consequential conspirators with mi vida loca
It’s 12:33. I innocently began completing the job application for the job I may – it’s possible – I could have one of these not-too-far-in-the-future days in a sunny southern California beach-side town. I figured it would take 20 minutes – 30 tops. I began at 10:18. You remember that song by The Who – “Out of my brain on the 5:15″? I get that the numbers are not exact – 10:18, 12:33, 5:15. But, trust me, the gist of the song and later a significant scene in the movie ‘Quadraphenia” is that the main dude was losing it, maybe it had long been lost and clarity was only then arriving. I don’t know. But after literally cursing and howling and weeping, gnashing teeth and yanking employment memories from the farthest reaches of my mind, for two hours all I could think of was one of my son Spenser’s most recent and oft-repeated sayings – “That damn divorce.”
First, on April 14th, there was the pain of my partner saying she wanted a divorce – the deepest pain I’ve ever felt. It’s cold, bright starkness has diminished over time, the passing eight weeks. But the pain lingers. There was also the physical beating on my already beaten-up and seven-decade used-up body, packing and moving all the stuff. The mild trauma of recycling and donating and selling for pennies on the dollar much of the most important “stuff” of my life. The worry for and about Spenser – his hearing it, his dealing with it, his ability to move on.
All what you’d call life “heavy” stuff. But those two paragraphs above were scribbled 90 minutes ago because right after typing “his ability to move on” came a phone call from a guy in Oakland who had the best, most affordable, great location room in the city and I’d delayed chasing it down because of San Diego glitterings, and last week he told me he’d rented it to some UC Berkeley grad, except here he is on the phone to me today and the grad’s credit is funky – which should have tipped me off – and the call went on and on with me being grilled about ability to pay and proof of soc security and proof of savings and he didn’t seem all that moved about me saying a primary reason for me to be excited about Oakland and a new life there (beyond proximity to Gavin and David) was the racial make-up of the city, like my old hometown in Massachusetts and completely unlike all-white Portland (and even Encinitas for that matter, though they do have that body of water right there). The point being I became way ready to hang up from that unpleasant call which followed the hideous job app which that, filling it out, followed waking to an email from a way expensive but the absolute best room availability I gushed over two weeks ago and heard back nothing, where I’d most want to be in San Diego – “Are you still interested in the room?” – and I flipped with joy and wrote back my biggest yes and I was sent a bunch of questions and answered them promptly, thoroughly, and joyfully except the one when could I look at the room because I can’t from up here, and now six hours have passed and no further word.
Proving, to me anyway, that what I began to write about and intended to write about – that beyond all the truly terrible big stuff has come all this hangering-on other stuff which is crazy making and up-and-down roller-coaster stressful – that’s real. And yet sometimes I write these daily weather reports, the insides of me and my soul, and I hear myself two-finger typing the words and it sounds like moaning or at least whimpering and oh, poor me, and I swear that’s not it – that’s never been it since my friend began calling me every day from day one forward and my life has been filled these couple of months with such gracious generosity and kindness…….and for sure magic.
And wonder. Big, big wonder. Think of it – so far today, and it’s just three in the afternoon, I’ve had an email about maybe the greatest living space in the world from Golden Hill in San Diego, I’ve filled out a never-ending, wicked demanding job app from some company in Encinitas CA which, the job, would allow me to be of great service to the planet while hanging with surfer buds in a glorious SoCal beach town, and I’ve had a phone call from a fabulous neighborhood close by the Oakland Lake and my second-favorite Trader Joe’s on the planet, all here on Kate’s patio where I’ve been living and will keep on living through the end of the month for the price of a couple of paintings. I’ve made an appointment for next week at my credit union to be taught how to deposit pay checks from a thousand miles away. I’ve meditated on the patio and again out in the blessed sunshine, Oh, I had a 5am urge to text my long-lost Provincetown and fellow gypsy friend Keith just to say hello and he wrote back he’s been following along with mi vida loca and texted me the name of a woman and her tele number because she could possibly have a room for me in Malibu. Yup, that Malibu.
So, I began noting feeling crazy (“Out of my brain on the train”) with all the attendant requirements for moving my life forward after the reality of divorce, and then I review the day and, come on Buddy, will wonder ever cease? It’s just dues, Bro (I hear the Universe whispering with a gentle smile), and I’m lucky to wake up another day and get to suit up and show up, even when it isn’t always fun. Even when it’s extra-strength hard.
Because my life is amazing today. How do you beat that?