Posts Tagged ‘The Mission’

90 Days

May 28, 2018

A lot can happen in 90 days.

This is what I tell myself.

A lot can actually happen in a few hours, in a few minutes, in an unexpected conversation with ones landlady.

Oh my God.

I have been asked to move.

I don’t know exactly what to do yet, or whom to share this information with.

I will admit I had an impulse to post up all over social media, but I restrained myself.

I think I was in shock.

I still am a bit, truth be told.

Yesterday though, I was definitely in shock, disbelief, horror, I was freaked out, I cried in supervision when I had to do my check in, I probably should not have been riding my scooter, but in a way it might have been the best thing since I had to focus fiercely on the road for a half hour.

I rode my scooter into supervision yesterday because of the huge Carnival festival that happens in the Mission every year Memorial Day weekend.

It’s a gigantic party and it’s a huge, huge, huge parade.

Where my internship is located at was a designated area of the Mission that was to be part of the route and there was no parking anywhere to be had, I knew this ahead of time and planned on taking my scooter.

I had no idea I would be riding to my group supervision with the information I had just gotten.

I had been actually excited to go to supervision, see the therapists who have watched me over this past year as I have grown comfortable with becoming a therapist and seeing clients there, and share with them the achievement of having graduated.

All that, however, was eclipsed by the bombshell my landlady dropped on me.

She told me she wanted me to move out.

That she had been planning on talking to me about it for a few weeks, but didn’t want to “spoil” my graduation weekend and stress me out.

Thanks.

You stressed me out anyway.

I find it really interesting that I had decided to pay my rent a week and a half early for next month too, I usually do pay early, by at least a few days, but something compelled me to do it earlier than usual and I believe I may have sensed something in the air.

A few weeks ago my landlady had the property inspected as she was planning on doing a re-financing of the house, “I’ll finally get that window in the studio,” is what I thought.

That, apparently was not what she thought.

Oh, there’s going to be a window, but it’s not for me.

She told me that she was originally going to give me thirty days, then I had paid rent for this upcoming month, like I said, I like to pay it in advance, and since it might take me a little while to find a place that she thought she’d give me 60, no, 90 days to move out.

That now that I was done with school, I got into a PhD program you rotten whore, oops, did I say that? She was happy to have “helped” support me through the Masters program by letting me live here.

Helped?

I have helped you lady pants, like, I pay the rent.

I pay utilities.

I am a model tenant.

I pay rent in advance.

I have ever since I moved in.

I take the trash out, I keep my studio clean, clean, clean.

I am sober, no partying down in my little den.

I don’t smoke.

I am a fucking full-time nanny who has a part-time internship and I, until recently, also attended grad school full time.

Meaning.

I’m not around all that fucking much.

Who could ask for a better fucking tenant?

Oh.

And I don’t have any pets and I don’t complain about the dog that you got a year ago that barks and whines and cries and then gets yelled at for barking and whining and crying.

I don’t know what is worse.

The barking or the yelling at the dog to stop barking.

Considering the year of great noise I should get a goddamn discount of the rent.

Ugh.

Anyway.

I took in what she was saying and let her do the talking, I was in shock and also trying really hard to smile and nod and not say anything to just listen, to absorb information.

I was also in my scooter jacket about to get on my scooter and go ride across town to my internship, I couldn’t process what was happening.

Which was probably a good thing, I didn’t get argumentative, I didn’t freak out on her.

I did find a silent, hot core of anger later, but more about that at another time.

She explained that she’d gotten her re-financement and was going to be doing a major remodel on her house, ripping out the kitchen and the bathroom in her unit, putting in a deck, building another in-law in the back yard, pulling out the kitchen in my unit and making it a one bedroom with a bath (and maybe a hot plate), and that she needed me to move out so that she could move into my unit while the remodel was being done on her unit.

I quietly congratulated her on the refinance and asked again about the move out date, September 1st, the 15th at the latest, she needed to know as soon as possible when I was going to move out so that she could get all of her contractors lined up and ready to go.

Oh.

Ok.

Glad to hear that you need me to hustle.

Good information.

I’m only deep diving into the most expensive city to live in for rentals in the United States with a dearth of options, where closets get rented as studios, and people curtain off living rooms for extra bedrooms, where adults live in dorms with shared bathrooms and communal spaces that are marketed towards tech kids in the FiDi and Mission districts.

Sure.

No problem.

Let me get right on that.

I decided to cry instead when I got to supervision.

Oh!

And hey, she also noted, you can pay your last months rent from your deposit if that helps you consolidate your cash to get into a new place.

Hmmm.

Thanks.

I think.

Don’t you owe me the deposit back with interest, isn’t that what you told me when I moved in, “I’ll be putting this in an account that will gather interest and I’ll give you the deposit plus the interest when you move out, just make sure you give me a 30 day notice.”

See.

This is where it gets tricky for me.

I never signed a lease.

I live in an illegal in-law unit.

It has a kitchen with a full size working gas range and a full size refrigerator, but no window and no ventilation.

I cook and open up the back door to ventilate.

I am also pretty damn certain that she didn’t pull permits to do the work on the in-law when it was remodeled, but I’m not 100% certain.

What I am certain of, however, is that in her nice, sweet, off-handed way she was manipulating me into thinking I was getting a deal and that she was being kind to me.

Oh, and you don’t have to pay for July’s rent either.

And while that’s a lovely offer, I think that you, madam, are not within your rights to push me out, at least not without a written notice, or some sort of compensation.

So.

I got myself onto the San Francisco Tenants Union webpage.

They have open drop in hours and I will be going to get myself some counseling to see what my rights are.

I may not have a signed contract, I may not have a lease, but I had a verbal agreement and over four and a half years of cashed checks with “June rent and utilities” written into the memo.

I have a paper trail.

And I know I have rights.

I just don’t know exactly what they are.

But I will.

And when I do.

Watch out.

I am mad and I am not going to be manipulated into rolling over.

I am going to move.

That is going to happen.

But I am going to do it in a way that advocates for my rights.

I am not going to get pushed out.

So.

Yeah.

If you hear of anything for rent in San Francisco.

Not Berkeley or Oakland or in the East Bay or over in Marin.

IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Do me a favor and let me know.

Thanks!

 

 

Advertisements

Hello Monday

October 31, 2017

You weren’t so bad.

Time went by quick.

When I thought it was going to drag.

There was plenty to fill the hours.

Supervision before work, work, a couple of clients.

Some sneaky grocery shopping in between work and supervision and again in between work and clients.

Sometimes I am amazed that I can get in as much as I do.

I am pretty efficient.

I just excused myself from a group conversation with my cohort along those same lines.

The thread of the conversation was in regards to using the pre-2021 regulations versus the post 2021 regulations for the BBS requirements to get licenced.

The lean of the conversation was that it was impossible to get all the hours in the amount of time listed.

I believe that I will get the hours in.

I have faith.

And if I don’t, well, fuck it, I will have at least tried.

I am sure that many in my cohort will scoff, but a few, well, they know me and when I set my sights on something I tend to get it.

There is much work to be done.

So much work.

But I feel that it will happen.

Or course.

I dream of coming into money so that I didn’t have to work while I’m trying to get my hours.

It would make such a huge difference if I didn’t have to work to support myself on top of doing my internship and gaining my hours.

But, for the moment, for today, it is what it is.

I have to work today.

Well.

I have to work tomorrow.

Although.

I have something exciting to do before hand.

I will be going to the Mission District to interview for People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

I had lunch with my dear friend yesterday, it already seems years ago, and we talked quite a bit about the project and how he knows the producers and the people behind it and how my name came up.

It was really quite the story to hear and I was so struck by how serendipitous my life is.

Some may call it luck.

I call it grace.

Either way.

I am excited to be considered and I’m interested to see what they ask me and what they want to know.

I suspect that they have been on my blog.

I had a spike in readership the last couple of days and though I have no idea who reads the blog, it is unusual to get a lot of reads without there being something pretty specific behind it.

Unless some one was missing me and just wanted to catch up on my life, I think it was probably the people behind the project.

I have no idea what they may think of my little blog.

Sometimes, most times, I don’t know what to think of it, only that it fills me and feeds me and that I want to continue doing it for as long as I can.

I could do this all my life, it feels.

What a gift, that, the desire to write every day and the gift to myself to give myself the time to do so.

Sure.

I could read some homework, but this settles me, winds me down, helps me ease into the evening.

And as such is more proactively self-care than doing my homework.

Oh.

I’ll get my homework done, I always do, but it does feel nice to give myself a tiny bit of a break from it.

Tomorrow will also be a kind of break too.

It’s Halloween and since I’m doing the interview I won’t be doing therapy and I also don’t have clients tomorrow night, it’s a “short” day for me.

It should be pretty fun too.

My charges have begged me to dress up with them.

So.

Yeah.

I will be dressing up.

Albeit, not quite like what I did over the weekend.

But I will wear a fun dress and bring some flowers to stick in my hair and I’m going to bring my make up kit too.

So that after I do the interview, no way in hell am I going to the interview in super big makeup, I will go to work and do a little makeup.

I will also help my charges too.

The big guy is going as an astronaut and won’t really need any makeup.

But the little lady is going as a unicorn and well, I think some glitter make up might need to make an appearance.

I know she’ll be over the moon if I do that, so yeah, I’ll be happy to indulge their sweet whims.

The oldest was particularly concerned that I dress up.

I was not going to and I had an outfit picked out for tomorrow to do the interview, black skinny jeans, soft cashmere sweater in grey, from Paris, my black high-heeled Mary Jane Fluevogs, but well, I guess urban chic is not going to be the order of the day.

Instead.

I will be wearing one of my Hell Bunny dresses.

It’s super cute, and it’s so totally Halloween, I think my charges will be super happy that I am in it.

Here’s a shot of it.

It’s called the Idaho Dress.

Why?

Fuck if I know, but it’s hella cute.

It’s got Day of the Dead skulls on it just like the dress I wore over the weekend, it’s from the same company, but they are different colors and the style of the dress is slightly different.

I am super happy to wear it.

I think I will have a very fun time with my charges.

They will have a little Halloween parade at school and then it’s off to trick or treat.

Not exactly sure where we will be going, but I have been asked to accompany them and I can’t think of something sweeter than taking a child trick or treating on Halloween.

So grateful for my sweet little life.

And that the hours passed quickly today.

All the things my friends.

All the things.

Scheduling

October 27, 2017

And moving forward.

I spent a great deal of time talking with the mom today at work regarding the rest of the school year.

What the family needs.

What I need.

It’s been a little over ten months with them.

We are going to sit down and renegotiate the contract in December, make sure my health insurance needs are being met, talk about vacation times, and schedules moving forward past spring when I graduate in May.

I asked off for a little travel time in February.

And I asked off for May 18th.

Which is the day before I graduate, the day before the commencement ceremony.

I suspect that my mom is going to want to spend some time with me.

She has told me that she and her partner will come to San Francisco to see me walk, to see my graduate with my Master’s Degree.

I have some feelings around that and no little nervousness, I haven’t seen my mom in a while and there’s a sense of wanting to show her a different San Francisco than the last time she was here.

Oh.

I didn’t entirely disappoint, I think.

I took her to Hawthorne Lane for dinner.

I took her out to the bars.

I took her to Coit Tower.

I can’t remember if we did Twin Peaks.

I took her to Chow on Church Street.

Philz Coffee before it was hip and Phil flirted his ass off with her.

I got her quesadilla’s from El Farolito, super quesadilla suiza with carne asada.

I took her to Tartine.

I did pretty good

I also ditched her at some point to get absolutely shit faced obliterated.

I was just going to go out for a few drinks with a friend at Blondie’s in the Mission.

I had already been with my mom for a week, I had taken her to London, on my credit card which I was soon to max out, but it still had a few dollars on it, hung out with her, fed her, bought her smokes, and drinks, and tuk tuk rides around Buckingham palace, to the Wheel, to the National Gallery, to see a show, we saw Stomp, I took her to a fancy tea place where we got stinking tossed on fancy ass over the top expensive cocktails.

So.

I was ready for a little mom break.

I ran down to El Farolito and got her the quesadilla.

I called my friend and said, “I need a margarita, I need a break from my mom,” and she said, “I’ll see you at Blondie’s in a half hour.”

I got my mom situated in my apartment on the couch in the living room, my room-mate was out-of-town, thank God.

And I got dressed and fled into the night.

I had two double margarita’s on the rocks with extra salted rim and when my friend said “let’s have another!”  I got a little scared.

I could feel it coming on.

It was probably coming on before I even got off the plane at SFO.

I think I knew.

I could feel it in my body, I knew it in my conscious even if I wasn’t saying it out loud.

I was going to score.

I had all the reasons in the world to get fucked up.

I had been with my mom for a week in a hotel room in London, flown there and back with her, I deserved a fucking drink.

But I knew if I kept drinking, well, something else was going to get up in the mix.

I looked at my friend and said a bit under my breath, “if I drink more I’m going to want to do blow.”

I said this because this was the friend who had used to be sober who had done that AA thing and had said to me once while we were on a run that maybe I might have a problem because of how I didn’t like myself when I used.

I had no idea what the fuck she was talking about and was aghast.

I didn’t like myself?

Truth was I fucking hated myself, but I couldn’t let myself see it.

She had told me that all I had to do is let her know if I wanted to use and she would help me to not pick up.

What ever that meant.

So in that moment, two double margarita’s in, with the urge to call my dealer on my phone and arrange a little something, something for delivery, I said, to the best of my ability what I thought was a plea for help.

Her response?

“I could definitely do some blow!”

Fuck me.

I sighed.

I know I sighed.

I got my phone out of my purse and I dialed my dealer and arranged for him to meet us at Blondie’s.

I went across the street.

“Hey, where are you going,” the cute guy sitting next to me said.

I flippantly replied, “my friend wants to do some blow so I’m going to the ATM across the street to get some cash before my dealer shows up.”

“Holy shit!” He jumped up, “me too, can I get some too?”

And like that, I had a new friend.

I was so popular.

Ugh.

I will spare you the dirty details of the night.

It was so close to my bottom that it was a pretty intense scene.

And I remember all of it, oh yes I do.

Right down to getting back to the house, while my mom was still asleep in the living room, with a couple of grams of blow in my bra, what I hadn’t yet used, to chop and snort and cram as much in as I could before she woke up.

I was that kind of addict.

I did not fucking matter that my mom was in the front room, probably heard me come in, probably knew what I was doing, nope, didn’t matter.

Because once I started, the party was not over until every fucking last bit was gone.

Suffice to say my mom’s last day in town was a bit of a rough one.

I muggled through.

I guess what I’m getting around to is that maybe I’ll want to show her a nicer time than I did before.

We are both in different places, and I also hope to have some time to celebrate my graduating from graduate school.

A nice meal somewhere with friends, good coffee, laughter, connection, company.

A party.

I should throw myself a little party.

Ah, May, you’re a bit away.

But when my employer and I walked through the months and worked on getting my schedule lined up with theirs, well, there you were, a tiny bit bashful but a little smile on your face, a daisy tucked up behind your ear, saying here I am, let’s have some fun.

Yes.

Of course, my dear.

Let’s.

No One Is Reading

June 12, 2017

Two days in a row.

Not a single hit to the blog.

Wow.

Taking it off social media certainly did the trick and since I will be starting with two new clients this upcoming week I am grateful that I have cleaned things out.

I also winnowed out a lot of other “friends” on facecrack and my social media has come down to me checking into restaurants and yoga.

Yeah.

I did another day of yoga today.

I wasn’t planning on it, although I knew it was an option, I sort of played today by ear.

I didn’t want to stress myself out but I also wanted to make sure that I was prepped for the upcoming week since it will be long and busy and full.

I had a speaking engagement this morning so I got up early on my Sunday and did my morning routine and wrote a bunch and then headed to the Mission.

Sometimes I miss the Mission.

I will have nostalgia for it, especially when the Outer Sunset gets socked in with fog, but this morning I didn’t have that much nostalgia and by the time I was done with my engagement I was really quite happy to get out of the fray and head back out to the ocean.

I could actually feel it in my body when I crested the hill that starts the downward roll to the sea and I could see the ocean and it just soothed me and I felt calm and nurtured and happy to be heading home and not have a lot of responsibility to the day.

I met with a new lady I just started working with and we did some reading and talked, a lot, there was lots of talking and it was good.

It is so good to be able to pass on what I have been given so freely and for it to be accepted so open armed.

I just felt blessed and grateful and by the time she had left I was ready to do the first round of food prep.

I made a shredded chicken hash with Andouille sausage, corn, carmelized onions, and crimini mushrooms.

Instead of potatoes I used brown rice.

No peppers though, peppers give me indigestion.

Which always bums me out.

I have super fond memories of my mom’s stuffed bell peppers from when I was a kid and I crave them once in a while, but all peppers, especially the green ones, tend to give me acid indigestion.

Anyway, so I cooked and had a nice lunch.

And.

Well.

It’s my fathers birthday today and I decided to call him.

Except that the call didn’t go through and the phone isn’t set up to receive voicemail and I took that as a sign, it wasn’t time to talk to my father.

But I could wish him a happy birthday from my heart and remember the last time I saw him and how his skin felt so warm against my lips when I kissed his cheek goodbye.

I hope you’re well papa.

Always, I hope this for you.

I settled my heart and decided to get out of the house and do a little self-care and get a manicure.

I had already done a great big cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming and dusting as well as laundry and putting my kitchen back together once I knew for certain the paint had dried on the cupboards, so I wasn’t slacking in the doing things department.

But.

I figure I’m going to either need to take good nail care maintenance for myself or get a manicure once a week rather than the every other I have been doing.

I want to show up well-groomed for my clients.

I want to be a demonstration of good self-care.

So.

I went up to the Inner Sunset and got the nails did and then I scooted over to Noriega Produce on Noriega and 46th and picked up a few last-minute groceries to have at the house.

And then back home to unpack, fold laundry, and figure out if I was going to the restorative yoga class or not.

I decided to go.

And.

It was so good.

So stretchy and relaxing and I just felt held and coddled and like I was taking super good care of my body and I could feel where I had worked my muscles this past week with all the yoga I had done.

I wish I could go more often, but I’m always down to take advantage of the studio when I can get into a class.

Next week I’ll probably only be able to go on Saturday and Sunday.

Maybe only Sunday.

So getting it in this week was good for me.

It was also super dreamy.

I was in deep revery the majority of the time.

I felt wrapped up in golden sunshine and I went to the meadow.

There is a place, I don’t know how or where it comes from, but I get the image off and on when I am in a certain kind of open body space in yoga class.

I remember the first time I had it and it was with a specific teacher and it happened during a certain time in class and it was accompanied by a bit of music that I never did find out who the artist was, but it was bluesy folk and guitar and achy and melancholic and sweet and reminded me of high mountain meadows and tall grass and long-stemmed wild flowers and I just spun out tonight in the meadow and danced and I was accompanied.

I have never been met there before.

I remember once being in that same space and it was beautiful and I saw myself as myself now holding the hand of a younger woman who held the hand of a younger girl and we walked towards a woman, who was I also, long flowing grey hair and I saw myself.

Girl.

Maid.

Woman.

Crone.

And I was awed by the beauty and the image.

But.

Also sad.

There was no one but I in the meadow and it seemed that I was waiting.

There was a fire to be lit.

Enchantments and witchery and strawberry full moon light and warm night air and yes, bonfires.

Dancing.

And I was met and I saw a long line of faces and stories and I danced and was held and turned and it was extraordinary.

I won’t analyze for you what I saw.

I just had a dream.

On a golden lit early Sunday evening in the Outer Sunset.

I drifted off, buoyant and aglow.

Wrapped in soft butter cream light and warmth.

So much warmth.

As though cocooned in a silk hammock on a summer day nestled into the strong arms of another.

Swaying in the wind.

A swooning melting and then.

Softly the bells chimed pulling back to earth and back to hearth and back home.

To the smell of dinner.

Chicken roasting in the oven and the warm embrace of my clean sweet space.

Happy Sunday.

Sweet dreams.

Good rest.

And.

Godspeed into this hazy night of dreams and revery.

The Last Piece

March 24, 2017

Falls into place.

And like that.

I have secured all the things that I need to have to start my internship in May.

Yes.

Today I had a phone interview with a potential therapist.  We have been in contact for a little over a week via e-mail, she was referred to me by a woman in my cohort at school and I had contacted her about getting into therapy with her.

As part of my program I must have 50 consecutive weeks of therapy while I am in supervision and taking on clients as a new therapist.

It makes complete and total sense, although I’m not real thrilled about the additional cost of school, now I get to pay for a therapist out-of-pocket, but I am happy to have the final piece settled out.

Her first response was a no, she couldn’t work with my time frame, but a few more back and forth emails and a spot became available.

We had made a time to talk today on the phone and I wasn’t going to get myself too psyched up about it, I figured I might have to interview a few therapist.

But.

She was lovely.

And.

She happened to have gone through the same program that I did five years ago and so can really support me as I move forward through the same process.

I am also, oddly I want to add, but in a moment of reality check, maybe not so oddly, excited about getting to be back in therapy, I have known for a while now, ever since getting back into school, that I need to go back and do some more work.

There are issues to address, traumas to heal, wounds that need opening to air out and to re-heal properly.

And I am ready to do that work.

Especially since it is work that will support me becoming a better therapist for my clients.

I start on Tuesday.

I will meet with her Tuesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. for an hour and then head in to work at 11 a.m.

Super grateful that she is convenient to work as well, I work up in Glen Park and she is in Noe Valley, maybe a five-minute, ten minute tops, scooter ride from her office to my job.

Now if I can just relocate to the Eastern side of the city I will be set.

I love my little studio by the sea, don’t get me wrong.

But.

Check it out.

I work in Glen Park just on the border of Noe Valley.

I have an internship starting in May at 18th and Treat–I’ll be there five days a week.

I have a supervisor I have to see once a week at Fell and Gough.

School is at Mission and 10th.

My new therapist is in Noe Valley at 24th and Church.

And where do I live?

44th Ave and Judah.

Get me back to the Mission please.

Not that I want to move, necessarily, I am cozy here and moving sucks, but fuck, look at the logistics of it, it would make such better sense for me to be closer to work and school endeavors.

I’m keeping it on the back burner.

I’m not actively engaged in looking, but if the right thing happens, I’ll bounce.

I am grateful that all the school and work stuff is located relatively close together, that will make it a bit easier for me.

And there is time to get used to all of it.

I have time.

Things definitely feel like they are gaining momentum though.

I still need some signatures on my paperwork, but all that will happen at school.

In fact.

I am just going to take a moment here and hop over to my Gmail account and e-mail my advisor in regards to making sure I can get that paperwork dealt with.

There.

That feels better.

I am super happy to have it all come together.

I am still going to need to do plenty for the rest of the semester.

I have two weekends of classes yet to go before the semester ends, one in April and one in May.

I have to write one paper for the April weekend and I have three papers due for the May weekend.

Plus, of course, the mountains of reading.

I have been taking my Couples Therapy with me to work all this week and knocking out what I can when I can.

I am so in love with my job and the fact that I have had a solid hour for my lunch, with no interruptions, to sit, eat, have some tea, and then read for a half hour every day (well, except Monday, I had both the older kids at the house) this week.

It is such a huge gift and as I was expressing to my person tonight as we had dinner at Firewood Cafe in the Castro, how lucky I am to be in this job.

Shit.

I sat and listened to jazz and looked out over the bowl of San Francisco as it spilled toward the bay and ate organic fruit from BiRite and sipped my favorite tea at work.

I also have to juggle crazy monkeys on the MUNI, so it is good that I have that down time to regroup and get quiet.

It has been a big year for me already, and it’s just March.

The new job, the new experiences with school, the interviews for internships and supervisors and therapists, all the showing up, all the walking through, it’s been big.

I am super grateful that I have the support and love I do.

And that I have done a lot of my own personal work to move forward.

Some of which I have written about here.

And.

Quite a bit that I have not.

I find that the closer I come to having real world clients, the more and more I have to focus on my self, who I am, and not about who I am engaged with or hanging out with.

Sure.

I’d love to blog some about dating and wild adventures.

But that’s not been on the menu at the moment.

School, life priorities, work, re-connecting with friends.

The rest will follow and the time will go by quick and I will find myself looking back on the other side with complete wonderment.

As that’s how I’m currently looking at it all right now.

In complete awe.

Look at how far I’ve come.

A long, fucking way, baby.

Such.

A.

Long.

Way.

Carmen, Let’s Not

December 22, 2016

Talk about it.

“It makes me sad to think about it,” he sighed and leaned into me.

I had just chased him down from the kitchen to the dining room into the living room where we collapsed on the leather couch by the Christmas tree.

He was full of wiggles and silliness, but underneath was far more sorrowful than I had even realized.

“The Santa in the van bag,” he said looking at the back of the Christmas tree, “that’s from you, isn’t it.”

“Yes, doll, it is, but you have to wait until Christmas day, but yes you guessed right, there’s a present in that bag for you and one for your brother,” I said and stroked his hair.

“Are you really going to be done on Friday,” he asked me.

“Yes, my sweet boy, I am, that is my last day,” I answered him, my heart swelling up.

I have said many good byes over the years to my charges, but most of them, I think, I could be wrong, but I think, didn’t realize that I was saying goodbye for good. I have not had the experience of being with older kids, older, ha, 6.5 years old and 4.5 years old, still so sweet and young (although completely dastardly about the potty talk, my God, little boys like to talk about poo, I had an idea, but shit, hahahahaha, pun intended, they do!) and so tender, but so much more cognizant of what is happening to them and around them.

“Carmen, I don’t want to talk about it, it just makes me sad to think about it, I’m going to cry when you leave,” he said looking at the Christmas tree and holding my hand.

OH MY GOD.

Child, you are breaking my heart.

I seriously do not know how I wasn’t a slobbering mess on the couch.

I mean.

Oof.

So much love and bitter sweetness, this saying goodbye.

I won’t lie, there’s also a part of me that is ready for the next adventure, I am, but I am also having all the feels.

Every damn one of them.

I have gotten, with both boys, this past week, to have quiet moments with each of them that have just blown my heart to smithereens.

Reading and cuddle time with the littlest and though has officially phased out of the nap stage, he still gets awful cozy around quiet time and just wants to cuddle on my lap and read stories.

I am super grateful that I have had this last week with them, pretty uninterrupted with other jobs, school, or life stuff.

Oh.

Life stuff is still happening, but I have gotten to work full-time hours with the boys, breakfast to dinner the last three days and though occasionally a goofy handful, there’s not really been tempter tantrums or drama.

Knock on wood.

Tomorrow and Friday I will have short days with them.

Tomorrow I go in early and I’m just edging into up past my bed time with my early start, but I had to write, not having written last night.

My blog got laid.

Ahem.

And so I had to write tonight.

I don’t like taking too much time off from it, and though the lack of sleep my affect me a bit, I’ll be out early as well.

The mom is taking the boys to A Charlie Brown Christmas matinée at the San Francisco Symphony.

I”ll do breakfast, a dash out to the park, lunch, baths probably and then get the boys dressed up in their finest.

Their finest is pretty fucking cute too.

Little velvet blazers.

Ugh.

Adorable.

And, AND, bow ties.

I mean.

Seriously, the cute factor is off the hook.

So I’ll be out by 1:30 p.m.

I have a meeting with my person and then a bit of free time before doing the deal.

I’m thinking that once I finish up with my person I will head over to Folsom and 14th, right around the corner from Rintaro.

I’m not going to go eat high-end Japanese street food, although there’s always  a desire to eat good like that all the time, it’s pretty outside the box as far as what I want to drop money wise on food.

No.

I’m not going to be grabbing a bite.

Rather.

I discovered a new Thai Massage place that had just opened and it had a bunch of grand opening specials listed on the chalk board outside the store front.

Including a free ten minute hot/dry sauna.

Oh yes, I’d like that please and thank you.

I’m thinking that I’ll book myself a massage for Friday after my last day with the boys.

I’m getting out early on Friday as well.

I think by 1 p.m.

The boys and I will do breakfast, maybe go to the park, but secretly I think I will take them to Ritual Coffee and get a last latte with them and get them little steamed milks or hot chocolates and we’ll sit on the big carved ship bench parklet in front of the cafe and play pirates.

Then the house, one last lunch with my monkeys and then they, lucky boys, are going to a private showing of Star Wars at the Roxie Theater in the Mission with a friend and classmate whose mum rented the theater for his birthday.

Nice birthday party if you can get it.

Heh.

I was, at first, a little upset that our last day was going to be cut short.

Then.

I had a change in perspective and got really grateful.

What better way to leave?

On a happy note, saying goodbye may make the boys a little sad, but hey, they’ll be heading shortly thereafter to Star Wars on the big screen.

That should provide a little distraction.

And.

It’s not a final goodbye, they will be in my lives, probably more so than many of my past charges, as the new family I work for attends their school.

I will get to see them and hug them and watch them grow bigger.

“You’ll visit us though, right?”  He asked, worriedly taking my hand, “please visit us, as much as you can.”

Oh bunny.

“Yes, as much as I can, I won’t be leaving your life, I promise,” I hugged him and though I teared up, I did not cry.

Saved that up for right now.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

That I shall say goodnight.

Till it be morrow.

Have A Great

December 3, 2016

School free weekend!

My boss said to me as I headed out.

Ha.

Ha.

Ha.

Fucking ha.

I have a lot to do this weekend, a lot of writing, as much writing as I can get to.

Tomorrow, granted, I may not do the writing, I sort of have some time ear marked toward it, but I have a lot of errands I have to run, yoga to do, meeting my person who is celebrating a big anniversary, 29 years, with a cake at Tart to Tart and I have to be there.

I mean.

29 fucking years.

Amaze balls.

My hero, my confidant, my help, my perspective, all the damn time.

I’m so grateful for her in my life, it’s a big deal.

So yeah.

I will be there.

And then the errands that need to be addressed so that I don’t have to address them during the work week or next weekend.

Because I will be back in school next weekend.

And we all know, or I should say, I know, that the weekend before the weekend of school is always fraught with the busy.

I can’t do anything but school when I’m in the weekend, so all the laundry, groceries, and food prep for this week and the following week, I have to attend to.

Or let me rephrase that.

I get to attend to.

The self-care that I do prior to my school weekend leaves me feeling taken care of, supported, nurtured, and loved.

Loved by myself, so that all I have to do is show up for class and participate.

The great news is, that all my reading is done, so it really is just writing the papers this weekend, to the best of my ability, as much as I can.

I will write my Family Therapy paper on Sunday.

I may get it started tomorrow, but I don’t see that I will actually get to the writing.

I have a few too many errands to run.

I did get one out-of-the-way today, got the wedding gift for a friend’s wedding that happens to fall smack dab in the middle of my school weekend next weekend, but hey, I got to go.

And I wanted to make sure I got the gift today when I had a soupcon of extra time.

I got up early.

No.

I did not do yoga, but I looked fondly at the yoga studio when I zoomed past it on my scooter this morning.

I will, however, be in yoga tomorrow morning, I already signed up on-line, so I’m committed to going, which is always a good way for me to roll and the class is taught by my favorite teacher who I haven’t seen in a few weeks, so I’ll be getting up.

The alarm is set.

No, this morning I zipped over to the Fillmore.

Yes.

That’s right.

Hair fucking Fairies.

My third.

And.

Yes.

FINAL.

Visit.

I was cleared today.

No lice.

No eggs.

No babies.

Nada.

They still gave me a treatment, but it was quick and the comb out took about 45 minutes instead of the hours and hours I have had to sit before.

It felt so good to walk out of there with a clean head of hair.

So.

Fucking.

Nice.

“If you want we can book you one more time, just as a safe guard, it’s a free dry check,” the receptionist said as I “signed” my bosses credit card slipped.

“No thanks, I’m all set,” I smiled, and headed out the door.

I don’t need to see that neighborhood again for some time, thank you very much.

I hopped on the scooter and had an hour before work.

So I actually went shopping in the Mission.

Which I don’t do very often.

I work in the Mission and cafes and parks are my office, not so much the retail.

There are stores opening that I haven’t even seen since I never go in them with the boys, too many small hands grabbing for the bright and shiny things.

“Touch with your eyes, not with your hands,” I have suggested to the boys on numerous occasions.

Some times it works, more so than you might think, but I can usually tell they’re not going to make it very long in any kind of retail store, they are just too curious.

So.

Today.

An hour.

On Valencia Street.

Before work.

I covered a couple of blocks and even stopped in at Ritual for a very hot latte.

The temperature has dropped and it feels like winter is here.

I took a moment after getting my coffee and sat in the parklet in front of the cafe and admired my French braids in the reflection and basked in my clean hair and shiny braids.

Then, off to shop.

And yes, I found what I needed and made it to work right on time.

One more small thing off the list.

Tomorrow I hope to do a little shopping for the wedding, personal shopping, I am thinking of wearing a certain dress and though I do have shoes that will work with it, I feel like that might be a little too much for a wedding, so I want to see if I can just find a simple Mary Jane heel instead of the Mary Jane platforms I have.

They are hella cute, and sexy, but might be just a bit too much for a wedding.

Plus.

Since I will be busy with school next weekend and then it’s my birthday and then it’s my last week at work and then I’m flying to Wisconsin, I realized I need to do a tiny bit of clothes shopping to be prepared for the cold weather there.

Not a lot.

But a few things, some thermals, and maybe another coat if I feel it’s appropriate and it’s something I will use here in SF, and also a hat, I don’t have a hat that will cover my ears, I do have plenty of scarves, thank goodness, and a sweater or two.

Not a bunch of things, but depending on where I go it may take up some time during the day and I have a commitment at 7p.m.

I could feasibly be out all day from yoga onward.

Busy.

But.

Busy in a good way, in a way that will support me through my last weekend of school and moving forward through the month.

Super excited for all the fun December has in store.

Even if it means having to write a few great big papers before I get to have all the fun.

The fun.

It will happen.

Believe it.

I do.

Flirting

November 2, 2016

With the idea of moving.

You thought I was going somewhere else, didn’t you?

Heh.

It’s come up a little recently.

First time was about two weeks ago when I met with my person up at Firewood Cafe in the Castro for dinner and some get right with God.

I had mentioned having a little anxiety about the commute to my new job that starts in January.

If I have to do MUNI it’s going to be screwy long.

It’s doable, two trains, but it feels so across town, and not across town in a direct line sort of way, that I do have some concern about it.

On my scooter I’m always faster than public transit, hands down, but still it’s further away than where I work now and I postulated what it would look like to move back to the Mission.

Or Noe Valley.

Or Bernal.

Or Glen Park.

I’d love a shorter commute.

And I would consider living with room mates for cheaper rent.

I would.

I mean.

I definitely would.

I’ve also thought that I man need more sunshine in my space.

Not having any windows in the in-law has always been a bit of a bummer for me, and yes, granted, I do always say the back door is a big glass door, so I get light, just well, I’d like more.

More light.

Less rent.

Closer to work and school.

That’s the hope.

I do like living alone and I do like my space and I do like my landlord and I do like living by the beach.

The fog this summer though was rough and yeah, it would be nice to be back in the thick of the city.

Anyway.

Like I said.

It’s a flirtation.

I have a month to month here and I have few things, really, my space is small and the only furnishing that is really mine is the bed.

The rest of my stuff belongs to my landlord.

I could pack it all up and move pretty quick.

I could probably do it in a day if I was organized.

And I’m pretty organized.

I’m not pursuing anything.

It’s, like I’ve said, a flirtation, but I am a flirt, so I’m putting it out there that I could move for the right situation.

And it’d have to be the right situation, as I’m not interested in working for it.

I’m not putting up an ad on Craigslist, I’m not giving notice to my landlord, I’m not actively looking.

It’s just out in the Universe, hey maybe it’s time to relocate some where more convenient to my new job and my school program.

Especially if I get my practicum internship where I am hoping to get it.

The location I’m vying for is actually only two blocks away from the new job.

It could be oh so handy to live closer.

It really could.

Anyway.

Speculation, flirtation, random thoughts and ideas.

No particular plan of action, no particular need to move.

Just the desire to find something that works better for me.

Sort of like when my current job stopped working for me.

Speaking of.

I got my last check today from my boss for health insurance.

Crazy.

It’s coming.

Seven more weeks.

Then I’m out.

The boys were quite sweet today and I could tell they missed me and they also weren’t as angry with me as they were the last couple of weeks, I think they are getting used to the idea that I am going to be heading on.

We mostly played at the house and did lots of drawings and coloring and making of altars.

They were both very enamoured with the Day of The Dead ancestral honoring and we put together a little altar in the back yard.

The oldest wanted so much to include me, asking me about my grandparents and great grandparents, and whether I had pictures of them that they could use.

I sweetly told him that though I was honored to be involved it was more for his family than for mine, but he was so firm in me participating he chose a fruit to symbolize me.

A persimmon.

I was so touched.

I don’t know why, but when someone notices you and loves you and does something for you in that they have paid attention to your likes, well, it’s mind-blowing.

It made me laugh, this little six and a half-year old knows me better than most of my ex-boyfriends.

I love persimmons.

My counter top in the kitchen looks like a persimmon harvest.

So, on his family altar I am represented with a persimmon; his mom with raw almonds; dad was a container of white sushi rice; his brother was a couple of pretzels; he was an apple.

We also put out a couple of mandarin oranges and a pear.

We put a cup of water on the altar and a candle, a birthday candle, it was too cute.

“Carmen!  We’re missing something,” he said to me.

Well.

Sure.

Liquor and salt.

But I don’t think your mom wants us to break into the booze.

The water will be fine.

Also, incense is nice, but again, mom’s not so much into stuff like that.

“Flowers!” He said, jumping up, “we need flowers, what are those special orange flowers?”

“Marigolds,” I said and smiled, “I bet we could get some at the corner store.”

In fact, you could probably get them on every corner in the Mission, but I wasn’t going to break the spell of magic for him.

“Let’s go!” He said, grabbing his coat.

“Hey, I’m going to go get your brother from Rock Band Land,” his mom came into the kitchen, “want to go?”

“No!  I need to get marigolds for the altar, and mom, pictures get me pictures of your grandmother.”

It was so endearing.

“I’m going with Carmen to the market to get flowers, I’ll see you soon,” he concluded.

And there was something about the ritual of it.

The flowers in a glass jar.

The fruit on a white plate.

The boy arranging them just so.

I felt precious for getting to be a part of.

Sweet.

Included.

Noticed.

Loved.

Me.

And.

My persimmon.

Plans, What Plans?

November 1, 2016

All plans shot to hell.

Not that I had a whole slew of them.

But.

I had hopes.

And no.

Not hopes for Halloween hook ups, candy, trick or treating, dressing up, or going out.

Although I was asked if I was “Frida Kahlo or just my fabulously styled self,” tonight.

That was quite a compliment.

I wore my Hell Bunny Day of the Dead dress today.

Oh.

I suppose I should have saved it for tomorrow, since tomorrow is Day of the Dead, but I didn’t plan on celebrating it and in fact I know that I will want to get out of the Mission as quick as possible to avoid the festivities once work is over.

No, none of my hopes for today had anything to do with the holiday except the fervent wish that it would not rain.

It rained.

I got wet on my scooter ride home and I took it real gentle and real easy.

It was messy out there.

My hopes were small.

Get some reading done for school, do some writing.

Except.

Well.

Damn it.

One of my charges was sick and another of my charges was home from school.

Grr.

No break time for studying.

I mean, I know better by this point, it so infrequently happens that I have time to do homework at work, and this is only Mondays and Wednesdays, the other days of the week there is no fucking way I can take time to sit down and flip through my school reading, then to believe I am actually going to accomplish anything.

But.

I always fare forth with high hopes.

Usually to have those hopes quietly dashed.

Oh well.

I did get to snuggle with the littlest one quite a bit since she was sick.

Which also led to her taking her nap on me.

I did manage to get her down in her crib for the first half hour of her nap, but lying down seemed to exacerbate her cough and she coughed herself wide awake, and very upset as she was so tired.

So.

I held her for the next hour and a half.

There are worse things to do for a living.

Heh.

And the nap seemed to help, she did end up rallying for the Halloween festivities and got all gussied up in her little Mexican embroidered dress and serape, her mom penciled in her eyebrow, put white sandals on her feet, and a flower headband in her hair, and!

A stuffed monkey.

She was the perfect miniature Friday Kahlo.

It just blew sugar fairy bunny unicorn sprinkles into my heart.

I’m glad I didn’t go as Kahlo, I wouldn’t have been able to hold a candle to her cuteness.

Her oldest brother was Harry Potter and her youngest Emmett from the Lego movie.

The youngest brother has asked me every time I have seen him since Halloween was brought up for costume ideas if I have seen the Lego movie.

I have not kiddo.

But god damn you were a cute Emmett.

I did take a lot of joy watching them get dressed up and seeing all the kids out in the neighborhoods going to school in the morning in their costumes and this evening when I left the trick or treating was definitely going on.

The grandmother of the brood came over to go along with the trick or treating and asked me what I was going to do after I left work.

“Homework,” I replied.

And I did just that.

I got out an hour early, and it was still a full eight-hour day, and hopped on my scooter.

I was thinking about heading straight home and doing the deal at the 8:30 p.m. spot around the corner from my house, but I kept having this whispering voice in my head that said, go, be of the world, be seen.

So.

I made my way to the Inner Sunset, got some carnitas at La Fonda Mexican Grill, and then hopped over to Tart to Tart and had a cafe au lait that I may regret later, but I think from how sleepy I felt afterward that it had the opposite effect.

I cozied up in a corner.

I did some writing.

I did some reading.

Not enough, it feels like it’s never enough.

But.

It’s a little more than yesterday, and all the little mores add up, all the minutes that I spend with the material are not wasted.

I am slowly walking toward my goal.

Which does seem at times to recede so far off into the distance that I can’t imagine ever getting there, but I know I will, and I know I’m worth the work.

So.

I got some done.

Happy to report that I also got to go see some folks and do the deal and that was good to.

Then the rain.

Which I wasn’t ecstatic about, but whatever, it looks like the next two weeks are clear weather wise.

Monday.

Not a bad day, a bit rainy, a bit long, but overall, no complaints.

Not that I ever really am justified in having complaints.

My brain just likes to create drama where there is none or no need for it.

Grateful for all the fun Halloween costumes and the cute shenanigans I have seen from my friends with kids in their families, it’s pretty freaking sweet.

I may not really dress up anymore or have a desire to go out and do Halloween.

But I do love the kids in the costumes.

The jack-o-lanterns on the steps glowing with candles.

The smell of fall.

Heh.

The panic of it too.

I had a moment on my way to work when I was all like, oh Halloween, how awesome are you, wait!!!

Is it Day Light Savings today?

I flipped.

Did I miss it yesterday?

Am I going into work an hour earlier than I need to?

Oh fuck.

It wasn’t.

But usually it is Halloween weekend, at least so I recall.

I was comforted by the fact that all my devices would have rolled back without me doing it, so it couldn’t have been, but I still checked in with a friend.

Made me laugh.

Happy Halloween friends!

I hope the Great Pumpkin brought you your every wish.

And.

Loads of candy.

Please.

Do.

Eat some for me!

 

 

Day By Day

October 27, 2016

I just get by.

Or.

So the thinking goes.

I was a little off today, a little not quite myself, a little quiet, a little introspective.

This is not a problem.

Granted.

It’s also not something that I care for very much, thinking about myself usually just breeds misery.

The day was just a day, I tell myself, sure, it didn’t exactly go my way, but I have no control over that.

Frankly I was just grateful it didn’t rain so that I could ride my scooter to work.

Mondays and Wednesday’s I’m up at the top of Eureka Street in Noe Valley and it’s no small climb, it’s not a good place to get to via public transportation, nor would it be an easy ride on my bicycle.

Nope.

So not having rain today, grateful.

Tomorrow is another story.

Rain, rain, rain.

All week.

All weekend.

Ugh.

I’ll probably take MUNI into work on Thursday and Friday and to see my person in the Inner Sunset on Saturday.

I don’t have plans.

I don’t have Halloween plans.

I don’t have a date.

I don’t have anything.

Well.

Ha.

I guess I have homework, there is always that.

What with the rain I suppose I could get a lot of reading done.

I had hopes to do some reading today at work, but that definitely did not happen.

Kiddo out sick from school.

So, although I had a fat baby nap, I didn’t have time away from my charges to actually sit and do any homework.

Despite having brought it in with me.

I never touched it.

I did play a lot of Go Fish.

I did hang out and read him Harry Potter.

I did dance party with the little girl and her middle brother when he got home from school.

I made homemade pizza for dinner.

I did, actually, have a really nice day with them, it just wasn’t the day I had planned.

Story of my life.

And I can’t gripe too much, I actually did some of the reading before I went into work today.

I got up and did a lot of writing.

I read a bit too and that felt good to be doing it, though it wasn’t as much as I wanted, anything is better than nothing and it’s a kind of steady progress which will get me there.

I felt a little lonely today.

There is that.

Loneliness happens.

But.

I know that I am not alone and that helps.

Even when I am by myself, I am not alone.

I also had a moment of free-floating dread that happens about this time of year and I always forget about it until it’s happening and then it hits me and I’m like, oh yeah, this time of year was the time when I started my slide to the bottom, to my bottom.

It’s a kind of body memory.

I had an excruciating bottom and it began at Halloween and lasted until the first weekend of January.

It was devastating and all the holidays have their special marker of horror for me.

Halloween because I had thought I’d escaped my disease, or it had escaped me, my dealer had gotten arrested and for a month was MIA and I thought to myself when it happened, good, this is exactly what I need.

The goose hung high.

I was literally the proverbial boy whistling in the dark.

I had plans that Halloween to hang out with friends and have a late dinner at Bruno’s Super Club on Mission Street.

I was a flapper.

I had a pretty awesome outfit.

A beautiful grey cloche hat with a black ribbon, I had very short hair at the time, slicked back with one kiss curl on my forehead, buckle shoe Mary Jane’s, fish net stockings, a short sassy black chiffon dress, a strand of baubles, a fake beauty mark high on my right cheek, and a long cigarette holder for my cigarettes.

I got a lot of compliments on my outfit.

I was pleased.

I remember I was just having my first or second cocktail of the night and we had just finished ordering dinner.

I was going to get the sliders.

I got a phone call instead.

I hopped up to take it and headed outside for a cigarette.

It was my dealer.

He was out and how much did I want?

I hemmed and hawed and said two.

Two grams of cocaine that is.

I didn’t think about it, I didn’t think, wait, what, you weren’t going to do this anymore, I just spit out a number and then said were I was.

I went back inside, ordered another cocktail, sat down and waited for my dinner to come, which I never touched, as my dealer called just as my plate was being set down in front of me.

I hopped back up, said I’d be right back and dashed outside.

He was idling at the corner in a nondescript grey Saturn sedan.

I hopped in, handed him $100 and he handed me two grams of blow and said, I haven’t had time to cut it.

Fuck.

It was in brick.

I managed.

And I managed to fall right back down the fucking rabbit hole.

I went straight to the bathroom and chopped up a couple of lines.

They were too rocky, too big, but I was too excited and couldn’t wait to break it down proper.

Dinner sat and got cold.

I drank another cocktail.

Our friend got done with his shift and a crew of us headed out to a Halloween party.

Where?

I have no clue.

I do remember being the center of attention at one point on the back stairway having a game of dozens with the host and smoking cigarettes.

I remember a lot of trips to the bathroom to break up the cocaine so that I could actually snort it.

I remember calling my dealer the next day.

And the next.

And well.

You get the idea.

So.

Hello late October, hello Halloween with all your scary and tricks and treats.

I’m not much into it anymore, though a girl does like to dress up.

I don’t like the feeling of expectation and the need to party that seems to overtake even most normal folks.

The dread, once it was named, eased off my body and I went up to see some fellows and get right with God and I left feeling reconnected and grateful for the gentle reminder of how fucking bad it was.

I never want to go there again.

I mean.

Never.

Happy.

Joyful.

Free.

Thank God for this life.

I am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.


%d bloggers like this: