Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's Summer and Time to Recall Skating on Thick Ice

Originally posted August 7, 2014

They were like dolphins, whooshing around me.

A woman I probably saw at a dance or a demonstration or some revolutionary act maybe thirty years ago walked up to me as they zoomed by and said, "It's like the invasion of the skate boards!"

I laughed.  "I was thinking, gee, I'd like to learn how to do that."

"Well, you know where to find them." She was laughing as she walked away.

One of the kids stopped, skate board propped on his sneaker.  I snapped a picture.

"I think she just took your picture," another said under his breath.

"Yes.  I did."  I showed it to them.

"Are you going to post it somewhere?"


"Like Instagram?"

"I'm old.  I don't know what Instagram is."  I started taking another picture and all the boys posed, gangsta-style.  "Oh please, cut the bullshit."  It was funny but not a picture.

"I always wanted to learn how to skate board but when I was growing up, girls didn't.  Now girls do.  It's really cool."

"Yeah," said one, all of them nodding like what's the big deal some of the best skaters they knew were girls.  That revolution was normal to them.

I lifted the phone to take another picture and one gaves me a peace sign.

"What's that mean to you?"

"Peace," he said.

Crash noise that could only come from wood plank and metal wheels not going where they were intended interrupted us.

"#&$#*@#*$% AND THEN #$&#, followed.

"Real peaceful," I say.

"He's not with us," the kid said.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Home Bound

You've made your home a haven from your city, a friend told me.

It's true. The city feeling less and less familiar, street life and home now inhabit original glass art and cats found on the street and a collage of re-appropriated furniture from friends, neighbors, garbage day and Craig's List, all reminding me of her and him and them and that time we and once upon our days.

I now look down to see what I miss.  Yeah, yeah, their faces were very interesting.  But the picture I took of their faces was more like the story others might tell when they went "back home" to other neighborhoods in other states and shared over holiday dinners or at a wedding rehearsal dinner what's it like to live here.

The picture I took of their shoes, however rushed and surreptitiously snapped, tells me a story of how I never left where I came from and and yet all the worlds I traveled through.

Related Posts:

Summer Reruns of the Beginnings: My Private Coney

Cold Snap Encores: Sunday Memories Of St. Marks Place

Sunday Memories: Sunday Visits


We'll Always Have the Watertowers

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Pride Memories Make the Future!

When the right to love is at stake, doesn't matter what you march in.  Your feet fly across all the 'no you can't.  There's only YES.  The blisters can wait until tomorrow.

And every heartbreak gets mended with more love than ever imagined until it's indestructible.

And to the woman, still alive, living alone in a small town in another state, who loved Florence all her life but whose family - all her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren - has never known the multi-colors of her heart, a happy pride to you.

You couldn't live in a world made of your love, but everyone is marching so this little boy can live in a world where no one ever has to hide again. 


Related Posts:

For Orlando with Addendum: The Look of Love Because This is What it Looks Like

The Lionesses Rule the Pride and Marry If They Wanna!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Like Summer In San Francisco

A summer rerun of this day in 2009. 

Staring at a street that used to be in a bad neighborhood, we sipped expensive coffee in designer cups and talked of the weather.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Living Summer

These days I only see a couple of spots in the city where, when it gets warm, people drag their chairs outside and live like we always did.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It May Be Sunday
But It Will Never a Memory:
the Right to Glitter and Be Gay

I don't think I was the only one to take Florence to a dyke bar.   But, I know I was the only one to take her on her 60th birthday.

We huddled at the bar and I know we drank because I never knew Florence to not drink when there was something nearby to be drunk.  I pulled out a pile of wrapped presents - all books  - and said "Happy Birthday".

Each and every one of those books was about getting older in Lesbianland - coming out, getting freed, living your life on your own terms.

We looked through them and drank and then I think she went off to meet friends.  (I was not invited.  That's because she didn't tell anyone she had kids.  A bit of a surprise for some of them at her memorial.)

The world outside the bar wasn't safe.  Florence fought with and chased after more than a couple of muggers.  She lived in a neighborhood that watched everything she did. What she was and what she wanted was still considered a mental illness, even if the AMA had taken it off the "sicko" list.

But that bar?  That bar was safe.  That bar and all the bars like it gave us shelter from the storm. 

My mom took her books back home and in between teaching piano students in her living room, she'd pull them out from under the couch and look at the life she was finally calling her own.

I don't know if she ever hung out at that 18th Street bar again.  I just know it was there if she wanted to.   Whatever she did or didn't do, that night, we both felt safe from the world.  It was, however briefly, a rare moment for both of us where we could be family to one another in a place that didn't remind us of the awful past.  It was, however briefly, our new home to celebrate her birthday.

And that's what a good dyke / gay bar is.  Shelter.  From the storm or your life or your past or your fears or a broken heart or your family or your ex (unless they drink there too) or a world that refuses to say the words that admit you are a part of it.   In that bar, you are safe and you are home and you are family.

I barely drink, I hate going out and I'm married to a man (he went to Sarah Lawrence so he's as close to a writer/dyke I'm going to get in a man).  But after Orlando, all I wanted was to go to every dyke and gay bar in the world and stand for safe and home and family.

Related Posts:

The Lionesses Rule The Pride and Marry If They Want To

The Look of Love Because This Is What It Looks Like

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The World of Dana

Today we say not goodbye but "Wow! What a great woman!"

Below are all the posts about her, including some of her wonderful short stories.

Why I Wish I Could Write Like Dana: Throw My Seashells Back by Dana Schechter

Sunday Memories of Dana and the MTA:  Bus Drivers and Me

In Dana's World, Everything Falls Into Place At Exactly the Right Moment: Perfect Timing

What Time Is It?  The Time Is Now:  Time Flies...

Dana's Sunday Memories: The Pot of Gold

Dana Never Took Anything Lying Down: 
Bedtime Stories (aka Her and Trudy's Excellent Adventure)

Celebrating Another Story of Dana's:  The Scent of Sandalwood

Sunday Memories of the Best Writer's I've Ever Known: 
Guest Artist Dana: If I Bring Forth What Is Inside Me, What I Bring Forth Will Save Me

Even As Twilight Fills the Room, What Dana Says Bursts Open Our Hearts

What Dana Says Starts the New Year Right

What Dana Says Is a Blessing for the Future

A Day at the Beach: Mamalochen

You Never Expect What Dana Says

Sunday Moments and Memories of What Dana Says

What Dana Says: Why I Visit Dana Or How I Keep Writing

Sunday Memories: The First Supper

A Visit to Dana

Old School, High Tech Revisited

"Draw!" Dana Commanded and Art Burts onto the Wall

Miracle on Grand Street

The Operative Word Was AND

Guest Artist Dana: "One Day I Wrote a Sentence"

Guest Artist Dana: The Sad Little Crone

Day of Miracles

Trudy and Dana

The Secret to a Long Life

Part Seven: View from a Kitchen

Guest Artist Dana: The Gift that Kept Giving

Guest Artist Dana: On Parenting (or How I Survived Motherhood)

Guest Artist Dana: Wisdom of the Ages

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

As He Prepares to Leave...

This is what my father's world feels like to him now.  Watercolors accidentally left out in the rain and all the details dissolving into something unrecognizable.

Len, a lighthouse of direction and decision, is one of the few things my father still knows for sure.

Related Posts:

Memories of Memories: I'm Your Memory

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday Memories of the Color of Water

I suddenly realized it had almost been a year we had stumbled across the D/L Cerney Pop-Up Store.  That day the Mariner had slipped on a shirt and I watched his eyes became the color of the water he had crossed to fight for love

It's now a new summer.  Stomachs have gotten plumper and joy more relaxed.

Or maybe it's the other way around...

Yet a surprise email recalled those days of beautiful clothes that heralded a leap of faith into a new life.

D/L Cerney has come back to 9th Street for the summer!

During the months of June and July that amazing dress shop will be at the Umbrella Arts Gallery located at 317 E 9th St.

Step in and perhaps step into a new life....

Related Posts:

Top (and a Couple of Dresses) Goes Pop!

The Walk to Hope is a Leap of Faith

Thursday, June 2, 2016

How Did We Get Here?
And How the Fuck Do We Get Back?

The news of the shooting at UCLA was also filled with news of students barricading themselves, because now knowing how to do that was up there with knowing how to twitter.

 Which they also did.

And then I read Amy's post in the current version of our town hall - Facebook.

oh my god, really? someone actually posted that a murder-suicide is better than a mass shooting; that's it a relief that only 2 people died. 

how did we get to a place where gunmetal is a shade more accepting than black? 

how did we get here? how did we get to a place where a women can be beaten & violated & raped repeatedly in public but her voice is constantly silenced? 

how did we get to a place where tattoos of hate have replaced scars of courage? how did we get here?

how did we get to this place where one left dead is a relief?

How, indeed.

It's fucking easy to punch the shit out of someone until they are nothing - with words, with a bomb, with a gun.

It's fucking easy.  And it feels so, so good.  Like no one, NO ONE can fuck with me now.

Yeah, I remember it being that easy.  But it got me nothing and got me nowhere. 

For a long time nothing and nowhere was enough.   It was all I knew.
But I somehow couldn't stop talking about how I felt.  And then somehow, someone heard what I was saying and nothing and nowhere STOPPED being enough.

It was fucking terrifying to walk away from suicide and murder.   It was fucking hard.  It meant remembering every moment of bone crushing fear and despair which had put me in nothing and nowhere in the first place and somehow still managing to stay alive.

Suddenly there were glimpses of life that looked nicer and sweeter than destroying and being destroyed.

And even harder than putting down a gun or a bomb or words that destroy was walking into a light and then talking about it all....

Like Amy did the other night.  Like I did the other night.  Like 15 other people did the other night.

An old work buddy one day stopped by for a chat.  We talked about the bitch of returning to life and staying there.

"Man, this sucks sometimes," I said.

"Yeah.  But the fringe benefits are terrific," he replied.

You, whoever you are reading this, if even out of the corner of your eye, you are dancing with dark shadows that destroy... I'm going to say it to you straight:


So before you pick up ANYTHING - gun, bomb, words, hell - ANYTHING -  start talking and don't stop until someone REALLY hears you.

Related Posts:

SHADES OF BLUE: Writers on depression, suicide and feeling blue

It Only Takes One Person

Sunday Memories of When This Was Normal

When the F*#&$ Will This JUST Be a Sunday Memory: Use Your F*#&$*g Words