Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How HOT is it?

As promised, I've got a little to tell you about my “drive across America”. I begin in L.A. driving away from my crappy apartment on Corteen Place watching my partner of 9 years get smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror. Inside an hour, all my thoughts of loneliness, fear and regret were overshadowed by the fact I was lost (50 miles from home) and in desperate need of a bathroom. For those who know me well, you will see the irony in this knowing that this phenomenon is not a 'regular' occurrence for me. I quickly figured out where I went wrong and took evasive action – first stopping at the dirtiest McDonald's somewhere near Rancho Cucamonga – a place that is much more fun to say than visit. For your references, the 210 does not connect directly to the 10, you need to take the 57 for a short jaunt. Who knew? Shame on you AAA!

Well I got back on track and headed for Palm Springs, appropriately listening to a soundtrack to an old New York off off-Broadway show called Naked Boys Singing. How perfect is that? Stopping in Palm Springs was tempting but it seemed too close to home and I decided to head on knowing that once I was out of California I'd be in better emotional shape.

And before I could say Arizona here I come, the boredom and the heat came with avengeance (is that a word?). It was really, really fucking hot in Arizona. Arizona has without a doubt the most horrible “rest” stations in the country. There's no shade and no where to rest. I ask you how am I supposed to rest in 100 degree heat, no shade and no air conditioning? I did what I could. I had this great product called Swimming Pool in a Can, which is nothing more than a can of water compressed with air. It doesn't really feel like a swimming pool (quelle suprise!) but it makes you wet and then the 100 degree breeze feels like 99 degrees. Yahoo!!!! Arizona seemed to go on forever and just like that I was in New Mexico. It cooled a bit and I decided to take it easy on myself and wander around some back roads, possibly stop for the night and hope I didn't meet anyone from the cast of Deliverance. I also decided to use as much air conditioning as I wanted to and if the car couldn't take it/overheated or spontaneously combusted, I'd leave it where ever I might be and get myself a new one. I had some fried dough thingy from a stand on the side of the road from a 700 year old couple fried by sun like raisins and decided to go to sleep for the night in Las Cruces, NM. Now as a grown man, I'm a little embarrassed to say this but I was a little scared in the hotel. I felt very alone in Las Cruces, NM that night so I stacked some shit in front of the door and remembered that I could do anything. I dreamed of my future, stared out the window and finally fell asleep alone in a strange bed in a strange place without one tear for the first time in a month.

Random Observations: Do you think it matters that I'm KnitguyLA but I don't live in LA? Stuff like that usually bugs me but I'm contemplating KnitguyFL. Am I overthinking it?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Days of our Lives

Well I'm back and haven't got a clue where to start. Should I begin with my partner and I of 9 years breaking up or my new job or my new job that happens to be in Florida or my drive alone across country? Yes, it's all true. It's been a turbulent time in my life (which is why I haven't posted obviously) and although I have no new knitting I can assure you there's plenty to report.

Yes, my partner and I separated after 9 years and it's been an extraordinarily frightening and sad time but one that has been filled with self-healing and discovery. We decided to make our breakup as amicable as possible and respect the years we spent together by not making the end angry and bitter. All this began back in May and to our credit we made it happen. Within ten days of his announcement, he moved out and I came home to our crappy North Hollywood apartment looking even crappier and contemplated my life. I came to the conclusion that the only reason I was in Los Angeles was for him and his career. My career never really flourished there and after 6 years I never really adjusted. What I discovered somewhere across Texas is that there's nothing wrong with L.A. In fact, there are many really nice things about it. Believe it or not, I think L.A. is like NYC in one very important way. I love NYC, it will always be my home but to live there you have to be very young or very rich and I think L.A. has that same quality. I'm going to respect my ex's privacy and my dignity and save whatever else I may say about our relationship/breakup for another day and post.. Until then, I thank my family and friends who have been so supportive during this horrible time. I couldn't have done it without you and thank you all more than you'll ever know.

The journey begins with my new job and it came to me just when I needed it most. It's as far from Los Angeles as you can get in southwest Florida with a former employer and 15 minutes from my parents' winter home in Ft. Myers. It all happened so fast. I sent an on-line application and 5 days later I was negotiating a final deal – all 2 weeks after my breakup! Can you say freaking out? I thought I'd lost my mind! Sane people don't really make change in their lives when everything is turning upside down on it own, do they? But in reality, this job allows for more security, money and a future with a global company that could take me almost anywhere in the world. By accepting the job, I knew I couldn't hold up in my apartment in North Hollywood and hide under the covers eating chocolates expecting things to right themselves with my partner. Instead, I hid under the covers for a few days, ate some chocolates and then made a conscious decision to start the healing process. I questioned my decision ten thousand times, packed half a life into boxes and drove across country in the next 6 weeks.

In the coming days and weeks, I'm going share some highlights of my drive across country by myself -- which is something everyone should do in their lifetime. I'd done it twice before but never alone. It's a contemplative time that helped me find a part of me that had been lost for some time. He's making his way back and this time I get to hold fast to the parts of him who are truly the best facets of Joe. I'm not healed, I don't know if I ever will be but with the help of amazing people and a dramatic turn of events, I've started the process. On my drive across America as I called it, I discovered a couple of things. The first is that being alone and being lonely are very different states of being. One lifts you up and let's you see who you are & how great you can be and the other drives you straight to the donut aisle and/or the cigarette machine! I'm happy to report that somewhere across New Mexico, I decided I wouldn't let that happen. Crazy Aunt Purl got divorced, gained 20 lbs and got a book deal in the end. I'm happy to report I've lost 20 lbs. and for the first time in my life I'm on my way to becoming an athlete -- "Ex fat kid turns Expert Fitness Author", hmmm?! If a book deal comes I won't complain ... are you listening Rand McNally? In the meantime, I'll watch the lightening storms, listen to the rain and bask in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico! Happy Knitting! Love, Joe