A strange separation

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-21h38m30s235I look at old videos that I took while in Maitri. Things I haven’t seen since recording them, “footage” that no one else has seen, nor likely ever will unless you ask – and I don’t think you want to.
Better to hide behind the hint of truth that you already know.

These are the things I need to remember when I see other friends going through the hells that they do – so few of us tell the whole story. We’re afraid to.
We aren’t looking for sympathy, not looking for “oh, you poor thing…” We know. We know how you feel because we feel it more. We feel it more because we have that badge sewn into our flesh. Trust me, this is nothing against you… in fact, I hope you never do understand. I hope that you never have the capacity to empathize on that level. Your well wishes *are appreciated…

But what we truly seek is understanding. A person to cry *with* – not someone who cries for us. Only in those (thankfully) few people can we find some sort of twisted kinship.

Please don’t get me wrong – I love you. GODS, how I love you, for your caring, for your support, for the way that you *don’t* understand…

But I watch the videos, and even I, who have lived through that time, am disgusted at what I see… the decomposing flesh, the blood, the “fluid” that stained everything I slept in or wore, frequently soaking through the three layers of gauze & bandages to the pants Nd dripping on the floor of the cafe… And for the greater part of five years (the decomposition began *long* before I went into the hospice) – that was just another part of daily life. Brush my hair & remaining teeth, splash water on my face, peel the dressing and flesh from my legs try not to scratch because GODS they itched from the poison seeping out… and what do I need to do with CultureFlux that day?

THis seems like an entirely different life, the one I am living now… an entirely different person – finding my Birth Mother, being solid and “stable” enough to at least let a dog “think” that everything is wonderful… – even to the point of daring to offer my heart to another…

And remembering how wonderful that feels, even in the pain that it has brought.

Recently a friend said to let go of the past and focus on the future. I understood what was meant, and in many situations the person woulld be right – *IF* my past – this *particular* past were holding me back from myself and who I continue to become – but as I said to the person after a bit of thought – “In order to see where I am going, I cannot be blind to where I’ve been.”

We all go through what we need to, so we can give the lessons we have learned…

and I think I pretty much lost my train of thought… if there was one to begin with.

Perhaps the most important thing however – as grim as it may look to others, keep fucking smiling – and to everyone who *can’t* understand… please keep it that way.

You’ll find out enough about it in my book. That’s as close as I *EVER* want you to get…

I love you.




away from and forward


When I quiet my mind, I hear it. Behind the noise of the city, beneath the streets, when I look at the stars, I hear it.

The Enchanted Forest is calling me back, back to find myself again, back to visit the sacred sites, the graves, The Grandmother Tree, the memories of the past and future.

I say The Forest is calling me, but more realistically, it is the road. There is a romance that is generated as the wheels spin, when the destination is unknown, when the city shrinks in the mirror and there is nothing ahead but the night and solitude, the broken white lines and blackness as distance passes by and the future is closer than the past with every passing mile that rolls underneath me.


I need to go. Somewhere, anywhere – just away from and forward to the beauty of the unknown…

in which dreams are formed


It was only a few minutes, nothing really to speak of at all – but for those few minutes, that brief moment this past Wednesday – I was home again. Where I feel best, where I feel I belong – with 454 cubic inches of motor singing its sweet, throaty song next to me in the driver’s seat of my motorhome.


Wednesday, 6:30 am and the alarm on my phone went off, my eyes barely opened as I lift this hellish thing off of my dresser and be certain I touch ‘dismiss’ instead of ‘snooze’. It’s not a noise I wish to hear again. Of course, the night before I had found the rare parking on Hyde St. which *didn’t*  have street sweeping this morning, but they were unable to start my girl the day before and needed the space for a 50 foot trailer that was coming in. Not expecting to find such ideal parking I promised that I would be there at 7:30 to move her…

It’s been a while – perhaps well over a month since I’ve been to the East Bay, as with fuel prices and bridge toll it’s not a trip I can make too often, and besides, except for just opening the door and sitting in her, there was little reason to go visit my motorhome.

I felt her welcoming smile as I opened the door and stepped inside again after so long – it was like visiting a dear old friend. Some may understand this; those people whose vehicles become, after a time, much more than just something to use in order to get around in – they become, in a way, a part of you. Part of your history, part of your future, part of dreams both realized… and yet to come.

I climbed into the driver’s seat – *my* seat – and sat there for a minute or three, just looking out the windshield with my eyes closed, imagining the roads we would someday travel, then with a bit of massaging and a small simple trick I turned the key and her heart roared to life, a deliciously low rumble as her blood was sucked up from the oil pan and started circulating again, feeling her strength & power as I pressed lightly on the accelerator pedal, checking the gauges to be sure all was well and, after far too long, moved the lever on the steering column to that sweetest of letters: ‘D’.


I didn’t go far, just out the rollup door and around the building to the other side, but it was still a sweet little spree and reminded me of what I had been missing.

In those few short minutes, I was home again.


Perhaps some may think I’ve gone off the deep end in writing about a motorhome with such romance – words that are usually saved to paint poetic images of and for loved ones of the more, shall we say, *human* nature, and well, perhaps I have – but dreams are still dreams, regardless of what form they take or the way in which they are realized, and Serenity, my motorhome, is the way in which my dreams not only are formed – but can also become a reality.

The Life to be Lived/Away from These Walls



It’s coming down to the wire. Just a little over one week more at Laguna Honda until I pack my things, leave.

I’ve already been here far too long, at least for the preservation of mental health, and regardless, there is little choice but too, as after 30 days in hospital “care” SSI plummets down to an outrageous sum of $42.00 – and what they expect anyone to do with that gargantuan monthly sum in the City of San Francisco, I would most certainly like to know. It must be an incredibly well kept secret – or a very, very cruel joke. My guess is the later. Perhaps it would be fine if I were stuck here like so many are… but every chance I am able to leave, I do, staying away as long as possible – until I get tired, until there is little left but the redundancy of café’s, as even those get old after a while.

Excited, perhaps a bit nervous remembering the last time, but my heart beats faster with each thought of it, and…

I’m going home.


Back to my motorhome, back to my sanctuary. At least until all that needs to be done is done at one of the SRO places I’ve applied to, as I would like to do a bit of interior work on her – ripping out the beaten down couch & putting in a much more attractive, comfortable & space saving seating arrangement, (getting my feng shui on, yo) & perhaps even painting the outside, as well as a bit of engine work… but most of those things can wait, at least a bit.

Gods, I can’t wait to leave this place.

To wake up in my bed, in my home… to get away from these places of sickness & death, to get away from those who seem to have just given up on life, content to stay here until they die; as if they haven’t already died inside… this is no place for me;

and it is far past the time to leave.

There is much too much life to be lived.

The Road to Anywhere

Perhaps this little road trip to L.A. will satiate me for just a bit, but I’ve got a feeling it will more than likely sharpen my desire to *truly* get on the road, and keep going. I don’t know whose blood flows through my veins, I’ve never met any of my blood family – but perhaps they – or one of them, were travelers, wanderers as well…

Piece by Peace (or, MotorHeart)

A smile crosses my face as I wake to the sound of birds hopping around on the roof of my motorhome, playing in the tree above me and chirping like they’re gossiping after a Sunday 10am mass at church.

I’d forgotten about this, and I’m in ecstasy.

It’s my fifth consecutive morning waking up in my beautiful home, my comparatively huuuge full sized, unbroken bed, my cabin in the woods, my beach house; my sanctuary, and finally I have found a spot on my favorite street to park in San Francisco, aptly named Treat.

I’ve been chipping away at my to-do list, and adding new things mechanical, aesthetic, and both almost as much as I check off others. Some things necessary but not requiring immediate action such as giving the electrical system a really good look, labeling active wires and doing away with unnecessary ones with so in the future if anything goes awry on the awroad I can fix it with little headache, larger tasks like painting it (mostly) white or ripping out the couch and putting a booth in, (creating more floor space while still having a guest bed), re-carpeting & re-upholstering to rid it of the lovely ‘80’s hotel-room peach motif, and things that are completely ludicrous such as figuring out how to make it fly or float, or installing a hot tub on the roof.

It feels So Damn GOOD to be able to work on her again I never want to run out of things to do, and as she’s twenty six years old, I’m a good mechanic and I have a damn good eye for design, (something I’m not too humble about) I doubt I ever will.

Piece by piece she’s coming together; I’m doing as much as I can to save my last $5 & change for just a little bit more food since that not only is good for a certain thing called hunger & keeping up my energy and health, but I need to take almost all of my dwindling herbs with something in my belly. I could go to Maitri for meals, but that either means giving up my space and using the last of my fuel, or taking the bus for one $4 round trip leaving me even closer to completely penniless and her all alone with most of my things inside, as I would want to take advantage of the time there to shower & pack more.

The main thing that is looming over my head and creating undue stress is the desperate need for a good tune up, and that needs to be taken care of ASAP. It’s one of the very few things that I prefer and want to have done by a professional, at least the first time. Until then she’s running rough, with black smoke billowing out of her pipes polluting grossly and drinking fuel like it’s an ice cold Pabst or fresh lemonade on the Playa. A good tune would fix that.

I have a beautiful vision of pulling up to the DNA Lounge on the 10th with her purring like a kitten, and  right now, it’s only a vision, and my disability check doesn’t come for seven days, which is an eternity right now.

The chirpy-hop birds have taken flight somewhere else and I have a relatively full plate of things I want to work on today, so time to put Clotho to sleep and get my own ass out of bed.

Good morning, beautiful life… and thank you for letting me stick around.

One year & little more…

The 6th of this month marks an entire year I’ve been at Maitri, & I’ll be damned if I spend it here. Been doing as much work as I can afford to to shed the mothballs from my motorhome & get her running well and *safely* again, as safety doesn’t come third where this is concerned. Desperately wanting to, at the minimum, head out to Ocean Beach for midnight & sunset walks for the weekend, as well as hitting the archery range while there. Much needs to still be done on my girl though, & unfortunately they’re the things that cost; changing all the fluids, tune up… doing as much as *I* can to save $, but not sure if I’ll actually be able to escape safely, even for that short distance, without forfeiting scratch that should go to herbs. Wish me luck. Spending the weekend at American Steel to continue my work.

As unoriginal as it is, I believe that I’ll name her ‘Gypsy’, as of all the names I have thought of over the months for her, there are few that have such a beautiful ring while still portraying the feeling of the open road and a wanderer…

Another day, & away

Another day similar to any other comes and goes, in my room with the door shut, in bed or in my robe. The only differences are more interruptions, that damned song they sang to me at lunch, and as always, wondering if she is alive and if so, wondering if she wonders what happened to the child she gave life to on a new moon, forty four years ago. Perhaps, if I ever found her or she, me, my birthday might mean something more.

I was always a lonely child. I was not the child my adoptive parents wanted, not the one that they bought. I was too quiet, too intense for them and their mundane outlook on life. Parents want to see something of themselves passed on to their children, like they got with my sister – she didn’t question, got good grades, went to the same college my mom went to. It comforted them –  but no amount of therapy could make me into who they wanted me to be, once I began to think for myself. They did their best to feed and clothe, and were wonderful at that – but I don’t believe that they love me. Not in the true sense of the word, whatever that is. I was alien to them. Now, even my sister, who I thought was my friend, has forsaken me.. The last time I saw her was for Christmas eve dinner, a couple months after I came to Maitri, and I felt too sick to stay. After  promises of coming to visit me from her, my brother in law drove me back here – and though she lives only a few miles away, I have not heard from her since.

No, my family now is the people I have met along the way, and I use my birthday to have the smallest excuse to gather them together. These are the people I love. These are the people who I am proud to call my family.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s been almost one year since I arrived here at Maitri. I think that I’ve watched the same amount of people die as I’ve seen get better and leave; I haven’t kept track, but I like to think that I’ve seen more get better.

There is no such thing as peace, quiet, or serenity here. Not in the sense that I need at least. I keep my door shut but that does little good, as my room is nothing of a sanctuary. Now that my health is improving I feel the road calling me more and more, feeling desperate to drive, to find a place somewhere that I am not known, park in a campground somewhere, in the mountains or on the beach, and be able to just sit and watch the sunset, or go walking aimlessly in the woods. That is the healing that I need now – along, of course, with all the herbs. I need to escape.

I applied for one of those internet loans yesterday and was approved for a couple hundred dollars, which will help me get my motorhome ready for a good drive. I realize that will screw me financially for next month, but at least I can hopefully get her tuned up and ready to roll with that little money, as there is no way I can afford all the herbs I need and that with the money I have after fees here. I tried to cut back on some herbs but quickly learned that wasn’t a very bright idea. Been trying to eat the food here as well, but that doesn’t really work either. The night sweats came back, and I feel my liver wondering what the hell is going on.

I need to get out, if only for a few days. I am not built to stay in one place for so long…

Inside Alice

There are times when, due to all the crap they have me on to eventually make me better, that I just can’t bring myself to enter the outside world. As small as it is, I’m more than happy in my own little sanctuary and if I decide I want a different view, or light coming in different windows whenever I choose, well – I just drive there. Simple as that. My motorhome is the perfect cave for the occasional recluse.

Man, it's wild how a simple word can trigger a memory from so long ago - 
I was just brought waaay back to when I first came to Berkeley, and somehow 
got involved with a couple people who ran a cafe / independent movie house 
on Telegraph &... Dwight? - called the "Cave". 
I vaguely remember Farouk but I don't recall her name, though clearly remember
one time where we drove to a small, cliff lined beach in San Francisco,
 tripping balls on really good acid all through the night, talking 
philosophy, life, dreams... & other profound stuff 
that we thought we were supposed 
to talk about.
Ahhh, memories.

Back. Quite frequently in these reclusive fits I get possessed by small degrees of Martha Stewart & Tim Burton, and in order to feel like I’m at least doing something creative & constructive, I dredge up the energy from wherever I can find it inside & continue on the transformation of Alice; painting, adding or moving small touches, and this time thanks to a previous trip to (ahem) Ikea, where I found some table legs that would work perfectly for my purpose, I was finally able to hang my new bow instead of have her tucked up above the wheelhouse.

Mind you, these shots were taken while the place is a mess, but she cleans up nicely  in the times when I’m not throwing everything around wondering where it should go…

I need to figure out how to get the outside painted white. I’m thinking going at it with a roller & housepaint unless anyone else has a better way of doing it that I can afford – maybe like the way it’s supposed to be done, more or less. I also need someone who can weld a bracket to one of my hydraulic levelers for the spring that pulls it back up. Now that BM is over for the time being, that should be simple enough… I can’t believe I don’t know how to friggin’ weld. Well, not really. I can & have, but don’t know the “Official Proper Way of The Weld” – so if anyone wants to give me a hand there…

Today after yet another appointment at the hospital, I install the reverse camera I ordered for super cheap of eBay – though instead of plugging the power to the camera into the reverse lights (as the manufacturer recommends) so it only works when they’re on – ie. I’m going backwards, I need to find a constant power source that I can run to a toggle on the dash, so I can turn it on whenever I like to see what lurks behind me – and be able to see much more than the crappy mirrors allow.

In these shots, which don’t do Alice any justice at all, you can at least get a flavor for her.

She’s coming along…