To Find A Thief

I find the empty Amazon box when I opened the old & squeaky gate o the elevator in my apartment building. Only about 15 minutes before I had gotten a text saying that my package was delivered, so when it wasn’t in the foyer I knew without looking that this was mine. A quick check confirmed it – my name, my apartment number on the box that someone else had gutted, calling the desk lamp that I had ordered for better light to make chainmaille by their own. They stole my goddamn light.

Packages meant for myself and others who live here have disappeared on occasion, but I’d never actually found the empty box before, and never having proof that it wasn’t just a lazy delivery person (usually made clear by the delivery note – like a desk chair or 40lb bag of dog food that was “left in mailbox” Really?) – but for the first time, I had proof. Someone fucking stole from me, someone in the building, and while I could suspect all I want, usually I just let it go and called Amazon, who rock at making things right – but finding the box it came in triggered something that I didn’t expect to find inside of me. And I wanted that damn light.

Carrying the box I dropped Ruby off in my apartment and went upstairs. There are two apartments that the people who *don’t* rip people off & I suspect when we cross paths & talk, and one is apartment 46 – directly above me. While usually I loathe confrontation and with the exception of someone fucking with a friend of mine, will do most anything to avoid it, I realized that all I would do is sit in my apartment and seethe with what I *should* have done. At least, that’s what I’ve usually done in the past – but things are changing in my life, and this needed to be one of them.

I knocked on the door & when Rick answered – a meek looking guy with a bad leg, maybe a few years older than me with thinning hair and a few inches shorter,  I held out the empty box. “Know anything about this?”
In a voice with feigned surprise ‘well gosh, how on earth did *that* happen?’  he says “No, I don’t.”
“You sure?” The look in my eyes and accusatory note in my voice obviously not believing him.
“I swear. I don’t know anything about it. Really. I’m sorry that it happened to you, that sucks.”

Really? Bullshit. Anyone else would have asked what I meant, would have asked what I was talking about when all I showed them was an empty box – but not having much recourse I turned and didn’t say a word as I walked back down the hall with him continuing to apologize.

Then it was to the other of the two suspected apartments. No answer when I knocked on the door, no sound from behind it. Maybe they just aren’t answering. I went down to the gate buzzer & punched his code in, waiting for someone to answer. It was still ringing as I shut the gate behind me and walked back inside. For the second time, I went up to Rick’s. I wasn’t letting this go. I knew it would eat away at me if I did, without doing everything I could within reason to settle it. As he answered the door again I told him that he wouldn’t mind if I took just a quick look around to set my mind at ease – at which point he turned to his guest and started apologizing profusely, saying that he swore he didn’t know anything about it and he’ll give it back right now, sorry, sorry, sorry etc. – and his guest handed me my lamp, still in its box.

Conjuring up what I’ve seen in movies, I told him “Don’t be under the impression that this is in any way resolved with something so trivial as a pathetic little apology. You fucking STOLE from me, and even if it wasn’t you, it was your guest, your responsibility, and the blame comes down on you for every package that has gone missing or will in the future, so if I were you I would make an extra effort to make absolutely certain that this never. Fucking. Happens. Again. Your thieving, piece of shit guest stole from me in my home, and you better fucking believe that I’m taking it personally. This is far from over.”

Or at least that’s what I should have said, and will when I see him again – I swear – but I was kind of amazed at myself right then, and ecstatic that I had actually taken action and gotten my lamp back, so – I said something,  I know I did, but it definitely wasn’t as good as that. I think I said something about “While I’m here, keep it down. The floors are thin & I can hear everything above a normal footstep downstairs.” – which doesn’t really carry the weight of the other. Hell, I’ve always been better at writing than talking anyway, and I swear, if I could have just had him wait while I wrote something, man, that would have REALLY ripped him apart.

I’ll save that perfect response for the next time I see him, as inevitably I will, and then, summoning the perfect movie line make it excruciatingly clear to him – but in the meantime, I *have* noticed that there’s much less noise coming through the ceiling in the past couple of days.



The quiet white hush of the electric fan, the occasional car horn or siren coming in through the window… these are the sounds of the past two nights; the sounds that remind me that, without question, I am *home*.

No more 3am blood draws, no more moans of pain from my room-mate and yelling for the nurse throughout the floor, no more random, incessant beeping or not so hushed conversations between the workers on the 5th floor, the patients… and the pain, not letting me stay in one position for any length of time before it was unbearable & I had to try something different
During the past month, there may have been a total of three times where I was able to accomplish getting five straight hours of solid sleep, with the rest being small chunks of two, maybe three if I was *very* fortunate.

All of that is done, now only the past – and now it is time to allow my body & mind to catch up to all I have been missing. I lay on top of one slightly torn comforter, drape the heavy one I’ve loved for many years & many cities across my body. It is now beyond repair, this wonderfrul patchwork comforter, and as much as it saddens me it is time to let it go – perhaps one evening find someone on the street who it will offer its warmth to.

I slowly, softly wake up 7,8,9,10 hours later, Kindle still in hand & a subtle & serene grin on my face, lay there for a few minutes as I think about the day, and do a quick meditation focusing on how beautiful everything is.

It seems as if I still have some rest to catch up on, as I find myself nodding off now & again – but I’m fine with that. Lots to do, but these are easy days – I do what I can when I can, cleaning up my apartment, having fantastic people come & help me with cleaning out my fridge & making certain things are well & good, & that I have healthy food.

I am in perpetual awe at how blessed I am – how blessed we ALL are to have such a loving family of friends – and in that, we will always have everything we need.

I only wish life could be like this for everyone.
Maybe someday, it will.

I love you all – and thank you, so very much, for calling me yours.

Simple Beauty


Day in, day out, up at 5:30am again, out the door at 6:00 to move my car – no too many people out on a post-rain morning like this but the crackheads and me. I start driving and on the way remember that I still have almost $5.00 in my paypal account – a fortune these days, but a fortune that goes fast…

Groggy in this hellish yet beautiful hour, but in a special kind of mood; life is turning around. I not only feel it, but it’s there, in front of me, smiling and calling and just looking for my answer.


Always yes.

Things are coming my way… the way they should and do when I do something as simple as switch my heart around and believe, *know* that they will turn around. I think the magick is in far past just believing, as that always leaves room for doubt. It’s the feeling of knowing that makes all the difference, and simply taking action. Simple.

Not easy.

This past Thursday I stopped by the Vau de Vire rehearsal at Cell Space, to say hello to good friends, and to get out of my damned apartment which, after I move my car, wait for the time I need to and return, has become something of a glorified jail cell, one that locks from the inside. The struggle to leave is immense, the reasons, few – but on that day, that Thursday past, I made it out – and that’s all that needed to happen.

I take a seat for a few minutes; watch Shannon work on choreography with all of the insanely beautiful & talented Vau de Vire folk as much as I could (it’s a love/hate relationship – I love them for their stretchy, bendy, strong and insanely sexy ways – and hate them for the same out of utter envy.) and then see Mike across the floor, taking notes. I give Mike a hug, (Gods, that felt good – so long since I’ve felt the warmth of touch) the smile on my face in seeing him, feeling an old friends arms around me stretch the muscles that I so seldom have use for these days, save for the rare occasion in front of the mirror where I try to remember what it feels like when it’s genuine, coming from my heart instead of forced to my lips as an exercise…

He says that he and Shannon have been talking – want to know if I’m up for performing with them at Symbiosis as a Human Statue. I try to contain my joy, try to maintain *some* control but realize that it’s an exercise in futility and act like a little girl who actually *did* get a pony for her birthday. Without thinking of logistics I readily accept, already feeling like I’m on my way home again – the home where the heart is, not the walls behind which I pretend to live. The home where when I walk in there are smiles to greet me instead of a room barren of life, of warmth, of welcome.

I have no idea how I’ll make it to Symbiosis, a three day festival a few hundred miles south, but I’m sure I can figure out something… I need to. I’m certain that I can get a ride, but I have no tent, sleeping bag, or anything that a proper camper should have – it was all given away or sold long ago when I got my first running motorhome. I could take my motorhome, but how would I afford fuel and that one small part I need for the carburetor? Answers with more questions are all that I possess. Still, I have to make it – more for my heart and spirit than anything else. All I can do is trust. All I can do is *know* that somehow, some way, it will work out.

Two days later I get an email from someone named Bascom. Seems that he & his girlfriend are looking for a third to busk with. Someone taller, someone with a voice, someone seasoned on the streets who doesn’t have the encumbrance of trying to gather a crowd & work a pitch with razor blades hidden in his cheeks. It will be a far cry from a human statue, but it’s back to what I love – what I need; the smiles of strangers & passerby, a special gift that I know how to give them – reaching out of the common sights, the magick of wonder, and, even if just for a moment, the feeling that they are someone special, someone outside of the crowd. Even in stillness, even in silence I could do this, give them a gift of my energy, that they would hopefully carry in their hearts instead of their minds, that could just possibly bring splendor to a commonplace day, beauty to the mundane, remind them how to *see* the majesty of this world, instead of only looking at it through jaded eyes…


I drove towards the Mission for the sole reason that my car was already pointing that way, and to celebrate recent events decided to buy a vanilla latte from Peet’s Coffee with part of my final five dollars – one of the few coffee drinks that I’ll spurge on, one that I haven’t had in months. On my way inside of Peet’s I notice a homeless man sitting in front of Safeway, wet, cold, in between two bags that look like they weigh a ton dry. I get my latte, then thinking of how even something small can make all the difference in the world, with my last two dollars I buy a regular coffee, fill my pocket with some sugar packs and a cup with some half & half, and put a cardboard cup thing on mine so I don’t mix them up. I walk outside into the wind & wet & deliver the cup of hot coffee to him along with the sugar & cream.

His smile and gratitude was worth far, far more than that last two dollars.

Getting back to the warmth of my car, I notice that I had somehow, somewhat impossibly, mixed the cups up and that he ended up with my treasured vanilla latte. I look out my window, see him cupping it with both hands, taking gentle sips, the absolute pleasure on his face… and share a chuckle with the Universe.

After all, it’s simple – who am I to argue with what is truly meant to be?


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.

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…

Heaven… & oh, Hell


2.28.2011 5:33am

Outside on the smoking patio now, escaping my room and one of the few times where I am actually at peace, alone, just me, the few cigarettes I have left  & my thoughts out here. Too often it’s a gathering place for so much mundane-speak, but then again living in such close quarters with people for so long can get on my nerves as well – especially Tom, who I‘ve nicknamed Jabberjaw. The guy talks incessantly about nothing. Incessantly. NOTHING. Most of the rest are absolutely fine, a person learns to live with what is there or go mad, and the majority of the time I come close to enjoying the conversations, but him… I do my best to ignore him, but unfortunately I have let him & his voice get under my skin.

I need a good set of earplugs.

I need out of this place.

I need… to come home.

Right now there is just me, and peace, and I’m out of my room, so I better get on with it before they come.

I had hoped for this simply to be a belated account of the magick of last Saturday, when Joby took me  to see Mark Growden, but alas I waited too long… but first, briefly, that.

If I could repeat that Saturday over & over again I would, as it couldn’t have been more perfect. A phenomenal show, seeing a few great friends – the only thing to complain about was the cold, but even that was nice coming from a place where my room is always warm and comfortable. (Too comfortable?) The show, Whitney, Sasha, Switch – getting to see Whit on stage singing again, then a decadent breakfast at 11pm with actual eggs, over easy. For some reason they won’t serve just normal eggs over-easy here, and gods how I miss them. Something about the health codes… yeah, watch out for salmonella (?), but oversalt and overbeef everything. There is little that I can eat if I want to take care of my liver and the edema… but I digress.

Truly a wonderful evening out spent with & thanks to Joby. Even had fun with my camera, goofing off taking pictures of him & us against the beautifully unfinished walls. Nice to take shots of something besides me or my maladies again. Pure heaven.

And now, the Health Crap

(I believe I have previously explained that this is primarily for my own notes – things for future reference to hopefully help others or recall something that may have pertinence in my own future in whipping this shit – but I try to make it interesting for others to read as well. Or maybe if they know of someone that might be going through something similar… never hesitate to contact me, & I pray I might be able to offer, at the very least, an empathetic ear – but very likely more…

But then…


Then a couple days later something happened. Something ungood – & I’m still trying to figure out what the cause of it was. Certainly not the night spent out – maybe the over-extended bath where I discovered a new theory; The pull of gravity towards a book is in direct relation to the level of water – and maybe the pain meds that had me nodding off & kept me from finishing that one small passage…

The day after that bath something in my right thigh was terribly wrong. Horribly, painfully wrong. At first I thought the bath over-dehydrated the fluids in my muscles, but then that changed to swelling so severe & tight that I literally could not move it without excruciating pain. Nice to know that there are still muscles in there somewhere, but man, all of the sudden they all decided to rebel against any movement, to the point where walking was nearly impossible. To the point where for the very first time I actually considered – seriously considered, being carted around in a wheelchair. (Oh, HELL no.)

I fought it – moved as much as I could, kept the circulation flowing and fought like hell to bring my leg back. I quickly noticed that the most agonizing part was getting up from sitting for seemingly any amount of time; need to keep moving, let the pain wash through me until it lessened, grit my teeth (er – gums) & bear it. Thank you, close walls & handrails everywhere. Even trying to turn over in bed was almost more than I could take… but through all of that, through the pain endured and limping along until my back hurt from lifting it off the ground, it has gotten much better. Not perfect yet, but I would imagine a much more rapid recovery than if I had succumbed to the chair (shudder) and babied it. I moved it as much as I could tolerate as frequently as possible, and it’s almost back – but now, there’s a new player in town, one I haven’t experienced before & that, quite honestly, scares the hell out of me.

Before I go into the details of  this current hell, I’m going inside – mainly because my hands are incredibly, wonderfully cold, and it’s getting more & more difficult to hit the right keys…

Okay, inside, the sanctuary of my room, the warmth which makes me want to fall back to sleep & avoid writing about…

Well, what do you know. Just about breakfast time. I’m out of all of all my healthy food & long out of money, let’s procrastinate a bit more and see what gooey, cheesy, heavy, over-salted junk they’re serving today that I’ll  possibly eat simply because I’m hungry…

See you in a few – then I promise I’ll write about the new malady that has come into my life – the one that scares the hell out of me.

Let’s try leaving off with a bit of pertinent sing-along, a bit of humor to help me keep smiling – & fighting. Ready? Okay.

Dooooooooo youuuuuuuurrrrrrrrr (big opening) balls hang low, do they wobble to & fro, can you tie them in a knot can you tie them in a bow, can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier, do your ballllllllllls haaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng (fading off as I limpwobble down the hallway) looooooooooowwwwww……………

Alright, back. Thankfully the ever-present scrambled eggies weren’t clogged with cheese this time. While normally I wouldn’t mind it at all, I’ve found that anything but raw dairy is surprisingly bad for the body, and while I’m not insanely strict about it (cream of asparagus soup – what’s a boy to do?) I do avoid dairy these days. Had me some taters, too.

Okay, I guess it’s time. The legs are still swollen & I’m still trying to figure out ways to heal that with the little money I have, the extraordinary Renee, my acupuncturist & I are vigilantly doing our best fighting the cause of the problem, but there’s a new symptom in town which popped up a couple of days ago – scrotal edema. There. I said it. Just another body part, but this is even too grotesque for me to take pictures of – especially when… right now I have a small sock that I found on it to keep the swelling down so it’s slightly less painful, but when that is taken off, a short while later both of my hands won’t even cover the area it takes up – and it takes me about ½ hour of very gently squeezing the fluid out of my fucking ballsack to get the sock back on. Makes walking quite a different experience – the discomfort is quite unique when I have something the size of a friggin’ hamburger bun fighting for space between my legs.

Again, research, research, research – and things that could help but I can’t afford right now with the roughly $130ish I’ll have to last me until April, most of which will go to foods that are healthy for my liver, additives for the bath to help extract the fluid… I’m frightened as hell and quite honestly without the $ for herbs & other various things that should help I’m not quite sure what to do, as my master plan to make extra money is delayed yet again.  After last month I realized that It’s much less disheartening not to ask for help and hopefully be surprised, as certainly I was quite spoiled by the wonderful gifts over the holidays when I decided to break away from the destructive drugs insurance paid for and hop into the drivers seat of my fight to get my health back. Already there has been a positive difference, but alas, it will take more than just that month of prescribed goodwill.  I must give a HUGE bow of appreciation however to Mota for his old phone so I can still research & stay in contact with the world, and Whitney for the awesome superhealthy cases of tea she delivered to me. A special thank you as well to those who visit – you help keep my spirits up & keep the fight going – as well as an incredibly special gift from someone that has remained a friend since I was… 4? 5? 6 years olds? I haven’t listened to what you said yet Brett (the ol’ hauling the lappy to the attendees area and trying to find an open WiFi account jig will hopefully happen today) – but your email profoundly touched me. Thank you.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a comment I made to Barbara – one of the residents here who is loud and gloriously ornery –something of the Maitri Sicko Mom –  incredibly caring, and is going through much more than I hope I will ever have to with her own type of grace.

We’re relatively open in talking about our own brand of ailments here, & when I told her about my loaf –o-bread ballsack  after she noticed how gingerly I sat down, and the nightmare of discomfort it’s putting me through right now, she said with genuine sincerity to me “Aww, poor baby.” which was sweet, but then I thought about it for a second before I said “Nah, I ain’t a ‘poor baby – I’m a friggin’ WARRIOR, & I’m going to conquer this shit – and then show others how to as well…


Gods, I loathe how much of these writings are filled with the feeling of “woe is me”, whether it be health or needing financial help – it’s getting incredibly old, and though things are progressing now that I’ve taken the wheel & left the majority of Western med to wonder where the money from me went, repetitive. It’s an upward spiral now, that’s for damn sure, but still, the coils are so tightly wound that it’s hard to tell the difference unless you’re me, living it every moment of every day. I am seeing results, feeling them, but to put all the finite things down in writing would read like the most mind-numbing medical journal in existence. Skin is looking much better, less dry. Hair that the Interferon “therapy” made fall out is now growing back thicker, even the sideburns. Teeth are growing back. (HA! Just kidding, but I should likely have new chompers by the end of the month!) I can’t express how much I want to write about something, anything else. Drives me fucking crazy.

One thing that I noticed yesterday while reading a book that Jennifer (Dakini-Angel) loaned me is how much I’ve completely lost myself in the focus on my body & its ailments, neglecting the more introspective, spiritual side; losing the part of my Self that carries a certain peace, serenity with it. The part that brings an automatic, subtle smile when I lay down in bed to fall asleep after a hard day of… well, these past few days, laying or sitting in bed. (Helps with the gravitational pull of fluid so less pain & discomfort.)

Strangely, almost immediately after that revelation I had my first actual decent conversation with Tom – who is still intolerable 97% of the time, but it felt good to- at least for a bit – drop my asshole wall, as for once he wasn’t yammering or making inane comments to someone, or attempting to ask me questions while I was trying to read or think of what the next steps are for getting my health back, coming back home, and getting back to CultureFlux. (Well, he was, but I was just sitting there not focusing on anything.) All this Tom talk sounds bad – I don’t by any means loathe the guy, he just seems to me like a walking 180# sack of artificial sweetener that is never. simply. quiet.

Okay, time to venture to the attendants area, hopefully hop on a decent WiFi network, and post this to WordPress – then I must send the shots I took to Joby – completely forgot about that after the leg went to hell.

I just wish the formatting wouldn’t get all screwed up when I copy it from Word – if anyone knows how to keep it single-line, or where to find the settings to do so, please let me know.

By the way, though it must be getting old by now for those in the outside world, I’m still happy to receive visitors – and my (wonderful, working) phone should be back with regular service sometime this week… and to make life easier for everyone, I’m actually considering coming back to (Oh GODS, NOOOO!!!) facebook – just for you.