Thursday, August 25, 2011
Writing and Rambling
I have always loved the idea of sitting at a coffee shop and clicking away on the keys of my Mac to some stunningly witty piece I was working on, but in truth sitting alone has never held much fascination for me. Alone at home is one thing. Alone in public has always been quite another. Same with restaurants and movies. I've still yet to see a movie alone, but is still something I hope to accomplish.
The lure of writing outside the house is just that--to get away from the same old distractions and finding new ones seems attractive! But today I knew I needed to get away. It had been a difficult day. I had Ken on the brain and couldn't stop punishing myself with photos, words and memories. "Dosing" myself seemed a bit out of my control. What set it off was getting a call from Costco that the old video tapes I'd dropped off in July had been converted to DVD and were ready to be picked up. I barely remember hanging up the phone and driving there, I was so entranced by the idea of seeing and hearing Ken. One tape in particular detailed our move to Los Angeles in 2002. We packed up our lives, our Chow and each other and drove for nine adventure-seeking days in our Geo Metro. It was the boldest thing I'd ever done.
As I watched the DVD, no tears. Just a unshakable grin on my face, hearing and seeing him and my beautiful puppy Quantum. I'd forgotten the nitty gritty details, but what I could see was we were clearly in love and obviously excited about the future. I so clearly remembered how secure and safe being with Ken made me feel--from the get-go. He just had a way of handling change--and always did. He could take the edge off of any new situation for me and make it okay. It's still hard not to feel that sadness when I think about that particular benefit of loving--and being loved by--Ken. Everyone wants to feel safe and loved. And I did in spades.
In spite of almost talking myself into writing at the patio table, after work I grabbed my Mac and some supplies and headed over to a coffee shop nearby that we'd always talked about trying out. And it's from there as cars glided by from the stop sign on the corner that I wrote this blog. I saw some beautiful pooches parading by, teasing me with their "shiny hineys". I watched two friends part company on the corner as I gathered one was moving far away. They both kept it "light" but it was clear they were both quelling a lot of emotion. It was an interesting exchange to watch--objectively. And I was happy to play no part in it. She had chunky glasses and purple hair. He had a close-trimmed beard, and by the way he flamboyantly called her "guuuurl" was pretty much gay. I imagined he'd finally saved up enough money to transfer to a Kinko's in San Francisco--the "mother land." Clearly, I have tools for keeping it "light" too. Damn my distraction-seeking imagination.
I spent about an hour going through our book--which I compiled in hard copy the other night from things we'd both written--and edited some parts I'd written a while go. I also tried to work on how it will be organized. It's exciting but daunting, and getting out of the house to begin tackling it was the right decision. I unwittingly became one of "those" people who sit outdoors at coffee shops and talk too loudly on the phone to compete with the traffic whisking by when my friend Beth called me to check in on me.
After two hours I was chilled sitting in the shade, and decided to pack it in to head home. I felt accomplished that I'd finally gotten away. It did make a difference in my ability to focus, and I'll do it again. Unfortunately as I walked home I realized I no longer had possession of my wallet--which I'd had when I bought my cup of coffee earlier. So I did an about face and headed back to the coffee shop. I'd called on the way, and she'd found it--on the ground under the table I'd occupied.
Clearly, I have some packing glitches to work out before I make my next coffee shop appearance, but taking a page from Ken's book, shit happens, but it's how you handle it that determines its weight in your life.