Friday, September 03, 2010

Wherever and whatever comes next

I wake up surrounded by cigarette smoke, where is all this smoke coming from? Someone must be leaning into my windows at night, blowing it in my direction. There are days when I wake up, and I can kind of breathe, and then there are days like today. There are days when I go out on the fire escape and it clears my head, and then there are days like today. There are days when sitting in the sun gives me energy, and then there are days like today.

So, you guessed it -- it’s not a good day. I would like to live someplace where every night my nostrils don’t get so stuffed up while I’m sleeping. I know that’s possible because usually when I leave San Francisco, that happens in most places where I stay. Unless the heat is on, or there’s obvious mold or dust -- then it can be worse. But usually it clears at least part of the time. My sinuses actually got worse when I went to Santa Fe, because of all my allergies -- my allergies were crazy -- but that will probably be true almost anywhere new. But then there’s also that dry air, I’m not sure about that dry air and my sinuses. Except that incredible moment when you open up the door and no way, it’s almost unbelievable, unbelievable how much air.

I was talking to Hilary last night about moving, where am I moving, and she said something like hopefully you’ll just feel much better, much better in a different place, and I realized I don’t have that much hope for that. I mean that’s what I’m hoping, but I don’t have much hope-- for the physical part, I mean, since everything feels like it’s getting worse -- I can’t even do anything about this bloating, and that piles onto everything I’m already dealing with and it just starts to feel so overwhelming, and true -- maybe I’ll be able to get away from the mold, that’s possible. And that might help. But what about everything else? I guess when you have one less thing to deal with, sometimes your whole system gets better, right?

So I guess I have more hope about living somewhere else, that that will help, maybe not so much with my physical health although wait, I do want to hope for that, okay I’ll keep hoping, even though I’m scared. But I have more hope for just getting the fuck away for San Francisco -- I hate it here, I hate being here, that’s what I’m thinking right now. Everything just feels like a limitation, suffocation, heartbreak -- yes, there’s familiarity; yes, there are beautiful beautiful places; yes, there are moments, but even in those moments I don’t really feel like I want to live here. I need a few years away, to see if I want to come back, I mean come back to live. At the moment that seems unlikely, but I might take a look at the other options and end up right back here -- I did that twice already, right?

This time it’s been 10 years, 10 years of living here and that’s by far the longest I’ve lived anywhere except where I grew up. For several years it even felt like I would be here for good, more or less, but now I’m so ready to get away -- and I guess that’s what shifting, that I feel more hope about my emotional health shifting, when I leave maybe I won’t feel stuck in my relationships and failed dreams. That’s why I’m drawn to Santa Fe -- one of the reasons, anyway -- more than physical health now, I think, since now I’m scared about the nuclear contamination. But I feel possibilities in relationships there, new relationships that maybe will feel more like what I need, what I need right now, in my everyday. Not just closeness on the phone or occasionally in person, or the old relationships that sometimes feel comforting but more often just like walls. Of course I also need more energy for new relationships -- moving to a new place is always incredibly lonely -- I might feel worse in every way, but whatever the case I know I need to get out of here, and fast.

I wish I could travel to a bunch of places, all the towns that sounds kind of interesting, spend some time in each one just to see, but that would be way too exhausting. Maybe I can travel for a few weeks in the Southwest on the way to Santa Fe, to see what I think of Denver and Boulder and maybe some smaller places, just in case. Denver doesn’t sound that appealing, but it is the big city in the area. I hate college towns, so Boulder doesn’t seem that likely, but I might as well check, right? If I have enough energy. I guess the train goes in that direction anyway, I mean if I take that train instead of the one from LA, which actually gets to Santa Fe. That was my plan before -- if I take the train the other way, I have to figure out how to get from Denver or Boulder to Santa Fe, I guess by bus. And I also have to take some horrible train that leaves at some hideous time in the morning, which I was trying to avoid. Maybe I can take a bus somewhere in that direction, and stay somewhere for a few days, and then pick up the train at a decent hour -- I was planning on stopping at a beach town on the way to LA, maybe a desert town instead?

I will say that whenever I think of the place that’s most beautiful to me, I do think of the beach, so yes it’s a bit strange that now I’m planning a move to the desert. But I feel like I should at least explore, to see if it’s what I want, or even what I want for a short time with new experiences and possibilities and intimacies that lead me to wherever and whatever comes next.


Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying your open and direct writing style. Are you in a groundless state of mind (in a good way)? I also find myself in a curious state of searching for new home(s). I'm always traveling anyway. I totally agree that university towns can be kind of limiting (Chipotle-ish). As for other spots, last year I had to go to Omaha to perform and was dreading it, and was shocked to find that I liked it a lot. Similarly with Milwaukee. I am sorry about this random blather!!

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Hi John--

I'm so glad you're enjoying my writing style, yay!

And, Chipotle-ish, indeed -- what a great description...

I like Milwaukee too, but I'm not sure it has the fresh air I'm searching for -- but I've never been to Omaha...