Thursday, November 23, 2006

dreams, dances, denver. houses, homes, hopes. ferries, friends, fantasies.

Best vacation ever to Denver and a few points east of everywhere I'm used to. At
Red Rocks I learn that 'unconformity' is a geographic term as I gaze in awe at one
of the most amazing landscapes I've ever laid eyes upon. My friend Alyson spoils me
with a fabulous feast on Saturn's Day and shows me little bits (and beers) of the
city. For a smattering of days I am injected with a feverish fervor for the Denver
Broncos and am transported to have-to-be-a-football-fan-land. Aly's family seems to
like me, and I them, an interesting laid-back bunch of people. Plus it's always
fascinating to see where a good freind comes from. Too short a trip but there will
be others and it was a quiet, quite necessary break from my usual routines. However
cool my life may seem it's no less stressful than any other, and it doesn't serve
solid interests to compare one's miseries and happinesses to those of others
anyway. That just leads to a deep solemn grave of resentment and judgement.
Entranced by snow on the Rockies I try to put my future in perspective, aided by
the mere presence and rose-tinted lenses of a dear old friend's beauty and home and
roots and dreams. For once I abstain from the dark halls of bookshops to which I am
eternally addicted. Saving that experience for a trip to Denver with my business
partner Dave, having recently reconciled the shambles of our relationship.

All in all a soul-searching expedition that let me know my self and my own desires
more intimately than before.

My recently discovered cosmopolitan capabilities know no bounds beyond the
occasional economic restrictions that tend to bite us all in the ass every now and
then. Upon arriving back at Sea-Tac Rob picks me up and we dash to our friend
Ryan's new house he has purchased in Seattle off of Ranier. A fixer-upper he plans
to pave his future with, further injecting me with a wide variety of dreams and
aspirations I used to think were unattainable or far far away. But dreams are what
you make of them. Don't think for a second that just because you're young and poor
and a parent that you can't still travel or that you have to press pause on all
your fantasies for eighteen years. If it needs to happen then fucking find a way to
make it work. Quit yer stupid job and find a way to work from home, everything else
will fall into place.

A forty and some excellent tacos chased with top shelf tequila and a sobriety break
later we abscond to the ferry docks and take the 10:30 over to Bremerton, vastly
preferring the hour long ferry ride and easy drive down Highway 3 to the horrors of
Interstate Five, the demon gutter. Packing for another trip at 1:30 in the morning,
hurriedly packaging up the onslaught of orders from a weekend away from my central
-brain-hub-desk-literary-internet existence. At 2:30 a.m. we make the late-night
run to Oly and spend several hours talking and dancing to Zorba the Greek at Rob's
house. Then it's up early for a nice couple hours with Steph and the girls, the
longest time we've spent together in some time. It feels good, friendly again, as
if our harbored guilts and blames have evaporated given time and space. We don't
talk about much important, just hang out with the girls and then head downtown,
Steph off to work, me off to Portland in my shitty station wagon. A mostly
dependable car, just uncomfortable to drive. Windshield wipers on the fritz and
smearing the outside world that rushes by along I-5, I find myself driving in the
worst conditions imaginable. Pouring torrents of rain and waterfalls kicked
backwards by the thrumming thunder of eighteen wheelers. I hydroplane at 85 miles
an hour between two semi-trucks, sweating while the girls (thank god) sleep in the
backseat. Ten minutes later I find my station wagon perpendicular to the freeway,
still travelling in the right direction at sixty-five m.p.h. Behind me everyone
slams their brakes on as I cooly look to the right out the passenger window at two
dozen speeding cars rushing towards us. A quick counter-intuitive crank of the
wheel and we whip back around and speed off while I-5 South comes to a virtual
standstill behind me. Never done that single-handedly before! I count my blessings for all the driving experience I've got shoved under my belt and down my gullet. But christ, I've never been so scared in a car before.

Finally we leave the rains behind and make it to Portland for a quick beer and
words and smoke with Jess and Mike and Sparky Mark (proud new owner of a 1960s
speedboat my mind can only drool over) and friends. Then off in the dark (dammit)
to Walla Walla, arriving exhuasted around 9 pm. I recoup, sleep until 1 pm (thanks
Mom!) as mi madre takes care of the girls all day and I run around getting all my
errands 'round town done or at least kickstarted to allow for an easy-going
Thanksgiving with the folks. The soundtrack in my head plays songs from high-school
brought on by simply being in this place of my abandoned youth, songs from college
inspired by folks I think of missing, songs from Denver I couldn't manage to expell
even if the desire were to strike. Tomorrow promises more books, coffee with the
Burgesses and a drive back across the state to Portland and a small party for my
girls and their P-Town aunties and 'nuncles. Back up to Oly and a kid-free weekend
of working at the bookstore, unwind, regroup, try to plan out my schedule for the
next few months (something I've never been good at). I plan to sigh and relax and
spend next week (at least 3 days straight) wrapped in the comforts of a home grown
less lonely because of the sweetness of words and hearts and the reassuring
kindness of fresh dreams being realized and old wounds being licked finally.

My muse and music merge to become an image of a life that makes me cry with joy for
the possibilities it holds in store and I pretend these tears are merely warm rains
preluding a springtime of the soul. Sometimes it takes a healthy dose of happy to
realize you always carry some, just have to learn to find its depths and wrench it
up to see how light and bright your eyes are capable of shining.

I give thanks for my darling daughters and inimitable parents.
I give thanks for my beautiful shining friends who have helped and continue to aid me along this winding road.
I give thanks for my baby mama and wish her the best of wellness.
I give thanks for this world of continuous wonder in which we live.
I give thanks for your song inhabiting my warm den of dreams.
I give thanks for all the parents, young and old.
I give thanks for all the children who will carry us to the edge of life and beyond.

I give thanks.
I give thanks.
I give thanks.


rural dad said...

Wow....I don't envy that trip you took to PDX on the's been unfit for man or beast these days. I'm glad you and the girls made it without incident (or them without waking up!)

rfl said...

glad you all made if with your lives and bodies intact off the 5 - I'm going to start calling it the "demon gutter". I may make a t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

That part about driving to portland scares the shit out of me.


Anonymous said...

demon gutter!