Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sun-Return and the passing of time

It has been way too long. That's my own damn fault for having time to write lots of boring technical documents and emails to friends, but not here. Although, since one of those things brings me money and the other one brings me solidified relationships with people I love, I don't know what I'm apologizing for.

Since November, when I last wrote, I've been to Pennsylvania and Canada, kissed loved ones goodbye and patted pregnant tummies, spent Thanksgiving in Woodside, CA, gazing at the moon from a hot tub surrounded by poison oak, and watched Zombieland snuggled up with some of the best company ever. I've also spent some time panicking about getting rid of all my stuff; if you ever post on the North Hollywood Freecycle list, you'll think the Fountain of Youth just opened up, except instead of youth, it's spewing useful objects like suitcases and weatherstripping and old clothes.

I've also been to Mojave a few times, and wrote this about it in a recent email to my mother:

Last night I drove to Mojave to visit my new friend Zach. Zach is tall and Texan, with well-worn cowboy boots, an endearingly dimpled smile, and a taste for classic literature; his bookshelf of "fun reads" includes Ginsberg, Saint-Exupery (naturally...he's a pilot), and Salinger. He works for an airplane-building company at the Mojave Airport, the deserted plane "bone yard" about an hour and a half north of me, in the hilly desert in the middle of nowhere. It's a two-crossroads town, and one of them has a sign proclaiming Jesus Is Lord on it. Zach lives in an old adobe church, drives a 1952 Chevrolet truck that he restored himself, and tells terribly obscene jokes. He's an aerospace engineer making secret government projects.

So I met Zach because he came and couchsurfed with us, and we liked him so much that we went and stayed in Mojave with him, and he took us flying in his small plane and then bought us donuts in the morning. Then he and I struck up more of a correspondence, so I drove to Mojave to couch surf at Zach's alone.

We'd decided before I got there that we'd take his small company plane over to the Camarillo airport, 35 miles northwest and pick up my friend Colleen and buzz her around for a while. She met us in her little Smarte car and had a GREAT time in the air: grinning and smiling, and shrieking when we hit little air pockets. it was my second time in the plane, but I already felt like an old hand; maybe it was the flight suit I was wearing, although it has rhinestones on the back, and was designed for Burning Man.

Then we went back to Camarillo and picked up Colleen's husband Peter and all went for gourmet burgers. Eventually, Zach and I flew back to Mojave. It was a clear night, with loads of stars. The cars snaking along highway 5 were packed in like so many delicate glass beads of light, and through the headset, Zach said, "It looks like a crack into the earth." He was right; it did.

We stayed up late talking and fell very soundly asleep at about 3:30am. He woke up at 6:30 to go to work (yep, on a Saturday) and I dozed off and on for another two and a half hours, when the light through the long, tall windows, and Zach's returning footsteps reminded me that it was time for coffee, pancakes, and eggs. I drove home in the beautiful sunny day, through the mountains and the weird pass called The Grapevine, back to LA.

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