Holiday Confessionals, pt. 1.

This, the perfect, rainy winter San Francisco day, and now that the holiday retail season has passed its apex, I was able to enjoy it at my own leisurely pace. A day off, and some time spent with myself and the city. It was something romantic, only a few cars on the streets, Christmas lights lining the houses and drooping in the rain. It was a misty, quiet day filled with all the most wonderful things about this place. It was a Tom Waits day, like something rare from the mid-70s, trumpet sliding all over the place and whiskey glass ever full.

You must have brought the bad weather with you
The sky is the color of lead
All you left me was a feather
On an unmade bed

I’ve already gone to the place I’m going
There’s no place left to fall
And there’s something to be said
For saying nothing at all

I’m living a different life now than I have done before. Buying the store has changed my perspective and my possibilities. While I’ve made my own progress in some areas of life, I’ve somehow always felt like I’ve been playing catch-up with my more settled friends, my more talented, artistic, well-careered friends. Couples with kids, some with houses; all with stable jobs. Me, I’d been working for $13 an hour for the past five years. Not much is different now except my heart is even more into the tasks at hand, and I’m getting much more out of it, both enjoyably and financially. Of course we’re in debt from the purchase, but man, has it been a strong year – and with this season finished, it’s clear just where we stand after the first two months of a very salient business. What’s different is that I’ll never live by paycheck again. My catch-up is catching up and I can treat myself to those little daily joys without feeling guilty anymore. This is freeing, and it makes me want to share more than ever before. It makes me want to plan more than ever before.


There’s a lot to think about that’s happened this past year, both for the good and the bad. I feel a bit unfinished and sort of on auto-pilot. The Christmas rush has stripped me of sociability, but I have to make a concerted effort to reach out now that time is slower and the rain is coming down. I would like to pay attention to my insides again, and get to know who I am, and what I’m worth. I have a long way to go, and I’ve been far too dismissive of those innate processes that keep us happy. Moreso, I’ve been far too restrictive of myself and censored in what I say and write. I never used to be so demure, and it’s kept me isolated. The need for professionalism, the need to be accepted. Self-inflicted public relations quagmires have truncated my spirit, that stunning freshness that used to be so novel and youthfully exuberant.

I can be exactly who I want to be when I’m in the shop, but it’s long been a fact that the outside world intimidates the hell out of me, and restricts my voice and my decisions. It may be a symptom of the network of broken friends and romance from the past which I somehow still fear, mentally dividing where I can and can’t go, who I can and can’t speak with. I fear my own shadow sometimes, and I’m always on the lookout for achingly familiar faces that I feel don’t want to see me ever again. San Francisco is a trap as well as a paradise. It’s got its dirty little secrets, to be sure. But me, I’m too passive about it all.

I popped round the Alchemist’s today, his respite warm and cozy in the gray drizzle and pour. I really must bring a book sometime and infringe upon his wood-burning stove, for the air is so very still there, and everything outside the hovel melts right away, and I told him so today, before slogging around for a bit in Cole Valley, fireplace haze mingling with ocean-borne fog, feet slipping on trolley tracks. Some more good things waited for me at the grocer, and I nabbed some brie, oatcakes, and spicy pumpkin spread for the boys at work tomorrow. We’re filming for a website on Thursday and it will soon be time to start our engines for many good changes in the new year. The oatcakes made me miss Kieran and Azra, and Aberdeen seems so far away even though I just saw it yesterday through the video lens.

I slept in the new scarf that Rebecca knitted for me, and the cat was furled within like a roll of postage stamps, which are no longer sold in rolls. I woke up with his paws on my face, and loved the fact that we could sleep in for a change. I’m happy but feeling tortured, as are we all. My scars are showing in the mirror and I try to hide them with good energy and project focus. One day, it will all come out in the wash that I’m lacking in self-confidence, human contact, and freedom from fear in so many areas of my life. These things need to be addressed soon, because the fake it ‘til I make is almost all faked out. At the core of simplicity, all we want is to be accepted, loved, and affirmed. My trap is that I refute it when it happens and then get frustrated that it never holds. This is one of my tasks for the coming year, another project. Lack of professionalism be damned, my life craves to be an open book. Is it weakness and dirt that will come back to haunt me later?


I once told Ang that there was still 80% of me to be known, and now I see that I’ve turned that formula into truth for myself. I may be past the 20% mark, but there’s still so much that needs my attention. My restraint is unfathomable, but my resolve is indefatigable. This is not me reaching out, this is me reminding myself that I have work to do.

13 Responses to “Holiday Confessionals, pt. 1.”

  1. podle Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 12:10 pm

    I say wear your scars proudly, baby.
    O, and call/write me – because we want to come over and feed you chocolate and booze.

  2. dichroicynosure Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    What a beautiful commitment to wholeness you are making! What a brave post. I look forward to reading the dirty underbelly beneath the polished professionalism. Your humanity is your most endearing part. You have the strength and inner resources to be vulnerable without it hurting you. Laugh at yourself. You have support. You have space and love to expose.
    sending love to you through our struggles.

  3. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 1:55 am

    You're confident that exposure is acceptable, but I'm not as sure as you. This is the trepidation, and really, the only reason we expose ourselves publicly (decently or indecently) is to be recognized. I struggle to ask myself why I should do that, why I should shout for attention on the Internet, but this is the trap that blogging feeds. I don't know if it will help anything to expose. Perhaps people who know me already know me.
    Thank you for your good words and support, regardless.

  4. lunesse Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    Sounds like a great, thoughtful end to 2006 and a bright new step for 2007 to me!

  5. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 1:56 am

    I say bring it on!

  6. niddrie_edge Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    You giving yourself a good telling as we say in Alba?
    Man..dont you think at times you are a good workout?
    And so a part of life?
    We are all laying the humble trip on ourselves but Christ, we're only human.
    When I saw this post it seemed confident and shone the worldly…then I opened the cut and the raw was revealed, like some cold damp moonshine.
    Waits is the man for that shit..
    When I saw you were playing "Limmy again",
    I briefly thought you meant Limmie and The Family Cooking's "You Can Do Magic"…

  7. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 2:05 am

    We are all laying the humble trip on ourselves but Christ, we're only human.
    Oh, this is a good one. Not sure if it's humbleness or bumbleness – restraining myself from the trend of pointing out my arguable merits and flagging my arguable flaws. Shiny on the outside, raw meat on the inside; that's who we are, and who we can ever hope to remain. I just don't want to let anyone down, and that's my problem, even if it's utterly ridiculous. And yet if I'm the only one that matters, I'm the most selfish man alive, which somehow is respectable to others, but despicable to me. A cyclical puzzle trap that must be undone.
    Surely you've heard Limmy’s World of Glasgow by now?

  8. avalokita Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 9:48 pm

    Well, if there weren't 5,000 between us, I would gladly such up your time playing board games and watching horror movies. Damn those 5,000 miles.
    I wish you the luck in finding wholeness that I have recently stumbled upon.

  9. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 2:06 am

    Ach, what's a few thousand miles between friends? Thanks for this offer, which I'll enforce in future days, I hope.

  10. handworn Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    What’s different is that I’ll never live by paycheck again. My catch-up is catching up and I can treat myself to those little daily joys without feeling guilty anymore. This is freeing, and it makes me want to share more than ever before. It makes me want to plan more than ever before.
    In which case, I invite you to <lj comm="get_rich_slowly">.

  11. angledge Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    I found the 20% fascinating, by the way.

  12. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 2:07 am

    Well, that's the 20% that is PR, baby. It's designed that way, and that's the problem.

  13. angledge Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Oh, I think I saw more than just the PR portion of plaid.
    Miss you!

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