So here I am, and how did that happen exactly? Two and a half months ago I was getting off of a plane in Oakland. Ignorant. Naive. Young. Foolish. I helped Kate paint a bedroom. I went to Mendocino County. I lost my mind.
(Sarah is painting her bedroom right now in that very same apartment. When I’m done here I’ll help her paint, because I used to get $25 an hour for that shit and I’m good at it. It is perfect symmetry, in other words–with the bedrooms being painted. This. It is written. It is preordained. These bookends had to happen. Which is to say, this is all a metaphor for something or other. For literary critics. For scholars and disciples and pigeons and roaches. Definitely roaches. Most definitely roaches.)
The Hotel Arcata gave us a $25 discount because the police had to be called on our neighbors. I slept right through the ruckus. I woke up at six a.m. and the “continental breakfast” turned out to be muffins, stale fruit, watery orange juice, and bad coffee. The graveyard receptionist hit on me, but because I’m not a homosexual I wasn’t interested. Josh woke up and we drove south.
The Avenue of the Giants is the old Highway 101. It weaves in and out of old-growth redwood groves. It’s slow, but it’s pretty as hell. Kinda makes you want to chop down a tree. Or climb a tree. Or be taller. Something. It’s a worthy detour, though, and Josh and I took it because we were bored, because neither one of us has a home, and because we’re suckers for pretty Ansel Adams-type vistas.
I asked a man at a novelty store for directions. I wanted to tell him how badly I needed to cry. Fuck it, I wanted to cry into his arms. But he just told me we were going the right way, and I walked back outside, to the rain and the forest and the fog. I bit my lip. I survived.
It’s gotten me this far.