too much time focusing on what is not happening for me, what I should be doing, where I should be going, then I just jump right out of the present moment.

The present moment looks like singing along to Mike Doughty’s Stellar Motel, rocking a polka dot frock and a crinoline, third day this week, and loving my sweet self hard as I can.

Sometimes that love is doing the things that I least want to do.

And having compassion for that little begrudging voice to express herself.

“NO!  I don’t want to go!”

Shh.

It will be ok.

I swear.

It’s just yoga.

Seriously.

 

The Jig Is Up

February 7, 2016

This is not what I wanted to hear from my person.

In fact, there was a lot I wasn’t expecting to hear from my person today and boy howdy, was it affecting and effective.

She pointed some things out to me as I watched my toes curl and uncurl in the warm sand.

At least I was in a sunny place to hear the news.

We met at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club and walked from 46th and Judah out to the beach.

Every once in a while I need to stop and remind myself how lucky I am that I get to live here, literally steps away from the ocean, from the sand, the sun, the surf.

It was beautiful.

I was surprised by the number of people out at the beach.

Which I shouldn’t be, when it’s nice, the city shows up.

I was rather expecting that it would be quiet, all folks hailing towards the great sport ball thing downtown.

That was not the case, however, there were lots of folks out at the beach and we took a moment to find the right spot, a bright vantage over the beach, the sun sparkling on the water, the surfers out past the break.

I had a moment, spoken out loud and quickly acknowledged as bullshit, of thinking, how come I’m not out there, in the surf, surfing?

I am just not good enough, strong enough, fast enough, I’m not doing enough.

I am not enough.

And.

I am fucking pissed off.

Angry.

I was surprised to have it named.

She named it, I recognized it, and yeah, there it is.

Fire.

Lighting my face.

I’m fucking mad.

Well.

Hello.

I had no fucking clue.

But once it was out of the bag, well, a lot more came out too.

“I noticed it the last time we met and I think it’s been going on for a while now,” she said.

Uh.

Yeah.

Fuck.

I mean I know I have been feeling uncomfortable and I know I push myself really hard.

“You need to lighten up,” she said.

Ugh.

Yes.

“It’s about happy, joyous, and free, you can’t bludgeon yourself into joy.”

Um.

Ok.

Fuck.

“Listen, these are good tears, these are not like the crying you were doing when we first started working together,” she added.

Yes.

This is very true.

I was in a painful spot then and this is more an uncomfortable place.

And I forget how I can get used to being uncomfortable, there’s a kind of, sick, yes, but known, comfort in it.

Except that I cannot sustain it like I used to and I don’t enjoy it and oh yeah.

It doesn’t fucking work.

EVER.

So.

We did some reading.

And man, I mean, come on, I have read this before, but it hit me so squarely, so right on target, like on a completely different level, I was blown wide open.

And yes, the woo woo, sunshine God shone down on me and I felt lifted.

My eyes raised and I watched a surfer catch a bomb and ride through a bright tunnel of water, the curve never quite catching up to him, it fell and he drifted over the top and into the valley, a trough of water, only to re-emerge and float over the next wave behind it.

It was a beautiful moment.

A pod of surfers out in the bright water.

The sun on my face.

My heart open.

My brain balking right and left at the suggestions I was hearing.

“You’re going to balk,” she said, “I know it, but I’m going to suggest it anyway.”

I thought, I’m not going to balk.

I balked.

Fuck.

I balked hard.

I’m still sort of balking.

Not really.

But I want to.

I don’t want to take the suggestion and the thing is, it’s a great suggestion and one that has been nibbling away at me for a while now, one that I know in my heart I need to do.

I need to.

It’s been suggested to me by my physical therapist, my therapist, my psychiatrist, my primary care doctor.

I could increase the list.

But basically what was suggested, what I know I should be doing, because what I am doing now is not quite cutting it, I need to exercise.

Ugh.

I so don’t even want to write that.

“You need to get some of the anger out,” she said, “get into your body, you push yourself so hard and you’re always thinking and you’re in your brain, you need to get into your body.”

This suggestion had been handed down from another woman, in my lineage, who had noted my antsy, angsty self a few weeks ago and she passed it along to my person, who passed it on to me, up in the dunes, down by the beach, girl get your exercise on.

I guess so.

“Swimming, dancing, yoga, take a class, three times a week, you’ve got two weeks to explore it and get back to me, and yes, I know you’re busy, but this is going to be really helpful for you,” she said and then added, “I was in the same place at the same time as you and it saved my ass.”

I know she’s right.

My shrink and my therapist had suggested it to me as a natural way to combat the depression and anxiety that I was suffering from, suffer from if I’m not careful about my diet and exercise.

And.

Yes.

I do ride my bicycle.

A lot.

But it’s not the same and I have known it’s not the same for a while now.

I’m not getting enough of it, it’s too easy, it’s infrequent, if ever, that I’m breaking a sweat or working, I’m just traveling, here to there, and often times, in my head, rather than in the present moment.

“That wall your friend was talking about, that will come down too,” she added.

Oh.

That would be nice.

I do want that wall to come down.

I do want to be approachable.

And I do want to lighten up.

I finished the reading with her, took my leave and met another lady at my house.

I shared what was happening and then made some suggestions, booking time down the road for our next meeting.

Then.

Lunch out side.

And a trip to the Haight where I bought some shoes.

Yes.

Yes, I did.

And I played pinball at Free Gold Watch.

And went to the Citrus Club for dinner–boiled edamame with sea salt, jasmine tea, and hot and sour shrimp soup with tofu instead of noodles.

So very good.

I then scooted up to Noe Valley and saw some folks I haven’t seen in a while.

I checked the fuck in.

I got accountable.

I shared my discomfort, in a general way, and I shared my solution.

And after I gave my number out to a few women I met.

It was a good day.

Even when the jig is up.

And it definitely is.

I am ok.

I am loved.

And I definitely took a giant step towards lightening up.

Hello joy.

It’s nice to see you again.

Let’s get reacquainted.

And.

Let’s get sweaty.

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?

You Could Sell Those On Etsy

July 14, 2014

“They are amazing.”

I felt quite tickled to hear that.

Especially coming from the lady who had only moment prior described herself as liking being dark.

I used to like being dark too.

I still can get my black on like nobody’s business.

But as of the last few years, Burning Man, I have continued to follow my glitter heart, beribboned festooned soul, and sparkle pony self into further ideations of what it means to be me.

I picked up a packet of glitter glue at the store yesterday and decided I was going to make some more hair pieces for la playa.

“It’s like a craft bomb has gone off in here,” I said with a laugh.

There were heaps of flowers in various stages of drying from being appliqued with glitter and curls of ribbon, some pink feathers and tiny glittery birds that I got as a magnet set a long time ago and some of the magnets popped off, so I decided I would incorporate them into a fancy piece, embroidery floss in a variety of colors, plain barrettes waiting to be decorated, loops of thread, and a big pile of buttons.

I thought I would perhaps make a bunch of them.

But I got two done.

And that’s ok.

I sort of got over it after awhile.

The one I made in the beginning, the one my friend gushed over, really is the stand out though.  I took some burlap and frayed it then bunched it up into a circle and overlayed it with a sea foam green netting, then I pinned a green flower with glitter on the petals into the middle of it, added a couple of different kinds of ribbons–one that looked like little green truffula trees–and a tiny blue bird with pink tail feathers that I had added into the teeny rump of the magnet.

Then I sewed it to a green barrette.

The girl at Mendel’s who helped me, last year (I had gotten the majority of the stuff last year between Mendel’s in the Haight and the discount sewing center in the Mission, but had no wherewithal to go through with making the pieces I envisioned) actually shoo shooed me away from using glue to afix the pieces to the barrettes.

“Sew them on, they’ll be more sturdy and if you are going to Burning Man you won’t be worried about the pieces breaking off or flying off the barrette if the glue loosens.”

Good advice.

For I am planning on wearing them to the event.

If I go to the event.

My brain, the malicious monkey part of it, is half convinced that upon arriving to work tomorrow due to my inclement asking for a raise at the event, that I will be fired or I will be uninvited to work the event.

I know that is a big old lie the brain pan is telling me, but I can admit that it’s there, those thoughts.

Most of the time those thoughts are just not good for me so I leave them lie.

I have wrote out what I need, figured out my ask, which is what I asked for last week, broke down the numbers, and am prepared for whatever outcome is to happen.

I am also prepared to not go if the family decides to change their mind.

I don’t think they will and I don’t think they will fire me either, but if so, then, hey, I know I am imminently hireable and something will happen.

For the moment, I act as if I am going.

I know I will be paid what I need and I can leave it alone.

My biggest concern is continuing to stay slowed down so that I can be of optimal service when I get there.

I know the estimated heal time for the ankle is 6 months and it’s been five and a half weeks since I injured it, so it’s still got time to heal.

And when I showered today I could feel it swelling up and getting stiff, so I am icing with peas and took some ibuprofen and I am being easy in my body.

My brain may be a mental mongoose of monstrosity, but at least I can be easy in my being.

And the mind wasn’t that bad today.

I have done a lot of writing over the last few days, loads of inventory, and I know that whatever the outcome, I show up tomorrow for my job and I do my job and I do my job well.

I will be taking MUNI to work.

I have decided to give the ankle another week off the bicycle.

I did not ride it anywhere today.

Rather I just walked up to Other Avenues and bought what I needed to finish out the ingredients for my soup for the week.

I made yellow and green split pea soup with carrots, cauliflower, onions, garlic, chicken, and brown rice.  Pair that with some raw carrots and some homemade lemon humus and I am set for the week.

Or at least seven meals.

That’s about what I socked away in the freezer.

It’s going to be a longer week for me as well, so the extra rest is a good thing.

I am covering two nights shifts in addition to my normal five-day shifts.

I will be doing a nanny share again four days this week, possibly five, although I am not 100% on that, and working Thursday evening and Saturday night.

My plan, God laughs, is to have enough set aside so that I can pay rent for September before I leave for Burning Man.

I just want to have it covered.

So no matter what I make it will be enough.

And it will be fancy hat time when I get there.

Aside from that I feel like this week will be similar to last.

Working and thinking about Burning Man.

And going slow, slow, slow with the ankle.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Not like I even know where I am racing to.

But it will be slow and steady.

Doing the Work

July 1, 2013

Getting the rewards.

I woke up this morning from a fantastic dream.

I haven’t woken up in the middle of a REM session in some time.

It was a disturbing dream as well as it was quite realistic and for a moment I had thought it had actually happened.  I dreamed that I sleep walked to the neighbor’s house and made out with a boy.

MMMMmmm yummy.

I know it did not happen but it was a delight to wake up to.

I also woke up to a renewed resolve to take care of myself and really do the work that is necessary to get myself back on track.

I did my morning routine, made bed, said some words, asked for some guidance.

But instead of going right into the make breakfast and do some writing, I got fully dressed, tossed the bedding through the wash and went grocery shopping, for real sustainable food.

Not ice cream.

Not cookies.

Not popcorn.

Nope.

I got oatmeal and apples, bananas, low-fat cottage cheese, wild tuna, organic brown eggs, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, organic sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, home-made humus, good food, real food, nothing processed or dipped in sugar.

Then I came back and made oatmeal with banana and Frog Hollow apricots.

I made a pot of French press.

I said thank you for this food and I sat and ate it with mindful intention.

I savored it.

Then I wrote.

I felt cleaned out and hollowed from the pain of willful check out and ready to start over fresh.

Then I meditated and what do you know!

I got some direction that was unexpected and wonderful and I took the directions.

I went on an Artist Date!

I have not done one in some time.

One could argue that my six months in Paris was one long extended artist date, but it was also hard, heart breaking, heart wrenching work.

An Artist Date is light and easy and fun and just for the little girl in me.

I took myself out a walking on Haight Street, I was headed to Mendel’s.

Mendel’s is an awesome arts, crafts, paper, fabric, costume, DIY store.

They have a little bit of everything for everyone.

They also have the best sticker collections I have seen in a long time.  I am a whore for stickers.  I have said it before and I say it again.  I am also a picky whore.  I don’t like all stickers and I often will go into a shop that has them and leave disappointed.

Not today.

I got decorative butterfly stickers, classic movie poster stickers, Tiffany stained glass art stickers, Redoute rose stickers, and collage art mermaid stickers.

Divine.

The little girl in me clapped with glee.

I also got supplies to make myself a hair clip.

Oh, not just any hair clip, but a HAIR CLIP.

Ok, if you’re a dude, you can stop reading for the moment as I girl gush.

I got fabric glue, recommended by the clerk, three kinds of ribbon, an oversized vintage wooden bicycle button, a bare clip to glue everything too, pink ostrich feathers, burlap fabric (to give it a sort of rustic steam-punk edge), sea-foam netting, and a fabric bird clip.

Put a bird on it!

I am making an oversized, over the top, over done just enough, hair fascinator for the playa.

Why?

Because the ones I see in the store are a lot of money and I haven’t found one yet that combines all the elements of whimsy that I want them to have.

Plus, I have thought for years of doing it and after trolling Etsy the other day for some ideas I just decided I would make one for myself.

I got a lot of ideas.

I saw a lot of fun material.

The clerk that was helping me out and making suggestions like the direction I was taking it and said, “when you’re done send us a photograph and we’ll put it up on our site.”

Will do.

I also scored a black straw hat at the Good Will and I have some plans for that as well.

I got glue baby.

After my delightful artist date I confirmed that I will be house sitting for friends in the city this weekend.

Not the friends who had reached out to me either.

Turns out they could not afford my ask.

Turns out I was fine with that and I made not judgements and had no qualms and felt really good for asking for what I needed without first saying yes to the commitment.

I would have said yes, gotten there, realized they thought they were helping me out and when I wanted to get paid there would not have been recompense.

Or perhaps there would have been, but it would not have been worth my while.

I officially ask for what will actually cover my costs to house sit.

If I am going to do it I need to make a certain amount.

I had another set of friends hop on the house sitting gig train minutes thereafter, literally, they ask me what I needed, I responded, they said GREAT we can do that, that’s normal rates, you’re in kid.

I have sat for them before, so it’s a nice gig and I will get to be in the Castro, fortunately after the melee of Pride weekend and out of the melee of Fourth of July in East  Oakland.

This is also good as I picked up a commitment to be somewhere on Sundays and to take care of being humble enough to ask for help with my food issues.

The relief I got asking for help was huge.

I don’t want to do the work, I just want the reward.

But it does not work like that and I realize if I just got the reward it wouldn’t mean as much, it would be trivial.

I did not trivialize myself or my experience today and I had a really good day.

Basic and service oriented.

With a few stickers and feathers thrown in for fun.

Just Two Blocks Over

June 29, 2013

Maybe three.

And it’s a completely different neighborhood.

I suppose many places are like that, especially places where a lot of tourist go.

I don’t hang out much in the Haight, I don’t like tourists, and tonight was not much different.

I got to the house sitting gig after spending the day semi-checked out at Graceland.

There were small things I needed to attend to, laundry, a little shopping, taking care of the kittens, doing some writing, then I realized that I did not need to be in the city until 5pm and I wouldn’t need to be on a BART until 3:45/4pm and I had a lot of time to kill.

So I shot a few brain cells and watched some Netflix.

It is surreal to watch television during the day when you are not sick.

Although, technically, I am sick.

I have one of a few diseases that are self-diagnosible and I diagnosed one today.

I got the symptoms I do.

But I also have the cure and I reached out and checked in and did some crying and said yes I would be gentle with myself and that I did realize this, whatever this was, was only temporary.

I am not a big tough chick.

In case you were wondering, I am a fucking cream puff.

I get scared.

I just don’t show it.

And the strain of being scared has definitely been wearing me down.

The strain of not showing I am afraid is wearing me down just as quick.

I have been comfort eating, previously discussed ad nauseam so I am not going to go into it, comfort checking out, NetFlix you evil whore you, like I did not already have check out go to, but my room-mate has an astounding big wide-screen television with surround sound and a deep leather couch to stretch out on.

Check out central.

The road narrows they say.

“I can see it, I can see what is happening and I am getting spun out of it faster and faster and I can see how it does not work and I can’t stand that it does not work and that pisses me off, and, well, fuck.”

Yes, well fuck.

The things that once brought me fast acting relief stopped working–cocaine, beer, vodka, esctacy, mindless sex with strangers, speed, mushrooms, LSD, sugar, cigarettes, crack–and I can’t really go back to any of them.

“Look, I’d even let you stay on my couch for a week if you relapsed on crack,” one of my best friends told me last week, “I love you.”

That’s how we say I love you, I would let you stay on my couch a week.

“Then, well, I’d tell you to get the fuck out and get better,” he finished.

That is how we really say I love you and more than you know, I love you enough to support you until you can do it on your own, no free rides here sugar.

None of my check outs comes with a free ride, just to hell, just to a place of terror or confusion or disorientation, drama, adrenaline.

I realized last night riding my bike through the neighborhoods, good, bad, indifferent, really fucking bad (ok, what is up with this particular corner, just two blocks away is a fire department, which means, you know like people who are serious and have connection to the cops and such, just two blocks away from fire station and it is going off.  Off I say.  Yesterday on my way to work I saw a dwarf prostitute.

REALLY.

A fucking midget hooker.

Oakland, we got all your crazy crack needs right here.

Last night, it was just as wild, I got blown by an Escalade near off the road, blingety blinged out, and watched a pregnant hooker, that was not a distended belly from malnutrition, I think, work a corner, totter across the street to her john.

I also saw two cars lined up right in the middle of the intersection doing hand offs through the windows.

Just two blocks over.)  that maybe it was time to stop riding through the neighborhoods.

Maybe if I was that tense about it that it would just be a better idea to ride BART through Oakland, at least at night.  I am going to debate it.

Maybe that will relieve the scared little girl I forget I carry inside my brain who is clutching a very worn down stuffed bunny rabbit, poor thing as seen more than any child needs to see.

“You seem like a nice nanny,” she said to me at the park yesterday, “I like you, you got a lot of tattoos though, my uncle D, he got a lot of tattoos and he in prison.”

“NO he ain’t,” her little friend shot back, “D’Angelo just in jail, he aint’ in prison, he do got a lot of tattoos though, all up his back.”

“Oh, well, I don’t have any back pieces,” I smiled at the girls.

“Don’t get any more, you don’t want to wind up in prison,” the little girl concluded and scratched at her wrist where is disappeared under the dirty grey plaster cast that was up to her elbow.

“Ok,” I said, no need to tell her I always want more tattoos, I do want a back piece, but I don’t see a correlation to doing time, aside from the time it takes to lie still.

“How did you break your arm?” I asked.

“I fell,” she said, no more explanation.

“I broke my foot when I was your age, right during summer vacation, it sucks,” I said.

“You did?”

“Yup, I think I was about your age, you in second or third grade?” I asked.

“Gonna be in third!” She proudly exclaimed.

“I broke my foot summer between second and third grade, same timing,” I smiled, “it’s hard, but you don’t have to use crutches, so that’s good.”

“Yeah, I broke my other arm last year,” she said out of the blue.

I drew in a breath, oh baby, “how did you do that?”

“I fell.” Her eyes left mine and looked flat at the sky over my head.

I picked up my little girl a few things she likes today and said, listen this is it for the comfort, the adult me has got to get us back on track.  We can watch a few more shows then it’s back to reality time.

I walked back from Haight Street after going to the market and the temperature was dropping, the cool air from the ocean blowing in.

Just two and a half blocks from the tourist and the homeless kids trying to make the tourists, quiet, serene, peaceful, painted lady Victorians resplendent in their finery graciously curtsied up the street to where I am staying for the weekend.

I let myself in, turned on the television, said hello to the cats and settled in.

“I got a place,” I told my mom, “back in San Francisco I can’t wait, just two blocks from the beach and two blocks from Golden Gate Park.”

Just a few weeks left to go.

Hang on kiddo we can do this.

 


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