Thursday, August 30, 2018

Counting Crows, "When I Dream of Michaelangelo"

You know I don't like you
But you want to be my friend
There are bodies on the ceiling
And they are fluttering their wings
It's OK, I'm angry
But you'll never understand
You dream of Michelangelo
They hang above your hands
And I know, she is not my friend
And I know, cause there she goes
Walking on my skin again
And I can't see why
You want to talk to me
When your vision of America
Is crystal and clean
I wanna white bread life
Just something ignorant in the rain
But from the walls of Michelangelo
I'm dangling again.
And I know, she is not my friend
And I know, cause there she goes
Walking on my skin again
Saturn on a line
The sun afire of strings and wires
Spin above my head and make it right
Anytime you'd like, you can catch a sight
Of angel eyes on emptiness and infinite
And I dream of Michelangelo when I'm lying in my bed
I see God upon the ceiling
I see angels overhead
And he seems so close
As he reaches out his hand
We are never quite as close
As we are led to understand
And I know, she is not my friend
And I know, cause there she goes walking walking walking
And I know, she is not my friend
And I know, cause there she goes
Walking on my skin again and again
On my mind
Oh Lord no
Yes she's walking on my skin again and again

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

After-school date at French Hotel


And here’s Evan, stuffing his face like he has a right to the food, to the control, to me. I still love this man, but sometimes I forget. Sometimes the resentments that simmer beneath the surface pop up and create one hell of a rolling boil.

“I don’t see why not,” I say.

“What am I going to do?”

“Whack off,” I say. “Otherwise, your ass can just wait for me to return.”

Till There Was You

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Two things

One: I'm treading into crazy territory on THREESOME while I wait for things to come together with BEARDED LADY. Crazy.

Two: We're talking about moving to Denmark.

"Live the hell out of this day"

We've all heard it before, but how many of us listen? My friend Rebecca posted this today and I thought it worth a repost.

Monday, August 27, 2018


Jeremy and I never went exclusive. Not technically, at any rate. I don’t think he ever stopped seeing other people. Me, I was never interested in multiples. Not multiple pets, multiple clients, or multiple boyfriends. One of everything has always been enough for me.

There were times I would try to pull together enough courage to ask: are you? With who? That came to a head the night he wanted to go without a rubber. I’m sorry, but homey don’t play that.

I asked the question.

He slid on the rubber.

I got my answer.

You’d think I would have either slapped him or cried my ass off, but instead I just came like a steam engine, harder than ever before with him or anyone else. Afterward we lay together, not talking, just breathing.

“You don’t mind?”

“That you’re seeing other people?”


A long time lapsed – 30 seconds, maybe more, and that’s a lot in conversation – before I could bring myself to answer. When I did I wasn’t looking at him, only at the depth of the dark.

“Yes,” I said. “I do.”

Another Noir snippet

Spange – now that’s language of the street. Spare-changing, for the uninitiated. If you haven’t heard of it, you haven’t lived in Berkeley, or perhaps in most of the urban Bay Area. It’s just a fact of life here, more so than anywhere else I’ve ever been.

“I did.”

“I figured you’d just pass me right up.”

“I was going to.”

“So what happened?”

How can I tell him that what I saw in his eyes scared the hell out of me? Chilled me down to whatever core I still have?

“I guess,” I say, “I just decided to be kind to the unfortunate.”

Somehow we both laugh.

We’re sitting in the back garden. It’s what Jupiter is known for, the reason that people come here, though the Cassiopeia pizza, with its thin-sliced potatoes and bacon bits, isn’t far behind.
Berkeley does its backyard gardens right. This one – fire pit, multiple levels, stage in back – is a bit legendary. God knows how many hookups, doctoral dissertations, and hangovers first took shape here.

“No,” I say. “That’s not it.”

Then I feel my phone vibrate in my purse. Jeremy. It’s got to be. I don’t get a lot of texts. His was the one I’ve been waiting for. I want to look at it. I do … but I don’t. Something whispers in my face, showering me with its hot breath, telling me that it’s nothing I need to read. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Thoughts on the writing process and art

Being inebriated really helps with this, by the by.

Right now I'm reading The Nix, which is gloriously flawed. I just dragged through a bit of dialogue that had me turning pages to get through it.

But I'm loving the book. I love flaws. My own writing is beyond flawed, but I also believe it adds something -- an accessibility, a depth of character, perhaps. I have no interest in chasing perfection, which is a good thing because I will never catch it.

We Can Work it Out

Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.
Think of what you're saying.
You can get it wrong and still you think that it's alright.
Think of what I'm saying,
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.
Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it's a crime,
So I will ask you once again.
Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.
Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it's a crime,
So I will ask you once again.
Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

- The Beatles

Rocking the table while he's operating

Up and writing in the middle of the night with Eminem as the soundtrack. A little more of the Noir piece:

“Hey,” he says again, and this time there is the slightest quaver of expectation in his voice. “How’s it going, beautiful? Got a minute?”

Sometimes I feel like all I have is time. Telling him this may be a bad idea.

“Sure,” I say.

Freeze this picture: two people standing on the street in the middle of downtown Berkeley, California. If you’ve been here, I hardly need to describe it to you. For the uninitiated, you need a little bit of context. Usually downtowns are the spines of a society. In the case of Berkeley, however, it’s more like the funny bone.

Ratty. Tatty. Bohemian, if you’re trying to sell something. I like to be a little direct: shithole. If I don’t have to come here, I don’t. Fact is, though, I have to a whole lot. That’s what happens when you live in central Berkeley and work in San Francisco. Eventually you wind up climbing on BART with the rest of the people trying to ignore what goes on around here.

“I got a story to tell you,” he says. They all have stories. It’s the currency of the street.

I’m not down to listen. I didn’t sleep last night. First off, Jeremy and his great disappearing act. Scares the hell out of me, if you want the God’s honest. Pushing 45 and still no real romantic commitments, just a series of stupid hookups that sometimes verge on more serious but never get all the way there. Then there’s Romeo. Cat makes it to nearly 22 years old and you know you’re going to find yourself stuffing pills down his gullet every day whether he likes it or not, but to consider the alternative is nothing I can make myself do.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Beginning of Berkeley Noir piece

Downtown Berkeley does not lend itself well to noir. It doesn’t understand subtlety. It doesn’t know nuance. It wears itself on its incense-singed sleeve, letting it all hang out the way that this city does both so well and so terribly. I should know. I’ve been here more than two decades, and either this place has gotten more extreme or I’ve become less so, and in either case I’ve been wondering if a split-up is imminent.

“Hey,” some dude says, and I cringe out of reflex. I’ve already been having a tough day. Jeremy hasn’t been returning my texts and I know damn well he’s been reading them. I mean, it says it right there on the phone. READ 1:46 p.m. READ 2 p.m. Technology is the worst tattletale out there. You can’t hide anything anymore because we’ve made it impossible.

The guy is relatively clean-cut for someone sitting on the sidewalk, and I have to wonder if he is even a part of the typical path of human debris that lines Shattuck Avenue on a more-than-regular basis. Maybe he’s just a student trying to experience Real Life by immersing himself in urine-scented concrete. Maybe he’s a tourist checking his iPhone for a likely Airbnb. Maybe he’s just an observer, and God knows there’s plenty of those here. Maybe, but as it turns out, he’s exactly what I thought he might be.

Berkeley, will you please surprise me from time to time?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Holy shit, The Paris Review

I am reading this astonishingly beautiful and prescient essay with my mouth hanging open. You will too.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Today's writing

I pop a Klonopin.

“They don’t even work for you,” he says. We’re both still naked, but it feels like such a long time ago since we were having sex. The stitch is fading slowly, leaving remnants of pain like a vapor trail along my torso.

“You heard of a placebo?”

Sixteen years together and I sometimes still can’t tell whether we’re bantering or bickering, or if there’s even a difference. Marriage is a dance of pushing the envelope back and forth between one another. Sometimes I just think we should tear the damn thing to pieces and get it over with.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

This nails it

This was the relationship.

I haven't even finished reading it and I don't know if I can at the moment. But so much resonates. Particularly this passage:

Every plan on having a conversation with a narcissist is useless, because the narcissist, while very charismatic, is a very manipulative person too, and will try to blame the empath for his and their pain as well. It will make the empath feel responsible for all the problems in the relationship.

I didn't dodge a bullet. I ducked the fuck down and then ran as fast as I could.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Smoky as it is right now from the fires, this place clears my head. I needed the hourlong drive up I-80. I needed to look out at the yellow fields, the place where I used to work, the exits you usually only hear about on the traffic report.

I needed to be here.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

More from Frank Ostaseski

"We took an intimate dive into the challenging waters of forgiveness tonight.
Forgiveness goes to the heart of the matter. Our capacity to extend and receive forgiveness is integral to all healing.
The transformative power of forgiveness is that it heals what divides us. It releases the ties that bind the heart. It is the melting of the armor of fear and resentment around the heart that keeps us separate us from others, from ourselves, from life itself. It is a relative practice that brings us to an ultimate truth. It heals us by allowing us to set down old pain, and it helps open us to love.
While a whole lifetime of pain can be released in a moment for most of us forgiveness is a process. It cannot be rushed or manipulated. When there have been deep wounds it may take some time, but time alone is not a healer, this is a misconception. The healing comes from honestly and actively engaging our suffering.
Forgiveness is not a Hallmark Card. Forgiveness is a fierce practice. It takes real strength, a willingness to be with what is difficult. It asks us to face our demons. It requires absolute honesty. We must be willing to see things as they are, bearing witness to painful acts that happened to us or the harm we may have done to others or ourselves. Sometimes we need to rage. Sometimes we need to grapple with our guilt. Sometimes we need to fall into a deep sorrow. Forgiveness isn’t about squelching any of these emotions. It is about facing them with kindness, paying close attention to what is getting in the way of our letting go.
We explore with awareness and gentleness that which has been closed, by touching with kindness and mercy that until now has only been met with fear. In this way, all forgiveness is about self-forgiveness."

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Lindsay Wildlife Experience, Walnut Creek

Daily OM does it again

While awareness of the pain of others in the world can be a valuable way to keep our own struggles in perspective, it is not a legitimate reason to disregard our own pain. Disparaging your feelings as being less important than other people's emotions leads to denial and repression. Over time, an unwillingness to experience your own feelings leads to numbness. It is as if our internal systems become clogged with our unexpressed emotions. This in no way helps other people who are suffering in the world. In fact, it may do just the opposite because when we devalue our own sorrow, we become impervious to the sorrow in others. 

Fully experiencing our own hurt is the gateway to compassion toward other human beings. Feelings of loss, abandonment, loneliness, and fear are universal, and, in that sense, all feelings are created equal. Regardless of what leads us to feel the way we do, our comprehension of what it means to be human is deepened by our own experiences. Our personal lives provide us with the material we need to become fully conscious. If we reject our emotions because we think our experiences are not dramatic or important enough, we are missing out on our own humanity. We honor and value the human condition when we fully inhabit our bodies so we can experience and feel life fully. Accepting our emotions and allowing ourselves to feel them connects us to all human beings. Then, when we hear the stories of other people's suffering, our hearts can resonate with understanding and compassion--for all of us. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I believe it, too

I just posted this on Facebook: Someone else's drama shouldn't eclipse your sunshine. 

I've spent too long playing therapist to other people and I've finally started to get a handle on it. It feels good. Going into details would compromise someone else's privacy and I'm not interested in doing that, but I'm just talking about myself here. Too long I've spent with the whole how may I be of service? mentality just to keep people by my side.

Fuck 'em.