Story Time

When I lived in San Francisco I worked at my local bar/restaurant, 2 blocks from where I lived. It was the perfect time and place for me to be there on that corner of Fulton and Divisadero.

One day, a guy came in and sat at the bar. Ordered a Bud. And then another. Didn’t say a word. I noticed he had the most beautiful eyes. Green. Swoon.

He wore a hat. 

and he continued to come in changing his order to sangria. Sangria after sangria, he sat there, and I stared at him.

and eventually we started talking. I told him that I was a musician and I wrote my website URL on a piece of paper and he left. He came back 2 hours later saying he loved my stuff.

he was a strange character. My friends were like “Dana you are so crazy. He is weird”. And yet I couldn’t help it. I didn’t see him as weird. I saw him as one of a kind. Not like the other guys.

Every time he entered the bar, my body got this energetic rush and my cheeks got flushed. (The body never lies-a crucial lesson I learned)

And we talked about things that seemed to matter. And didn’t really matter. He was a poet. Since my email address is on my website he wrote me an email. He used slashes as punctuation. Here is an actual email I received.


Went by your shop around ten pm but I couldn't stay
it was a mad house / a monster mash.
A perfect place for picked pockets
and conversations about guilt free yogurt.
I'll catch you when you return.

I loved it. It was everything.

He had made up his mind that he was going to walk from San Francisco up to Washington State. He was leaving in a couple weeks.

He asked me to go on walks. He asked me to go hear him DJ. He was most definitely a ladies man. But I didn’t care. The way I felt around him made me feel alive.

One of his last days, he came into the bar and I was wearing overalls. When he left, he passed me a note he had scribbled on a bar napkin.


I hope to Dear God that someone along the way, has counted the moles and freckles on your skin.—creating new constellations and futures that revolve around “mystic visions and cosmic vibrations”. 

Before I leave, I would love to hear your songs….perhaps on a rooftop or fishing for pennies on a dimlit street/where street lamps forward futures and tell telltales of an over-all woman who sang her song to a man who listened and whispered you are beautiful….

I mean, come on!!!!!  is that not the best note you’ve ever heard? It’s certainly the best note I’ve ever heard and definitely that I’ve ever received. To this day I have it between the pages of the journal I was writing in at the time. And (I don’t even want to say this because I don’t want it to be true, but ) I’d be surprised if I ever receive one that’s better.

(do guys even write notes now?- texting doesn't count)

Anyway, it sealed the deal for me.

I was kinda seeing someone else at the time, but he never crossed my mind. This one. HE was on my mind. 

A few days before he left, I went to his apartment with a bottle of wine. And he showed me youtube videos that he loved. He improvised spoken word over a piece of music that he loved. He made me do the same. He made shadow puppets on the ceiling.

I sang him an a cappella song that I wrote about the rain, on the rooftop. He made me sing it again and again. We looked at the city below. I said to him “you just never know”.

We went back down to his place at 3am and I had to leave because I was working the next morning. Before I left he said, “Wait I have something for you”. He went into his closet and he brought out an old T-shirt. It was a Black Flag T-shirt and had holes all over it.

I said “this is perfect. How did you know?” It smelled like him.

I wore it that night and then never again. I didn’t want his smell to wear off.

He walked me home and we kissed for the first time on my front steps.  I couldn’t sleep that night.

The morning that he left, he came over and I made him tea. We had one last make-out session and then he set off. 

I received a post card from him about 9 days after he left and that too is still between the pages of my journal. 

It said 


It’s been 9 days, no more and yet it’s been forever!…
I miss you….I wish these words find you well, and I hope next time I see you, it’s naked just beneath my words.

I never saw him again. He went back home to Arizona and only lasted about 4 weeks on the trail. Apparently a serial killer was on the loose and they were warning people to stay off the trails. (I wish I was joking but it's too good to make up)

I found him on FaceBook  and he has a Girlfriend now for many years. I cried when I saw the pictures. 

He inspired quite a few songs. One that’s called “Naked” (just beneath your words”), one called “Walk to You”  and one about the T-shirt, called “Your Old T-Shirt”. There are more that I never finished. 

I found that old t-shirt again yesterday, as I was getting rid of things. I debated, should I toss it? keep it? I smelled it for about 10 minutes. It still smells like him.

I decided it made it until the next round of tossings. Even though he is not in my life at all, and I’ve had many other experiences with boys I’ve liked since then, it does bring me joy. It inspired this blog post. It reminds me that I want someone who writes me notes, and gives me their T-shirts. 

It reminds me that in an instant someone who flushes your cheeks, and makes shadow puppets on the ceiling may enter your life. and that you just never know.

I wish I could have told you a different ending to the story. That’s what you were thinking, right? Because in the movies, it definitely ends with us being together. 

But that is NOT this story. This is about there being a time and place for everything and even ships passing in the night, have their purpose. 

I don’t even wish that it ended differently. I know it played out the EXACT way it was supposed to. I know that he is not my guy. But he was my guy at that time and that place and it was perfect.

I am so grateful for those couple weeks. For feeling inspired, for feeling alive for being someone that a green-eyed, hat-wearing, poet wrote notes to on a bar napkin.

Finding that T-shirt puts me in a time machine. (One of the lyrics of the song in fact.) 

I guess  now that you know the whole back story, it’d be an appropriate time to share the song. I wrote it during my Song a Week (for a year) project. Probably around 2 years ago when I found it on the bottom of my shelf.

I’m not quite sure why I felt like writing this. Maybe cuz it’s fresh on my mind and I think it’s a great story. One of my favorites for sure.

Maybe I needed reminders that if that’s what I want and it has happened before, then it can happen again.

That stories don't always have to have a fairytale ending to be good. That all guys don't have to be Mr. Right to play a meaningful role in your life.

and maybe it’s to remind you too.   “You DO never really know”.

Here’s to “singing on rooftops, fishing for pennies on a dimlit street, and old smelly t-shirts"

All my music and love,


Your Old-T-shirt

Haven't thought about you, I've been living without for quite some time
But you pop in my head while I'm making my bed once in a while

And I can't help wonder if, that's the only chance we get
It's funny how it goes sometimes


I found your Old T-Shirt, the other day, and I put it on right away
Was overwhelmed with memories, your scent lingers on the sleeve
It felt like you were there with me.

I remember the time, it was your last night before you left
It was Friday night, we were drinking some wine, our lips turned red

We stood there awkwardly, you said you had something for me
So I could think about you when you're gone

I found your Old T-Shirt, the other day, and I put it on right away
Was overwhelmed with memories, your scent lingers on the sleeve
It felt like you were there with me.

It's been a year or more, since you've been gone
But you come back to me, when I put your T-shirt on

So off you went, in the morning, we said good-bye
I wasn't upset, I would see you again, in a few months time

We never got the chance, to finish our romance
But you gave me quite the time machine

I found your Old T-Shirt, the other day, and I put it on right away
Was overwhelmed with memories, your scent lingers on the sleeve
It felt like you were there with me.

So if I'm ever missing you, there is something I can do
take a ride, in your time machine,  
I'm going to put your T-shirt on.