Eternal Love

 

9.28.2017

I wear the necklace that I made out of her teeth much less these days, the smile she always wore that now, on occasion, I do. But both of our smiles are fragile.

Twelve years. It doesn’t get easier, only different – but that’s perhaps my fault, my choice. I never want to forget. – there are still triggers; but it has found  a different place in my heart, one of warmth and fondness instead of pain. Now, a subtle smile crosses my face as I recall her beauty, and we again smile together.

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Her ashes still rest by me, and the memories of those glorious days on the road from San Francisco, the long & accidental way to Austin. Austin wasn’t the plan, but as always, plans change – and we were needed there in the days following Hurricane Katrina to help. Every day an adventure. I had purpose. I was needed. The months living in The Enchanted Forest, both extraordinarily beautiful and full of sorrow, will remain in my heart, along with Bean, forever.

More than anything, she loved the car. I took her with me everywhere I could with me… but on that day – September 28th, 2005, she couldn’t come. Going to help a friend build a rain structure for a wedding reception, I was only gone for a couple hours. This time, however, she wasn’t waiting where we parked at the end of the driveway as she had always done before…

I learned moments later that her body had been found on the train tracks by friends at the Forest. Head crushed, but a stuffed toy, somehow, still in her mouth. I think that’s what they said. After the first words I wasn’t listening anymore.

Nearly always in these days of the year there’s a melancholy or need that comes over me – a longing. (Or, more appropriately said, it’s amplified.) A need to travel, to just go and watch cities & past disappear in the rearview mirror.

The way the Universe smiles on me sometimes, even when I don’t see it until later… A friend of mine, David, loaned me his car to do things I needed for four days, and on the last, after everything had mostly been done, I decided to give it all to Ruby – the only dog I’ve known who loves the car even more than Bean did. Starting at 5:30am, our drive began – sunrise at her favorite local park, then down to the Wharf where I took her for the first time as a pup of only four months old. Top down, loving every second of the wind & sunshine, we drove like beasts crunching bones & sucking the marrow out of the roads & the day, until the uncharacteristic San Francisco heat drove us back inside my apartment to rest in front of the fan.

Only a day later, when I realized the date, did the deep-seeded need become clear – it was my tribute to Bean, and all the miles we had driven together.

I look at the photo I took of her moments before we began our adventure, looking out the window of my van with a beautiful smile on her face – waiting for me to get in the car so we could go…

Bean

I’m sorry Bean, I thought I would see you sooner than this – but I had other things to do. I know you understand.

I miss you.
And one day, we’ll all drive again – you, Ruby, & me.

Until again, my sweet girl.

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Life, Death, Dogs. A Rooftop Contemplation

The occasional whisper of tires as a car drives by below, an unintelligible shout, the scattered songs of birds. The only sounds at this hour. Only the crackheads & I seem to be awake. Even the sirens are quiet, sleeping.

It’s 4am & I’m up on the roof of my apartment building with a fresh cup of coffee, a cigarette, & Ruby. The clouds above reflect the city lights giving a faint glow, just enough to see by. A cool breeze plays with my hair, blowing it in my face then away. I wrap my robe a little tighter around me.

I sit on the short wall of my building, look down at the weeds growing in our forbidden & neglected back yard. Near the far right corner calla lily’s bloom, defying the otherwise abandoned and unloved desolation. With their beauty inevitably comes a warm sorrow as I’m reminded of when Striggy brought a gift of bone-white lily’s to my tent in Austin. With love & reverence I placed them on top of the pale blonde box I had picked up earlier that day, already made into an altar surrounded with candles, a picture of Bean propped up against the box that now held the ashes of the most amazing dog & companion I’ve ever known. She was killed by a freight train a few days before, found by friends lying between the tracks, her favorite stuffed toy a few inches from her head. Nearly 13 years later & the tears still fall for her.

I turn back facing the roof top, close my eyes, take in a few deep breaths as I find a strange comfort in this sadness. Now, it’s filled with love and warm memories instead of the anguish I carried inside for years, holding it tight, afraid that if the pain wasn’t there I would somehow be betraying her memory.

I know better now. I understand death better now.

I think of how exquisite this life is, how fortunate I am. Occasionally I still let the weight of it all get to me and forget these things, but not now. Not today.

I open my eyes and catch Ruby briefly chasing her tail. I chuckle silently to myself and somehow love her even more.

I think of the time I spent in Hospice. Months on end so close to giving up, so desperately wanting to stop being strong, and each morning having to somehow find just one reason to keep fighting. One reason to stay alive.

As impossible it seemed to be able to imagine at times, I needed to believe that I would somehow get better.

I had to know, with as little doubt as possible, that there would be mornings like this one to look forward to.

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.

 

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one and a half legs (12.5.13)

(Backstory – I did something really bad to my leg over the Thanksgiving holiday, running around Dolores Park with Ellie & Ruby, playing on swings, climbing on everything, running up and down hills – something went wrong and I woke that Saturday with my foot & leg swollen like an overstuffed sausage from toes to knee. The bed on the house I was watching was on the floor, and I actually had to crawl from the bedroom to the living room, grab the corner of the couch and a stool, and lift myself vertical with my arms alone – like a toddler learning to walk.
This was written at my own home, a few days after.)

12.5.13

…swings around in bed, puts the feet on the floor, and carefully stands – testing each time for some ease in the shooting pain. Things look promising, and they are *far* much better than the first few days – at least I was able to bring the swelling almost all the way down.
I’m optimistic.
I bend my knees a little, seeing how far my left ankle can flex today. Not much, as usual, but it seems like the pain has subsided a bit. Maybe. I take a test step. Not bad. I take a few more with a bit too much confidence and OWOWOWOWW FUCKING OOOWWW!
Okay, maybe a bit too optimistic.
Looks like I’m cabbing it the 7 or so blocks to TJ’s, because I’m sure as not making it up that hill during daylight hours, even if I started now, and need to get some herbs and stuff. got a worried call from my Dr. yesterday about my bloodwork (which has nothing to do with my ankle, mostly) so did some looksing around on Los Interwebs and found out what was good.
He worries to much about me anyway. Think he would have learned by now.

To all of the amazing people who helped out in the fund for Ruby & I to get a car, THANK YOU!
To the Universe – I wanted my OWN car, not to rent someone else’s car by the minute, but still, thank you!

Love & Promises

In a strange way, it’s funny. All wrapped up in writing, becoming again, and playing with a beautiful dog that though I am broke as fuck (.65 to my name) I missed walking down and picking up my pittance check, the illustrious weekend in front of me.
And not a bone in the cupboard to chew on.
I was focusing on work, and forgot to get paid for living.
(I will never understand that. past rent and necessities (phone, internet) I get $300/ month.
Only when you have so little that everything, *everything* is a sacrifice. Trash bags, toilet paper (gots to have a clean ass) good soap, the herbs I still live by, and when I have an extra $10 in my pocket, a toy for Ruby. Honestly, she should come first, but I do occasionally need to crap, and… well, need to make certain its clean, just in case anyone really wants to sniff my ass. (Yeah, it’s happened. No comment.)

But fuck me, I wrote through the small time frame to pick up my check, again the fool.
So here’s to a penniless weekend, again. Fuck this shit. I’m climbing out. In three months, I will host the most amazing event you could ever dream of. Saturday, February 15. The day after Valentines day. I’m Coming BACK

But fuck, this current scrapping shit wears so dreadfully thin. Here’s the rub – if you have felt this, feel it now. The desperation in a single day, the withering of the soul.

So I post this again, for now. Please forgive me.
Saving up for Ruby, but PayPal is immediate, and buys her toys – and some food for me. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/534079/wdgi/451145

A heartfelt thanks to all of you that have found it in your heart to donate – Ruby and I are working on something special for you…

This is still happening, and we need it.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ruby-needs-your-help-and-mine-i-do-this-for-her/x/451145

You can do direct help through Paypal, if you don’t want to read about hos beautiful a pup Ruby is. kSea@culturefluxmagazine.com is my paypal addy.

Ruby in her favorite place, after playing in the park.

Ruby in her favorite place, after playing in the park.

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Full size bed & a friend.

Realizing that this is my first year in three not waking up in a hospital bed on Christmas day, but instead taking my beautiful puppy outside for a walk, enjoying the quiet and stillness which is so rare in this neighborhood, and coming back in to battle for bed space with her.
While deep inside I would much rather be on the road in my motorhome, in some anonymous town on my way to the next one, I must admit… this really isn’t so bad at all.

Now, back to sleep for a bit, then either laundry or out to the beach and after that the archery range in Golden Gate Park with Ruby.

Yeah. not so bad.