“The Word That Starts With U” -Feb 2007

Okay, so a while back I had a breakdown. I met a girl and she ripped my heart out. She pulled the thread and the sweater unraveled into a big messy mess on the floor. Yeah yeah—same old story. Nothing new with that. This is more about emotions and the aftermath. It seems the breakdown state, which lasted an amazingly long time, has been woven back up in my reconstructed sweater. It seems to be part of my new (reworked?) identity OR it was my identity for so long sometimes I feel uncomfortable without it. This is ironic, because I sure did feel uncomfortable WITH it.

Valentine’s Day is closing in. I remember a few years back I wrote a column about it. There were poems, sentiments, anti-sentiments and of course, my opinion on the whole thing. The poems were about unrequited love. Geez. The worst kind. Absolutely. Pining is no good for the soul. This much I know. Take the latest. A clever New York City girl. She’s just not having it –or me- more specifically. And I just don’t understand why. It’s there, I know it’s there, she’s told me herself. I guess its presence isn’t big enough. For her. And there you have it; the birth of Unrequited. And Unrequited does funny things to you. Should I jump on a plane to NYC and ring her bell? Do something radical for once? No wait, would this freak her out? It would freak me out, if Unrequited showed up at my door. But is it really Unrequited? What category of Unrequited are we talking here? The “I just don’t feel it” kind? No… The “I just can’t do it” kind? Maybe… The “Eh, take it or leave it” kind? Like I said. Geez. And so it goes, the love and the like and the emotions take hold of your brain and turn you into a weirdo wacko wannabe. C’mon, admit it. You have felt this way too, right?

You know this has all been churned up by the Lady Astronaut. I’ll refrain from calling her crazy or nuts. That’s an unfair and ill informed judgment. But we all must agree that her intensity for this man just grew and grew and she just lost it. Whew, she lost it. Not only did she lose it, she sustained it for 900 miles. At her arraignment, she looked saddened and stunned. As if the realization just came to her of what she had just done. I wonder how much of it she remembers. She looked startled, frightened, and exhausted. She had finally unraveled. Unfortunately, her private moment of the unravel came to light on national TV. The rest of us can hang on to the threads in the safety of our own little worlds, even if it doesn’t feel safe at the time. I do not envy her aftermath.

Fast Forward. Or, backtrack. Love, I just don’t know what to say. Happy Valentine’s Day?




“The Desert Made Me Do It” -March 2007

Okay, so we all know that curious stuff happens in the desert, especially at night, which is when I always seem to be there. My last time out was no exception. Years have passed but I still remember how odd that night was. The desert vibe pointed me toward an altered reality, yet it all seemed awfully familiar. Like, maybe I had been there at that time and space before. It was the strangest thing. For instance, I completely missed the coyote jumping out in front of us. I turned away for a second and I missed it. An image meant only for the driver, I guess. Again it was dark and we missed all the scenery. Instead we had to use our imaginations to figure it out.

We were really hauling ass this time, rolling away from the beloved West Coast. Things get peculiar in the desert. Long, flat lines give way to total darkness. We saw a tragedy on the road. It hurt my stomach. We eased by the scene in seemingly slow motion. It felt strange and weird and very, very sad, all the musings I had. Everybody has a story. He had one too. Hours went by. We kept going, greeting yet another sunrise on the move. Actually, I don’t mind, I usually sleep through most of them. Breakfast waited at the local cantina. More coffee. More talk. More eye contact. With strangers. They always assess You, The Intruder. Keep your guard up. There is unusual energy out here.

The sun shined fully on the hills. Here was a new day to heat it all up again. Our destination nowhere in sight, we stayed stubbornly on track. My mind raced as I reflected on our night. I wasn’t really sure what was going on out there, but I decided to just go with it…