Rhapsody in Blue, Part 2.

There is this quality of light indoors at sunrise; it has been explained to me that there is a reason, something about the way the light bends through the atmosphere and only a limited amount of that actually crosses into your home. Look, I don't know what it is, but it's cool and transformative, and it is most definitely my favorite time of day. To look at, that is.

I love the sunshine, don't get me wrong--but there is something off-putting when this calm and collected light of morning turns to a garish, almost oppressive, sunny day. Those first couple hours seem strange to me, especially in the winter when sunny days seem out of place for a transplant Seattleite.

I remember this happening to me in Miami too, especially in the summer when the temperature is only really ideal at night and an hour longer at the bar can yield a walk home in a hot and humid 90 degree morning. Which is gross, by the way. Especially after a long night of surpassing last call with high-octane trappist style ales from Tampa.

This is the part where I transition to the "in the light of day things seem different" portion of this little post, but it's not exactly like that and yet it's not exactly not not like that. That was my plan, yes, that I could equate all of this to a sunrise, but I'm still processing exactly what all of this is and is not.

I am sure of a few things. There is a very darling, very interesting boy here locally, and then there is also a very intense, very charismatic boy far away and I can't seem to divorce the two from each other. And I, I mean me--Young[ish] Moxie Moure--am starting to feel increasingly guilty. Guilty! For what? Nothing. We all know the rules and none of them have been broken, but I can't help this, and it's not going away, and it's killing me because I know I wouldn't be offered the same courtesy by the parties involved.

No, wait. That's not entirely true--I don't mind that I wouldn't be offered the same courtesy by them, meaning they are not what's killing me--this is an invention of my head, and like the cigarettes and the not eating, this is slowly doing me in.

It is oppressive how much I miss him, but it's in this Cinderella-esque way that I know a huge portion of it is that I'm hanging all my hopes upon it. I daydream of what it would be like if he called me from the train nearby or from JFK to let me know that he arrived safely, and I know it's all fake because in my head it all looks so technicolor and posed: my arms around his neck, feet off the ground, knees bent and ankles intertwined with each other. It's all bullshit and it's happening only in my minds eye where I am not guarded and he is communicative and neither of these things are true. Just like always.

I want one of those transformative sunrises, but maybe it could turn into one of those blue-grey days like in my hometown, and maybe instead of holing myself up indoors during this somewhat inclement weather  I'll go out, take a walk, experience this change. Maybe make a change. Maybe not. Maybe this time will be different, maybe New York will make him different, them different.

Maybe I'm already different.

edit: 10:59p
P.S.--I left work and descended into the 8th Av ACEL station and there was, I shit you not, a three piece playing Rhapsody right at my favorite part. It was so New York and so me and I had the quite certain (yet somewhat fleeting) feeling that there are some more things that I think I'd like to let go of. There are songs that remind me of other places like San Francisco: In the City, Journey and Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding. These songs are great--they invoke positive memories in more people that just me.  The songs that remind me of Seattle? Lost Highway, Angry Samoans; Rhythm and Blues Alibi, Gomez, christ, even Louie, Louie (the unofficial Washington State rock song) and all of these songs have to do with chasing after things that are gone and getting lost, leaving, even demanding to leave. I'm just saying that this should be my Blue Period, and I'm ready to traverse the distance from the clarinet glissando to the booming brass. Every day. --M


Rhapsody in Blue

On August 15th, 2008, I sat at one of the back tables at Whiskey Thieves on Geary with Keenan and Lisa celebrating my very last night in San Francisco. A few beers and a Maker's rocks in, I had a question for Keenan.

"Hey, Keen? You know that song, that super deco-Americana song that they always play in airplane commercials? What is that called? You now, the super Gershwin sounding one."

He barely hesitated.

"That is Gershwin. That's Rhapsody in Blue."

"No, no. No not Rhapsody, I mean the airplane commercial one, not the bank commercial one. I mean, it might be Gershwin, but that's not Rhapsody. You know the one I mean?"

"Yeah Mirans, I swear. That is Rhapsody."

"No, not that New York one, this is slower; it ends with that building timpany, a percussive...piano maybe? Brass, on the last note. You know? It's slower."

Then he laughed out loud.

"Mirans, that is how Rhapsody ends. That is Rhapsody in Blue."

I thought about it, and I couldn't piece out any specific movements in my head, but I thought about it from that crazy-amazing clarinet intro to...oh snap. That timpani, piano, brass outro. He was right. Sure as shit. But it was so weird, I had had that question in my head for months; why hadn't I put it together sooner? I used to play Rhapsody, so why couldn't I remember it?

"Oh, that is Rhapsody. Don't you think somebody should mash that up with Apache? That would be amazing."

Then he laughed out loud again, and if I remember correctly, told me someone had already done it.

I spent the weekend indoors with the afore mentioned "Very Young New Yorker", and he showed me a video of himself playing this song on the piano. Before he showed it to me, he told me I might be surprised.

"Why would I be surprised?"

"Because I think I'm better than you think I am."

"That implies that you think I don't think you're good. You told me you are and I believe you, I have no reason to be surprised."

"I think you'll be surprised."

I. Totally. Fucking. Was.

Why? Because this baby-faced kid from Queens can play the fucking piano like a grizzled North Beach jazz pianist and a classically trained Upper East Side socialite all rolled into one. I watched him play New York, and it was still in my head when I walked cross-town today when going from my train to work. And that walk! It was unseasonably, possibly unreasonably beautiful out today, and New York looked just like all of those mid-century cartoon versions of New York that are scored to, yes, Rhapsody in Blue.

This is part one.


For Alan, On My Blogoversary.

from: ["m moure" m@mirandamoure.com]
sent --- 22:43:17, 02.22.12
to: ["Alan Stevenson" astevenson@sbcglobal.net]


I know we talked recently, and I know I said we'd speak more, but I think it's time to let you go. I have other go-to devices now--some old like the lists, some new like the writing letters back to myself, but these email transactions, the interviews and this whole feigned relationship has got to be over. 

I'm not saying that you wont be missed; there are people and times that I can't remove you from being intertwined with and you were once even so real that Lisa asked if you were coming to my going away party. You are not real, Alan. You are more real than some other fake characters from IAAJD like Rather and Apollo Quite, Clever-Ann Rhymes and Audubon Poe (who's name I stole, by the way)--mainly because those people are expressly fake. You're not like them, and in print it seems almost as if you could be as real as anyone else but you're merely an invention of my blog, and you and your apartment on Russian Hill and your desk at the Guardian and your 415 that I would sometimes text and even your email address is all a clever device that I first toyed with five or six years ago. 

What's really weird Alan, is that if you read back over all of those posts, you change over the years. You got more and more demanding, less apologetic, more and more insistent that we continue a romantic relationship, increasingly pissed when I was seeing other people. Isn't that weird to you? I mean, you're essentially me, and I created you to be someone who slowly became less and less someone I even liked and yet more and more demanding about being with me. 

I have been going through my archives, Alan. I found a piece I wrote in an attempt to re-write the Pandora story except at the end what was in the box that I was forbidden to open was a letter from Lisa. I wrote it during NaNoWriMo 08, right after I broke up with Ben (who graces this story as Alex) and started earnestly dating Chase. This is that letter:

You are naturally curious, and perfect just the way you are. You need someone who will feed and fuel this curiosity, spark your interest, and reveal both their soul and their darkest mistakes to you as you are always willing to do unabashedly.

What I’m sure you’ve realized, a few sentences in, is that it’s just as crazy that you should want to stay with him as it would be putting your relationship in someone else’s hands.  Even if that person is your best girlfriend.

Do not ever, ever change yourself for a man.  Yes it’s true, you will garner less men—but the ones you find with be that much better.  Alex isn’t right for you.  Move on.  This is the truth you don’t want to but need to hear, and you will, I promise, be better off for having heard it.  Now that you know, I doubt you’ll ever be able to return to melding yourself to those who seem so good on paper.  I’m sorry.

I love you.

Now Alan, here's where we enter some sort of Meta-reality or some third deeper level of non-reality because I am relating a letter that I wrote as if I was Lisa, to you whom I invented. Regardless the point is the same: I knew all along what the consequences were of changing myself for someone.

It started so simply; easily, you know? That first little concession I made, and somehow it snowballed out of control--the exes I was forbidden to hang out with, then the secrets I had to keep, then time after time I let go of one of my dreams for promises that were never intended to be fulfilled and were in fact routinely broken in the day to day.

Hunts' told me a quote once: Who you are is the price you've paid for who you used to want to be.

On a side note, I think of that line often and wonder if he's ever sitting on a barstool nursing a whiskey neat, pondering whether or not his life now was worth paying for it with losing me. I know this never happens. I just wish that it did. But that, I think, is a story for a time that has already passed.

The point is that I created you to be someone I thought I wanted, but in the end the fantasy and the reality got all to similar. I don't know how it happened Alan, but you and Chase became the same person somehow and I don't know who came first or who followed who but I just don't want any of it anymore. I wanted you and I wanted him, but the price, in the end, is just too steep.

In the immediate aftermath, I tried reverting to exactly who I was the day before I met Chase; writing everyday, still in love with Wood, Camel Lights and black toenails and black coffee and you, too, were part of that. Now my toenails are pink, and I'm not exactly the girl who left you in San Francisco and I'm not exactly who I was on Christmas Eve--but I know, for sure, that I have to be without you.

I'm sorry. 

from: ["Alan Stevenson" astevenson@sbcglobal.net]
sent --- 03:14:54, 02.23.12

to: ["m moure" m@mirandamoure.com]

I came in early to look over a piece I'm writing about cyclists in the Tenderloin, and there you were in my inbox, and I was just thinking about you and your little green Tenderloin apartment and now it's all I can think about. 

Do you still put flannel sheets on your bed in the winter? Have that same cast iron pancake griddle? I can't help but remember you just as you were, two M's on your right middle finger and 10 perfectly manicured black toes. I saw a picture of you with bangs on your Facebook, and it didn't click at first but you're right--of course you're different. I don't know why I ever thought that I could hole you up into an image of you at 27, swearing to me that you weren't going to leave, then hightailing it from the city in a rush so fast I didn't even get to say goodbye. 

I'm not going to lie, I'm sad to think I'll miss how this will all turn out--in a year, two, five. But I hope that you regain that Joie de Vivre you once had and although I never told you, I want you to know now that I love you. I was in love with you. And I will miss you, maybe forever.

p.s.--Happy Blogoversary.

from: ["m moure" m@mirandamoure.com]
sent --- 04:48:36, 02.23.12
to: ["Alan Stevenson" astevenson@sbcglobal.net]

I love you too, Alan. But I still don't speak french.

The link above was the first one, I couldn't help but get in one final punchline. For those interested:
2345678910111213141516171819, and this very post makes 20. Goodbye, Alan.


It's Been a Long Time Coming. And Coming. And Coming.

My Blogoversary is in 2 days, and I have never been more excited than for this one. Much like the year New Years CD was a two disc set, this one will fill in all the blanks of the last few years. That is, if I am successful. You can take the next couple days to check out some past Blogoversary posts, including my first-ever-2005-post that began my blog.

2007 (This one was late. Airplanes and a bassist to blame)

Prepare yourselves. I am, preparing myself I mean, and am currently pouring through my archives in order to deliver something [hopefully] awesome.



You'd be surprised how hard it can be to be this easy.

As the bulk of my list was built in the seven-by-seven-mile peninsula that is San Francisco, My newly acquired New York singledom is most easily compared to my time there. My thoughts? New York makes being promiscuous so very, very, easy. No pun intended.

Por ejemplo? Time for a list.

1. The Subway.
There's no post-coital cab sharing, no awkward and outside bus transfers from the uptown to the crosstown to the all over town, and no cliff-like hills to climb in last nights' heels. The Train of Shame is so much preferable to it's counterpart walk.

2. Smartphones.
Okay, this isn't really New York specific, but rather time-period specific, but let's just pause and appreciate how the smartphone and it's GPS helps any youngling traverse the miles back home when everything looks different in the daylight and you can't remember which way you came.

3. Planned Parenthood.
I'm just saying that I have never seen a bowl of condoms that big in my entire life, even at any other Planned Parenthood anywhere. And hey, condoms are expensive. I could go on and on about how Planned Parenthood of New York can make your sex life better, but I've pretty much already covered it here and here.

4. Your receptionist at work.
Okay this one is probably just me. Okay, this one is definitely just me, but sometimes you're standing on the train platform and you realize it's a holiday and you fear you're going to be devastatingly late to work, and yet somehow the train is right there, and you make your first transfer quickly and perfectly like it never actually happens but you always wish it would, and then instead of the F the C pulls up at Essex and takes you 4 (long) blocks closer to work than you thought you'd get and you end up getting there 5 minutes early. And maybe on this same day, the receptionist looks over at you, winks, and plays Big Pimpin' over the PA, and you wonder how she could possibly be so clairvoyant, and I want to love her.

But me give my heart to a woman?
Not for nothin', never happen.

I'll be forever mackin'.


The Bone Sabbath: Dear 23 Year Old Miranda


I know things seem insane right now; you're a white-bikini-and-Sinead-O-Jeanskirt clad Miamian pining over some boy in Olympia. Right now, February 18th 2004, you are away from Florida and laying in his navy sheeted bed wondering if you could ever live without him. But things will change: your brand new skyline tattoo will bleed a bit with time and within a year you'll forget about that boy completely for a string of conquests found in Seattle bars and San Francisco lounges.  In a year you will meet a boy that seems inconsequential, and it's fine that you'll think so, but I'm telling you that right now it's been another 7 years and he's still in your head and your phone and sometimes over the years on planes to come visit you. Sometimes when he's not on planes to come visit you, you'll find yourself in some one's bed who's just your age now, and maybe mid this naked recline you'll realize that these two inconsequential boys bear a striking resemblance to each other.

There are a couple stories here, Miranda. There is the one where you capped an extended casual sex sabbatical with a very young New Yorker, and he sweetly asked for your phone number in the morning and you relented, and he walked you to your train on a sunny Saturday afternoon. You kissed him goodbye, in public, on the street, and none of it really felt like you. Phone numbers and strolls and PDA? It's just all so weird; it feels weird and you don't remember exactly how you like to handle these types of situations because you are finally out of an LTR, and then there is still the inconsequential boy you'll meet in a year and then a 23 year old version of him asks for your phone number. I suppose you aren't quite yet aquainted with the Miranda that you'll soon become: If I remember correctly then the notches on your bedpost are still in the single digits or maybe have just barely tipped past ten, but they will number in the hundreds by the time you are me and you will laugh at the time you didn't know if you should say goodbye to the sound guy you fucked on his tour bus parked out between Collins and the beach. This Miranda is a heartbreaker and a nametaker, a storymaker. A fucking listmaker. In a year or so you'll be her and you'll know because you'll be busy fucking all kinds of inappropriate people like your best friend's Dad's married bandmate, your roomates' ex-boyfriend, and every one who ever lived at Jeremaiah's house. Most of these people will never get your number, and few of them will you ever see again.

There is the other story where I just wish I could be you again and try this all over--maybe I could just not meet the inconsequential boy that has become of so, so much consequence; maybe this could make it all okay so that now I'm just some girl who wanted to sleep with some guy and later on nobody felt like there was a distinct possibility that some one is being replaced.

But wait, I can't be you--I don't envy what you're about to do, nor do I care to ever relive it. In a few months you will endure the single worst breakup (yes, still #1) of your life so far, and you will cry in bed for weeks, and then you will fill your bed with all kinds of boys until one will finally make you forget--and there's the flaw in the do-over plan because I suppose he had an immediate and lasting consequence right from the beginning. He'll fit in your little pink bed just like a puzzle piece and in a million years you'll be me, and you'll be writing this, and you'll be distracted from this very sentence because you're trying to think of a way to explain what color his eyes are and are stuck with "greenish".

I wish you could read this right now, because in a few hours you will go eat eggs at Beth's, and then it will start to rain, and you and your pretty young Olympian boyfriend will stand in that rain for an hour so very desperate to not let go, and then tomorrow you'll do exactly that. You'll fly home to Miami and it will all feel like some strange dream you had, and then you'll realize that you have no idea when you're going to see each other again. It's weird how little that will matter when you're me.

But hey, chin up 23 year old me! You'll be [relatively] fine, and fuck, you'll live in New York. That's cool, right? And one beautiful New York afternoon, you'll ride the train a long way home with a shit eating grin on your face because you just came six or seven times last night.

And a couple times this morning.


In a pinch.

I didn't know I even wanted a Valentine until I was reminded that I had one.

Just before midnight last night, while laying in bed with a[nother] migraine, just while it was still barely even Valentines day, I was reminded...well, quite frankly I was reminded that I had had 23 hours already to reach out and I hadn't.

My selfishness and forgetfulness aside, it brought a huge smile to my face. One I didn't know I needed.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off into the streets of the Frozen North to hang out with Los Angeles and Miami. Maybe they'll have some sunshine for me.



Happy, Happy VD.

I had a huge post planned--

I mean huge. I mean research and a hypothesis that would have been cleverly hidden in a narrative with a tight and sturdy moral at the end. And then I got sick.

I LOVE love, and I particularly love Valentines day. I was going to make little Valentines for my former coworkers at the gallery and text all my friends and put on a red dress and make a bunch of people dinner.  I even had the day off today! But those plans, like some other plans, were deftly thwarted today by a crafty little virus.

But lo! There is something very auspicious that cannot be taken from me today! Today, February 14th, St. Valentines Day, is exactly 4 weeks from my last gyno appointment.

This means that I DO NOT HAVE CANCER, nor do I have HPV, nor do I any other vaginal malady that Chase may have seen fit to give me. And I am so, so, very ready for this day.

But I am sick, so the Graphic Designer with the headphones will have to wait, as will the brunette with the pigtails, and the curly haired art installer. Even the tall Brazilian scientist will have to wait a few days to see my Brazilian.

See? SEE HOW I DID THAT THERE? I'm still pretty clever on Nyquil, haha.

More soon.


Paperwork Palace

My life has been reduced to listening to hold music.

I went to the doctor again today, and met with my case manager who is now in charge of handling the synectics of my physical and mental health. She asked me to describe an average day, to get a feeling of how I was doing.

"Lately? Or like, normally?"

This is me talking, of course. The subtext is that I'm constantly wondering what normal feels like; if I'm normal on meds or off them or was before or am now or haven't been in a long time. She replied yes, lately.

"I wake up around 8. I make some coffee on a good day. A bad one I have tea because I don't feel like waking up. Then I get on the phone and wait on hold forever. I call the bank, the Department of Labor, one of my lawyers, one of my doctors, Planned Parenthood, The Hope line, The Help line, 311, The Tenants Advocacy Board, my super because the fucking heat isn't working again, my bank because my ACH number has changed, my sister because I can't deal, my Mom because...why not? Then I go to all the places they tell me to go, then I come home to a dining table full of paperwork that I add some more crap to, then I avoid organizing it. Then I go to sleep."

She nodded. Slowly. Then she smiled.

"Okay," she said, "when do you eat?"


p.s.--I seem to have plateaued at 129 lbs--at least, I was weighed to that number three times in a row in the span of 10 days. The upside, I'm not losing anymore weight, right?


The Plan in the grass.

There has been a lot of buzz lately, so I thought we could have a little chat about Planned Parenthood.

If I was able to take a poll mid-post I might consider asking y'all which you'd like to hear first, the facts, or the anecdotal stories. I don't have the luxury, so let's start with the facts.

The most accurate statistics I can find are supplied are from 2008, but I think it will prove my point.
This is how they spend their funds:

35%:  Contraception for men and women including hormonal and non hormonal birth control, emergency contraception, tubal ligation and vasectomy. This also includes the handy device that lives inside my uterus: The Almighty Copper Intra Uterine Device. Amazeballs.

34%:  STD/STI prevention, screening, and treatment. These are the people that make sure someone is able to treat their STI's before they can give them to you. Every person in this world should be grateful for this. Even me. Especially me.

17%:  Cancer screening, largely for the breast and cervical varieties, although Planned Parenthood has had their well endowed hand (no pun intended) in catching melanoma. If you think any of these cancers are no big deal, you need only speak to someone who has lost somebody to them. Now that I think about it, I don't need to explain cancer. It already evokes a visceral and scary response in Americans and otherwise.

10%:  Women's fertility issues like prenatal care, infertility counseling and treatment, and pregnancy testing. Now, come on. This is good old fashioned breeding here--can anyone really get down on that? No, wait. That's not an invitation to get down on breeding in my comment section, because the decision to have a child is a personal decision, which brings me to...

4%:  Abortions and other services. I lumped these two together because they were so small. This would include pregnancy termination services, social work, and refferals to outside adoption agencies.

When I was...26? I got my period three times in three weeks. I had health insurance, but my history of not having health insurance left me in a position of not knowing anywhere else to go but Planned Parenthood.   They found a handful of benign polyps in my uterus, and five days later they scraped them all out. TMI? Maybe. But I can tell you that I was frightened beyond belief to go anywhere else and had they not existed, I might have waited to see someone until I...well, expired. And yes, it was getting that dangerous, or so they told me. I was about three weeks away from getting some sort of possibly fatal infection apparently.

After my surgery, a nurse came over to me in recovery and held my hand for an hour. She asked who was picking me up? Who was taking care of me while I would be recovering? I told her a cab, and no one--I lived alone in downtown SF, and would be recovering alone. She wrote her phone number on a tiny slip of paper and slipped it into my bag, just in case. Just in case I needed to talk.

I feel like I have already spoke of what they have done for me recently, and feel like I should wait another week or so (results still pending) to fully recap.

I can guarantee you, however, that this organization, these women and men, these people that save and enlighten and embolden lives routinely are worth saving. I would wager that most people reading this have a similar story within zero or one degree of separation of them.

I know that there are many people out there that are pro-life, whatever those terms mean anymore, and to you I say that these people are fighting for you to--these are the men and women that support happy and healthy families, wonderful pregnancies, empowered men and women. We are all on the same page.

We simply want everyone to have the same opportunities at a happy, healthy life.
These people do more than most to make sure that happens.

Please, donate here.