Posts Tagged ‘Twin Peaks’

You Have My Thoughts

January 25, 2021

An old friend reached out to me yesterday.

We talked for a long time.

We have been friends for a bit over fifteen years.

He was so effusive about how my life has turned out and all of the challenges I have faced to get to where I am.

“I know what you did, it’s amazing, you pulled yourself up from literally nothing and worked harder with constraints that few people I know would have been able to get through,” he said.

He witnessed me in my first year of sobriety when I literally had nothing, could barely make the rent, even cheap, rent controlled rent, barely had money for food, let alone a bus pass or taxi cab.

He took me everywhere.

He had a scooter and a convertible Mercedes Benz.

I was either on the back of that scooter or I was in the passenger seat of that Benz all the time.

We were joined at the hip.

Everyone.

EVERYONE.

Thought we were dating.

But nope.

Nary a kiss, never a date, nothing.

Although we would do things that if I was witnessing others do, especially a man and a woman, I would think, oh yeah, they’re totally together.

He took me out to lunch and dinner all the time.

He bought me clothes.

I was so broke in my first couple of years of sobriety, so broke.

He took me out dancing.

We both loved to dance.

We saw djs all over the city.

Sometimes we would just drive around in his convertible with the top down and blast music and find spots to dance–Twin Peaks, the little cove down by the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, random parking lots in the SOMA, Treasure Island.

It was a night out at Treasure Island, with no fog and a warmer than usual temperature, the city across the bay sparkling and magic, that I asked him after we had been dancing in the headlights to music and had collapsed back into the car to drink water and catch our breaths.

“Why aren’t we dating?” I asked.

He paused.

He was quiet for a long time.

He said, “well, I mean, I guess I could see you giving me a blow job, but where would it go after that and we’re such good friends, I mean, it just doesn’t seem worth going there.”

I punched him in the arm, “you could see me giving you a blowjob?!”

“Well, yeah, I mean, you know, you’ve got a great mouth,” he replied and grinned at me.

“Yeah, good luck with that,” I said and looked back out over the water.

I never gave him a blow job.

We stayed friends.

Thick as thieves.

And life happened.

Life happens.

My best friend died, he know I had a crush of sorts on my friend, and would tease me once in a while about that, but also in a way that didn’t really razz me up.

When Shadrach died in General Hospital someone reached out to my friend and said, “come and get Carmen and take her out and feed her.”

I was shellacked.

I had been in that ICU by Shadrach’s side or with his family for seven days in a row, eight maybe. My friend had not been able to make it in to say good bye to Shadrach.

But.

He showed up that night in his Mercedes and took me to Chow on Church and Market and he told me to order a steak and eat it.

I did.

Then he took me out to Treasure Island and told me, “talk about it.”

I did.

I told him all the stories and the sadness and the horror of watching Shadrach die and he just held my hand and let me cry on his shoulder.

He was a good friend.

He always was.

Sometimes a bit intense, sometimes suddenly unavailable, but someone I could talk to for hours, someone who made me laugh, someone who always was up for having and adventure.

The time we went to see Gary Neuman at the Fillmore and then got out of the show with enough time to whip over to the Castro Theater and see Tron.

Or Goldfrapp at the Fillmore.

Or Sunshine Jones in so many different clubs.

Or Eric Sharp at some underground deep in the SOMA in a warehouse.

Or when he got a projector and we found a deserted parking lot in the SOMA next to a huge white painted wall and watched the Daft Punk Movie Interstella 5555.

Or sitting in front of Ritual in the Mission, before they had outside seating, on the sidewalk drinking lattes, with a boombox blasting Michael Jackson.

He taught me how to play dominoes, “bones,” and then would brutally beat me at it all the time.

I could name a lot more.

There were many, many, many adventures.

The weekend in Vegas.

And there were many, many, many girlfriends.

Some who liked me.

Some who absolutely couldn’t stand me.

My friend dated women I worked with, mutual friends, women I sponsored, (Shadrach joked once, “why doesn’t he just go right to the source,” meaning me), friends of other friends.

All sorts of ladies.

He got serious with one of them and I really liked her, hell I even lived with them for a couple of months when I had lost a job and my apartment in Nob Hill with seven years sober and ended up taking a huge pay cut and going to work at Mission Bicycle Company as a shop girl, she was sweet.

They opened a hair salon together.

One or the other of them was always doing my hair.

I was my friend’s hair model for a long time.

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I got to rock some ridiculously fabulous hair.

Most of the time.

Every once in a while he did something that I was like, “dude, no, cut it off.”

The time he gave me a tail.

That only lasted two days.

Maybe only half a day, now that I think about it.

He also went to school to learn make up and to this day I credit him with teaching me how to do makeup.

And to love glitter.

When he reached out to me recently I told him I had stopped dying my hair crazy colors, after he and his girlfriend moved away, I went to a mutual friend who took me blonde and then hot pink, to be a therapist and have a professional look.

I even toned down the make up for a bit.

But it snuck right back in.

I couldn’t give up the glitter.

He texted me, “NEVER give up the glitter.”

A lady likes a man who isn’t opposed to glitter.

He got engaged.

He bought a house.

They broke up.

He moved to L.A.

That’s where he’s at now, muddling through the pandemic as an essential worker.

I can’t even imagine, although a number of my therapy clients have indicated that they consider me an essential worker, I just can’t imagine being out in the public as much as my friend is.

We reconnected back around July or August, played a lot of phone tag, and didn’t actually get to talk until after Thanksgiving.

And it was like riding a bike.

We talked for hours.

Every week or so we’d text a little.

And we caught up after the holidays and.

And.

Well.

Ha.

He’s interested, all these years later, in dating.

I was surprised as hell.

Although, when I have had some time to think about it I realized he’d asked a few times what my dating situation was.

“Non-traditional,” I replied once.

And.

He sent me a song one day on Spotify, “I Adore You,” by Goldie.

I loved the song.

I looked up the lyric’s, well, huh, those are some interesting lyric’s.

This seems like a love song.

Is my friend sending me a love song?

Maybe.

When all is said is done
After the run we’ve had
Let me be the one
I’ll be there for you
Better to let, better to let you know I was a fool in love
Just enough to want you more I adore you
And I’ll never let you go I adore you When all is settled dust
After the storm has passed
Let me be the one to shine on you
Better to let, better to let you know I am a fool in love
Just enough to want you more I adore you
And I’ll never let you go After the run we’ve had
After the tears we’ve cried
On all those lonely nights
I still want you in my life I see you in my mind
And now the sun don’t shine
And I’m just getting by
So why can’t you be mine?

It sounds like a love song!

And then.

One night, it came out, he was texting me and he said, “would it be crazy if we went on a date?”

What?!

We texted back and forth for a while and decided, maybe it would not be.

We went a few weeks without talking about it and he did his thing and I did my thing.

But.

It’s come up again and we talked yesterday, for a long time, and we’re going to give it a shot.

Holy shit.

I mean.

I still can’t quite believe it.

He’s going to take some time off from work and come up over a weekend and stay at an old friends house and we’re just going to see what it feels like.

HOLY SHIT.

I’m excited, nervous, think I need to lose five pounds, happy, curious, all the things.

We both agreed that whatever happens, we’re just investigating and we won’t stop being friends.

It could be a hilarious wrong turn.

Or it could be a dance party.

I don’t know.

He doesn’t have a Mercedes anymore.

But he does have a Cadillac.

So I expect we will cruise around the city and revisit old haunts.

And maybe.

Make out?

We shall see.

More will be revealed.

Sun Burst

August 18, 2019

They left their car behind in the Pan Handle of Florida.

Broken down along the side of the road.

Tin can from a Chunky’s Chicken Corn Chowder soup barely holding

Together the rotten muffler.

Love.

Flashes like heat waves rolling up from asphalt

Pavement, as smoke eddies and drifts from a lit

Pall Mall filter Gold Light 100, grasped like a lifeline into

Another time where glorious naivety

Flexed in her 19 year old calve muscles.

Feet strong and unweary, propped on the dashboard watching the

Moss dipped trees roll along outside the window while Jethro Tull blasts from the radio.

These stories written in the power of youth and the glory of

Summers wandered through decades ago.

Her skin tattooed now with narratives and bygone memorabilia.

Literally.

She, her, I, wears her heart on her sleeve.

(Left side inside wrist wreathed with cherry blossoms)

She, her, I, has not forgotten the sunshine splash of freckles

Constellating his face and the desire badgering her heart to kiss each one.

Love rises like mist in a swimming pool at night in

Saint Augustine awash in humidity and the susurration of wind in palm leaves.

Song of flash pan memories born on the wings of cicadas,

Bark of a worried dog, crackle of fire on the edge of night,

Embers glowing on her (my) face, fronting strength under the curious

Gaze of heroin junkies and good ol’ boys with running mates and prostitute

Companions holding bent Budweiser can carburetor crack pipes.

She, her, I, will dance, never the less, none the less, dance now, dance then

Beneath the swelter of stars, amid the whispers of sexy, sexy, sexy

Spilling from the mouths of men unable to grasp her, attain her, hold her (me).

Love, lost like a plasticine slipper in the dusky playa at sunset.

Burnished with desire to kiss the bottom lip of his mouth and vanish into the

Streets of the Mission District, oh my sweet San Francisco how unexpected

Summer night strewn me with ghost kisses of fog being sucked in over Twin Peaks.

She, her, I will climb the hills back towards the sea, remember her (me) her face

Aswirl in dark curls, your face writ with awe, once again in her (my) hands.

Oh bluest eyes

Peering back into mine, this blissful fantasy a phantasmagoric feeling all

Ephemeral and moon washed will haunt you, I, me no more.

For yes, oh yes,

My darling.

This too shall pass.

Tired

June 23, 2017

And wide awake all at the same time.

There was a moment today when I just thought to myself, I am not going to make it through the day.

Not enough sleep.

Too many hours at work.

Client that needs to be seen after work.

Party for a friends studio opening.

And I was asked to come in earlier tomorrow to work.

I thought I was just going to pass out.

The little lady was close to taking a nap and I hazarded a distinct longing to put her down for a nap and cuddle with her and sneak in a nap myself.

But.

No such luck.

I also didn’t want to super caffeinate.

Although I came daringly close I did not succumb to the temptation and powered through the day.

My thoughts kept me company and I kept myself moving around the house a lot and kept telling myself that it was almost Friday.

It still was a long day.

But I made it through work and I got to my internship and I had a really good second session with a new client.

Two clients this week and I’ll be adding another client next week.

Slowly it builds.

I felt really good doing the session and decided that I could rally afterward and go sneak over to my friend’s open house studio opening.

I really wanted to have a grown up moment that was a social, even if it was just for a little snick of time.

I hadn’t any dinner so I knew that it would be short-lived and watching the fog roll in over Twin Peaks I was pretty assured that it would be a quick visit.

But it was good and I got to see an amazing work space and reconnect with Burning Man friends and talk a little about the event and when folks are going.

I haven’t found a ride yet and there was a moment when I thought, fuck it, wouldn’t it be nice to not stress and give up the ticket and spend the time here in the city with people I love and then I was like.

Um, no.

Hahahaha.

Sure, there are people who I want to see here, but the fact is if I don’t go to Burning Man I’d just be working anyhow, it’s not like vacation, although it completely is, but it’s outside of my time frame of paid vacation and I wouldn’t just take the week off without going.

Plus.

It’s the ten-year anniversary of my best friend’s death and he’s the reason why I went in the first place.

My heart, tender, feeling that loss, but not so achy as it’s been in the past, just tender, just there and I know there will be feelings that come up.

And there will be a conversation with him, somewhere in deep playa, out past the Temple where I am sure between the Temple and the mountain range my friend still resides, just a little part of him, I didn’t take all his ashes, but enough, enough to know he’s there and there are many places that I connect with the memory of him and also with the aliveness of him, the way I live my life a reflection of the gusto he went after life with.

I am sure he would be proud of me.

OH.

Hello.

There are the tears.

I knew you were around.

I watched the fog roll in over the top of Twin Peaks from the deck of my friends studio in the Mission and it was the same height and approximate distance from the hospital ICU, General, where my friend spent a week in a coma before the family pulled the plug and harvested his organs for donation.

There is always one strong memory for me, pressing my face against that window, my fevered brow, the hotness of my heart, the tears always on and off, more so off when I was at the hospital–it was only in the privacy of my own room in the dark as I prayed to God on my knees to get me through the experience that I would allow myself to cry–the coolness of the window and the dark, heaviness of the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks.

A blanket of sorrow and felted love thrown over the entirety of the city as though we all grieved the loss of my friend.

So.

Yeah.

I might be a little tired, but I’m not bailing on Burning Man.

Nope.

Sure.

I haven’t gotten a ride together yet, but that will happen and hopefully it won’t be as crazy as the ride up was last time.

I have gotten a couple of nibbles from my post on the ride share board, but nothing solid, it always comes together, I’m not too worried.

It’s more a matter, at this point, of getting a playa bike and finding time in between the comings and goings of my life to do some preparation.

I have people I am responsible to, my own recovery to attend to, and God damn it would be nice to get in a yoga class this weekend, but yeah,  a new playa bike and some sourcing of other items that are always nice to have and I’ll make some time, find some time, create some time, and do a little shopping when I can.

Side bar.

The mom just sent me a message about my work performance and told me that I really was “Mary Poppins sister!”

I’ll take it.

Anyway, this Mary Fucking Poppins, will be riding again under her parasol out on playa again this year and enjoying the hell out of not being a therapist in training, a student, or a nanny.

Just a girl.

Out on her bike.

Riding towards the painted calico mountains with secrets and love to share with an old friend.

“I finally was the ball, Shadrach, you’d be so fucking proud of me.”

Did I Get It All Done?

September 28, 2015

Fuck no.

Did I do a lot?

Yes.

Including and in no particular order, meeting with a ladybug and teaching her how to do spot check inventory, no need to sit in that dirty diaper all day, change it, change your perspective, get on with your day, walk through the fear.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

Cleaned my house.

Like really cleaned it.

REALLY.

Swept the floors, Swiffere’d the floors ( I know, I know, I used Swiffer as a verb, shut up), scrubbed the bathroom, did my laundry, stripped the bed, even washed and dried the duvet cover.

Which is a pain in the ass if ever there is one.

Putting the comforter back into the duvet cover after it’s washed, that is, pain in the tuchus, let me tell ya.

I even made extra food for the week, since I won’t be doing any cooking or grocery shopping before school next weekend or during the time I’m in class.  But I don’t want to have the experience of bonking out again like I did last time I was in class.  I will have food prepped and ready.

I made homemade pork fried brown rice with peas, carrots, corn, onions, brown mushrooms, garlic, and ginger.

Like that.

Then.

I read.

And read.

And read some more.

I also drank a lot of tea.

Excuse me while I go pee again.

Kidding.

Barely.

I read a lot about Freud, I read more Freud than I have in my entire life up until this point.

I read a lot of Freud, a lot of criticism of Freud and a lot of defense of Freud, that was really good and quite compelling and I find myself actually liking Freud a whole lot more than I used to.

Not that I had many great experiences with Freud prior, just assumptions.

I looked over my syllabi as well.

Although I felt a touch frustrated with how much I still have to read, I read as much as I could.

I switched up spots in my room to encourage better reading consumption.

Moving from kitchen table to chaise lounge.

I read outside on the back porch for a little while, although that was challenging as I found myself just wanting to lie back and enjoy the warm sunshine whenever it poked through the cloud cover.

I read until a friend texted me and we made plans to go up to Twin Peaks tonight and watch the Super Moon rise with lunar eclipse.

It was spectacular.

My friend grabbed me at 6:30 p.m.

Right about he time I was hitting my limit of Freud intake.

It was nice to gel out in the car and not think and let my friend ramble about the new house and new room mates and situations and I wasn’t tuned out, I was just there.

Appreciative.

Grateful.

Held.

Warm.

Because, damn Gina.

I forgot.

It gets cold up at Twin Peaks and after we had parked the car and gotten out to survey the lay of the land and make a spot to watch the moon rise with what felt like a great deal of the city as well–I love you San Francisco that so many of you came out to watch the moon rise and lunar eclipse, I love my city–we decided to get back the fuck into the car.

It was that breezy and cold.

The car.

Oh.

It was lovely.

Warm.

Good music.

Good company.

And the moon rise and the orange glow of eclipse as the earth reflected back it’s refracted light upon the surface of the moon, a reddish-orange hue, the burnt umber red floating in the East over the Bay, the sodium lights of the dockyards in Oakland glimmering, the dusky orange of City Hall shimmering in the cityscape, the flash of a red light on top of the TransAmerica Pyramid, the thread of white gold light sparkling on the Bay Bridge as traffic flowed over the top deck, the fog ghosting in over the back side of Twin Peaks.

And I am reminded of how beautiful this city is.

How lucky I am to get to live here.

And yes.

I had a moment or two, perhaps three, when I thought.

I really should be reading my Freud.

But then.

I would look up at the moon and sigh inwardly at my fortune.

And memories.

The times I have come up to Twin Peaks.

The first time I was taken to the top a couple of years before I moved to San Francisco, at sunset, the fog thick and blanketing the buildings, the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge poking through the grey bed, rosy and red and industrial orange and golden in the setting sun, the clouds over the East Bay a spectacular color guard of pinks and royal purples, blushed with persimmons and pumpkins and creamy rosettes of cloud clusters.

I was smitten.

I still am.

I can still see that first sunset and I can contrast and compare it to all the other times, really, not all that many, despite living in the city for over 13 years I can probably count about ten times that I have gone up to Twin Peaks and taken in the view.

Maybe more.

But not that many more.

I remember the time when I moved to San Francisco and I hadn’t been in the city more than a month and there was a huge spectacular meteor shower that was happening and I walked up to Twin Peaks from 20th and York in the Mission.

The meteor shower was amazing.

I counted 56 shooting stars that night.

And.

I wrote down a wish for each one of them in a notebook.

I have that notebook somewhere.

I feel compelled to dig it up and look at those wishes.

See how many have come true.

So many of my dreams have coalesced.

I have lived a grand and fabulous life.

I have lived in Paris.

I have written short stories in cafes in the Montmartre.

I have travelled to Rome and sat at the cafe on the top of the state museum and written in my journal while sipping an Americano.

I have gone to Burning Man a few times.

Nine.

I have loved and lived and grown in San Francisco.

I get to live here.

Who is this girl, this woman?

Who is this person who now gets to go to graduate school and balance all the things with all the other things, which make all the things possible?

She is a woman who once in a while is going to let herself off the hook from Freud.

To play a little hooky and watch the moon rise over this city.

This beautiful city.

My city.

By the Bay.

Jeebus and the Big Poop

May 29, 2014

“JeeeeeSusss!”

“JeeeeSusss!”

“JeeeeeSusss!”

He ran around the kitchen giggling like a maniac and hollering out “Jesus” at the top of his lungs.

“Shh, honey, that’s enough,” but I sort of had a grin in my voice and I could not even take myself seriously.

“Jesus!”

He looked up at me, “Jesus?!”

“JESUS!”

“Ok, that’s it, no more,” I hesitated, is it a curse word?

It was said like a profanity, he overheard it in the stroller at the corner of Stanyan and Waller by a woman walking across the street who got startled by a turning car.

It’s not like he was saying “fuck!”

Or damn it or shit or douche bag.

Nope.

He was just taking the lords name in vain and it was making me laugh.

But I also didn’t want the mom to come home to her two-year old son running around saying, “Jesus!” loud, proud, and bold.

It turns out it was ok, though,he had a change-up pretty immediately.

“Big poop!”

Ok.

I know what to do about that one.

I scooped him up and took care of business.

My two-year old charge has got a vocabulary to beat the band and he’s talking and telling stories and occasionally making up words that when we carry on a conversation will make perfect sense, then I catch myself, what are we talking about?

There are lots of conversations about airplanes, his biggest obsession.

And then many more about the train that he got for his birthday.

He got a lot of amazing toys.

Toys that I sometimes want to sit down and play with.

Most of the time, though, I am just trying to keep them out of the mouth of the 16 month old, who is getting better about putting floor snacks in his mouth, but he does still have a tendency to revert to getting his fiber from the carpet fuzz.

I don’t swear in front of my charges, but other people do.

Kids do.

Adults do.

Sometimes I want to be the school yard monitor and tell someone to pipe the heck down, see, I said heck, but I tend to keep my comments to myself.

It’s been a good week with the boys and I feel like I have my mojo back after a rocky start to the week.  Which wasn’t really rocky, it was just getting back into the flow after the big music festival weekend and all the travelling.

Next stop.

Wisconsin.

Although, I might, actually I better book that now, get a little road trip with a friend who is leaving for a very long, cross-country road trip from here to New York at the end of June.

We compared notes as he will be somewhere in the Midwest around the time that I will be in Wisconsin.

But not quite at the same time.

So, a small road trip on the back of his “new” motorcycle that he got to do the cross country ride.

We talked about heading down to Santa Cruz and doing the boardwalk.

Which I have never done.

I’ve been down to Santa Cruz twice since I have lived in California.

Neither time did I hit the boardwalk.  There could be some fun to be had there. And it seems the perfect distance for a ride on a motorcycle.

Not too long, but long enough and along the gorgeous Pacific Ocean.

I am in.

My friend who I bought the scooter from, said scooter that is working, thank you very much, suggested we might also make the trip down to Santa Cruz as well on our scooters.

Not quite sure about doing that yet, but I did get my scooter over 40 mph when we went out riding.

He came over Monday afternoon and I showed him how I was starting it and he checked it over, including the fender, which he pulled out a little more and said that the cost to repair it was going to be nada, and basically I was doing two small things that weren’t working to my advantage in getting the scooter started.

And voila!

Vroom!

Started right on up.

I was over choking the engine and he suspects that I was putting too much oil in the gas tank when I had topped it off.

So I ran out the gas and when I got back to the neighborhood after our riding adventure I took it down to the gas station a few blocks away, filled it up ($3.00 even) and added half the oil I had been.

Running like a top.

It’s still vintage and old, so I may have to fiddle about, but it works and it, the problem, was not the scooter, but me.

We took our rides out, he has a brand new white Vespa, and my old vintage black Vespa, and got lots of looks and thumbs up and whistles.

It was fun.

We went up the coast just a tiny bit, hitting Lands End, which I probably hadn’t been to in years, parked, sat and watched the ocean and the sky, the Golden Gate Bridge spanning the bay and I gave him a big hug.

It’s really good to have friends.

We soaked up the ambiance of San Francisco, then hopped back on the scooters, headed down the Great Highway we got up to 40 mph and I got to feel how fast that is.

Truth be told, I have taken it up to 40 a couple of times on Lincoln Avenue, keeping with the speed of traffic, but it was different being on the Great Highway and I appreciated knowing what it felt like.

A stop for coffee at Java Beach on Sloat, then we rode up through Portola and over Twin Peaks.

Holy shit batman.

I never thought I would be taking a scooter up and over Twin Peaks, my own scooter, with me driving it.

The wind was fierce and I probably said Jeebus under my breath a few times, truth be told, but fortunately, I did not have a big poop.

I did feel like peeing my pants once or twice, but made it over without any bodily fluids being split.

It was pretty exciting.

And I am ever so grateful to continue to learn and grow.

Sometimes I feel like the two-year old discovering all there is to discover.

Sometimes I feel like running around and yelling “JESUS!” at the top of my lungs.

Good thing some one taught me to use my inside voice a little while back.

 

 

 

An Unremitting Gift

November 22, 2013

Grace.

I have been graced.

I was thinking as I held her little paw in mine, how lovely to walk these streets of San Francisco with my small charge in pigtails, crunching the leaves and feeling the sun on my face.

Grateful, too, that the rains eased off today.

I got to everywhere I needed to go dry.

That is a huge gift.

We walked around Alamo Square park, climbing the hill not once but twice.

Our first visit to the park was short as it was still quite wet after the last two days of wet weather.  But later, in the late afternoon, the park had dried and much sliding was to be had.

I admit I was walking a lot today partially to wear down my charge and guarantee a long nap.

Partially because the neighborhood is so lovely and I wanted to explore it, look upon the houses, see the colorful Victorian ladies marching up and down the hills with their gay frocks and bright ribbons of gold leaf and purple scrolls.

I actually think the Painted Ladies are way over rated and indulged myself walking about the other blocks that encircle the neighborhood gazing upon this one there and that one here, the glorious houses in along the streets.

I am going to own a house one day.

In San Francisco.

I hear you scoffing.

Scoff away, Scoffer McScofferson, scoff.

I will.

I don’t know how or where or why, I just know that this here is home.

I am lucky to call this home, this my city by the Bay, my lover, my secret fetching mistress who bestows windy kisses on me and gifts me with views I did not even know existed.

From one side of Alamo Square you get the spread of downtown, the Civic Center, the Bank of America Pyramid, the Bay Bridge.

Then walk around to the other side and gaze over to UCSF and its steeples and there off in the distance the Golden Gate Bridge, or to another side and there is the Haight and Cole Valley and Twin Peaks rising majestically in the near distance bestowing a knowing benevolence upon the city when not shrouded in fog.

In between the duo trips to the park we also walked around the NOPA neighborhood.

I popped us into BiRite and my charge nibbled on sample brioche bread and I bought a couple of Taylor Gold pears from Frog Hollow Farms, an heirloom varietal apple, organic of course, please, and some Stumptown Holler Mountain coffee, blessed again with good food, good coffee, good company.

We then swung into the Mill, scented with hot fresh backed loaves of bread and the alluring smell of caffeine.

I got an Americano from Four Barrel roasters and we walked some more.

I took pictures of her.

Handprint

Hand Print

Her little pigtails golden antennae of love sprouting from her head.

Her little smile a delight.

This could be our last week together.

I told her mom today I had to bring my rates up.

She completely understood, but has to discuss it with the husband and I may not have much work with them left.

They are the least well off of my clients and I said I understood, that I would of course continue at my normal rate for this week and please let me know by next week what you decide.

They may just keep me through the New Year as it stands.

Either way, it’s been a gift to hang out with their little girl.

Any child really, it is a gift, but I feel lucky to have had the interactions with her that I have gotten to have.

Poor doll has been getting over a cold and sounds like Sophia Loren has taken over her voice box after a long boozy night smoking cigarettes in after hours clubs.

Husky, sweet, and congested.

We read her teddy bear stories.

“ALL THE HIPPOS GO BERSERK!”

And had a great lunch together.

I felt at ease having said what I needed to say and having also let go of the results of the conversation.

The difference for them is one day a week they would pay an extra $16.

I don’t need to point that out to them.

If they are concerned, they are concerned.

Not my money, not my budget, not my business.

What a relief.

I thought that again as I sat in the Crepevine at 7th and Irving having a large salad as a family across the way had their dinner–a large “comfort food” platter of deep-fried goodies (fyi, the comfort food is not my wording, it is listed that way on the menu) with extra ranch and blue cheese dressing to dip it in.

Fried mushrooms.

Fried wings.

Fried onion rings.

Fried french fries.

You know, comfort food, rolled in flour and deep fat fried.

Mom had a couple of glasses of red wine, mom is also a mom in bloom again, six, seven months along I would hazard, and grandma chucked back a couple of glasses when the other mom was not paying attention, outside the restaurant on her phone while her child played choo choo train in the middle of the restaurant barefoot.

I don’t remember exactly when it dawned on me, but dawn it did, that I did not have any judgements about the scene in front of me.

It was none of my business, nor my place to judge.

I mean, I would not handle myself that way and I would do things a lot differently, but that is just my choice at this point in my life.

How lucky that child to have a mother, a grandmother, a large plate of food, a restaurant to run around in.

I sat, ate my salad and thought, holy shit, I might be growing up.

I was not involved, annoyed, or anything, other than present.

I enjoyed my salad and when it was done finished my water and got up to go next door to grab a cup of tea before going to further my connections with my fellows.

This whole day, this experience of being in San Francisco, the realization, again, that I am privileged to live here, really hit me.

I also was able to get in a long meditation while the napping helped and that certainly did not hurt my outlook on the day.

I could have sung with joy on my bicycle ride home.

The smell of the air.

The sea ahead of me.

Grace.

Pure and simple.

Grace.

My livf.

An unremitting gift.

One in which I have no intention of giving back.

Only playing it forward.

Saying thank you at the end of my night, crawling into my warm bed with soft sheets and big pillows, thank you for this life, this gift.

This grace.

Thank you.

Over and over and over agin.


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