The Advance


The line to get in the line to a get a number to sit in line at the Oakland Social Security office at 360 22nd Avenue.

“It is the blog that never ends,

It just goes on and on my friend,

Mac started writing it not know what it was

And He’ll continue living it forever just because

It is the blog that never ends,

It just goes on and on my friends…

Oakland – January 12, 2015

It doesn’t matter how I got here, only that I am here, rebuilding finally in the right city – one with a future and no triggers and booby-traps. I ahve made sure to leave those in the dust bodily, mindfully, existentially and spiritually. Santa Cruz is a dead zone to me. I may never go back., not even for a visit. It smells of death there to me.

Meanwhile, while hardly comfy I have made massive gains in the Bay Area already in just 14 days. I’m involved in the ground level of a new (incredible) church in SF (, am involved in homeless ministry on Oakland (recruited by a nun) and starting to get services today via St. Mary’s (who works with Seniors in placement and services (I found out – much to my outrage that I am now a “senior” – wtf?!) The hell I am (but I’ll take all the benefits please.

So I will be homeless again for two months and must report on the daily interactions that are already so piled up I will never catch up.

It’s such a privilege and I love these folks and I also am them. People just do not understand. “Of I dunno how you handle it – such a stressor, while they live on total fear of their bosses, and of their neighbors and of most everything else – fear, Fear FEAR.

I do not live in fear. I am not stressed. But that is because I am a veteran and know exactly what I am doing. Five years ago? It freaked me. Now? Peh.

No drama…no trauma.



Ethyl’s eyes are bugging out like Marty Feldman’s at the Social security office at 360 22nd Street in Oakland. You can see the line (above). Ethyl’s eyes are bugging out at the white security guard who she was arguing with. Things were escalating the way things to do which were going to end up in her expulsion and possible arrest.

I interceded with humor and asked her to tell me a story. Ethyl looked at me suspiciously, but I said something about the security guard looking alike a fat Alec Baldwin and she relaxed. I was only then I realized he was only eight feed away right by the column and probably heard me say it (crap). For the next two hours I concentrated on Ethyl and her stories. Some were quite good , funny and not a few instructive for my own situation. One had me literally laughing out loud hard.

One of my favorite moments though  was when I mentioned paying $2.10 for busfare. “Didn’t you say you were 57?” Ethyl said.

“Yeah. I’m 57.”

“You’re a senior you dumbass.” she exclaimed eyes all wide.

“Shut your mouth wo-man!” I said in mock horror “I am NO such thing! I am too young and beautiful!”

She laughed and I said seriously “I never thought of it…damn.”

Later on that evening I was back at home base recharging my phone at Starbucks (they have wifi rings that do this – good thing cuz I cannot find my recharger) and a nun walked straight over and started talking with me about the homeless situation and said I should be a part of a new project.

How do they know?

Oh I am supposed to be here. Santa Cruz is a distant and bad memory (except for the Great One and a few friends. It looks like my new love interest is bailing – I’m fine with it.  I can feel it. I’ll miss her. I liked her a lot. But I’m cool with it.

Most people do not understand that it is adversity that reveals who you are, not prosperity.

I have a bright future here. As I laid on my cot at City Team the other evening and thought about my place in Soquel with the queen sized bed, privacy, my art on the walls, private bath etc…I saw how clearly this (right now) is a huge advance forward. Most if my former life is gone. I don’t care. This new life is better- right now. Can you imagine how good it will be in a year?


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