“This is what this whole trip is going to be. I can already tell. You rationalizing your decisions to buy organic fruits and vegetables and coffee for a month on the road,” Ben (probably accurately) states on the drive downtown from our campsite.
All I’ve been doing is drinking water. Water, water, water. I don’t know how easy it’s going to be to get water tonight at our campsite, so I’m stocking up today. Also, I’m pretty sure I drank enough coffee and beer over the past couple weeks to need a few weeks of pure water.
In the car, I’m telling my brother that if we drink enough water, it probably won’t matter that our diet is not the best.
We’re trying to figure out the money situation. We want an experience. But we don’t want to spend it all in a few nights.
I just met Ben’s friend Heidi. She is funny as shit and super uncomfortable in her blatant honesty. Seems like someone he would love. I’m happy for them. I hope they stay out on the town all day so I can sit here and write. I’m starting the novel. I’m starting in on the year. It’s so much fun. There is so much. When Heidi walked in and she saw my paper palace in the cafe, she was a little turned off.
“Oh. You’re writing? I don’t have the patience for that type of thing. People keeping up blogs and taking pictures and shit… I just want to enjoy it while it’s there, you know? Living life, not trying to save it.”
And I was reminded that not everyone is a writer. And I realized that I’m about to enter this world again where not everyone is about creating life. They are about living it. Which is completely fine with me now that I understand that I can be a writer without needing to explain myself.
I can see it, I can see how it could be seen as unappealing– seemingly sitting at a desk all day putting life to words, instead of just running out and finding more life. But that’s not what I’m doing. I am finding life. I’m finding a lot of life. But I have just realized through the years that living for me also means processing it later, through writing. And until I can do that, I don’t have patience either. I feel too full, too heavy when I haven’t written in awhile. Writing is like letting life free, instead of allowing it to cling onto you and rest heavily on your back like drunken memories with falsely comforting claws.
SPACE TO THINK. I’M REMEMBERING WHO I AM.
Holy shit holy shit holy shit. It’s addicting, this space. This room to be free and me and words.
Direction determined by me, minute by minute…
Talk to Debbie. Love catch up. “We’re the same person doing different things, you know.”
Talk to Ben in New York and smile for a good ten minutes straight.
I get up to pee and lose my table outside. I have to change seats, and end up right next to a man playing guitar.
A simple, “Sounds good.”
And a sincere, “Thank you”
On it right now. In the flow.
Heart racing, fingers flying. A place to finally sit and think, and a chill guy playing guitar for no other reason than to enjoy the breeze in the shade. Acknowledge.
This is me. This is what I’m meant to do. To learn how to do. Always where I need to be.
—No way. The man is playing Graham Nash on the guitar. Better Days. Been listening to that all morning.
Life is here for us.
Beautiful artists. Off to the side. Beautiful. Beautiful. Getting it.
It’s all in front of us. Just need to take the time and hydrate self enough to take it in.
Broke down and went to grab a filling burrito for lunch today. Hopefully that holds me over for the day. I still have to go running, so maybe not. We’ll figure it out. All I know is now I feel full, and like I’m in the only place I could be today.
Eating my burrito outside, I make eye contact with a man walking past, who happens to be a member of staff of the program I just finished a few days ago. He’s with an elderly couple, who I assume are his parents. I’m not sure if he’ll recognize me since there were so many of us, maybe I can just look away. But then I said fuck it, and looked straight at him and said hello. And he comes over. He does recognize me.
“Hanging around Sacramento a few extra days before heading home?”
“Kind of. My brother and I are about to head off on a road trip.”
“Oh. Nice. Where is home when you get there?”
His mind is blown.
“No way. That’s where I’m from. My parents right here… visiting for the week from Kansas City! Leavenworth.”
“So where are you headed before Kansas?”
“North up toward Seattle.”
“No way. That’s what I did after I graduated the program a few years ago. I took the 5 north and then went back to Kansas.”
He tells me good job for continuing on the Kansas tradition. The tradition that we have both just created. And I tell him I’ll see him around.
I finish my burrito, feeling eyes on me. I know someone else is about to talk to me. You can feel it in the air. It ends up being this sweet woman who looks like she is probably homeless sitting in front of me.
“I love your haircut. You could be in Peter Pan.”
I tell her thank you.
Then I head off into the world.
Peter Pan and Kansas.
I’m itching to get on the road. Here we come, Redding. Ben just got back from hanging out with his friend. Life is calling.
Here we go.