Tuesday, March 30, 2010

how do you like dem apples?

once upon a time there was a neophyte foodie hunter who spent her first formative years in the tenderloin. quietly wide-eyed, she watched her mother look over warped used pans for a fifty cents at a local salvation army when her mother was taking breaks from her job and her school work. her mother was neither a crack head, prostitute, or into local crime. it is called poverty. period. those who say that crime only impacts those who are involved in crime have never been poor. because, let me tell you, the idea of crime only impacting those involved in crime is a huge load of bull shit.

one rainy afternoon, i was with my friends in day care and we were proudly showing off our just made dried noodle necklaces while dancing on top of the threadbare rugs to some music flowing from the record player. then my mother, rushes into the room, kneels down to hold me, crying. i look around quite confused and i see two stern looming men in dark blue uniforms. it appeared that they were there with my mother. yet, one of them spoke very gently to my mother, making no motions to touch her, which belied his sternness....and i relaxed a bit as i didn't see him or the other as a threat. unlike some other people. then the men in blue escorted my mother and me to their car and this was the first time i rode in a police car. i remember watching the rain drops connect into a stream and dance across the back seat window....wondering why my mother was crying, why we were in a car (we didn't have a car...we took muni), and who were these men that were taking us home? you see, my mother had been grabbed and taken. then she got away. i felt such a feeling of powerlessness and anger. i think anger was one of the emotions that i had an over abundance of while i was young. i've mellowed out quite considerably. i'm still rather intense [understatement], but i'm nothing like i was when i was younger [truth]. looking back at this moment, which is one of my earliest memories, i can see how this event was pretty pivotal for my rather intense drive for my life to be different and somehow just "knew" that i would make my life be different....because for me, there was no other choice, it was just going to be different. period.

so maybe you'll understand dear hearts, why after some processing when i returned from new york and researching apartments on the upper west side, i thought..."wait a sec. i'm looking at apartments on the UWS. is this really happening? when did this happen? that i can afford this? i mean, rationally, i know that i have worked damn hard through university and various jobs for years, but emotionally?.....the UWS isn't beyond my reach anymore....and if the UWS isn't beyond my reach....well, what about pac heights? why not reach for a secret dream?"

i decided to just look at what was available in pac heights before i responded to some of the brokers re: the UWS....just to see. there was still the cynical part of me that thought, "hmmm, can a gal that started out in the tenderloin really end up in pac heights?"

then it all happened so quickly.

there was an apartment that looked perfect for me through the description and fuzzy photos. i left a voicemail and emailed them w/a copy of my resume, rental history, and my credit score....and about 5 minutes later i received a call asking if i would like to see the place in a few hours....and when i walked into the apartment, i just knew that this was it. it is a lovely space, the light is perfect for taking photos, and i could see myself happily cooking, writing, and working. the next day, while i was riding muni on my way to sign the lease, i could feel myself tearing up behind my huge bug-eyed sun glasses. i love these sunglasses. they hide a multitude of sins and unexpected emotions....because who really wants to cry on muni? but i didn't cry, sucked it all in, and pulled myself together for the signing and such. then, after the signing, i was having an email conversation with a loved one based in nyc, "talking" about the whole experience....and he wrote to me about how i should be impressed with acknowledging where i came from, how hard i've worked, how far i've come, and how fortunate i am to have met people who have helped me be where i am today.

then i did cry, for reals. gawd dammit.

so maybe you can understand dear reader, why i'm saying aloud through a watery half smile, "a gal of the tenderloin is going to pac heights. how do you like dem apples?"

No comments: