Thursday, April 01, 2010

Destiny Roads

Here’s how it went down. Words can’t express it all. But I needed this journey to live here too. [By the way, that thing that I vowed would never happen to me, happened to me again. I will never be an advocate for not trusting your friends, but I can’t help but feel, those closest to me will inevitably hurt me, sometime down the road. And I don’t think that will ever be okay, but is the way of the world.]

March 29th, 2010, Day 1: The Weight of the World
Hit me today that I will be stepping a few paces out of my comfort zone…and that there’s a chance I will never see some of these people again. But I felt that I was finally done in Houston. Although I hadn’t taken enough pictures of the city or seen enough friends to wave goodbye to or cry enough tears and make enough to do lists, I knew in my heart that I will never take enough pictures or see enough friends or cry enough tears or run out of things to put on that list. So I leave, being done, undone.

I fulfilled a couple of kept promises, unveiled surreal revelations, delayed goodbyes, a rough patch or five, and a surprisingly sublime emotional release as we leave Houston before dinnertime/Houston evening rush hour. Andrea, who hopped onto navigate/drive with me literally at the last minute was a godsend through the desert that lay ahead and the new life at the end of it. We drove through the dry heat of west Texas following the sunset into rolling plains and desert rock. Took a 5-hour energy drink extra strength and found refuge in its placebo. There’s nothing out here but washed out dreams, struggling, vanishing waterways and a gentle rolling of brush-covered hills sweeping across an arid void to the left and right of Interstate 10. Watched The Office into the night and stopped at Fort Stockton, a ramshackle old settlement close to the edge of the Lonestar State. Entering borderlands of Texas, New Mexico, at the edge of the old world.

March 30th 2010, Day2: The Edge of the World
Hit El Paso, a land of clashing and complimentary cultures of three old civilizations mashed together into a corporate, capital economic existence. A short stay here yielded some final Texan memorabilia (A “cowboy hat” of sorts that I always wanted since my first day in Texas and a deck of “Alamo” cards.) We swept through the rough and tumble sweep of New Mexican desert, pockmarked with billboards along dusty terrain, a fake row of storefronts disguising a rest stop and a set of old railroad tracks that stretched what seemed the length of New Mexico’s stake of Interstate 10.

The road curved around a hilly plain and we came across some mesas in the far distance but not until Arizona did we finally find the sweeping majesty promised us by countless calendars, Wikipedia entries and old westerns. Mountains surrounded a dry desert with alien looking brush and a lone road that divided the land. I can’t explain in words how small I felt in such a massive and beautiful, untouched terrain. It was like I was given a reminder of at once how much I don’t matter, and then just how much everything I did could possibly change the world. The California desert was like a descent into a dream. The daylight yielded to narrow mountain passes that told me I was moving into a valley system not unlike Pennsylvania’s, a poetic likeness to a home familiar to me. And as we reached Los Angeles, the brilliant lights and abundant traffic even at ungodly hours told me: don’t live here.

March 31st 2010, Day3: The New World
Sean gave us a fantastic stay in Los Angeles for a night, after a horrible time trying to park the U-haul and tow dolly rig on a narrow backstreet in the LA suburb. My first meal in California was a fantastic beef tip thing from IHOP, and soon after a quick goodbye began our trek through the San Joaquin valley of California, through more mountain passes and a stretch of valley plains before hitting the hills just before San Jose and South Bay.

It began to rain as dusk hit and the grand landscapes quickly gave way to a cornucopia of suburban artifacts like Walgreens, stretches of green grass and palm trees, grid patterns of city streets and finally, route 101 that ushered us into Daly City, California. The rain was pouring as I called the new roommates down to aid me in getting a quick cliffnotes version of parking such a huge vehicular setup on the narrow high hill upon which our house resides, a sweeping overlook of some of the southernmost hills of the San Francisco Peninsula. They came out, met me one by one and proved to me that this move will yield some good, solid friendships. After some trouble moving the vehicle, and getting upstairs to get a lay of the land so to speak, Andrea and I sat down with new people, drank through the night at the local Dubliner (in San Francisco proper) with the help of several shots from a generous foreign bartender, and end up tricked up at a new friend’s house drawing sharpie doodles on a new friend, listening to some live music and passing out on what was my first night in the new City, my home. And I could not have asked for a better welcome.

There’s also this new thing… where I can’t stop smiling, even when I think about the people I won’t see every day anymore. Even though it makes me sad that I won’t. But I look around and see that the dream that drives me is very much alive here…and I can’t help but keep smiling. And I think to myself, finally, I deserve that.

Current Music: Leona Lewis, "Happy"

Earth-Shattering Revelation #26: I live in San Francisco. The End. [But just the beginning]