catch the wind

07/08/2021 1 By BuddyCushman

It’s just beyond noon on this Thursday and I’ve done a few things for sure – early walk, all the morning routines, a zoom into Oakland, another shopping visit to Trader Joe’s, a walk over to the Encinitas Senior Center where – here comes delusional me – everyone seemed older and with enough friends and acquaintances, and the program was about activities and not the kinds of supports I was hoping for, so a walk back to the new room (renting a room real weird in itself), and a long email to Maria in San Diego, she of the senior center who was so generous with her work days while I was doing time back in the basement in Portland, asking now for just a bit more help and direction.

There was a small breakfast in there too, and a bit more weeding and sweeping and watering the potted plants with a watering can, part of the deal here reducing my rent from horrifyingly high to my-hair’s-on-fire high. Still. How lucky am I? I felt a presence encouraging me to make a move to San Diego, a week into losing my wife and my house and in a day-to-day way my son, and I turned all my attention to that encouragement and through the aid of forces beyond my tiny comprehension and the splurge of amazing generosity and kindness from so many good folks, I found a place – expensive but made available to me – just 25 miles short of downtown SD. Which, thinking about, feels remarkable and slightly mystical and without doubt amazing.

Yesterday and today, while still with long ‘To Do’ lists and pretty much continuing to be directly involved with life through all the moments of the day, it has been less of the frantic need to keep on keeping on and reply to post after post and sell myself as a cool dude in a loose mood every chance I got, and move and pack and lug, and not to forget the crazy 1000-mile drive. Most of all that is done. Here I am. Encinitas. And what I knew was over there in the corner, waiting on the degree of nuttiness to subside, say okay this cat’s ready to exhale and kick it some – what I always knew would come out from the shadows and sit directly beside me, is I miss my wife.

I’ve started having make-believe conversations with her. I’ve started reminding her that we came to Encinitas twice, and swam in that ocean right down there from where I sit on the overlook up here. I’ve thought about texting – How are you doing? About calling for just a quick hello. Wondering if she’d even answer. Just wanting to tell her stuff, all the stuff of the day, all the things I said so often and so matter-of-factly during all the days of all those years. I think it’s just beginning, this empty space, and there’s a part of me with the fear I’ll never ever get a chance to talk with her again.

“To feel you all around me and to take your hand along the sand. Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.”

It is gorgeous and magical and living a life-long dream being here. Right here. Here in Southern California. At the ocean. But, it’s not all peaches and cream.