keep clear

my street runs into what is commonly known as a t-section at the main drag. the 100 or soo feet between one corner to another on all three sides has in big white paint “keep clear”. stipulating, that for traffic to make left/right turns onto the main drag or a left turn onto my street, the “keep” clear sign alert people to allow this to happen. Now you won’t see “keep clear” printed on every t-section that you run into — however since the off-ramp light is located about a block from my street, traffic gets heavy and backed up and it’s a royal pain in the ass to make a left onto the main drag or to make a left onto my street.
now the bitch is, is that people are dumber than box of rocks when it comes to driving. too many times when i have come home from work, i have to honk like a mad person because some moron has his tricked-out pinto in the intersection that says “keep clear”. finally, it ends up with the person behind him backing up enough so that I can get through.
there are other “keep clear” intersections that people don’t bother to “read”. one is off of Grand Ave in Lake Merritt, by where Darryl lives. I have to make a left onto a side street to take him home, however since the street between grand ave and lakeshore ave is curved, and the street i need to get onto is a side street, it’s impossible to do so if traffic is backed up from the light. there is only room for about 2 cars before the side street begins. since it’s such a busy intersection, again the “keep clear” is a signal to anyone with half a brain that others need to get through and that at red lights, people should be behind the white lines. think this happens? Fuck no. Yesterday a woman stopped in the middle of the intersection, so that no one could turn left onto the side street and no one could turn left onto the main street. I honked and she finally got off her duff and moved her car up. Other people will blatantly sit there and NOT move. Once I saw a cop who turned on his flashers to get through the intersection and then turned them off as he continued driving. That, Darryl and I both thought, was completely and utterly unfair.
the one thing i have learned since i have lived out in california, is how negligible people are when driving. like when i rolled into this woman’s car doing less than 2 miles an hour at the toll both to get on the Bay bridge. she attempted to claim “neck injuries” until she found out that my insurance for that day had lapsed (it was picked up a day or so later. a fuck up by the insurance company). another example is when my roommate cathleen was driving home late one night, her blood sugar dropped and she ran into a parked truck. she left a note and her business card to get the matter resolved. when the person didn’t call her for several days, she walked over to his house (the accident occurred right around the corner from our house), the guy didn’t even realize that he had been hit. when he took his work truck into be appraised, they said over 2k worth of damage. 2k worth of damage to a small hit, on a work truck that was covered in bondo and had other dents and scratches? cathleen finally got the guy to take his truck to a reputable mechanic and the appraisal was for about 600 bucks (this is cali after all).
and it doesn’t stop there.
arrogant mother fuckers who drive like mad people during torrents of rain and think that gravitational laws don’t apply to them, people who will drive on shoulders for blocks to cut into traffic during high peak times, people who make lane changes without looking. the list goes on and on.
i had read somewhere that if you can drive in the bay area, you can drive anywhere. I’ve become such a good little defensive driver that i about ready to make a career change and start driving professionally.
beautiful day in the neighborhood
san francisco (nee bay area) is infamous for being absolutely beautiful one day, rainy the next and than back to being beautiful again. Wednesday (2.24.99) was so beautiful, i got out off of BART one stop early on my way back to work. i stopped at the San Francisco shopping center and walked down market, enjoying the beautiful day mixed with the always precious site of homelessness and yuppies who convene together on the sidewalks. the wind was blowing just right so that the usual smell of urine was distant.
while walking down the street, i felt this sense of happiness i hadn’t felt in a particular time. I’m still in a quandary about what to do with my life — and i feel that i need to make a decision soon. but the rub is that looking back at the past history of me and seeing the all too familiar patterns that keep cropping up. I’ve been running in this rut now for about four years (long before cali came into the view) and almost every new year, i say the same things “this year is going to be different.” but it never feels like it is.
patterns are everywhere. i read old journal entries from 95,96 (written journal not on-line) and see that my bitch and moans then are the same bitch and moans now. i look through past on-line journals and see striking if not similar patterns in a comparison to month to month of then and now.
i get confused.
I’m not quite sure what i need to be doing. thoughts keep going through my head such as “Justin is the best there is” or “are you going to school for yourself or to prove something to someone” or “you are getting old Lisa. pretty soon you will be 40! (14 more years)”. i run such a gamut from self-pity to being self-righteous it’s almost sickening. i can never make up my mind exactly what i want. my mantra has just been “school, school, school” but i don’t know what i want to do with my life after that. the choices are so overwhelming that i freak and just do nothing. i think about all the stuff i want to do, and feel guilty when people attempt to convince me that i shouldn’t have to do it alone.
then i hear about ex’s who are getting married (those evil fuckers) and i feel like something is inherently wrong with me.
i used to have this strong sense of “worth” to the extent that i knew how my life was going to be going — mainly with my love life. i knew what i wanted from someone and that i was strong enough to say good-bye if it didn’t happen. then i hear other people who seem least likely to be in love — be in love and it sounds almost clinical. i can’t imagine my life with someone, let alone of being in love again. it seems such a 180 degree turn of who i am now — that i fear that my worst fear has come undone.
I’ve become afraid.
last night i talked to my ex Chad (from downpour on my soul) and felt strange. the longing in his voice matched the longing in my own voice — our voices to each other still did the same things physically to us that it had in the past. we talked a lot about our relationship and all the fun times we had and reminiscing about when he was living in Pittsburgh and when i would go see him. over 3 years have passed since we have last talked on the phone and about the same since we last saw each other physically. he’s got a new girl right now and he seems to be completely and honestly in love with her — but i keep getting the sinking feeling of what “could have happened” if i hadn’t done what i did.
I think about that now a lot — about the mens I’ve dated and of those ones, the ones that i had the most significant relationships with. i could have been happy with any of them in the long-term sense — and lord knows i was wildly in love with all of them at the time we were together. but shit always gets in the way and i always end up getting my heart-broken (often for trivial things)