the idea is…
27 April 2012 § 1 Comment
The idea is them getting married. The idea is running away. the idea doesn’t expect interruption, but thrives on it. We are entering a new life, tomorrow at 5 p.m. – a part of my past is evolving, no matter what I say about it. Jason and I debate as much as ever, in friendliness and challenge. He won his first logical argument with me the other day. It had something to do with time. Tomorrow, Kim’s father hands her off to Jason. I feel that tomorrow, I’m to hand my best friend off to Kim. Whether I like it or not.
I’m not around enough to qualify as a groomsman, however slighted I feel for it. I’d like to think that he thinks of me how I think of him, but that’s the nature of relationships, isn’t it? To strangers I call Jason my brother. For nine months traveling I told people that my travels end when my brother gets married. Today, in the ghetto barbershop (which wasn’t too unlike the movie) I told my nearly incomprehensible barber, a handsome, thirty-something black man from some local hood the same thing. He gave me my first straight-razor shave, and I look something like a white rapper would, if only they came in size 6-foot-4.
The idea is to Go, after. They go on their honeymoon and I go on mine. I’m hitching a ride on a moving truck to South Carolina, and thumbing it up to Asheville, NC – my old stomping grounds. I did a lot more than stomp there. I recorded some things and stole others. I borrowed this and that, and neglected what was important. Learned, tons. Tone. How tons can equal tone if you find their resonant frequencies. Cried too little, showed up late and sometimes never, and stayed too stoic too often for it to last. After it got better, I left. Came here. Left again.
I’m cyclical. Haven’t returned to my favorite places in the world, but I come back all the time to the places I hate the most.
Wait. Do I hate place?
Why not return to Scotland, Croatia, Iceland – now? I can run from weddings in any direction I choose, drink fabulous wine – such as this 2007 Tenuta de Trecciano Cab Sauv (girl, if you haven’t found this beauty yet, you’re missing out) – and write and write and write, while others make their life plans inside of picket fences. You could say I’m feeling contemptuous today. Sometimes I don’t want to see the point. I want to go. I want to keep the knowledge that the little big world I explore is the only one there is, and I want to believe that if I turned into that neighborhood in Davie today – despite the jittery feeling in my chest like the one I had in Cristo Rey – everything would have been okay.
I have doubts. I don’t understand everything. I know far less. My way doesn’t work for everyone. And even though sometimes I just want to tell everyone that they should drop Mayan acid, go off the deep end on a dancefloor and find out from what stars they’re really made, I know that some would lose what tenuous hold on their reality they do have, and I would take responsibility. Perhaps I should remember that even though Going works for me, it might not for the person I tell it might solve everything.
But when has it not?
If you’ve dropped everything to go explore, then came back to your picket fence unchanged, let me know. What right do I have to look in the mirror and say “I love what I’ve become,” and not even know where my life will be a week from now? Tell me that someone out there experienced travel and didn’t fall in love at least once. Take me off my high horse, my point of arrogance, the feeling that I can look in the mirror and say “I’ve earned this,” and bring me back to the community of strangers that raised me up above it.
Many have worked harder than me, and earned less. For more chains. They’ve signed agreements just in ink and embrace complacency forever bitterly.
Cameron walked up to me at the end of the rehearsal dinner with a look that said much more than it was nice to meet me. He was genuine in ways he wasn’t two hours prior. He called me ‘interesting’, and for once it didn’t feel like an insult or an attempt to cover for the fact that he didn’t get it. He’s a music teacher. Get it?
I realize that my misunderstandings are mostly me. Perception is not reality – I learned that from an enemy. I’m still working with the truth in it.
Sometimes I wish I knew what was next. It wouldn’t be so easy then to go back and find the ways I’ve screwed up what I didn’t prepare for.
The idea is to get them to remember me without wanting to. Wit is based in prediction. Impressing someone’s sense of morality is a matter of tireless passion that is sometimes wrong in motive. When someone calls me intelligent I feel insulted – have you seen me read a book? I didn’t think so. I collect them so you’ll think I’m cool. I don’t know how I’m changing anything, but none seems to be the kind of change I wanted – because I wanted it in me, and that doesn’t always show up in the mirror.
This droplet of guilt I have running down my forearm to my elbow is about to fall to the floor with all the stories I should have written down to tell you. In beach sand they are forgotten, in forests I forgive myself, and wonder if that’s the same as if I ask for it.
I miss what wine did to me, then.