February 14, 2011

I know I haven’t written in awhile, and I’ve been trying to think of different ways to explain that to myself. I finally landed on, “Well, if you woke up one day and the nightmare of a life you’d been living had somehow magically transformed to Heaven, what would you say?” –and the answer is, relatively little.
It’s not that my life isn’t filled with strange and interesting stories anymore—it is, and quite more so—it is simply that I’ve been so lost marveling at it that sitting down to write seems almost useless. I feel more and more that I can’t put into words the things I see and experience. I feel like words have become trite and meaningless in the face of mountains and redwood trees and the majesty of life itself.
Which is why I’m trying. I realize that, although that’s all true, I still have fantastic stories to relate and every day I experience a new level of spirit. And also, 2011, I really want to break the monotony of writing academic bullshit which I do every day for 14 hours or more and which breaks my spirit from actually expressing my own thoughts.
February 14, 2011
Yesterday I was in the front yard lighting charcoal to grill some asparagus. I was dressed in my bright blue Cookie-Monster bathrobe, which I wear all the time, shamelessly, like The Big Lebowski. I’m always wearing clothes under the robe, mind you—but the robe has become my indoor jacket, my shield, my Cancerian shell, my Linus blanket. I get pretty anxious sometimes sitting outside on the front porch wearing it, feeling like a visionary statement of laziness—but I inwardly shout to the people driving by “I work from home! I’m not lazy! I work 14 hours a day most days! I just get to wear my bathrobe doing it!” Then I take a big hit of Bubba Kush and watch the cows across the road awhile and go back to writing lesson plans.
As I was shuffling around with the charcoal bag I heard, “Excuse me?” and looked up to see a young couple at the fence to the farm. I immediately cursed that damn bathrobe I was wearing and the fact that people occasionally do stop by, feeling even more like a hippie-freak-cookie-monster being. “Do you mind if we take a look at your llamas?” she asked. She didn’t seem judgmental of my robe, although I felt strange striding in my snow-boots, pajama pants and robe to talk to them at the gate. “Are they llamas?” “Well, they’re alpacas. They’re related to llamas… You can come in and look in at them there by the fence if you like.” “Oh! Awesome! Those are so cool!”
I let the couple in and they went to ogle the flock as I ran inside to change from my robe to my coat. After I did, I didn’t really feel much better, because then it was only more obvious I had these blue checkered pajamas on underneath. I walked back out, now looking more like a sleep-walking skier.
The couple walked back up and we talked shortly before they drove away. They were from Texas, and I imagine they looked like most of the young couples I see in this part of California—they came from somewhere—Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Missouri, Mexico—to live life the way they’d always wanted to but were never allowed. I love that element of the population here.
I went back inside and put my bathrobe on and then went to check the coals.
We’re moving in two weeks to Sacramento, and I feel ill-prepared, though not more ill-prepared than I’ve ever felt for a move. We’re literally going there with no apartment, putting all our things in storage, and then going to camp or stay in motels as we look to find a place, hopefully in the first week of March. The anxiety I have over all of this is pretty overwhelming. I’ve been homeless in New York before, due to real-estate fallouts and bad choices and I don’t ever want to feel that way again, even if the irony of my Persian cat was amusing. At least we have the Subaru to sleep in if need be—though I’m pretty sure I’m going to be insisting on the cheap motel option more often than camping.
I know very little about Sacramento except what Wikipedia’s tells me and what I’ve seen in passing through it. We’re moving there as a sort of half-way point between here and somewhere amazing. Lake Tahoe is where we’d like to go next, but in the meantime, Sacramento will hopefully give us both job opportunities and money to start building up. I do know I can grow asparagus there, and olives. Which makes me think it’s a pretty decent place to be.
I think if I were to choose any place in California to live that I’ve seen so far, it would be Big Sur. Which is why so many authors live there and title their books after the place and dwell on it endlessly. It is, to me, a place that is above words. Jack Kerouac nailed it in his poem and in his book. I never could.
Today is Valentine’s Day, and I have spent my day loving my life and the love of my life and his dog. I would not trade this day for anything, which means that everything that happened before it is also precious to me. Every sad Valentine’s Day spent alone or angry or resentful… well, I wish I could erase the angry, resentful moments—but nonetheless, they all led me here.
In the past few months of having actually found true happiness and love, I’ve spent some time remembering the loves I’ve had before. And one of the reasons I believe I’m really “there” is that when I look back I see a lot (don’t judge me) of wonderful men that I still respect and have the highest wishes for. I’ve lived with and been in love with some wonderful people. And a couple of assholes. But that’s just statistics.
My real journey wasn’t with those men. It was with myself. And while some may think it a depressing thought that we all die alone, I see it as a full circle and the most beautiful thing in our lives. We are born alone and we die alone—but those who we take into our heart in between are what is important. I learned a new world from every man I loved. And that world bled into my own to create a universe. Thank you for giving me the gift of myself so that I could one day truly give myself to truth, beauty and life.
The man I love now is the only person I’ve ever found to be a perfect counter-weight to my entire being. I love him beyond belief or meaning and every day I fall in love again and again. In a year, I hope I will have kayaked, hiked, camped, and snowmobiled across more of California than I’d have ever dreamed. Here’s to my adventurer…

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2 Comments

  1. So happy for you, my friend. Stay on firm ground as you lead the vagabond life—cookie monster bathrobe and all. (This is a new one. The one in NYC used to white, right??)

    Smooches, hugs, and much, much love.

    • Yes, it’s a new one. I trade them out, but always with the same design. 😉
      Thank you, and the same to you, my amazing writer friend.


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