So I copied your personal essay today, had to, needed to make it bigger cause my eyes are blurry from too much sleep or not enough. So I’m looking at the words now, after the fact, font size large, screen size larger, and I’m thinking your first sentence tells it all – being alone and realizing you’re alone are two completely different, but connected things. The baptism of voyage, the rain and all make miles I’m guessing, not knowing if you’re talking about driving from Oakland to Nashville or some other beginning and ending. I like the water metaphor. It rains a lot in my personal stories too only I can’t seem to get the windshield wipers to work right or keep the road in focus. Is that what those white lines are for?
I keep tripping over myself. I check my shoes even though I bought them precisely because they didn’t have laces. I think my uncertainty makes me twice left footed because I don’t know whether to keep on through this inspired ramble-on or just tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading about your happenings.
So I continue like I didn’t just write that. I tell myself writing is part of breathing and even if this gets lost somewhere between this, what, place, this make-believe place, I don’t think so but I keep going back to it like an Oakland sidewalk I haven’t seen up close before, just passing by to somewhere else. But I read on and write on because right now it’s eleven twenty-two and I can’t get back to the finding the job thing right now.
So I’m following you, alone in a car full of people. I like that thought. I often say it similarly but with different people, in a room not a car, in a situation I know I can walk away from but choose not to until it’s too late and I have to answer to someone, anyone. The idea of being closed in seems right, the kind of place I mean where you meet people, find relationship people, even end up attached people but I think it better to avoid that old cliché because there are some parts of your life where being alone is the best it is ever going to get because you don’t know any more than you hope for.
I haven’t made the effort to know your age but I remember nights like that, Arsenio’s big ass smile, not Oprah though, couldn’t get that, eluded me though I can see where she was then as a direct comment on where she was heading, is. “If I can’t see you, you’ve gone too far,” words to live by for sure no matter what kind of upbringing you have to keep your memories in – like a worn out old box, dog ears, torn and tapped too many times but not enough to keep your things from spilling out.
I cannot go to Carnton, I have no business there and realize in my realizing, I must return with dusty steps to what the Spanish call the “apple orchard” for some kind of some kind, here in California’s Owens Valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas. Manzanar, sixty some odd seventy years ago where ‘we’ put the Japanese, where ‘we’ employed the term ‘forced relocation’ like it didn’t mean what it meant and someone wasn’t going to remember enough about it to write it down for later, for shame.
Damn right words there, “no sense of home, no sense of where I belong.” I find your words again and then let them go. I have to continue this journey you started, this journey you shared and keep on with my own now because I have to share, because twenty-one years is a long time but my ten years seems longer, no Florida relatives here though I spent a handful of years in Belle Glade some decades ago.
Best in your quest just beginning after this one. I’m mid-road and stepping, I’m listening and wondering when the rain is going to leave me the way it left you.
Inspired by http://inkwell-masterpiece.blogspot.com/