Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I go a' walkin' . . .

So I recently finished the entirety of Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman" comic books in their collected forms, and have lately had a weird sense of ennui. Why am I here? Where is this going? What's next for me? Has my life really been reduced to a series of waiting games between paychecks and trying to figure out if I can afford to go out for cheap sushi or a drink?

The answer to all of these questions is the same one: Yes and No.

Yes I am here (and no I'm not). Yes, this is going somewhere (but right now it's not). Yes, something is going to happen next (and no, I won't be able to see what it is). Yes, I play the waiting game and must strain my resources between paychecks and no, I don't exactly hate it. Yes I love cheap sushi and cheap booze. No, I shouldn't spend the money on those things.

Gaiman did a great job of telling stories that were about stories. There were all sorts of stories happening within each other, twisting and turning and tying together in ways that were both telegraphed and unexpected. It's difficult to really understand the enormity of what he wrote. I've read several of those volumes more than once and I still can't quite grasp it all; meaning is right there out of the corner of my eye, and when I turn to look it's completely gone.


So now I wonder where my story goes, or if there is a story to tell at all. I can romanticize it or tell it like it is. Or maybe there's a romantic beauty in just telling it like it is. "What is, is." I'm not sure if there's going to be anything to tell as life continues on for me, but when it does, I'm going to tell it here.

And that's the answer for now.

Spaces and places and faces and traces,
They turn and they turn,
And they all go to pieces.
And I can't describe
What's in front of my eyes.
It's just you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall and Fall things.

Autumn/Fall is my absolute favorite season. A lot of great things have happened to me in the Fall, and a lot of great things happen every Fall regardless. Now that my engagement along with the beginning of Josh and I's relationship is synonymous with the season, it's even got sappy undertones.

Fall's got great beverages like apple cider and orange cocoa and stuff made with rum. It's got great food that you can feel guilt-free about. It's got great movies (our Netflix queue has been dominated by horror and thrillers lately--"The Thing" remake, "Adams Family Values" and "The Unborn" are on their way today). It's got such a friendly atmosphere that Winter can almost match, but only barely.

The thing about Winter is that while the holidays generate that warm and fuzzy feeling in us all, there's still that undertone of commercialism and panic that comes with this need to give and create perfection amongst complete and utter chaos. Anyone who has worked retail during the Christmas season will tell you this--9 hours a day on your feet helping ungrateful people will suck the spirit of the season right out of you, even if you're wearing a gold lapel pin that lights up and plays "Carol of the Bells."

However there's no such obligation during Fall (save the end of the season when American Thanksgiving transitions us into Winter). Yet doesn't it seem like everyone seems friendlier or happier or just a bit more cheerful? It's this electricity in the air that can't be matched. A sense of fun and carefree and routine, really, that's left over from the Summer and needs to burst into the atmosphere before Winter forces us all indoors and out of each other's way. The Fall is our last chance to get out and do something; to travel or take a walk with short sleeves on or get out of the house on a daily basis. It's this unspoken energy that runs along the surface of the days in the Fall that truly makes me love the season.

Not to mention that for Seattle, we've had an absolutely beautiful Fall this year.

Next weekend we're driving out to Coeur d'Alene to see my family. I'm hoping the weather stays strong for our trip. 7 hours is a long drive, but it'll be worth it to see them all for a bit. My family decorates the hell out of their home for Halloween, and I can't wait to see what absurdities my dad has created this year. I have such vivid memories of getting bundled up and decorating the outside of the house with him (really, I'm sure I was running around and un-boxing decorations and causing more distractions then help--yet he still let me "help" in my own way). Although when I was very young it was more likely an apartment or two bedroom rental or duplex; we lived in so many homes when I was small, but my family managed to make every single one feel as homey as possible. Decorating it for Halloween was one way that my parents maintained that sense of normalcy for me.

After an hour or more or when ever the serious decorating had to begin, my mom would scoop me up and put me inside with some apple cider and a snack, and leave me with the television playing Halloween-themed Disney cartoons while she went outside to help my dad finish. I was a pretty self-sufficient kid, or so I've been told. My parents couldn't have been much older than Josh and I are now; they were so young. it would be neat to go back and see if they were anything like us in those early days, fresh out of school with a kid and not much money and not much of a life plan, either.

"I'm dead babe; dead as dead can be.
It's all because a zombie ate me.
You loved me when I was alive,
But now you see that I'm on the other side.
I still wanna go out with you,
But there's something that you've gotta do.
Give your life up and over to me.
Come on, you'll see how happy we can be."