Posts Tagged ‘Vespa’

Push Button Baby

August 1, 2017

I saw a couple on the side of the road as I zoomed down Lincoln Way frantically trying to kick over the starter on a vintage Vespa.

I chuckled to myself.

The old Vespas look so fucking cool.

I know.

I used to have one.

It was such a pretty girl.

But.

Man.

It was such a hassle to get it started or it would conk out on me out of the blue.

Like coming down Laguna Honda in the fog going 40 miles an hour.

I got tired of that really fast.

That.

And the freaking horrifying sprained ankle that I got when the kick starter jammed and I folded my ankle in half.

That was no fun.

Months, years really, of healing.

The doctor was shocked it wasn’t broken and then told me it was too bad it wasn’t since the sprain is slower to heal and how badly I had injured it I would be lucky if it was healed fully in a year and a half.

He was right.

It took that much time to heal.

Actually closer to two years, if I’m honest, I had to be really careful and there were times when I could feel it was still injured.

It put a bad taste in my mouth for every having something vintage like that again.

Truth too.

I wasn’t prepared for the amount of maintenance and well, it turned out it was a knock off Vespa, despite the registration issued from the DMV, it was a knock off Vietnam Vespa and no body in town would touch it to repair it.

So.

I got rid of it.

I had it recycled.

I got it off the road.

I wasn’t going to be responsible for someone else getting injured on it and when the mechanics at the shop told me all the issues with it I was shocked that I hadn’t hurt myself more on it, I could have easily crashed it out.

Granted.

There were some gleeful moments on it when someone would pull up to me on it at a light and chat with me about it, the scooter really was well done, no one had a clue it was fake.

Certainly not I.

I was a tiny bit bamboozled you could say.

Any way, that’s an old story and not the point.

The point is.

Thank fucking god for my scooter.

I live in the Outer Sunset.

I work in Glen Park.

My internship is in the Mission.

My school is in the SOMA.

I have supervision in Hayes Valley.

And.

Therapy in Noe Valley.

I have to get all over the city.

And the scooter is quick.

Of course, I do have some anxiety about what will happen when the fall comes and the rains that generally come with the fall.

I will either have to get used to wet weather riding or figure something else out.

I can ride in the rain.

I have done it.

I do not like it, but it’s doable.

I was talking to my friend yesterday as she was getting the last of her household packed up for travels back to France and she looked at me and said, “drive safe poulette (her term of endearment for me–sexy girl, although literal translation is chicken, I like to think of it as “chick” or chickadee), maybe it’s time you got a car.”

Yeah.

There’s that.

Aside from the fact that it would be handy to go to Burning Man.

Heh.

Still haven’t gotten a ride yet, still hedging my bets with a rental, but that too is beside the point.

I don’t know what exactly the point is.

I haven’t had a car for over a decade.

I got rid of mine two weeks after moving here in 2002.

Fuck.

Nearly fifteen years with no car.

Lots of bicycles.

And two scooters.

I do like my scooter and I do so appreciate getting around on it.

I just have time concerns now that I didn’t have before.

I mean.

My schedule has always been full, but then I added in graduate school and graduate school added in an internship and um, ha, since, I’m a therapist in training, I have to be on time for my clients.

I get done with work at 6p.m. and I have clients at 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and I have been assigned a new client to see on Fridays now at 6:30p.m.

My first child client!

Bring on the child and family hours!

Ahem.

I digress.

This whole blog is a digression.

Sometimes when I don’t want to write about what I want to write about, I can go off on tangents.

Shadrach.

Scooter accident.

Dead.

Today.

10 years.

I had a little contact with his mom today after she posted a photo of visiting his grave.

Add onto that saying goodbye yesterday to my darling French friend.

Great recipe for sadness.

I felt heavy with it this morning when I left my house to go meet with my supervisor.

I got to Hayes Valley early and had a fifteen minute window so I called my person and shared about it and he said, “you sound sad,” and there it was, the sad, the heaviness in me, it was sadness.

Tears welled up and spilled down my face.

Yup.

Sad.

So we made a plan to meet at a church in the Inner Sunset after I got out of supervision.

It was so good.

I got right with God.

Then we went for tea at Tart to Tart and had a good session.

We sent my friend from Paris a good-bye photo of the two of us having tea, my face a little wet with tears, and my person smiling to beat the band, ugh, not all selfies are sexy.

Ha.

Oh.

Sadness.

I had my cry though and things began to shift.

I came home, made a nice lunch and then did some school work.

Because.

It’s that time.

I have two syllabi posted up and I checked them out and ordered books for class.

I sighed and realized I was pretty burnt out with the emotions.

And I decided.

You know what?

Nap.

I need a nap.

And that’s what I did.

It was perfect.

I had a little rest then got up, prepped some food for dinner and I could feel the sad had moved out of my body.

I got my things together and hopped back on my scooter, went to my internship, dealt with progress notes and paperwork and then saw a client.

By the time my session ended I was feeling great.

So nice that.

Go.

Be of service.

Feel better.

I scooted home.

Zipped by the park, rode the curves of Lincoln Way, smelled the bonfires at Ocean Beach and though it was cold and a bit foggy, I felt lifted, carried, loved.

I miss you Shadrach.

But.

You would be pretty proud of me.

Ten years.

You think the grief would have gone out of my body, but sometimes it is still there and needs expressing.

I’m grateful I didn’t squash it.

I just had it.

And I’m grateful for the emotions.

I get to have them.

Feelings.

It means I am alive.

And after all the death I have been witness to.

Well.

That’s a fucking miracle.

So glad I still get to be around.

Happy.

Joyous.

Alive.

And.

Free.

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Packed And Ready

November 20, 2015

To roll.

Not out the door and to the gate at the airport.

I wish.

No.

Packed up and ready to roll out on my scooter in the morning to my second to last weekend of classes before the semester ends.

I pulled the liner out of the back basket and filled it up with lunch and dinner, snacks, a Mason jar of brewed coffee, and my notebooks, books, and one reader for the day tomorrow.

I am actually not going to be using my messenger bag.

No bags of stuff riding around on my back all day long.

I actually.

What?

Yes.

Packed a purse.

I sort of like it.

It feels rather adult if I do say so myself.

(Note to any one reading this blog or the last three I have posted.  I HATE the new platform that wordpress is using for the blog.  I have no idea why they continue to update the damn thing, it works fine, stop it.  And I usually get a little annoyed when they do an upgrade.  Fine version 27.0 is probably better than the last, but fuck, people, you forgot to add a spell check button on my edit page.  And I need a god damn spell check.  I am a great writer and I spell pretty damn good, but even I make mistakes and I am sick of scanning the blogs like a copy editor.  I am not a copy editor, put the fucking spell check back in the formatting box.  I don’t even know who to complain to and I have tried so many different ways to go back to the old platform.  I also like the previous one as it gives me a word count–I aim to write about 1200 or thereabouts words per blog and it’s pretty helpful to have an idea what’s going on with the word count.  Ugh.  End rant.  Dislike blog platform. Big thumbs down.  Make it right people.)

I also started up the scooter.

I realized that I may have a dead battery on my hands in the morning since I haven’t ridden it in almost two weeks.  Circumstances being what they were I just didn’t get on it.

I stayed in the neighborhood the last two weeks doing school papers and never took it out.

I should have.

I am realizing that now.

It started and it ran.

But it did die and I had to restart.

I am fairly certain that it will be fine and it just needs a good running for a little while to charge up the battery.

I’m not worried.

But I am glad I checked.

And if for some reason it doesn’t work or the battery does some how become drained over night I’m still ok.

I hop on my bicycle and go.

Then when I have the time.

Not tomorrow, obviously since I’m in school all day long.

I call the service, I have a two year warranty that includes road side assistance, and I have them come out and give it a jump.

But.

I am sure it’s fine.

It started.

I ran it.

I’ll do the same in the morning.

And I will be riding off to school.

My first time to school on my new scooter.

Very exciting.

And exciting that the liner for my basket on my scooter fits everything I need so well.

I actually packed it all up and put it in my refridgerator!

All I have to do is carry it to the basket, plop it in, take out my helmet, put on my motorcycle jacket, pull on my gloves, and go.

I’m going to give myself the same amount of time that I would be giving myself if I was on my bicycle.

I figure better safe with a few extra minutes, take it easy in traffic, make sure it’s secure and locked when I get it parked and not panic or worry about getting to school on time.

I think that I am having a tiny bit of scooter anxiety, and it really is tiny, because of how nerve wracking it was to have the old Vespa.

I was always expecting it to conk out or do something wonky and I never felt like I could trust it.

I know logically that there is nothing wrong with my new scooter.

It has only six miles on it.

It’s brand new.

Everything is going to be just fine.

Still.

The brain it likes to manufacture misery.

However.

I’m not worried.

It will pass and I will get used to having something that works.

Story of my life.

Trying to manage things that don’t work.

This is not the deal though and this whole scooter thing is completely a new experience.

So different than getting the Vespa.

Such a better experience.

I trust and have faith that the experience will continue to be rewarding.

I have earned it, it’s paid for in full, it’s insured, and yesterday I dropped all the paperwork in the mail for the child care parking permit.

I am above fucking board.

And I am ready to wrap up the blog for tonight.

Despite not knowing how many words it is.

Damn it.

It is time for me to mellow out.

I have an early day and a long day.

I need to be in bed by 10:30pm.

Not that I actually expect to be asleep.

But I am going to do my best to at least be in bed.

Looking forward to zipping to campus and seeing all my classmates soon!

Good night.

Sleep tight.

Don’t fret about the scooter battery dying.

I won’t !

 

My Toes Are Hot

November 6, 2015

I was about to text my friend this message last night as I rolled around underneath the covers on my bed.

I had a fever yesterday.

I am rarely sick.

But I got smacked with it yesterday afternoon.

I had chalked it up to being up really early for work and not getting a lot of sleep the night before.

However.

By the time I was sitting in a cafe after work doing some writing before my next set of commitments, I knew something was wrong.

I felt flush.

Hot.

Light headed.

And.

I knew that I was sick.

Not so much because I am great at diagnosing myself.

I certainly am not.

But.

Because the boys I nanny for all week have had low-grade fevers and coughs.

I have no cough.

Thank God.

Nor the constant runny, drippy nose the boys had.

But I certainly was feverish.

I couldn’t also fathom how the hell I was going to get through the next two and a half hours before I had to be where I was going to next.

I couldn’t imagine hanging in there that long.

That is my clue that I am sick.

I have a big, imaginative, fully functioning brain.

I can keep a lot of stuff juggling about in my head and I am great at living in the future.

My thoughts proceed me.

Yes, yes, they do.

But when I am sick I have trouble seeing past the next five minutes.

All I could imagine was going home and having a bowl of oatmeal for dinner.

That too, is a tip-off.

I couldn’t imagine riding my bike home either, even though it’s a bike ride I do frequently.

I called a friend and asked for help.

Revolution is upon the land!

I asked for help.

Unusual for me.

But I knew I needed it.

My friend picked me up, tossed my bike in the back of his truck, gave me a hesitant hug and said, “you look yellow.”

Thanks man.

Now I feel really sexy.

Hot and yellow.

Blech.

He felt my forehead, “you have a fever.”

Yup.

I do.

I did.

He got me home and helped me get my bike in and said get into bed, sleep, don’t blog, rest.

I did just about that.

I made a bowl of oatmeal, my form of comfort food, and crawled under a comforter on my bed.

I watched a video for a minute.

I struggled with myself about sleeping.

And then just gave in as I was unable to focus on anything.

I curled up under the throw blanket on my bed wearing tights, long socks, and a flannel shirt.

That should be clue number 84 that I’m sick.

Way too much clothing.

I meandered in and out of sleep.

Having fever dreams about Paris and what I was going to do and where I was going to go and I drifted off.

I drifted back in when my housemate’s daughter came home and was singing in her room.

Then back out.

My friend texted me to see how I was and sad, “go to sleep.”

I did that.

The fever broke around midnight.

I got up did a few things.

I was wide awake.

I contemplated writing my blog, but knew the best thing was to get more rest.

I threw a load of laundry in the wash and puttered about then got back into bed.

I woke up this morning bright and alive and no fever.

Yay!

Especially yay since in about an hour I will be at the Scooter Centre down town to buy my new Buddy!

I confirmed the quote from my insurance agent this morning, coordinated with my friend who’s helping me out, and int a few minutes I will be leaving to hop on the train and take it down town to the shop.

I’ll be mobile shortly.

I am nervous.

I won’t say I’m not.

It’s been a minute since I have been on a scooter and the last few times it felt really harrowing as my former scooter was so unsafe, far more unsafe than I had any idea, but I also am grateful that I have had the time and space to prepare for this next adventure.

And.

The money.

It feels really good to know that I will be paying for the whole thing in cash, no financing, no monkeying around.

Straight up done deal.

I will own it outright and I won’t have to make payments.

The blessings of having a savings account and putting a little aside every paycheck.

It eventually adds up.

Sure.

I wanted the new scooter six, seven months ago when I took the knock off Vespa in to get repaired and had my heart-broken that I had been duped into buying a lemon.

But.

I didn’t like that I was going to have to finance it.

And when I got turned down for financing–I haven’t had or used a credit card in over ten years, so there was no history affiliated with me being a consumer despite my credit score being high, I was relieved.

I will save the money.

It will take a while.

That is ok.

Of course.

The $1,000 check for the poetry pushed me over the edge and now, a month sooner than I was predicting, I am getting my new ride.

Nervous.

Sure.

But excited.

Yes.

And soon.

I will be scooting around town again.

This time on a safe, new, fully warranted vehicle.

I am so pleased to be doing this like an adult.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Vroom!

Vroom!

You Are The Embodiment Of The Poet

October 30, 2015

My heart burst reading that line.

I was in the upstairs bathroom at work wrangling monkeys, brushing teeth.

Brosse/brosse/brosse/

Les dents/

Brosse les tres souvents/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

A les belle est dentes.

Brush/brush/brush

Your teeth/

Brush them every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Ah.

The pretty teeth.

(sung to row, row, row your boat)

Yay!

“Spit,” I said, running the water.

I had to put down my phone, I could not finish reading the sweet e-mail I had received from my patron, my eyes kept tearing up reading it and I had to manage the two boys.

I’m just going to call him that, he’s my patron.

Anyone who sends me a check for $1,000 for some poems is my patron.

Anyway.

I had sent him an effusive e-mail thanking him for the check and how I was honored and seen and just over the moon.

That moon.

Did you see her tonight?

Sometimes in the waning I feel there is more power, more poesie, more haunting and longing.

The wandering back into the self, the darkening lunar landscape, the eery rise in the night sky and the glow as it rose over the trees in Golden Gate Park, the nipping wind chill on my neck and my arms, reminder to up the sweatshirt ante here soon.

The Indian summer is passing and the autumn cold is coming.

But that luscious moon.

Yes.

Over the moon.

He sent me back another sweet missive and the above quote amongst them.

To be the embodiment of the poet, that means so much.

The validation has been powerful.

It’s hard to acknowledge and yet, I know I absolutely have to, its false modesty to not acknowledge it and the sorrow for all the time I didn’t let myself create, the doubt, the fear, the negotiating my own way through the world, poetic voice or no poetic voice, being an artist, yet denying myself entrée into the club.

No.

Really.

I don’t belong here.

No.

That table couldn’t possibly be for me.

No.

I know you say I have a reservation to be here, but there’s been a mistake.

The maitre d leads me to the table and seats me despite my own fuss.

“When I heard you reciting them,” my person said to me in front of the Church St. Cafe as we sat and drank tea and caught up, “I thought to myself, oh these are lovely, who’s are they?”

He continued, looking at me with his sparkling blue eyes, that matched exactly the corn flower blue cashmere sweater wrapped over his shoulders, “I didn’t know you wrote them, it took me a minute to catch on!”

We talked about the story behind the poems and I told him how I got there to the creative process and how I did a nonce and what that was like and it was me running away at the mouth.

“Girl, I knew you could write, but I had no idea about this part of you,” he said and smiled, with his eyes and mouth and heart, and squeezed my hands.

“You are an artist and you are curious and you let yourself go there and you have experiences, this other artist saw that in you and you connected and you let yourself do that,” he smiled more.

My heart squeezed itself in my chest and tears rose in my eyes.

“I feel like I may have cheated myself a little though,” I told him.

“How so?” He asked, curious himself.

“Well, I cashed the check and immediately, like within minutes I had transferred the entire thing into my savings account, there was no celebration, there was just a straight transfer, I feel like I should be celebrating and doing something with it, although I am doing something with it, I’m going to get a Vespa, a new one, which is what I wanted to do all along before I got bamboozled last year with the knock off I bought.”

“Girl, you are celebrating, you are telling me the story of the poems,” he looked at me, “it’s good that you put that money right into your savings.”

He’s right.

I don’t have to go out and spend the money frivolously to prove some sort of point.

In fact.

I transferred the entire $1,000 and another $150 of my own into savings.

I really want to get a scooter.

And I really want a Vespa.

So.

Just a little closer to my new ride then I was the day before yesterday.

The acknowledgement, the accolades, the poems themselves, the being a poet, letting myself be seen, that is the celebration.

Plus.

All the love from my friends who have always seen this side of me and applauded it when I did not or was not able to.

Sitting here.

Doing my blog.

Being happy.

Knowing that I made another artist happy with my work.

That is celebration.

I revel in that.

I also revel in the almost weekend of it all and my staid Halloween plans.

Which include going to 7th and Irving to get right with God, meet my person at Tart to Tart, maybe get the nails done, then lunch with a friend, and afterward, borrowing said friends couch to sit and read all day long on and maybe, just maybe, let myself take a nap.

Yup.

Those are my mad, crazy Halloween plans.

That and sitting down tomorrow to write-up another sonnet.

I have an idea I want to submit to the Bastille and I need to get it out to them ASAP, the deadline is the 31st.

Plus.

I have decided that the compensation for the sonnet series being what it is I am not, cannot with any integrity, submit it for further publication or award.

I have been amply compensated.

That being said.

I am still submitting to the Nemerov Award.

I am going to send in a sonnet that was supposed to be part of the sequence, but I messed up the rhyme scheme and the principle was out-of-order, so I tossed it.

I tried to re-work it but, it just didn’t fit.

I let it go and wrote a fresh one that fit the schematic I had set up.

But I really liked the sonnet.

And.

This means, I have an extra sonnet with all the flavor of the sequence, that I did not submit to my collaborator and patron.

Thus.

I will rework it and tighten it up and send that off instead.

I love that I have ideas falling out of my head.

I still have lots of work to do for school.

Another paper to write for Human Development.

More reading to do.

Etc, etc, ad infinitum.

But I will find the balance with the poetry.

And move forward into the generous flow of language that is out there just waiting for me to cast my net upon it’s worded sea of stars and images.

I’ll push out my boat into that ether and gather wide the nets into my arms aching and full.

Heavy with the heavenly catch that lies awaiting me.

All the things.

All the love.

All the pretty.

Pretty.

Poetry.

The Day The Scooter Died

May 16, 2015

The day the music stopped.

The day I said goodbye.

The day I handed over the keys to a good friend who gave me a really big engulfing hug and said, “I’m so, so, so very sorry, I wish you hadn’t had this happened to you, and when you are ready, for a real Vespa, I will help you find the perfect one for you.”

I hugged him back and we signed over the papers.

No.

Not to do what you think.

Because, well, because further developments they developed.

I was going to give the scooter to my friend and let him and a mutual friend tinker with it, play with it, do what they would with it, maybe keep it, maybe fix her up, maybe sell her, but you know, just hand over the keys and say, have fun and I’m done and thanks for playing.

But.

As it stands that did not happen.

My friend went to Scooter Centre and talked with his mechanic and a bunch of other folks and listened for me where I was not able to listen–I was too busy crying last weekend in Scooter Centre to really get the gist of it all–and to ask the questions I do not have the knowledge base with Vespa’s to be able to ask.

What he ascertained, what I had gotten too, but he really got to hear, was that I was not the first person, or the second, or even the third person who had brought that same scooter into the shop and asked for help fixing it to be able to ride it again; nope.

I was the FIFTH fucking person to bring that self-same scooter into their shop.

The fifth person that they knew of and who knows how many others have had the scooter and tried to get something out of it aside from the feeling of having been duped.

“I paid $4,000 for it,” my friend said to me over coffee at Trouble on Sunday when I relayed to him what the issues seemed to be and how really, I took full responsibility for purchasing something that I did not know how to maintain.

But the facts are that it wouldn’t have matter if I did have the capabilities to deal with it.

There is nothing salvageable on the scooter.

Nada.

So.

I wasn’t handing over the title and the keys to my friend tonight who stepped in to assist me, who really wanted, as much as I, if not a bit more, for the damn thing to work, “it is such a beauty, I understand how you could not want to let it go,” he said patting my shoulder.

“But you really are doing the right thing, and ___________ should pay that $2650 back to you, he owes you, he knew.”

You know who also knew?

I did.

I knew it was too good to be true.

I knew when my friend hustled to the nearest Wells Fargo atm to deposit the check I wrote him for the down payment, I knew, something is off here.

But god damn.

That scooter was so damn sexy.

So cute.

I pushed aside those feelings.

I ignored my gut.

My bad.

Buyers remorse.

You fucking bet.

However.

I have compassion and sympathy and I can give my friend the benefit of the doubt.

Besides, he did so much for me at a certain point in my recovery, I hold no resentment, I hold no grudge.

Ultimately it was not that much, I didn’t really get hurt.

Much.

I mean I fucked my ankle up on it, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise, so even there, I can’t harbor any hate.

Besides, self-righteous anger does not serve me, nor does moral indignation or being right versus happy.

I want happy.

And free.

And joyous.

Those are the principles.

My side of the street is clean, the title has been signed over, and the other paperwork signed and now it’s done.

The scooter will be junked.

Tomorrow it gets recycled.

I signed the paperwork to junk the title and they will cut the scooter in half and recycle it where ever they recycle scooters that go to die.

No one else is going to get duped, no one else has to go through it.

There does not have to be a sixth person that shows up on the doorsteps of the Scooter Centre who gets to find out they got fucked into buying a lemon.

And a vehicle that is and was unsafe to ride will not be ridden again.

I could have gotten really hurt riding it, when I reflect on some of the harrowing experiences I had riding it, the night in the fog coming home from Noe Valley when it died on my 12 times, nothing like trying to kick start something in the cold on Laguna Honda with no visibility.

“Do you know what you’re doing?” The driver asked from the car window of a Porsche.

“Yes, I’ll be fine,” I said.

And I am fine.

Free.

Done.

I have been released.

What is nearly as good as knowing that I did the “right” thing, not selling it, not being duplicitous, not taking money for something that I knew in my heart was not going to be a fun experience for anyone–unless they used it as a lawn ornament or hung it from the ceiling in an Italian restaurant–is the feeling of freedom I have from obsessing about it.

I don’t have to think about it anymore.

One week from dropping it off at Scooter Centre and it’s done.

Tomorrow she’ll be put down.

And it will be done.

They even offered to let me come in and shoot at it.

Literally.

The owner has a gun at the shop and he said I could come in and shoot it up to feel better before it gets sliced in half and recycled.

I laughed.

But I declined.

I don’t need to ever see it again.

I gave away the spare set of keys, signed the paper work and tomorrow I’ll call my insurance guy and cancel the policy on it.

Done and done.

Making room for the good stuff that God wants for me.

Not holding onto the stuff that doesn’t.

Whether that’s old ideas.

Or an old Vespa from Vietnam.

God’s got better for me.

I am ready to receive.

Space has been made.

That is the best feeling.

Really.

The best.

SEX!

May 13, 2015

Just kidding.

Got your attention though, didn’t it?

I haven’t had sex in months.

The again, considering the last date I went on, homeless dude, it’s probably a good thing.

Unfortunately, I also have not been on a date since said man without house took me on a picnic–it’s got to get better.

My ex and I recently re-established contact, via text, we have not seen each other in person, and re-friended on Facebook.

I think it has been a little unsettling for both of us and I suggested that we could unfriend should it be too uncomfortable.

He said no, although he may when he sees photos of me and my new bf posted on my timeline.

I’m glad he’s got faith in me.

There’s no new boyfriend.

See above sentence about homeless man date.

Who, to give him credit, was at least highly intelligent and interesting, just not having pot to piss in nor a couch to snuggle on, gets a girl down.

Plus he was a little older than I wanted to date.

It cut a little close to the bone, it was sort of like going on a date with my homeless dad.

No thank you.

I certainly have been getting a lot of really nice feedback though, that I look good, that I am sparkling.

“I’m wearing glitter eyeshadow,” I pointed out to the man giving me a compliment.

“Girl, I meant your eyes are sparkling, take a compliment,” he said, “you look beautiful.”

Thank you.

I can say thank you, I can.

I can appreciate a compliment.

I can accept abundance and love in my life.

I made some space for it today.

I let go the scooter.

I have been in communication with a friend of mine who is a big Vespa aficionado and a bit of a gear head and he’s into taking her apart and seeing if he can get it to run and letting it be a fun project that he’s going to enlist another friend in.

Great.

Leave me out of it.

I called Scooter Centre and said my friend, ______________ is coming in to pick up my scooter, you may feel free to hand over the keys to him.

“What’s your last name again?”

I spelled it out, “I was the girl crying in the shop that your dad was talking to and patting on the arm sympathetically.”

“Oh yeah, I remember you!”

Great kid.

Glad to help with your recall.

“Oh yeah, I remember you, you wear flowers in your hair and cry a lot when you share.”

Ah.

The crying.

So I lead with my heart.

So what?

I don’t believe that’s a bad thing.

Sure, my heart gets pummeled sometimes, but it’s worth it, I get to feel you know.

FEELINGS.

Anyway.

Today I felt free.

I told my friend I would sign the title over to him and bring the spare set of keys with me on Friday when I go cover my commitment at Our Lady of SafeWay.

I’ll get a hug.

He’ll get the title.

And then I’m done.

Free.

Free to make room for what ever God wants in my life.

Instead of holding onto something, that when I am honest, with myself and myself only, never really worked out well for me.

When I am honest, I had qualms all along about buying.

I need to remember to listen to that gut instinct and I will next time.

It was a mixture of too good to be true and also I felt like I was getting something that I couldn’t get anywhere else, financing.

My friend who sold it to me accepted $300 down and took $200 a month until I paid off the $2650.

Everyone I talked to said it sounded like a great deal and I went for it–paying over the monthly payment and paying even when I was having issues with it.

But I didn’t research it, I didn’t listen to my gut, and when I felt funny about it, I quashed the feelings.

And well.

Guess I learned.

So it goes.

I feel clean about it and feel like I moved through the stages of anger, grief, denial, depression (not so much, but there was plenty of anger and fear and a bit of grief, see crying in scooter shop) to acceptance.

I will hold onto something, an idea, a person, place, thing, scooter, you name it, far past its utility because I am often in fear that I won’t get what I deserve or that there is not better for me or whatever the reason, I hold on, then I get dragged.

I don’t have to be dragged any longer.

And when I open my hands to drop the keys into the palm of my friends hands and sign over the title I will open up my hands for whatever comes next, it tends to be much better for me and I am excited to see what happens next.

I hope there’s some sex involved.

Sorry, can’t help it.

I need to go on a date.

I am not desperate.

Yet.

And I don’t know how letting go of the Vespa correlates, but change is good and when I change I typically get a change of perspective too.

I see things or people in ways I did not see them before.

Is there someone out there waiting for me to see him?

I sure hope so.

My vision’s been cleared and I am ready to move on.

I’ll be riding my bicycle or walking, but I’m moving on.

Who knows.

There could be another vehicle out there for me too.

I have always had a lech for a Jeep Wrangle Sport manual in midnight blue.

Not to get too specific.

But you know.

Got to ask for what you want or you may never get it.

I want more than sex too.

Just to remind myself that I won’t foist myself off on the first person who takes an interest.

I want some courting this time around.

Flowers would be a great start.

Or just a date.

Cuppa coffee.

Walk around the block.

Some hand holding.

And a snuggle.

God damn.

I could use a good snuggling.

Got to have some ambitions around here.

And

Kissing!

Which, you know.

Leads to.

Sex.

Once in a while.

Ha.

You Get Paid To Love!

May 12, 2015

He said to me with a big hug.

“And you’re next career, you’re going to get paid to love too!”

He’s right.

I do.

And.

I will.

The best thing about seeing the boys today was dinner time.

Roast chicken, marinated in my homemade marinade, brown rice, sliced avocado, fruit salad.

I also made homemade mac and cheese with sharp cheddar, panko breadcrumbs, Baia pasta, parmesan, and sautéed crimini mushrooms, then mixed up with a little cottage cheese, a pinch of love, and baked in the oven.

Tomorrow’s meal.

I did a lot of cooking and marketing today as the family was returning from a long weekend in Sonoma to celebrate mom’s day and had decided to take it easy coming home.

Originally they thought home would happen around 2 p.m. but it wasn’t until nearly 4 p.m.

I had a lot of time to prep and go to BiRite and the corner market and do some laundry and dishes and what not.

I also sat and read and meditated and breathed and let the sun fall on my face and shoulders in the kitchen nook by the back patio doors.

It was a real nice way to start the week.

But it really was dinner that was the best.

Mom and dad went to do mom and dad things and to catch up on the few things that needed to be addressed and I got the boys for the end of the day.

I sat with the oldest boy sprawled out in my lap eating sliced apples with cinnamon and nutmeg and telling him secrets.

“I have a secret to tell you,” I whispered in his ear.

“I have a secret to tell you!” He whispered back in my ear.

“One, two, three, go!”

“I love you!”

We both fiercely whispered to each other.

Then, yes, there might have been giggling and I may have taken my glasses off to kiss his neck and squeeze him tight.

“I missed you,” I told him.

“I missed you too, Carmen,” he hugged me back and kissed my hand.

Yeah.

I get paid for that.

Not a bad job if you can get it.

My friend and I caught up on the weekend and he relayed to me, “I heard so much gratitude in your share, so much love, how are you doing with everything?”

I shared about my experience with the scooter and how it’s time to let her go and basically I’ll probably just give it away to a friend that is a bit of a Vespa aficionado and let him and his friends tinker with it.

“Good, that means you’ll be with us for a while,” he hugged me, “we want to keep you around.”

I want to stick around too.

There really is nothing left to do with it.

I have made my decision and unless something odd happens I am not going to be a scooter owner for much longer.

I am hoping to have this all cleared up by the end of the week.

It’s been an adventure and I’m ready to get off the ride.

Perhaps I am meant to go only so fast, as fast as my legs can carry me on my bicycle, and as I was stretching out my hips and rolling out my IT band along my thigh on the yoga roller, I was ok with it.

If I have to do these stretches all the time, so be it.

It’s really not a high price to pay.

And when I looked around my sweet little home I was filled with more gratitude and more love.

Look at this space I have created for myself.

I finally have all my prints from Paris framed and my Arin Fishkin “Baker’s Beach” is hung and framed, my Will Rogers Burning Man photograph from the air, an amazing shot that depending on the time of day actually seems to change colors just slightly, mimicking the blue haze that seems to just be draped over the mountain range surrounding the event.

The orchid that I bought myself for my 41st birthday bloomed out again, this is the third time it has blossomed and the rich creamy white fans of flowers straddling the last of the sun’s rays as they slanted through the back door glowed with luscious light and I felt this love that I have for myself blossom too.

The worst thing about the scooter was not the money.

It was how I was treating myself.

I, without intention, began to equate myself with that poor little busted down ride.

I was no better than a broken lawn ornament.

I was a stupid girl.

I should have known better.

I wasted my money.

I wasted my time.

I am a fool.

Nope.

Turn it around.

I just had an experience.

And I am not my things.

Just like I am not my dress size or the amount of money in my bank account or how much money I owe on my student loans, or am about to what with taking on loans for graduate school.

I reminded myself to forgive myself.

I made some mistakes.

It’s ok.

I am not broken.

That was it.

The sad little girl crying in the scooter shop with the manic hustle and bustle of the owner and the staff and the mechanics, I am not some small abandoned child on the side of the road.

How can you mend a broken heart?

How can you stop the rain from falling?

How can you mend this broken (wo)man?

And let me live again.

I suspect that it’s love.

At least that’s what the Reverend sings about over and over again, Mister Al Green, if you didn’t catch the lyric, love.

L.O.V.E.

Fierce, with wild abandon, I get to love.

That I get paid to do so for work is just a side benefit of the love I have constantly and continually had to show myself.

I’m really pretty damn lucky.

Graced.

Loved.

Full of gratitude.

Even for the challenging things.

Because I lean in harder to love those things more.

And I open up.

I don’t need to be mended.

The scars are beautiful.

There to remind me how much love I can hold.

Some times it’s a lap full of five-year old boy who needs a snuggle.

Some times it’s that small little girl I am who is looking for the way out.

Either way.

I have plenty of love for both.

The more I give it away.

The more I get back.

That’s just the way love goes.

It’s A Lawn Ornament

May 11, 2015

Nice to hear if you’re the proud owner of a flock of pink plastic flamingos.

Not so much if you’re the (sort of not so proud anymore) owner of a 1965 Vespa.

Ugh.

I just keep repeating to myself, bless it or block it.

And man.

This is blocked.

I met with my friend who sold me the scooter.

I talked with my friend who just finished rebuilding his own Vespa.

I texted back and forth with another friend about his current rebuild at Scooter Centre.

And I am done.

Done.

I keep also hearing keep it simple stupid.

I will drop the stupid part, but I do own up to my part.

My part–taking on something that is vintage, that I don’t have the band width to tinker with, that I don’t have enough passion for to keep.  Thinking something is cute and posing by it is not the passion that will keep it running.

Nor do I have deep enough pockets.

My hopes, expectations, and needs were never met with this scooter.

Which is not the experience my friend who sold it to me had and I understood his point of view and his offer of help.

But in the end I left the coffee shop in tears and I just felt over it.

I talked with another friend on the phone a few hours later, lunch, a cup of tea, a call to my mom to wish her happy mother’s day, a walk along the Great Highway staring at the dunes and the sun poking out valiantly from the clouds, and he said, be up front, tell whom ever decides to buy it point-blank it’s a Vietnam scooter and you’ll probably get $1200.

Fact is.

I don’t want to deal any more.

I don’t want to spend any more time thinking about it.

I don’t.

Perhaps that is me being a baby.

But I prefer to think that it is me be simple, direct, and absolutely to the point.

The scooter was blocked for me from the beginning.

I had misgivings the minute I saw it and it didn’t have so much to do with the ideation of it; that made me feel wonderful, how sleek and sassy and cute the Vespa is; but that I realized that I had bitten off far more than I could chew.

The having to mix motor oil with gas.

The choke.

The cold engine.

The kickstart.

Damn that thing.

Only eleven months later and I still get an ache in my ankle if I walk too hard on it without enough support.

Maybe it looks like I’m rolling over and showing the world of scootering my pink, vulnerable, belly.

But I have heard, more than a few times, that surrendering means going over to the wining side.

It’s not a loss.

It’s just money.

I got hurt once trying to use the scooter.

But I wasn’t in an accident on the road, I didn’t lose my life, like my best friend who was hit while riding his scooter nearly eight years ago.

I didn’t have to donate my organs to science, make my mother cry, or be cremated to have my ashes scattered over the wide world.

I had an experience.

I don’t want to have it any more.

I told my friend who was advocating talking to Chris Ward again, making a case to Barry Gwin again, trying this tack or that, that I really was done.

As far as I am concerned I would happily sign over the title to him and let him tinker with it for the next few years.

He’d have fun.

I find it frustrating.

This is not the first time I have invested in something that has not worked out, but really, in the end, I got to have some great experiences.

I learned how to use a throttle on a scooter and what it felt like to climb over the top of 17th Street, terrifying, and up Castro and over Twin Peaks.

I rode out to Sea Cliff twice.

I got to have the experience of stalling out in the fog and crying.

I got to see how badly my ankle could get mangled.

I got to have the experience of setting up insurance and registering through the DMV and learning how to ride at the Motorcycle Safety Course.

I got to almost get hit twice on Lincoln Avenue when someone changed lanes without looking.

I got whistled at once stopping to park it and taking off my helmet and shaking out my hair.

I felt all sorts of Charlie Girl around that.

Suffice to say.

I believe I’m done.

I really meant what I texted to my friend, he wants it, it’s his.

I give it away.

It certainly wasn’t doing any good sitting in the foyer at the house collecting dust and providing a cute place for spiders to spin webs.

The mechanic at Scooter Centre said it was a lawn ornament and he’s right.

That’s what it’s been since my accident.

I can stop banging my head against the door that does not open.

Or if you will, banging my ankle on a kick starter that won’t turn over.

Or I can walk, ride my bicycle, take MUNI, or pogo stick through the one that is open.

I don’t know what God wants for me as far as transportation goes; probably my bicycle since that seems to be in great working order, but it’s not this Vespa.

And when I am honest with myself.

It never was.

So friends.

You want the Vespa I’ll sign that title right over to you.

Wash my hands of it.

Wipe away the tears.

Say lesson learned and look for new and more entertaining ways to have another experience in this great big game of life.

I am an experiential creature after all.

I want to feel it all.

Just not maybe around this particular scooter anymore.

I’m done with it.

Next experience please.

I concede.

You Are A Gem

May 10, 2015

“I just wanted to let you know that,” she said to me at the Crepevine as I was sitting and waiting for my meal to arrive.

“I mean, really, such a gem,” she came back to pat my hand and then added, “and so beautiful, you just look stunning.”

That’s so nice to hear.

Especially when I felt a bit blown out and tender and had been crying and well, of course I was wearing eyeliner, duh.

I didn’t have a bad day.

No.

It was challenging.

Lots happened.

Lots didn’t happen too.

When I reflect on the day, it was successful in its own way.

I did sleep in, a teeny, tiny bit.

I did slow down a bit.

I wrote a lot.

I rode my bike a bit.

Not my scooter at all.

Although I addressed it.

And for a moment, felt like I was getting slapped around by the Universe.

But really.

I saw it.

So clear.

It’s all God’s.

It’s God’s money, its God’s Vespa.

Apparently it’s God’s Vespa from Vietnam.

Oops.

“This, this, this,” he rattled them off at me, “Asia, Vietnam, yes, the engine is new, but it’s not Italian, it’s Indian, as in, from India.”

I teared up.

I couldn’t help it.

The side panel on the ground, the whipsaw denigration of my sweet, cute, sassy little ride.

Then being told to go dump it in the bay because it’s not worth anything and they didn’t want to touch it.

Well.

You could say that wasn’t the news I wanted to hear.

The owner of the shop saw my distress and took me back inside and offered me a soda or a cup of water and had me sit down on the bench in the store and his big English bulldog came over and leaned on me and let me scratch his ears, while listening to the various scenarios being played out for my scooter’s life.

None of which sounded all that great.

At one point I stopped him, touched his shoulder and said, “I need you to slow down, I don’t understand anything you are saying.”

Aside from the fact that my scooter was  piece of crap.

His words.

Poor little scooter.

Don’t take it personally.

I kept telling myself, there maybe something to be done, but it’s not happening now, I’m too upset, the owner’s mechanic refused to do anything to it, “nope, it’s a “Nammer, I’m not touching it.”

I am not my scooter.

Nor am I hurt, dead, owing of money to anyone.

I felt momentarily bowled over.

Oh, that’s for sure.

But.

The owner of the shop said, listen you know a lot of people, a lot of the same people he too knows, talk to your guys, ask for help, see what they say.  He agreed to keep it at the shop and see if there was anything they could do and I should “sleep on it” and call back on Wednesday or Thursday.

He even called the mechanic who had worked on it for my friend who sold it to me and got the story of the scooter.

I was at the shop for a good long while and pretty blasted by the end of the afternoon.

I text a friend in the neighborhood and walked over and had tea in the Mission.

On the way I saw a party happening at Public Works and an old acquaintance an old friend, a guy I had not seen in years, on the side-walk outside Public Works, making a phone call, smoking a cigarette.

I thought, oh my God, that’s ______________.

I almost waved to him.

Then I looked closer.

He did not look well.

Heavy.

Smoking.

Dissolute.

He looked like the bottom of a shoe that has been scraped on the side-walk outside the End Up and the all black wardrobe did not hide the beer gut and double chin.

Oh honey.

Problems?

Luxury problems.

I got no problems.

All is good in my hood.

I opted to not cross over or say hello, I breathed deep and sent him a big mental hug and instead continued up the street and went to my friend’s place for a hot cup of tea and a quick catch up.

Then over to the Inner Sunset to 7th and Irving to catch a brilliant stage adaptation of “The Hellgrammite Method” The New Twilight Zone, Season 3 (1988) written by William Selby and “Passage for a Trumpet” The Twilight Zone, Season 1 (1960) written by Rod Sterling.

On the way, I swung into Flax and let myself have an artist date, because retail therapy and art supplies go hand in hand.

I caught the N-Judah (bus, since the train line was being repaired) and reached out to some friends and asked for help, suggestions, ideas, I confirmed my coffee date with my friend who sold me the Vespa and I’ll get to see him tomorrow and see what he thinks too.

Ultimately.

I know that there is nothing wrong.

It’s just another experience to be had.

And if God doesn’t want me to have a Vespa, well, I have a bicycle.

And a wonderful cozy home.

A healthy, body.

Good friends who love me.

Sobriety.

Abstinence.

Love.

I really have all that I need.

And the sound track of some Chet Baker on the stereo.

Tomorrow is another day of adventures and what ever happens.

Really.

Truly.

I am absolutely ok with.

I’m not on the side-walk in the middle of the afternoon trying to score.

I’m not a homeless kid in the park with a stray dog and a skateboard.

I’m a beautiful, sober woman with a full amazing life, living in one of the most beautiful places on earth with friends and recovery and art and theater, with new French notebooks on my table, and wild, wonderful, pink hair.

Problems?

Not a one.

Perspective?

Galore.

Movement

May 6, 2015

Yes.

After a lot of internal struggle and a lot of writing.

A lot.

I am finally fixing my scooter.

I can’t tell you exactly what, fear, has taken me so long, but there it is.

It just has.

I prayed for acceptance, I’ve been in awareness now for sometime–it don’t work for me, it needs to be checked out, I don’t know how to fix it, maybe I’ll ask for help–to actual action.

And in the end.

It was easy.

I’ll be taking my Vespa over to Scooter Center this Saturday to have Barry Gwinn take a look at her, I told him who referred me and he just laughed, “you know a bunch of characters,” he said.

I do.

This was after he exhaustively grilled me on whether or not my Vespa had ever been in Vietnam or any part of Asia.

I didn’t understand at first, but after he continued with the questioning I realized that there was a faint ring of a bell somewhere in my head and I recalled that the market in the United States had been flooded with scooters from Vietnam and no scooter shop worth it’s chops will work on a scooter from there.

I had no idea, but I know the person who I bought it from and he had never mentioned it and out of the blue, I said I know what the problem is but the person who was working on it is no longer available.

I was getting the impression that Barry was thinking I’m a girl and don’t know what I’m dealing with.

And it’s true.

I don’t know how to fix my scooter, but I have friends who are scooter fan boys and they know their stuff.

I also told Barry that it had a new engine.

“Who put the new engine in it?” He asked.

“Christopher Ward,” I replied, “he’s done maintenance work on it, but isn’t available anymore and he recommended you.”

“Oh! Chris Ward, well then it’s definitely not from Vietnam,” he stated.

Glad to know.

I didn’t think it was.

Barry had wanted me to send him photographs to assure him it was not a Vietnam Vespa, but when he heard that Chris had done the engine he didn’t need more convincing.

Thank goodness.

We chatted a little more and he’s going to take a look at it on Saturday.

Then I walked through some more fear and called the scooter tow guy and what do you know, it’s not so bad, he quoted me $45 for anywhere in San Francisco.

The last quote I had gotten was $75, so that was a nice surprise.

The tow guy is going to come out to my house at 2p.m. on Saturday and take me and my Vespa to the Scooter Centre and I am finally going to get it dealt with.

Maybe it’s been all the soreness in my knees and the stretching and strengthening exercises I do every night when I get home from my bike ride (and may I say, they freaking hurt, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my hamstrings hurt, but I can tell that the hip muscles are getting stronger and just a tiny bit more flexible) or the thought of graduate school looming on the horizon, but I finally got fed up with myself for being in financial fear.

I paid $2650 for the scooter.

And it’s just been collecting dust.

The scooter is actually worth more than the $2650 I paid for it, especially considering that my friend who sold it to me dropped a brand new engine into it, so I could be selling it for $3,000 or possibly more.

I think originally he spent close to $4,000 on it.

He cut me a deal.

He’s got a car and another Vespa and he’s a friend, so I got a break.

Then, of course, I almost broke my ankle on it.

And I’m sure that has something to do with it.

But I want to get back on the horse.

And if not on this Vespa, then at least fix her up, it’s a small issue to remedy, and pop the little dent out of the front fender and if I don’t ride her, sell her.

I’ve been thinking about a car.

Gasp.

Which I haven’t had in over 12 years.

I am jumping ahead of myself.

I think once the Vespa gets cleaned up and fixed I’ll be fine with it and I can have some get about with her on the weekends, take more of a break with my bicycle and see about riding it in to work occasionally.

My employers have enough room in their garage to fit a scooter.

And with Yoga Beach opening up a half block away from my house in a couple of weeks I could do some yoga in the time I would be doing my bicycle commute–keep stretching out my hips and strengthening them.

It certainly can’t hurt.

Restorative.

Anyway.

Jumping ahead.

Suffice to say.

I am just happy that I finally took some action, funny how small it really is, just a few phone calls, and now I am moving forward and getting it dealt with.

I don’t always understand my process and why it is the way it is, but I can see when I am balking and I didn’t want to be balking anymore.

Especially when I went out to the grocery store this past Sunday and saw a spider web on it–normally I come in through the garage and my scooter is parked in the foyer of the front of the house so I don’t see it every day.

That was it.

Last straw!

I wiped the dust of the seat and vowed I was going to take care of it.

I contacted my friend on Monday and asked for Chris Ward’s number and the guy that he recommends for tows and got both numbers today via text.

First up was Chris.

Who, as it turns out, has retired from hobbyist Vespa repairs.

He is too busy with his current job and referred me to Barry.

A call to Barry.

A call to Dave.

And voila!

It’s being taken care of.

And I have the resources to care for it.

There’s a little money left over in savings from after I bought my new laptop and I can afford to do this.

I’m excited at the prospect of getting back in the saddle and scooting around the city.

My legs could use a break.


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