This trip has been an adventure as I anticipated it would be. I’ve taken buses, trains, rideshares and even walked on foot, hauling my guitar and a suitcase full of cd’s.

I caught a rideshare out of Arcata California yesterday to San Francisco. There were 3 other riders besides the driver packed into mini van. Each person going south to disperse into four different directions. One going home, a surprise visit to mother after 8 months estranged, heading to boulder to play in a reggae band, and one unknown destination.

The conversation was about the presidential election, the grateful dead, little Wayne, and the giants game. I didn’t relate to any of these topics and broke off into a sub-conversation with the passenger in the back about some African harp that he plans on building to make accessible in the states. The driver eventually asked me about my music and so I put a song on the car stereo. She got excited and said that she thought it was me but wasn’t sure. She had been at a gig of mine a couple months ago and asked where my kid bass player was.

We got to San Francisco and I was dropped off at the UCSF dental building. It was about 45 minutes travel time to get to the right campus but I found it in time to play sound engineer for the first act. The show was at the mission bay gym rooftop at UCSF. It was a LGBTQ student mixer. I met a beautiful young, shy adorable transgender woman on my way in the building and we found the space for the event together.

It was cold and my fingers fought to strum the chords. A few people listened but mostly I sang into a black hole and tried not to cry. There were about 100 people there eating, rock climbing, and getting their picture taken for a visibility project. I played a few songs and mentioned a song I was playing about a poly war zone and asked if anyone else had been in that situation. No one knew what I was talking about and I had questioning faces tilting at me from every direction. I guess My letter was standing alone in the queer alphabet last night.

I met a Russian woman named Polina. That’s what the Russians call me. I was very excited to meet someone with my name(close enough), since it’s only happened once in my life. She is in the picture if you look close at her name tag you can see.
~Poeina