I haven’t been here for a while. Actually, I haven’t been anywhere. But I’ve been too many places I didn’t want to be. A contradiction, I know. When you think a lot, you just might get stuck inside your own head. That can be dangerous. Being stuck gets in the way of other things, like, well, living. You freeze in time… but you keep aging. You don’t grow… but you get fat. You pause… and yet years pass. A long while back when working in New York City, a cast member from The Soprano’s asked me, “Do you live in a cave?” when I told him I had no idea what The Soprano’s meant. Seriously, you can’t make it up. I guess I’ve been in a cave, or perhaps under the rock, for a longer than I’ve realized. No one put me under a rock. I moved in willingly. Sometimes the world spins way too fast and, I have to get off… but there isn’t anywhere to go except under a rock. Because you can’t leave this place without dying. I’d thought that through… and it’s not a good plan. The news and life is full of politics, shootings, terrorism, starvation, murders, abuse, bullying, prejudice, hate, lies, unbelievable truths. Conversations in the next booth… someone bitching about someone else. I’m tired… tired like John Coffey in The Green Mile: “Mostly, I’m tired of people being ugly to each other.”
So, while I’ve set up camp under this rock, I’ve gone through a lot of motions. Some of them involved dragging others along with me (I’m sorry). Motions… ha. Yeah… I moved. Several times. What the heck was I thinking? Oh right, I wasn’t. Hmmm. And all the while, all through these motions, I’ve dragged my rock around with me. It’s damn heavy this rock. Let’s see… there was the umpteen years working in Corporate America allowing the life to be sucked out of my soul. I let them take it. It’s my fault. I didn’t know what else to do. See, that was just me being what someone else wanted. A professional. A six-figure income in a semi-fancy house. Buying all sorts of stupid things like a Magic Bullet, 37 throw pillows, and rocking chairs that no one sits in. One might see that as filling a hole that has no bottom. When that came to an abrupt end… when someone in India would do the job for a lot less money… when I became dispensable; I exhaled. I didn’t have to keep living that life anymore. It was a relief and a curse and a slap in the face and a blessing. But I hadn’t planned. I had dreamed of the day. Free from a job and a company I despised. Ahhhhh. Yes, dreaming is good. Planning is better. I had no plan. None! Zip! Zilch! So, more motions. Reactions to the immediate crisis. Try to find a job doing exactly the same thing. Check! WHAT the heck? Stop. No. You can’t. Don’t. So, then… Sell the house by yourself to save the commission. Check! Disrupt everyone around and move to a place that’s sure to be hated! Check! That’s what you might call “not thinking it through.” And that’s a story and a time that hurts too much still. I stuffed it under a different rock. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up again. It may not have to be picked up. And I mustered enough sense and courage to move again. Into a basement. Yup. And I mean basement. Not a basement-turned-into-apartment basement. I mean just-what-you-picture-in-your-head basement. Which is also a story for another time and may or may not be told. My mom put it well. “Amazing! You went from riches to rags. It’s supposed to be the other way around.” Thanks, mom. But she’s right. I spent almost 7 months in that basement with my youngest child and five dogs. Thank God my oldest was in college. OK, let’s start planning a little, shall we? Um, well, maybe not enough but somehow I ended up in rural Maine. You see, since 1984 I’ve dreamed of Maine. It was going to be home for me one day. I knew it would be. But first I had to go to Aruba and Louisiana, and Connecticut and New York and Georgia and back to Connecticut. Did I mention I’m tired? And I know my family is sick of me. And here we are, well mostly, in Maine. My partner is still in Connecticut. He’s working there. Taking care of his mom. Oldest child graduated and is living near Boston. Youngest child loves Maine. She has tolerated a lot of moving and changing schools and going back and changing again. The Flexibility Award goes to her. But thankfully she loves Maine. And as we ease into our beautiful community we meet lovely, kind people. It’s truly amazing. And a little too good to be true. And as the onion peels back, we find a giant opiate epidemic, a neighbor-slash-drug dealer with a huge marijuana farm, an even bigger criminal record and a vicious pit bull. And we are confined to our home for fear of said dog and drug dealer. And maybe, just maybe we will be moving again. Did I mention I’m tired?
This wasn’t written for anyone but me. A purging. A cleansing. So, if you got this far… if you are here… please accept my sincere apology.