Saturday, August 04, 2007

Harsh Sunrise

This will be one of those entries where I hope that this journal does not have the readership it has proven to serve in the past. Where words I am thinking and typing were words I wish I wasn’t thinking or typing, but I can’t help thinking what I know. It is the only entry where I am going to express regret, fear, self-loathing, loneliness, solace and a piercing sense of longing to the extent that I wish I hadn’t written it but I have to. As Charlie says, “postpone tomorrow with more nostalgia.” And I don’t want these thoughts to live in my head anymore.

The road is long between here and home. Fifteen hundred miles stretch between me and everything I knew to be my world, the promise of something new and exciting and beautiful being the only thing that pulled me from it. The miles counted down through the gentle hills and valleys of the Virginias, the greens of Tennessee and the storms of Alabama and Louisiana before the majesty of the Mississippi ushered me into the homestretch of the longest journey I had ever taken alone; emotions of wonder and excitement rushing the adrenaline into every part of my being, making the miles and minutes shorter and sooner to pass. On the road the promise of the move was…well, promising. I was comfortable with every facet of it. I felt triumphant over this amazing plan I had for myself. The storms could have been an omen. Or maybe the bugs on the bumper. Or the constant delays on my trip. Or maybe even the quiver in a voice that I should have heard months before…I don’t know. So many people have thought me crazy, and I know it, for making this move. But instead of giving me the courtesy of being honest with me [and I mean everyone] all I received was resounding support which I did not evaluate but rather just exploited to backup my own unrelenting conviction in my decisions and actions. And so I moved.

Paul has helped me so much through this transition, being my company here in Houston in the duration of my first long moments. Of anyone else, I feel like he is going through everything I am going through; dealing with ideals of finding conviction in what you love to do, and knowing that your calling in life must be something you not only see yourself doing but you must enjoy and love it. Regardless of the money. Both of us wonder about the degrees we have pursued. His words have helped me through this, and it makes me sad that he had to go back. He accompanied me through some harsh realizations during my first weeks and left me with some solid words to ponder as I take these next steps to becoming who or what it is I’m supposed to become.

The living and working part came next. And this is I think the source of my deep sadness. Because see even though I understand things aren’t always great at the beginning and surprises spring up and fuck up things you’ve planned for so long, these are two lessons I didn’t need to be reminded of all in the same rush right at the beginning. An old fucker at the IATSE office [who was self-admittedly a scenic artist in his youth] smugly declared to me the difficulties in pursuing that career, almost as if to assume that I was just some arrogant upstart instead of a good worker and possibly a gifted artist. I really hate bitter old people who never fulfilled their potential and let the world know about it. And so I work at Texas Art Supply, Co. Honestly, there are people younger than me who have the 401k and investment portfolios and salaries and company games and all of the normalcy that comes with the well-paying respectable job, and I am stocking shelves at an art supply store full-time so that I can get a discount on a drafting and design table and supplies until my opportunity comes, an opportunity some locals think may never come. But I am ok with it. Because everything will be ok in the end, right?

My family here remains my saving grace, but of course their lives need to take precedence and so I cannot rely on their constant presence in mine. But Tito Edwin has helped me a lot and the cousins are all really well and good and it makes me happy to see them; it gives me a sense of home to see them.

What hit me the hardest though is the last thing I mention and yet the one thing I don’t want to write about because it makes me sad. But I hope that writing about it frees it from my head and so then the thoughts no longer live with me and I can be liberated from them. Almost a year ago we had a plan that I would come down here and [maybe maybe] see what opportunities Houston could offer me [which is a world more than anything in Pennsylvania]. And that if I came down here, that I would have a roommate. So that this whole move would not be so hard. So that I had someone to share the experience with. See unlike everyone else who makes this drastic a move, I was not following a job, but rather, a promise of opportunity and as beautiful as that sounds, the reality hits you like a very real bat right in the face and shamelessly tells you how stupid you are. Because as soon as I get down here, the hesitation, honesty, defeat, and difficulty truly kicked in. And so did the harsh realization that on a very real level, I will have to do this alone. And that is just what I feel. The idea of coming home after searching and exploring and surviving for the day in a new city and with nothing really locked down to someone who I can share all that with was something I anticipated, expected and looked forward to after all the planning, and it was supposed to make things easier…or at least more comfortable. But I realized that I was being selfish; and so I released us from that part of my grand plan also. Because I knew he just wasn’t into it anymore. So far, nothing has fallen into place the way I imagined.

And so I sit here in this room, still clinging to a promise of opportunity not whispered by the silence that fills my apartment that I inhabit alone, but rather by the cursory images of past dreams that used to push me forward. I sit in my room, listening to some good music, with a glass of wine at 4:00 in the morning waiting to see if that push will come again. And in consolation, I give myself a gentle pat on the back, another sweet sip of grigot I so proudly bought to celebrate my own housewarming and sit back to the sounds of the roommate that sings me to sleep every night, Norah.

I miss my family, my dog. I miss my friends and I miss knowing everything. I wish I didn’t feel more alone than I ever have before, and I wish I couldn’t cry.

But tomorrows are always good. And yesterdays will always make me sad. But todays, I hope, will ALWAYS hold for me, a promise. Welcome to Houston, Don. Hope you find what you’re looking for.