There have been two lines from different songs going through my head the past coupla days. The first is from Rilo Kiley’s ‘It’s a Hit’: “Your writer’s block don’t mean shit. Just throw it against the wall and see what sticks. Gotta write a hit, this is it.’
The second is a Melissa Etheridge tune I don’t remember the title of: “Tell them I’m alright, I’m coming home. Tell them I’m alright, I am alone. This war is over, I’m coming home.”
BUT, I’m burying the lead, so here you have it: at the end of January, I’m coming/going home (make your own distinction based on locale! It’s like a choose your own adventure, except it’s all my adventure!). To Texas. For… awhile. Maybe a few months? Maybe a year? Maybe forever? We can all find out together!
My mother, a few months ago over the phone: “Well, do you need to come home?” sweetly, no pressure in the tone, even though I’d just admitted that I couldn’t make my astronomical rent, or anything else, really, and needed to borrow money.
“No, no, of course not. I just need some help this month, something will pull through.”
My best friend (well, one of them, but I figure you all know me well enough that this isn’t a competition. I love the 30-Rocks where Kenneth says things like “But you’re my best friend in the entire world! Comma, beautiful hair column, parenthesis, strong.”), a few weeks ago: “So, when are you coming home?”
“Oh, no. No, not now. No, it’ll be fine up here.”
My sister, a week or so ago: “When are you going home?”
“Nah, it’ll all work out. I’ll be ok.”
And then the next day, suddenly it hit me, lightning bolt style: guys! I could just GO HOME! (I’ve never claimed to be the best at taking advice, nor the least stubborn individual on the planet.).
It was about my fourth or fifth day on the couch in a row, rendered unconscious and incapable of moving or eating by a perfect storm fed by a new antidepressant kicking in (and finally noticing the fading rashes on my torso days later, most likely causing a full on allergic reaction as it did. Don’t worry, I’m off it, though they say it can take weeks to leave the system. Yay!), flu, my abnormal body’s normal reaction to anything that throws off my immune system, and a continuous inability to ingest calories or even drink any more water than what it took to ensure I was at least puking up DILUTED bile periodically. I’d had an extreme panic attack a few days prior (also one of my lupus triggers), the seester and I were kind of fighting, I’d had to call in the troops to make sure I at least had edible food in the apartment (even though eating was odious), and I’d woken up a few times to catPatrick with his paw just lightly on my breast bone as though he was just checking to make sure I was still breathing (or perhaps just seeing if I was cool enough to eat, yet.).
I had to call in sick a few days to my seasonal job, which I absolutely adore and was supposed to enable me to pay my own rent for the first time in months (we’ll see, now), and I was just feeling very… Defeated. And then everyone’s voices cascaded through my head at once and I finally really heard them: I can just go home. I don’t even have to ‘just go home’, home is waiting with open arms.
The defeat immediately lifted and a thousand thoughts all clamored for attention: I’m going to get to see friends I haven’t seen in years, hold their babies and exclaim over the growth of their olders, have girlish slumber parties where we stay up wayyyy too late on the couch talking and painting our nails. I’m gonna get to go over for or out to dinner with friends and friends’ moms. I’m gonna workshop seven years worth of songs with old picking buddies and meet new ones. I’m gonna find a job in a less competitive market, and for a little while have some wiggle room to really figure out what’s going on with my health. I’m gonna help the momma around the house and at school as she prepares for retirement. Hell, I could actually get certified to teach in Texas.
I AM GOING TO HAVE SOME DECENT CHICKEN FRIED STEAK. THERE WILL BE FRIED OKRA! And my favorite burgers in the world, and good bbq, and appropriate texmex (yes, as always with Texas, my list of places to eat is at least as long as my list of people to see.).
I’m gonna break some cycles.
I’m going to sit on the hood of my car and watch the sun rise in my endless Texas skies.
I am aware it’s not gonna all be poetry and reunions. But hey, the culture shock is gonna be a hell of a lot of fun to write, and if at the end of whatever unspecified time I spend there it’s not working, well, Seattle will still be here. Or there’s the whole rest of the great big world, still waiting to be explored…
Til next time,