no man’s land

I wrote a poem once about how 3 am is a no man’s land. It’s too late to still be up partying or whatever you’d like to do, and it’s too early to be up for the day. But here I am, for a couple reasons.

I went to bed around 10 pm, after watching Ghost Adventures. My alarm was set for 3:15 am so I could get up and shower before I finished packing and headed to the airport. (I’m off to visit my friend, Laurel, for the 4th of July.)

Around 12:30 am, I woke up. I think I was nervous that I’d sleep through my alarm, although I haven’t done that in years. I went back to sleep, but I woke up again around 1 am and felt little points of irritation on my body.

I’ve taken to sleeping in the buff because I read that it’s supposed to be better for you. But as I took stock of what I was feeling, a couple points on my left leg near my knee, a couple points on my right arm, a couple points on the backs of my thighs, I went to the bathroom to see what were clearly bites, I’m guessing spider or maybe mosquito or something I don’t want to know. They itched a little but not much. I put some aloe vera on them, shook out my quilt and sheets a bunch and crawled back in bed.

You can imagine I had a hard time falling asleep. I was hyper aware of any perceived touch on my skin that wasn’t a sheet. I didn’t know if I should keep my limbs under the covers or out. I think I slept a little bit, but then I thought I felt more irritation. I got up again, it was around 2 am, and sure enough, more bites on my left shoulder, about 4 on my back. I think I counted a dozen bites all together (“A DOZEN BITES”). When I am bitten, it’s not pretty. The bite area turns white and the histamines (?) in my body surround it so it’s white with a big red circle around it.

There was no going back to sleep at this point. Plus I wondered if maybe whatever it was was in my hair. Yuck. So I stripped my bed and got in the shower. I feel somewhat better now, the bites are subdued, but it’s strange, at this hour, to be doing regular morning things. Even though it was not that much earlier than I was planning to get up, showering for your day at 2:30 am is not normal for me.

I also couldn’t help but think that this is the first night without Widow in 3 months. (Who is Widow? Widow is a cat that I’m ‘temporarily’ housing for a friend’s son until he finds a new place to live. I’ve taken to calling him the Deadbeat Cat Dad.) Was she (Widow) taking on little creatures as I slept ensuring I was free from attack? It’s a funny thought but could be true?

Enjoy your holiday.


sweaty denim

I have these old worn out jeans that I can’t bring myself to throw out because they’re super comfortable. I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that the thigh rubbing area is getting thin and in some places has worn through. I have taken to walking in them.

My last few walks have taken me further far afield. Saturday, I walked 2.3 miles. Sunday was 2.7 miles. And yesterday was 3.1 miles. One of the great things about summer. You can leave the house at 6 pm, walk for 2 hours, and when you get home, the sun is just going down.

Yesterday I walked down J St to 8th, crossed Market and then proceeded to follow a pattern of up one over one. That pattern worked out pretty well until I got to Fir St and Kettner and could no longer go over one (train tracks). So I followed Kettner to Grape, crossed PCH and checked out Waterfront Park (I’m being this specific because something tells me my mom will start up her Google maps to follow where I went).

After snapping a couple photos and wanting to take a couple more, I realized that sweaty denim was not conducive to a functional iPhone. My phone wouldn’t turn on. Thankfully I had my iPod so I fired up the step counter on that so I would know how far I came once the iPhone had crapped out.

I continued on my way home taking Harbor Dr all the way back into the Gaslamp area. I crossed Harbor at 1st and took the MLK Promenade to K St, then turned on 7th and back to J St. It was a gorgeous day, but I was tired, and my legs hurt. Overall, it was about 11,000 steps and 3 miles, which doesn’t seem like that many miles, but expanding my perimeter is a good thing.

Thankfully, my phone was fine after I powered it off and on again. But I probably should re-think my walking pants.

I should stop wearing Birkenstocks to the grocery store

I fell in a grocery store today. Again. That’s the 2nd time in as many years. I have a third fall to my credit as well that happened a few years ago when I lived in Clairemont.

The culprit in all three instances has been water on the floor.

Today’s adventure was at the Vons in Hillcrest. They were having all kinds of issues with all the refrigerated cases and there was a lot of water on the floor in front of them. For most of them, there were cones up or the path was blocked completely. In the produce section, I saw a very large puddle and was about 6-7 feet away from it. What I didn’t see was that some water had somehow been tracked or otherwise deposited near where I was standing. I went to move my cart around where the water was and down I went. Same action as the fall last year in Utah. Right foot hits the water and my Birk just slides forward until I’m on my ass. Real smooth.

Amazingly, there was not one soul in that section or nearing that section that saw me go down. I slowly stood up. It wasn’t nearly as bad as what had happened last year. I looked around to tell someone. I finally saw a man with an apron, assuming from the meat department, so I said, “Excuse me,” and he came over. I told him that I had just fallen, and he said, “Well, yeah, it’s all over, the plumber is coming.” I was a little surprised by that response, and I said, “I saw that puddle, but this area isn’t blocked off, and I fell.” He was already walking away repeating that a plumber was coming.

I slowly went back to my shopping, cursing that dude under my breath for his lack of concern. Not even an “are you okay?”? Christ.

At checkout, the ladies working the register and bagging seemed nice, and they were mentioning the issues with the refrigeration cases, so I told them about my experience. They were horrified by the way the man had handled the situation and were very nice to me, asking if I was okay, if I was sure, if I wanted to fill out a form, etc. I assured them I was fine (and I am), and that I didn’t need to fill out anything, but to let the other employees know to at least ask if someone is okay if they report falling in the store. They completely agreed and said that he should have notified them right away. While I was walking out, they were sending a guy to go mop and another person to go talk to the guys in the meat department.

What I’m upset with myself about is that I saw the big puddle and thought I had checked out the area I was going to before I went to make sure it was dry. At least I didn’t hurt myself, I didn’t cry, and I ultimately got the response I had expected. Guess I will stop wearing Birkenstocks when I am planning to go to the grocery store.


NPM – 24 of 30

hole in the floormat

my driver’s side floormat
has a hole where
my right heel has
worried through
the fabric

I don’t know how
long my heel has
worked to accomplish
this feat

I have noticed it
slowly growing
I have rearranged
the floormat to
slow the growth

but it always
inches back
to the spot
where my heel
rests in the hole
what else in my life
has sustained such
pressure to have altered
its appearance

what part of me
has such sustained
pressure to cause
that alteration
for some
the pressure
is intangible

for some
the intangible
is pressure

NPM – 23 of 30

yes, I know April is over, but I still owe 8 poems…they’ll get filtered in here and there 🙂


when you’re the person being honked at to go at a green light

it happens

you consider yourself
a pretty good driver
attentive, law-abiding
for the most part

but some days

you’re on auto-pilot
driving the same commute
for what feels like
the millionth time

maybe you’re
engrossed in a story
on the radio, one about
how a guy 20 years ago
created a new kind of apple
that will soon hit the market

maybe you’re
singing a song,
one you haven’t heard
in years — Linda Ronstadt’s
version of “It Doesn’t Matter
Anymore” — that makes you
think of your parents’
record collection & how
you should maybe buy
a record player

maybe you’re
distressed about
the recent shooting
by someone with a
familiar name, you
filter what you know
and what there is
no way to comprehend

maybe you’re
tired from a recent
cold, that’s given to
manifesting now
in coughing fits
and random bouts
of sweating

so many reasons
could plague a
solitary driver
who is first in line
to turn left
who is waiting
who notices
something is sticking
out of her bag
who leans over to
adjust it when
the light turns green