Thursday, June 07, 2007

And around and around we go...

Did you ever fall off the merry-go-round as a kid? If so, you’ll know – like I do – how fucking hard it is to get back on while the thing is whizzing by you. At first, you immediately try to grab on to anything – anything! – to get back into the fun. But then – for me, at least – the outer body experience started to kick in and then I became fixated on merely witnessing the others trying to have fun. Or, should I say, as fun as going around and around and getting nowhere can be. Perhaps that’s why they’re screaming. Whatever.

I didn’t fall off the blogosphere as much as I got pushed. Well, that’s not quite right, either. Truth be told, I jumped. With one big gleeful yell to the stars, I jumped into the never-never land of walking away from everything and everyone I knew.

I’ve done it before. Too frequently, in fact. But it never seems to bother me as much as it bothers those around me. I’m used to it. And I know when I’m jumping ship – even if I rarely know where I’m landing.

We’ll call this jump number 137 for those keeping track at home. And what a fucking jump it was. I felt the odd urge coming on in the early spring. If you’ve ever felt it, you know it. You know what it means. You know that it’s about to take over. And you know that the character that is just “you” is changing. Or perhaps just yearning for a change. Most of the time we fight it. We shake it off with the routine of just being you – a cup of coffee or beer in a familiar place, a run-in with an old friend, a phone call from someone counting on you being you, or the alarm clock telling you it’s time to be you by getting your ass to work.

Every once in a while, if you’re me, at least, you take the jump, walk away from just being you and seeing what it is like not being you. And the euphoria of not being you takes over at first. How delightful it is to shed your old skin, to ignore the pile of to-do’s gathering in your mind, to pretend all your calls and messages are simply wrong numbers or mistaken identities, and to simply start over.

And so went my mood several weeks ago as I sat at my favorite watering hole. The character that was me felt worn out. Worse, it felt heavy. Like the merry-go-round, around and around I went: painting, drinking, writing, wondering and wandering. It was all so predictable and rote.

But that was all about to change. In fact, everything was about to change. I had no idea I was moments away from meeting someone who would entice me to walk away from everything, take one hell of a frenetic trip to the coast, and then return with little more than the stories of the jump and the adventures that followed.

Oh sure, we’ll get to that part – soon enough. But those stories will have to wait a bit. Because I’m now in that rather messy zone of trying to put things back together. In the week that I’ve been back, I’ve already worn out my welcome at my friend’s place, getting that all-too-familiar “you’ve got to move on, man” talk. Worse, what I thought at the time to be a rather cool farewell to two clients counting on my painting prowess turned out to be not so cool after all. So not cool, in fact, that I not only lost those clients but several more who got wind of my disappearance and, as they said, “went in other directions.” Read: Anyone but Snarky.

But I have no regrets. I needed a break. And a change. And I got all that and one hell of an adventure, too. So what if I’m now calling my sister’s guestroom home for the time being. It was all worth it.

Stay tuned.