Life has been bananas and I see no end to it anytime soon. 2020 has been a rough go for me (and millions of others) but there has been some good to come out of it. It's funny how I started the year off feeling like it was my year- my solo show got into two different Theatre Festivals... Both of which were eventually cancelled.
I am a traveler who has not been able to travel the way I want to, so that has been frustrating. I do recognize that things could be much worse. I also let myself fall into old habits and patterns... But letting go allowed me to open up to other possibilities.
R and I met back in April and decided not to pursue a relationship at the time. However, we kept running into each other and gave the friendship thing a go. Over the months a strong connection grew...and we are now romantically together. I am totally swooning and excited to see where this will lead us. It all truly is in the timing. I had to let go and get closure on a past relationship to open my heart and welcome a new relationship.
We took our first adventure together at an Airbnb in an RV in Red Hook, upstate NY. There were strange little pigmy goats and horses on the land outside our window. The roomy RV gave us enough space and made for a fun twist on accommodation. (It also fueled my obsession for vanlife.)
I love the Hudson Valley because you are so close to NYC yet it is rural. There are so many little towns along the way, with plenty of food, coffee and hiking options. The only thing missing was Billie Holiday, the black mouth cur.
Working from home (WFH) definitely is not my fav way to teach, but considering the alternative it is the best we got right now. The schedule is exhausting and I am not cut out for a desk job. Sitting in front of a computer screen all day amps up my anxiety. Anyhow, I decided to change my WFH situation for a week in September by renting a place in Kingston. One of the days, I drove to meet my pal, Elvis for a wee hike. My sis came up in the middle of the week and stayed with me. We got out every single day after I finished working and hit the hiking trails. The outdoors helped my moods immensely. Billie really love it too. We tried all the local ice cream shops. I also got out on my bicycle quite a bit. Kingston is a cool little town with easy access to nature.
Did I mention I bough a motorcycle two years ago? It was during a manic phase, in November of 2018. I bough a used Honda Shadow 750 and then it sat in my older brother's garage for an entire year. Yes, I did have a moto license at the time, but I was in now way ready to ride that beast. Last October, I joined a female identified motorcycle club of badass folx. This entire year I have gotten to ride with amazing women and I even made it up to New Hampshire (with the crew) on my bike. These fierce females ride for charity which means we do a lot of charity and fundraising events.
I really love riding and imagine the day I can travel solo cross country. Florence, my touring bike is far from retired. If Covid hadn't happened I would have ventured our the West Coast for that final slice of the PCH. It will happen one day. Meanwhile, I am getting more saddle time on the moto.
A sweet return home, with an airport pickup from these cuties.
By the way- the coolest thing happened... I was upgraded to biz class! Waaaaaaat?! Best flight ever.
London: round two. The depression had already started when I left magical Milos. Santorini just wasn’t my jam. I wasn’t jazzed to pass through London again, because I was ready to get home, but there are worse places to layover. I had made arrangements to meet up with Rose, who works for the Feminist Library in London. We had coffee in Little Venice on the canal and it was perfect. We got to chatting about all sorts of things political and non. The Feminist Library is in the process of moving to a new location so I wasn’t able to visit or donate zines. But if you can, check them out.
After my coffee chat with Rose, I met Jemma at the Bayswater station to check out ‘carnival’ which is London’s Caribbean population celebration. Caribbean foods, and flags abound, and floats representing different nations parade down the street. The streets were packed with festival attendees -dancing their arses off in the streets, huffing nitrous balloons, sipping cocktails and live drumming and bands. A bit too much merry-ment for me. Also- whip-its? I haven't hit them since...? High school? We used to do them at festivals and Dead Shows. My sister was famous for dropping into a seizure in the old Giant's Stadium parking lot because she kept huffing the stuff back and forth into the balloon without taking in any oxygen. So, yeah, there's that. Glad that is no longer a part of my lifestyle.
Santorini is the iconic Greek island... however during the summer season this, for me is unbearable. I’m not a big fan of huge crowds. When I travel abroad I don’t like to hang out with Americans. Is that snotty? I don’t know and I don’t really care. Santorini was packed with people, and it was very expensive compared to Milos and Athens. The sunsets are gorgeous. The white buildings are beautiful. The beaches are nothing special compared to Milos. The food is no different than I had in other places. But expect crowds and high prices.
Thankfully, by the time I landed in the tiny, one lane airport in Mílos, I felt 💯 %.
The many divine meals...
Phew, finally feeling more like myself. I left a rainy, cold London afternoon and after some delays, Athens welcomes me with mid 80’s warmth. I really enjoyed Athens- for the short time I stayed. I stayed at the Athens Backpacker which was very close to the Acropolis. This neighborhood had loads of cafes and restaurants and has buses and the metro so you can get anywhere. It’s 15 minutes walking to Syntagma Square.
I had a killer view of the Acropolis from the rooftop bar of my accommodation. I got my arse up early to tour the Acropolis one morning. On public bus, I managed to get myself to an AA meeting. I also got myself to the pop-up Athens Zine Library to drop off some of my zines.
Worst withdrawal ever. I haven't been this ill since the last time I experienced withdrawal from heroin. My psychiatric nurse is a jerk because she is responsible for my serotonin withdrawal. I detoxed from my medication because I did not have enough in my system. My nurse switched the medication I was on and assured me that I would not have any issues because of the amount of serotonin in the med. Wrong she was. I crapped my brains out, felt woozy, sleepy, hungover, had the chills and was sweating, couldn't sleep and walked around in a daze for four days. Thanks. I was really angry with myself because I know better and should have taken extra pills of m previous meds along on this trip.
Holding it together during bouts of illness. I got to meet up with an old drinking buddy, Ian while visiting. Ian and I met in Los Angeles at the Banana Bungalow, in 2000 or 2001 after I drive cross country with my friend George, and then decided to make my drunken way up the coast of California. I also met up with Barney, a cyclist that we met on our first west coast bike tour.
Housemans Bookstore now stocks several of my zines. Housemans is very cool, the selection was akin to Bluestockings. I hung out and chatted with Christina for a bit.
Hi, I'm Reverend J, a queer+ sober wanderer, activist, writer and ordained minister.