Wednesday, October 31, 2007

after the fire

good morning (she says, shivering slightly and burrowing further under the covers to guard against the morning chill).

as nice as it was to sleep in, i love waking up in california! everything takes on a golden glow, especially me.

even so, the last days have been a blur ... rushing into the unknown and alternating between exhilaration and the yearning for anything familiar ... a comet pulled from orbit ... waiting for my body to register what my mind has just begun to recognize - i am home.

and i have to remind myself to breathe.

i think it was the height of irony that california ignited just as i arrived, fire being a symbol of liberation and all ... crackling little molecules flying away from home. it's been a good reminder of my ability to navigate the ongoing accidents of fate and nature. (if only the recognition could ease the transition...)

life, as people know it here, is approaching normal again. for me, normal is, i think, a few weeks away. the time change, the drive, new faces ... i lose patience with myself so easily. i know i should slow down, but i want to rush ahead ... change the pain of yesterday ... give myself a chance to repair my way before it breaks me ... see how this unfolds. i don't really want that, i suppose. i enjoy the mystery and the journey. still, why must everything be so hard?

in this moment, i am overly dramatic, i know. there is much to be grateful for here. i have a job that i love and that makes it possible for me to make a life, not just a living. i am near my mother and sister again and i have begun to make new friends (yes. the gay men have found me, here, bringing me treats by the armful.) and every day, on my ride to work, i have the hills to my right, the ocean to my left and the sun at my back. and up ahead ... well, up ahead, i have everything.

i hope your day is unfolding in an interesting way. i plan to use this day off to recapture a little bit of 'normal' ... find a gym, a dry cleaner, a grocery store. but first, i'm going to the beach. there's nothing a little sun, sand and saltwater can't cure. i'll be back to my playful self in no time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

the move, part five

i am never drinking or singing again.

Friday, October 19, 2007

the move, part four

well, that's it, then. the car is gone now, too. everything is on its way to california, save for me. yipee!

the move, part three

i'm up early. mainlining coffee, watching the movers and mulling over karaoke options. in the midst, one thought keeps popping up, ' damn. i have a lot of stuff.' the movers, fernando and lupe, say that my load is light compared to some that they've seen ... but i don't think they've fully waded into the closet, yet, so they may wish to reserve judgement.

elvis is shut into the laundry room and i can see his little pout peeking through; the cats are in hiding and i can't decide whether to be sad or excited. actually, that's not true. since no end is every really complete without a new beginning stirring inside, today, i choose 'excited.'

it is time to move on ... time to cut the cords that have bound me to the old ways and outdated conventions ... time to free myself to accept sweeping change. it would have been wrong to simply dwell on the gap between where i stood and where i want to be. i can only hope that those i'm leaving behind know this journey isn't meant to reject or hurt them in any way. it is simply a time to move toward my ultimate interests - the wheel of change is ready to spin onward, ever evolving, ever staying the same.

still, there is guilt. guilt borne of distant possibilities. even as i know it is, at last, my turn.

the boxes are disappearing quickly, now, into a tiny space in their enormous truck. who knew the contents of my life would fit into a space measuring 10x10?

and there they go ... down the street, out of the neighborhood and on their way to california. the journey has officially begun.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

closer still

hello! (she purrs, with a slight degree of difficulty)

how are you this evening? i am quite fine. blame it on the cocktail fairy, if you must, but i find myself lightheaded, spinning slightly and in great danger of tripping over my tongue - all of which i find quite, quite fine, indeed.

i am here - alone, for a change - and i am enjoying it. so rare is the occasion, that packing has been set aside in favor of sitting quietly and enjoying the sound of laundry in the dryer, frogs in the field and the cat bathing her dog. i forget, sometimes, how much i enjoy the freedom to move and think and express myself in ways of my own choosing - away from disapproving eyes and minds and not on anyone's schedule but my own. perhaps it's this idea, and not the martinis, that leaves me feeling slightly intoxicated. whichever the cause, i am happy for the dizziness and for the breathing room.

the last few days have been a blur ... lots of racing around, fitting everyone and everything in - in to my schedule, into boxes - until there's no room to move, hardly time to blink. sleep is a stranger these days. when he comes, infrequently, he brings with him all manner of strange dreams and never stays long. i expect to collapse fully when i finally reach the coast.

the movers come for my things in eleven hours. the house is a maze of boxes - piles of things to take with me, things to send with them, things to return for later. i head out on sunday morning, bright and early, and will trek twelve hours to el paso, where i will sleep in a hotel which will accept chutney, the globe-trotting feline, and then awake - again, bright and early, to drive yet another twelve hours to land at my mother's house. if time allows, there will be small stops along the way for turquoise and truck stop treats. i might even make a quick detour to the grand canyon. what's a few extra hours vs. one of the wonders of the world?

sitting here in my sea of cardboard, i can't believe the end is so close. my last day at the store was wonderful and horrific all at once. leaving them makes me sad beyond measure, even as my whole self stretches out toward the new adventure. there was little work to be done ... just spending time with amy, stumbling through memories, eating our weight in chik-fil-a nuggets and crying like little girls. and tonight, i had dinner with liz - cheap wine and greek food and talk of growing up, growing old and growing nostalgic for the good parts of the bad old days. and it reminded me of a) how much i miss her and b) there just isn't enough time to say the things that need to be said.

there's always tomorrow night and what promises to be a ridiculously large karaoke drunk-fest in my honor. maybe there will be time then.

in answer to your questions - yes. i do look forward to the beach. the way i look forward to a day off or an opportunity to write or to silence ... or a letter from friends far away. i look forward to my feet in the sand and to being surprised by a wave and to the color of light that only shines there ... pink and orange to the west, an arc of deepening blue hovering above ... in that light, my freckles ... my skin ... takes on a golden glow, as if i've been covered with sparkling confetti.

as close as i am, it's still hard to see me on the horizon ... but one day, there i'll be, with no questions that need answering and forever looming in front of me. and when i finally do get there, i'll be sure to call, though i know you won't answer, just so you can hear the joy in my voice and know that i am, at long, long last, home.

Friday, October 12, 2007

the move, part 2

what do you know? a girl really can have too many pairs of black shoes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

partly cloudy

what was your world like today? here, the temperature has finally taken a cue from the leaves and started to fall.

(the weatherman described it as 'california-like' and i am inclined to agree.)

it was sunny outside, but on the inside, partly cloudy, and, if the day is any indication, this last week will be spent somewhere between suspended animation and perpetual motion. packing and phone calls and meetings with movers and lawyers and more packing and making time for friends and wrestling with boxes and still working and the dog needs food and i need a change of address form and the movers need to measure my stuff and i need one last haircut before i go and frankly, i'm ready to fall out of 'in between' - i'm ready to arrive somewhere. i'm ready to quit all the things that do not fit. i'm ready to rest.

right now, though, it seems everywhere i turn i burn in my own skin.

i still hate packing. but i'm constantly surprised at how easily the past packs away. it will be nice, months from now, to open the boxes, shake off the cobwebs or memories - whichever has gathered there - and find things fresh and new-ish again and shining in the california sun. i include myself on that list.

and in this moment, somehow, it all, at last, seems real. i am ready for it - if not for the goodbyes.

thank you all for your kind words and for your support. tell me, will we always be friends? teaching each other what it's like to be in totally different places, yet from the same? how to keep reaching for something imagined, a better world or a perfect color?

i'd like that.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

the move, part 1

i hate packing.

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