good bye for now new york

September 24, 2012

Finally sleep. Only woke up once before 6 and then once at 7:30 and then didn’t get up til 8:45. I’m not sure how much more I can handle of the not sleeping nights, which have been occurring pretty frequently over the last 2 or 3 weeks, where I go to sleep at 11pm and then starting at 1am or so I wake up every 1 to 2 hours.

Last day in NYC. Very mellow. Was gonna try to jam a couple things in to today,  like Central Park (not all of it, obviously) and replacing my flip flops because the dog chewed one end of one of them, but this trip has not been really been about running around and seeing or doing a ton of stuff; its been about spending time with one of my dearest friends, who I will just refer to as M. I don’t think M and I  have spent this much time together in 10 or 15 years. There has been a lot of sweetness and some laughing and I made some really good food. I don’t usually use language like this, but I will treasure the time I’ve had with M this weekend.

Everything on top of that has been such a nice bonus, walking around, hanging out at parks, having some bahn mi, going to the museum, spotting other butches, seeing Colleen (especially nice bonus) and all the writing I’ve done, which has been an unexpected pleasure. I’ve been wondering if I could do a writing retreat/residence/workshop in New York without getting too distracted and now, I think it’s a real possibility. To finish off this visit I have a goal of seeing if I figure out public transportation to JFK. I think its doable. M is confident. RU keep your fingers crossed!

Being here has been a little like hitting a reset button for me. Which I think I needed because right before I left town, my lazy and relatively quiet summer was giving way to a busier and very possibly more fun fall, with more writing and reading and being AM’s T.A. for the IPRC class and trying to take advantage of the good weather to work on the yard and the garden and the house and more cooking, because this is the bounty, and more other kinds of personal things that I don’t really blog about. I was kinda stretching myself a little thin and one day last week I even found myself inexplicably sad/emotional, so much so that when I got this kind and encouraging email from Cheryl Strayed that I hadn’t expected, I just started crying at my desk at work. Luckily I go in early and no one else was around. It’s like I actually needed to go to other side of the continent to chill for a second, catch my breath and and take a look at what I’m up to. It’s all good stuff, really, some of it’s even exciting, but I know I’ve been shut down for a while so I am a little rusty I think with  managing the emotional parts. Away from it all and walking around New York, I’ve had some good revelations about myself, which is always gratifying and I feel good coming back and jumping in. IPRC class is tomorrow and my writing group the day after that and maybe some freelance work and then a reading this weekend . . . I’m stoked.

I so wish I could figure out how to have the both of best worlds . . . wait . . . ha – that was good . . . I mean the best  of both worlds. That I could be bi-coastal and live in NYC and in PDX. I’m not trying to manifest anything because that manifesting is not my thing. But it is a dreamy wish that I’m not to embarrassed to write down here.


start spreading the news

September 20, 2012

Hello New York City! The red eye landed early. I am remarkably awake. The weather is perfect. I took a short walk and saw some fabulous looking people. And I just spent some nice time with one of my oldest and dearest friends in the world.  My crush on New York has immediately picked up where I left it. Thump. Thump. It is easy to feel grateful. Pretty soon I am going to go march myself around to stay awake and then meet Colleen and then do some more marching. Need to adjust to east coast time in a day. Makes me think of when RU and I went to Paris and her Dad took us on an epic march and we drank cafe au laits, I think, and we took some melatonin and then went to bed at 8pm and boom, next morning, we were set. Not jet lag.

Life has been kind of whirlwindish lately. Full of everything all at once. It’s like suddenly every little part of life a got a boost of abundance, from the mundane and tedious to kind and generous and also, the sublime. Yay, sublime! My approach is to dive in, in a low key way, if that’s possible. Say yes; say yes; say yes. the only outcome of all this abundant energy that I can really bitch about is that I’ve not been sleeping very well, for almost 2 weeks now. Whew. Occasionally, I get neurotic and think about how lack of sleep is connected to all these health issues, but then I just try and think about the good luck of having come from a hardy gene pool.

Right now I can’t stop thinking about how lucky I am to just be able to fly to some place I love and see some people I love. It really is pretty amazing.

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before i forget

September 26, 2010

I keep thinking I’ll get my thoughts in better order and post something more insightful and better organized about the experiences I’m having on this trip, but when I sit down at the computer I can’t seem to order my thinking. I don’t want to forget the things that are happening though, so I’m going to post random stuff for now.

The night before last, around midnight, loud honking came blaring through our window. Sounded like it was coming from the corner right below our apartment. Three or four long blasts in a row and then a guy started yelling “You fucking asshole. I hope you get fucked in the ass you asshole. Right in the fucking ass.” Last night was much less colorful with just a handful of hoarse sounding “god damn you’s” floating up from down the block, mixed in with short and intermittent trumpets of car horns and the occasional rumbling of the bus.

Friday this older dude walked by Rachel briskly and said “I love you” to her in the same tone of voice he might have said “you dropped your scarf back there.” It’s like he was passing data to her in the most efficient way he could and it was quite the contrast to the guy who told me he thought I was beautiful. We passed that guy on Thursday, walking by Roosevelt Park, and he slowed way down as he passed us, smiled and almost tipped his hat at me.

Last night a guy in a van yelled out his window at me. RU, D and I had gone to dinner and everyone got decked out. Me in a tie and RU and D in hot black dresses. Afterwards we were walking to Bluestockings bookstore and the guy in the van yelled, “That’s no fair, you got two hot ladies. Not just one, but a lady on each arm.”

RU and I have seen a handful of famous people since we’ve been in NYC, most of them at the memorial for Peter Orlovsky, which included an amazing collaboration between Phillip Glass playing the piano and Patti Smith chanting Allen Ginsburg’s poem On the Cremation of Chögyam Trungpa, Vidyadhara. The event was held at St. Mark’s church, an East Village counter-cultural landmark and kind of the ground zero for poetry performance in the lower east side. The main room was packed with a pretty broad range of people, fans, friends, ex-lovers, as well as some St Marks regulars looking for a couple hours respite. RU and I ended up sitting in front of a guy who was a writer friend of Ginsburg’s, and I couldn’t help overhearing his conversation with who ever was sitting next to him. They talked about Ginsberg’s memorial, which the writer friend had spoken at, the sad state of writer biographies, the choices they’d have made about collecting art had they known their friend’s would have become so famous, and which is how I found out Robert Frank was also in attendance at the memorial, who I’d noticed when he walked in because Frank’s hair was standing up like my Dad’s did, and the bumblebee t-shirt and old dickies Frank was wearing reminded me of something my dad would have worn.

RU and I also saw Uma Thurman the other day in the lobby of my friend’s building. RU and I tried to act casual, like we stand right next to people like Uma every day.

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sleepless in nyc

September 24, 2010

It’s almost 3am. I woke up an hour ago and couldn’t fall back asleep. Now I’m laying on this love seat in the living room portion of the studio where RU and I are staying in NYC. I was thinking about the movie Risky Business earlier, but I don’t know if that was when I was falling asleep or waking up,and either way I  don’t know why. I keep trying to draw some loose association between the movie and thinking about he midwest, where I just visited before coming out here, but it seems more random than that. More like a case of the flotsum and jetsum of pop culture surfacing in the semi conscious state of my brain, the way thoughts of food sticks do or the memory of an Up with People  song. Sleep has been elusive this vacation, but never this bad.

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nine eleven

September 11, 2009

I have two friend’s who’s birthdays are today. Happy birthday Adele. And happy birthday Toby. I only remember it’s their birthdays because it’s also 9/11, which seems deeply unfair. But I am horrible with birthdays.  I can barely remember the dates of my immediate family members’. This year I was sure I had almost missed my niece’s birthday and I called her in a panic , at which point my sister told me it was the next day, promptly causing me to space it out again for another 24 hours, until the same time the next evening, repeating the same panicked call.. The birth dates of friends, even my oldest and closest , I’m sorry, forget about it.

But it was 9/11 I had set out to alk about.

I really love New York. There’s no place like it. And when I think of 9/11, I mostly think of New York, not that I have forgotten the Pentagon or the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, but the images from New York weigh heavy on my mind. I saw the WTC site this year, which was the first time for me. There’s still nothing there. I knew that, but to see the great big fenced off nothingness in person is different. My friend Amy’s dad, a native New Yorker, says we should have put something just as big up right away,  a massive gesture to say “screw you, you lousy terrorists.” But we didn’t. We didn’t because politics and greed have trumped everything else. Human fucking foibles.

At best, I can only  guess at the trauma and grief folks have endured because of 9/11. The reach of it is so long when you look at at Iraq and Afghanistan. Jesus. 8 years later. The suffering is just fucking immeasurable.

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