FADE IN: a woman at the mic in a bar.
I just woke up one day and thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to kill my supervisor, is what I wanted to do. And the only reason why I haven’t already done so is cuz I can’t drive my new car in jail.
Yup, I shop.
I’m a complete consumer and I described that as poverty deprivation.
“I need that because it’s going to do something wonderful to my life,” or “Ooooooh, that’s shiny” or “Oh, I know that’ll come in handy one day.”…. and then that shit just sits there. The Amazon Echo Dot? Don’t get it. Waste of your time and money.
What I want is travel and to do things that don’t pertain to products.
I want experiences.
I want to face fears and follow my gut.
I want the Unknown, even though it scares the Holy BeJesus outta me.
But right now
I can’t because I’m always in poverty deprivation, buying and buying and buying.
There’s a calling inside of me.
I can feel it.
But the not knowing makes me cling to what is tangible, the little things that bring little comfort right now, and eventually finds itself in my garage.
In a box. With a box, within a box.
I’m 50 years old.
Someone is pressing fast forward on my recorder, man.
I feel a calling.
A tiny voice,
And I wanna bring that to life.
I need to think outside the box.
Get out of the garage inside my head.
Step away from my computer, and outside my door.
Take some Unknown steps.
Yup, that’s me.
She doesn’t say thank you.
We took her to the moon and back, showed her the stars; live music, delicious eats, Nature, space, room to breathe, ears to listen, shoulders for padding — we have been the best hosts.
And yet.. no thanks.
Thank you for buying dinner.
Thank you for making me tea.
Thank you for driving me around.
Thank you for the company.
Thank you For. It. All.
I’m watching myself retract from her.
I’m watching myself not wanna care.
Something so simple.
Three words that make all the difference.
Why am I so attached?
Why do I need that gratification? And so immediately?
I let it go for some months.
Let this new light fester.
Out of the blue, she reached out and asked what I wanted for Christmas
To say thanks for making her first West Coast visit one of her favorite memories.
Thousands of miles above sea level
And land and civilians and traffic and highways
And byways and freeways and schools and corners shops.
How travel does good to the soul!
My eyes are tired but my heart is vibrant
And gratefully acknowledged.
Who knows what this journey brings
Life is vast and yet horrifically short
These hard facts humble me
And so, I am awake.
Conversations in foreign tongue surround us
Kitchen smells from last minute bites fill the air,
Like smoke from a magician’s show!
A few seats up, kids squeal with delight
My spirit dances with them.
Oh, how the unknown excites me!
Oh, let us dream and toast
And dream again to the wondrous surprises
That lie ahead.
All at once,
Hours of waiting and staring out into the tarmac abyss.
(apparently that gives the brain a break)
My eyes seem to drift into the thoughts and experiences the heart and brain have not processed.
Coffee (which I don’t drink) in hand
Bread (crumbs everywhere) on lap and in mouth
Peanut butter (hard to come by here) wedged between teeth.
I look around at my fellow travelers, and think about my innards.
Body rested and yet tired, all at once.
Funny how duplicitous life can be.
I yawn, my eyes like oil paint.
What does it mean to get to know a country?
Is it the food, gifts, tour guides and destinations?
Is it spending quality time with the locals?
Sitting in a park, map and camera away, and observing?
Is it – click! – social updates of Look at me! moments?
Can you say you’ve had your fill?
These worldly experiences speed past like the abruptness of an alarm.
And do you return?
Vidal, our driver, asks us as we approach the Departures zone.
Please say you have,
It’s a long way back.
Short denim jeans.
Orange hair growing out from a collision of blonde shades.
Black socks squeezed into matching flip flops.
Old rollie. Used and reused.
Sweet, classic Cali teenager.
Thirteen? 14? 16? No more than that.
She looks nervous, diverts her eyes.
“Can I share the table with you?” I ask.
Thumb in mouth ripping at skin, she nods with eyes drawn away.
Staring off in the distance…
Continue reading “cali teen”