Friday, September 28, 2007

Re: Hi; Or, Life Is What Happens To You When You're Busy Making Other Plans

"Hey B,

What's up? I would have called but T said you might be in Albuquerque. I may have just missed you - I was there for a handful of days over Labor Day weekend for a conference. Then, I went to Texas for a series of readings. I just got back a few days ago. If the school has my number, that's no problem -- thanks. Sorry, I must have you listed as a friend of the family. I hope you are (!) Sorry for being out of touch, but things change here daily.

As John Lennon says, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." I was fully intending to commute. I had a nearly impossible time trying to enroll J in school, it took weeks -- we had no address and have no documents here as I was planning to come back after summer. So, it turned out there was no way I could leave him here, at a Mission middle school, alone. I had no one to watch him, and he needs to be in school, and needs me around to help him through this transition, and just middle school stuff. I had a plane ticket to fly back right before classes, but it was refundable and exchangeable, so I was waiting until J was settled. That night, right before classes started, I realized that there was no way I could commute as a single mom. What happened is that on thursday, the day I was originally going to fly out, J still couldn't start school and T emailed that he had just gotten laid off -- after 28 years, effective immediately. That changed everything in terms of commuting -- he would be there with me and not at work, and he might sell the house sooner, before the semester is over. Anyway, I'm in the middle of trying to write about it all -- as I have no option but to resign, immediately, in order to deal with having to live here. These past 3 weeks have been very interesting. I need to stay -- I just found out that (SNIP) She found this great storefront, a large live/work space about 3 blocks away that she wants to buy, but is not for sale for a couple more years. I ended up renting it and signing a 1-year lease on it the day after I heard from T. I'm hoping to manage The Mission Poetry Center out of it, and continue holding these writing workshops. Then, miraculously, N threw me a class at SFSU -- I was applying the day I taught the first class that wednesday I was supposed to start the Ethnic Studies class at CU. So, I just found out about it the morning classes started and I couldn't make the flight the night before. That sort of sealed it for me, my fate, that is. I just realized that trying to commute was going to be lot harder than starving here in Cal without a job (I get paid in one semester here what I make in one month at Boulder.) Commuting would have been too expensive, and taxing on my health. Too crazy. When I missed the 7:30 pm flight on monday, I was just intending to call in saying that I couldn't make that class on tuesday -- but ended up emailing and saying that I couldn't come in at all, all semester. I had no choice at that point. It was very reluctantly, since I really wanted to teach that Memphis Minnie course for Al. But it was just not humanly possible. Not at my income and credit score. Then, the house I was subletting in Pacifica for a few weeks in August, which I had just moved out of to move to this place in SF, came up for sale. So, now I am resigning, and will be taking a penalty on withdrawing my retirement funds to buy it (66,000) - in order to rent it out for income as part of these poetry workshops. As I said, my life is changing daily. I'm just trying to figure out how to retire and do it as soon as possible. What choice do I have?

Anyway, please don't take it too personally. I've been running around with all this paperwork I have to do: taxes, credit, divorce, benefits, housing.... and all without a car. Susan and the rest are real busy right now with their projects. I'm prepping for class a lot: 49 students (why Naomi didn't want the class) in Chicana and Latinas on the Borderlands - an Ethnic Studies class. I don't even think I'm officially on the books yet. And I was hired at the absolute minimum -- which was better than nothing. (J qualifies for free lunches now, much to his dismay.) My new place comes with a housemate, an artist friend of the family, so he helps take care of J when I'm away. (But can't do it every week)

Otherwise, I'm happy and (most important) healthy. Staying out the emergency room. It was too much stress and hard on my health working under (SNIP) It's all evil, evil, evil. I'd, evidently, rather starve out on the streets. Which is not likely to happen. My work is going the best it's ever been. What I really need and deserve and have earned, is a sabbatical. In 18 years I've only been given a semester - not even the customary semester as an assistant that (SNIP) everybody else was offered and given. Meanwhile, there's a poet's job opening up at (SNIP) next year. For the time being (isn't that a monster?) I'm out of academia for good, and doing real well in terms of the quality of the work - and my relationship with J & family. I hope you can come down and visit sometime. I'll be back when I can afford it to pack up.

Where are you? On the cell? I'll call when I get a chance. I have to vacate right now as my landlord's coming to get some things out of the place. I'll probably go to Pacifica where this house is, I have rented it, too, for the month. (I got a loan last month) I'll try and work there. I have a poet lined up (I'm offering it for poetry retreats) who might be able to pay and move in right away.

Take care. Hope to see you soon.

Lorna Dee

"On a mission. In the Mission. On Mission"
"Porque La Misión tiene una misión poética que cumplir."

Cervantes Studios
3431 - 3433 - 3435 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(this addy is also 3435 and 3433 - all in the same building.

On Sep 20, 2007, at 11:14 AM, B wrote:

Hi, Lorna,

I called the house on Miami way to see if you were around the first week of school - T said he hadn't heard from you at all. I heard that Al was particularly upset, but I think they sorted things out in Ethnic Studies after all.

I guess I understand that everything here in Colorado is on your bad list, (SNIP).

BTW, when the school called me about J, I figured you must have given them my phone number, and I went ahead and gave them yours. If you did not want me to give it out you might have asked.

Anyway, I hope all is going well.

Take care,


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Blogger Lyle Daggett said...

Wow, much life happening. The stars must be rattling in the sky trying to keep up. I think of you and wish all good for you. Stay well, amiga.

29/9/07 19:42  

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