Sunday, November 9, 2008

That kind of day

We used to joke, whenever we went on a road trip with my bestest friend S, that she was secretly writing a book called Bathrooms of North America because she had to stop and pee all the time.  She was deeply conversant with every available rest stop between Pittsburgh and a radiating circle about a hundred miles in all directions.  Heading back from Camarillo the other day at 7 am, I assisted by co-writing the Los Angeles County section of the book; I don't know what I ate, but between Justin's need for iced coffee so he wouldn't fall asleep at the wheel and drive us under a tractor trailer, and my increasingly desperate lunges for the bathroom, it took us about half an hour longer to go to Redondo Beach than usual.

I spent election night at the North Hollywood diner, eating a delicious hamburger with avocado, and coaching Justin through a difficult and anxiety-causing email exchange.  The election, of course, was playing.  It was when Obama had 107 electoral college votes and McCain had suddenly jumped from having 36 to having 60-something.  As we paid, I gestured at the TV and said, "It's making me feel sick to my stomach."  (Of course, that could have been the pile of French fries)

"Oh, honey," the lady at the counter said, "just go home and watch a nice horror movie.  It's the same thing anyway."

Instead, we went to Tonoccus's and watched those votes roll over from 220 to 297 on his wall projector with surround sound.  And we watched President Elect Obama walk out onstage and give his first articulate speech (definitely not his last), after McCain's immediate concession, and cried, and called people, and jumped around, and ate pizza.  And then we went home, tired to the bone.

I'm spending a lot of time tired these days.  My body is sick (I have a cold) and my mind is dreading another wrenching away.  I like waking up in the morning and being called "Sweets", having someone make me TheraFlu, meeting people who seem disappointed when I tell them I'm leaving.  Because I am leaving, on Wednesday; after a dramatic onstage hair-cutting at the Sassoon Academy, I'm getting in the car with Justin and we're driving to San Francisco.  He's visiting his friend Ellie; I'm visiting Reed and going to Morley's housewarming and seeing Shadowdance and getting a private from Mira Betz.

And then, in one week, I start a long, long drive back across the country.  It will get slowly darker, and colder.  I'll probably be alone in the car for four days, of eight to nine hours driving per day.  Back to Pittsburgh and snow and winter, back to Canada after that for a month of staying with my mother.  Then more leaving.

That's my lesson, after this life on the road; coming into the seventh month, and my heart aches at the thought of moving on at the same time as I'm happy at the idea of new places, new faces, different people I love.  The part I never considered when I picked it all up and drove out of Pittsburgh: not the danger of the road, or worry about being raped or robbed, but rather the assault and battery of loving and leaving, always being the one more portable and with somewhere to go.

The way is like a shining star; I have to follow it.  And today there is another photo shoot, and then tomorrow there is packing and mailing and hugging and laughing and the days roll over like dramatic Citizen Kane-style calendar pages, and every one brings me into an unknown.

Maybe I am also just hurting in my heart for a very dear friend, whose life has just fallen apart around her.  The vagaries of love and leaving are just that much more poignant.  I don't know what to say or do to show her a light, and the pain she has to be feeling is drawing the corners of my mouth down.  But I'm leaving on Wednesday (although I'll see her on Friday, in SF) and my options are limited.  I don't know what to do in the face of heartbreak except administer hugs and advice and support where needed.

1 comment:

Eric said...

All you really can do is hold space for her and let her know she is loved and not alone. It may not seem like much, but the candle burns brightest when the night is darkest.

Safe travels, my friend. Should your journey bring you back this way again, know that there's always a place at Trinklebeenie for you to rest.