Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ding Ding Ding Went the Trolley!

Well, my first thought was to blog about friendship, disillusionment and betrayal. Y'know, when a supposed friend flakes out on you when you need her the most, even when she told you that she understood what you were going through and needed to be there more for you. When you ask her to write regularly because you're lonely and miss your friends, and she doesn't. and then, when you tell her that you're hurt and disappointed that she didn't write or call when you asked her to, she tells you it's because you're a toxic, angry woman, a ranter and raver, a child that needs to grow up, dysfunctional, a drama queen, self-abusive and starving for adoration. Oh, but she respects your pain and would never want you to think that she's negating it. Oh yeah, but you also have a non-functional worldview, that all you have to do is grow up and stop being a drama queen, and she can't see an external reason for you to be THAT unhappy, this can't be the worst year of your life because it just isn't true to HER. And by the way, you've changed her life for the better, filled her world with beauty, companionship, wisdom and courage And when she looks at you, she sees the most beautiful, wise, talented, driven, passionate woman she knows. You're an inspiration to her.

But then I decided, toxic and abusive woman that I might be (not!) that I've given enough time and thought to this person who lived in my house when she was new in town, and then again when she couldn't afford her rent. I further damaged my relationship with Brian by pushing this issue; he didn't want a roommate. And yet she couldn't stay in contact with me and help me through a rough transition because she wasn't 'comfortable' with my anger. She equates anger with violence, y'see, eschews anything dark. Life is covered with fairy dust and glitter. Her 'worldview' does not accept the fact that anger is not always toxic, but to repress it certainly leads to toxicity. And she also doesn't seem to get that it's how you handle justified anger that differentiates between expressing honest emotions and...er...well, ranting and raving and spewing out toxic venom. The words 'I am hurt and angry that you weren't there for me,' uttered in very non-confrontational tones, were 'dumping on her.' She felt abused. She was...uncomfortable.

I think my friend T.C. put it best when he said that comfort is a fleeting thing, but a good friendship lasts a lifetime. Bad choice on her part.

But I'm not gonna write about that, other than to apologize to all of my friends and family who've experienced the wrath of Toxic Dana, the Immature Drama Queen with a Dysfunctional Worldview. That's now officially my super villainess name!

Anyway, rather than waste any more time on a lost cause, I'm gonna tell you about the quintessential San Francisco experience I had today. I had to go up to Whole Foods on California and Franklin, which is a block past the last cable car stop on California, so I thought it would be fun to take the cable car. At five bucks a pop (that's five bucks either direction), it's not cheap. But since I have a Muni FastPass, I can hop on the cable car anytime I want as part of my $45 a month. I've only ridden it once since I moved here, late at night, so this was a chance to experience it in the daytime.

It was cold and spitting rain today, but the cable cars run right past my workplace on California and there are stops two blocks on either side of it. So armed with an oversized umbrella, my FastPass, money, and a bad book (one of the latest offerings in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. You know, the ones that stop having any clear sense of plot and are just a series of vignettes in which our heroine boinks werewolves, vampires, and the occasional human in loud, screaming, clawing sex scenes, and gains a new 'vampire power' with every fuck, interspersed with the occasional half a chapter that moves the story forward), I caught the cable car. Actually, I missed the first one by half a block and a minute, but that's okay 'cause I wasn't in any hurry. I hardly ever take lunch, so I figured I could take a leisurely hour of playing tourist.

I caught the next one at the second stop on the line, so there were plenty of seats. I opted to sit on one of the outside benches ('outside' meaning that it 's covered by the trolley roof, but the sides of that part of the car are open to the street), despite the rain. It's a little disconcerting watching cars zip by, feeling the wind of their passage as it were, and knowing that if you just happened to fall out, you'd be squished like a bug. But only a little because all you have to do is sit back, hold on to one of the many convenient poles if the going gets rough, and enjoy the sound of the trolley bell. And try to think of something other than alternating rounds of 'ding ding ding went the trolley' or 'Rice-A-Roni...the San Francisco Treat!'

Yes, I AM old enough to remember that commercial jingle.

Leave my age out of it, dagnabbit!

Youngsters these days, no respect...


See how angry I am?

Anyway, I enjoyed a chance to watch the scenery without a: worrying about tripping over my own feet or something on the sidewalk, or b: running into someone or something while driving. There are some gorgeous buildings along the length of California, most notably Grace Cathedral. I may not be religious, but I sure love the loving and ornate architectural details that go into so many of the old churches. The occasional splatter of rain didn't bother me. Did I mention I love rainy weather?

It was also fun watching the conductors run the cars. There are two per car and they all seem to enjoy their job, right down to pulling the rope that makes that 'ding ding ding' of the trolley. One of them kept winking at me, but I suspect it was because of the contented smile I wore throughout the trip. Either that, or he had a tic in one eye. Your call.


  • At 4:31 PM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said…



    I've always found you to be delightful. And I am very perceptive.

  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger zhadi said…

    And your perception, with the occasional exception of bad moods (non-toxic ones, I assure you), is the correct one. I AM delightful! When I'm not spewing venom. Jeez, it makes me sound like a spitting cobra!

  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger FreeThinker said…

    I'm not religious, either, but I enjoy the grandeur of Grace Cathedral (even though it's just a mini knock-off of the Notre Dame).

    And you MUST check out the labyrinth next to the church ... very trippy, even in the rain!

  • At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Jack Young said…

    WHO needs to grow up?
    If you really were "the ispiration" of this person and she were really your friend, she would be able to take you in any mood or disposition. She would have seen through the accidents of situation, time and place and have concentrated on the essence that is you. Rather because SHE is the child who wishes to see the universe through a badly distorted set of rainbow-colored glasses, she has chosen to reject you as you are because you didn't come up to her standards of a perfect person in a perfect world. (Let us charitably forget the fact that the world isn't perfect and probably will never be.)
    I'm sorry you had to go through this. It's a hell all unto itself. I know. At least you now know who your real friends are; those who like you as you are. Supervillain? Hell, no!
    I agree about Laurell Hamilton. Her first two novels were all about story. The others all appear to be about inspecting gonadle lint hairs. (Is "gonadle" a word? Am I even spelling it correctly? In this day of English -as-you-prefer-it I'll probably never know.
    I do wish she 'd get back to writing stories instead of treatises on impossible relationships. Couldn't she work this into the plots in a better
    way? Other writers have.
    Oh well, this isn't a perfect world after all. Grrrrrrrrr!
    Jack Young

  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Ah, Jack, thank you for your support and insightful words on my former friend, and your validation re: Laurel Hamilton. The thing that about her books now is that she takes three chapters to get through a scene that should take one, 'cause she has to stop for Anita to have sex all the time, and then discuss why she should or shouldn't. The pacing is just dreadful. I'd even forgive the impossible relationship factor if she'd just stop a: repeating herself, b: giving Anita new powers with every orgasm, and c: have ONE scene/action sequence that didn't have sex connected to it. And I'm NOt a prude.

  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Abyss of Silence said…

    Who is it who really needs to grow up here? Who needs that fairy-dust bullshit anyway?

    On to part B of your message it sounded like fun! Rain and all! I love rain too. Oh and I feel the need to be an old-movie bully it's...
    Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
    Ding, ding, ding went the bell

    You were just one line off.

    Sad huh? I'm probably the only 31 year old who acutally owns "Meet me in St. Louis".

  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Sad that you own Meet Me in St. Louis? I think it's cool! I grew up on MGM musicals (and am hence mortified to have dinged the trolley instead of clanging it).

  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger Redzilla said…

    Wonder Woman has her invisible jet, you can have your Toxic Trolley...
    p.s. what a stupid bimbo. Good riddance, I say.


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