ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone…

24 March 2012 § 2 Comments

except when there are no clouds.

Boquete is as lovely as ever, the high noon sun smashing into the little mountain paradise, as if to punish us for the lack of northerlies coming in off the mountains. Or just as a reminder of what it’s like Outside. Down South, twenty-two miles and a sweltering summer away.

For the last few days I’ve been in silent mourning. Heather left on exactly one day’s notice – she bounded back to the States, to San Francisco, to pursue something she loves – further training in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), something I know enough about from her explanations but lack the sincerity it deserves to properly describe.

She left, but not without the blessing of the community we’ve become family with over the past couple of months. They love any reason to get together for a few laughs and hugs, and one of us leaving was more than occasion to gather on a restaurant patio and be themselves for a while. Then there came the question “So Sean, what are you doing now?” and it just keeps coming. I’m living, guys. We’re all doing what we love. At least, we should be.

So she’s off doing her thing while I do mine, which is the small task of taking my writing more seriously. Or rather, hoping that others will take it seriously enough to pay me for it.

“If you don’t say it, no one’s going to – it’s your shit, man.” So says Ed Gish, old school Hollywood writer and the closest I’ve had to a male mentor, ever. We’re both staring at screens right now, making what’s in our heads realities to be shared. I’m using his ironing board as a computer desk.

I knew there would be an adjustment period. I knew that I’d revert to silence, that I would shed the extrovert me that comes out so easily around her. Am I so affected by those immediately around me that when we part ways, I go back to being me, and they go back to being them? It’s like, ‘thanks for being a part of this, thanks for growing with me – time to start again now, from the rough draft, written ages ago.’

If I have any addiction, it would be to how I seem to affect the people around me. Much of the time, I am in camouflage, and blend into the scenery like the empty rocking loveseat in the back of an outdoor café. Now and then, when I’m hungry enough for conversation or connection, I reach out, and sometimes magic happens. It doesn’t seem like a bad thing to be addicted to, but it cuts down on the number of casual acquaintances I can have. If my definition of friendship is more intense and personal than most, which has been my experience, and the amount of emotional investment I tend to require – but not always provide! – is higher than mere acquaintanceship offers, then I am willing and able to go without when need be.

Recently I’ve taken to playing bongos at the open mic night at the local expat hangout, which puts me on stage, but there’s a reason I don’t play guitar, the instrument I’ve had a complicated, sometimes-passionate-but-mostly-tenuous relationship with for ten years, or turn the usually-musical open mic into a performance poetry venue. I keep telling myself ‘they’re just not the right crowd for slam poetry.’ Not that I’ve tried. No, that would be scary, and I would be alone up there, in the spotlight and out of context, serving up dishes of hard questions and fear and loathing and other things that make life interesting. Why would I want to do that?

Maybe I’m in the thick of things right now.  After eight months in Central America, I have three weeks until I return to the States, and that associated anxiety hides behind every corner I walk up to, flashing dirty, scumbag grins at me before running off to hide in the jungle. I don’t want to leave Panama; I don’t want to return to the U.S.

Whoever said that all good things must end had a stick up their ass. A very uncomfortable one. Maybe I’m just being stubborn and defiant. Anyway, there’s work to do, and I don’t want this blog to seem like a chore more than it has recently, so I’m going to go work. good evening.


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§ 2 Responses to ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone…

  • Hope you feel better soon! 🙂

  • You are facing a very normal situation….having to leave a place you have settled into and found congenial. That’s hard. It’s painful! And re-entry to the US is not going to be easy (sorry but it’s true) which it is for all ex-patriates who return to their home culture. The culture in the US right now is so toxic, politically and economically, I’d be nervous too.

    Good luck!

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