The East Cost Tour Continues


photo_2.jpgLeaving my family in RI today was harder that I expected. I don’t remember previous times when I chocked up and got a bit weepy as I was leaving to go onto the next phase/place of my life. But as I was driving down Holly Road I was was holding back a tear or two. Maybe I’m more apt to recognize the good things that I have, that my family offers, regardless of where I am and what I’m going through? Or maybe I’m just getting sentimental in my old age? I think part of it is that this move is far more frightening to me than any of my others. Primarily because I have nobody to disappoint but myself. This is a far more solitary journey than any of my grad schools, and I have no responsibility to anyone or any institution but myself. I think I’m up to the challenges I’m setting, the goals I want to reach. But there is always a nagging doubt. A “what if I’m not good enough or smart enough to do this on my own” question that rattles around my head sometimes. However, I have no doubt that my parents will support and love me and that that are rooting for me to figure this out and find my way to a more centered, happy place. Not for even a second have I been saddled with even an iota of guilt about the fact that I’m moving far away – which is pretty damn cool if you ask me.

I’m currently staying with Diana and Andy (and their baby, Liam) for the night before heading down to Richmond tomorrow. The ride down was uneventful. Once here, Diana & I went to the Apple store so I could get a protective case for my iPhone and then ate some yummy Vietnamese food for dinner, then back to their house where we just chatted the evening away. Actually, despite the fact that we were talking about how none of us felt very “grown-up” it was a very “grown-up” evening.

They are good people and I’m glad to be their friend.

Playlist on the way down:

  1. “Lantern” (CLOGS)
  2. “Stick Music” (Clogs)
  3. “Kicking Television: Live in Chicago” (Wilco)
  4. You Look Nice Today “Aunt Nancy”
  5. “Alligator” (The National)
  6. “The Inkling” (Nels Cline)

An Alternate Life

PorteDo you ever dream about that person, the one who got away or who, for one reason or a thousand, you never actually got together with? The person who would have changed your life in fundamental ways? I’m not talking about changes to jobs or locations lived or careers taken, but major life decisions that would have changed who you are, not just what you do or how you act.

Yeah, that person.

Mine was (is) E—- and I dreamt about her all through last night. Dreamt we were together, dreamt we were not, dreamt we had children but that they weren’t really mineā€”the details have become muddy throughout the day. I haven’t talked with her since she got married about 4 or 5 years ago, though I do know she has a kid. She was often a focal point of desire from the first time we walked, after school, to the Peacedale library. Holding hands!

Yeah, we were freshmen in high school, but we grew up slow back then.

Throughout all of high school we were friends, but my crush on her never went away. Oh, I may have been plenty distracted by other girls and other crushes, and whole years would go by when we didn’t see each other and I thought myself beyond the crush and safe into just-good-friend territory, but if E—- had said “yes” at any point from, say 1984 to maybe 2000-ish, odds are I would have gone to her. Without very much thought to the matter. I would have jumped into a life that would be, in many ways, unrecognizable in comparison to my current trajectory.

I don’t regret losing that life, as this one is a good one, despite all the collisions and pain and struggle. I think I may have dreamt about her, about that alternative life, because I spent several hours last night with Jay, talking a bit about the past, and a goodly amount about the future and the decisions and choices that have let me to embark on this sojourn out to the desert in an attempt to find a stillness from which to center my writing and my creative life as well as my relationships with those around me. For whatever reason, my subconscious decided to spend most of last night throwing up image after image of a life (or lives) with E—- and I woke profoundly . . . something. Not quite sad or nostalgic, certainly not really regretful, but a slightly melancholic mix of all three, with a smidgen of genuine curiosity about what my life would have been like in that alternate world. Perhaps there was also a hint of sexual frisson at experiencing the fulfillment of a desire that was a significant part of my teen and young adult life. All in all, I awoke a bit dazed and distracted, like I had still not fully returned to this world, this life. Like there was a small part of me still over there, still living a life with E—-.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about that.

(Image by Alex Scarcella)

Kill all Jetskis

IMG_0040.JPGSitting up at my grandparent’s camp at Square Pond in Shipleigh ME. Just moved from the picnic table because I saw ants crawling on my computer and didn’t want to have them crawling in my computer. That would be one hell of a computer bug to get rid of!

This morning I took the canoe out for almost two full hours, just poking around the pond, enjoying the silence and the loons and an eagle flying over head, even had a dog start to “chase” me. He (or she) didn’t come out far into the water, but was pacing me along the shore line and at one point started barking and came out to about his/her chest in the water. All was fine, though the powerboats and jetskis were a bit loud and annoying, but what can you do? Then had lunch with my grandparents and now just writing this entry, wishing that I could tether to the iPhone since there is no internet access here. But you’ll just get this a couple of days late. My grandmother is in the water swimming a bit and my grandfather just did the dishes (I offered!) and is back in his chair. Considering their age (my grandfather is 82 and my grandmother a couple of years younger), they are pretty damn self-sufficient and capable, even despite my grandfather’s chronic back pain. Still, age, while relatively kind, is obviously advancing upon them. And me. Crazy to think that I’m almost as old as they were when I was born. Crazy to think my parents are in their sixties. Crazy to recognize that I’m just two years from my forties.

Crazy. And kinda scary in that inevitable, can’t-do-anything-about-it-but-accept-it-with-grace-and-dignity kinda way. And so yeah, the appeal of powerboats and jetskis has significantly less appeal to me now. Where once I might have been excited by the speed and the rush (and I might again, I’m not forgoing all speed and rush in my life goddamn it!!), now I’m more interested in contemplation and quite and breathing deep and slow and trying to learn patience with the world and with myself. Oh, and with others of course. Notice I didn’t call to kill all jetskiers, just the jetskis.

(written on July 21, 2008)

iPhone blogging

Writing my first entry on the iPhone in preparation of logging and blogging my upcoming trip. I don’t think I’ll use this for posts of any length, but for short notes of to post a quick snapshot or two, this will be great. Here are a couple of pics from my visit to Maine:

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Monster Muffins in Rhode Island

Sitting in Dave’s Coffee in Charlestown RI, right off route 1. Some light jazz playing in a funky and laid back atmosphere, and I’m finishing a “monster muffin” – which is damn big and was still warm and the raspberry is all gooey and red and sticky and the iced coffee is good, approaching very good. Except to buy a duffel bag for the trip, it’s the first I’ve left my parent’s house since we unpacked the minivan with all my crap (well, all my crap minus a bunch I ended up giving away or leaving in the Brooklyn apt). The last few days have been difficult and I’ve been in a bit of a funk and spending my time mostly reading or playing around on my new iPhone. Thursday evening I introduced my folks to the new Battlestar Galactica and we watched the mini-series – we will probably watch a couple episodes of the new series Sunday and I’m hoping to get them hooked enough to watch the rest of the series without me.

I did, however, manage to ride my dad’s stationary bike for about 30 minutes yesterday morning and am trying to get back into the habit of morning crunches & push-ups. I drew up a list of things to do today, which include getting halfway through rewrites for my horror story “Subway Voices” and writing a script for a new episode of Letters to Lost Friends which I’ll record tonight. I’m hoping that I’ll feel better after having done some work.

The next few weeks are going to be challenging, especially when it comes to getting some writing done. I generally don’t do all that well with living in a physically liminal space and like to have a space that I can call my own, that I can form to my own fit. But the next several weeks I’ll be sleeping in others homes or on the road and have no place to call my own. Not having a home, my own home, scares me – almost as much as the dawning realization of the magnitude of what I have chosen to do by going to a place I’ve never really been before, with no support system but my own skills and talents and brains and (hopefully) courage. I hope that I will use the next couple of weeks to learn how to carve out the necessities of my own space, even when staying with friends or family.

Oh, and by the way, once more with feeling: go watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog!

Next Entry – “The hammer is my penis:” Joss Whedon’s particular musical genius”

Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

The conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added.

Article the first [Not Ratified]

After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Article the second [Amendment XXVII – Ratified 1992]

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Article the third [Amendment I]

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article the fourth [Amendment II]

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Article the fifth [Amendment III]

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Article the sixth [Amendment IV]

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article the seventh [Amendment V]

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article the eighth [Amendment VI]

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Article the ninth [Amendment VII]

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Article the tenth [Amendment VIII]

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article the eleventh [Amendment IX]

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article the twelfth [Amendment X]

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

(link: www.constitution.org)