It’s my birthday. I’m sitting in a hotel room in Mendocino County, hungover. It’s raining.
When the rains come to Northern California, they do not fuck around. I woke up yesterday morning in a flood. Everything was terrible. I suggest you do not wake up in a flood. It’s not hard to not do. Just never go camping for several weeks on the cusp of the rainy season in Northern California.
Here’s how it happened:
I set up camp at the bottom of a flood plain. I woke up thinking, “Dry, very good, very good,” only to touch the surface next to me and discover that although I was in fact dry, the rest of my tent was under water. I unzipped the door: vestibule flooded, clothing sitting in water, shoes floating. Uh-oh. I scrambled barefoot out of the tent, hauled my computer up the hill and out of the weather. I ran back down hill. In retrospect, this was pointless: I could have walked. Everything was already wet anyway.
I woke Johnny. “Hey, Johnny.” No reply. “Hey, motherfucker!” Johnny stirred. “Can you help me move my tent?” Johnny said yes. We moved my tent to relatively high ground. I got soaked. I spent the rest of the morning standing in front of a propane heater, trying to dry denim and thinking about various ways to die.
It’s my 27th birthday. Do you know what I do not want to be doing? I do not want to be doing this. I do not want to be charging my phone in a hotel on Highway 101. I do not want to be twelve days without a shower. I do not want to watch the sunset over the mountains anymore. No. I want to be stretched out on a beach with a bag of blowjobs and a gin and tonic. I want to hear a beautiful woman tell me she loves me. I want to watch my child come into the world.
There’s always next time.