September 8th, 2021
What Happened Happened And That’s All There Is To It
I was going to tell you everything. How it all happened. I was going to tell you how I came to Omaha, about Guff and the road and how we came to be . . . I really was.
I was going to tell you about Jazz Nite and our Wednesday coffee dates over FaceTime. I was going to tell you how I bought the van named Modestine with her encouragement and inspiration and I was going to tell you about the long days up to my elbows in grease with her on my mind. I was going to tell you how I cut my lease and sold off most of my belongings including my records to a friend of hers. I was going to tell you about the challenges I faced to make the thing work, how two mechanics told me to dump the old Dodge Brougham and try something newer, that it would cost too much to get it going.
I was going to tell you about how I almost gave up on the whole thing, how it became too much at one point and I was just going sell the van and be done with it and find some other way to get to her.
I was going to tell you about the pastor on the dirt road by San Tropez, CA who prayed for my journey ahead and about Brian, my bipolar storage neighbor, who drew a smiley face on the back window of my car and how that symbol later became a good omen in the search for an answer to a mechanical conundrum. I was going to tell you about it, how the guy behind the counter gave me the remedy for fixing a seal leak on the transmission after days with no progress and then setting a whole new line of obstacles in motion including rewiring all the electrical in the van and adding a new AC unit.
I was going to tell you how the van finally passed a smog test—because the attendant told me “Oh we’ll make it pass no matter what.” meaning I pay him an extra hundred to make it pass— and that got the tags up-to-date so I could hit the road at last, almost a month and a half after the idea formulated.
I was going to tell you about how the events of my life at that time aligned with the constellation of my pursuit and then I was off down the open road.
I was going to tell you about how I broke down in every state to get to Guff. First in Mammoth and then Bend, Seattle, Boise, Laramie, changing my oil pan gasket or starter or dealing with vapor lock. I was going to tell you how I’d driven straight through from Cheyenne, eight hours on the 80 like a slug because it was Wednesday, our day, and I wanted to spend the rest of it with her. I was going to tell you about the little brick house on 44th and Pierce and how the scene played out exactly as my mind had seen it. Her running out of the house in bare feet and jean shorts, the air thick with moisture. I was going to tell you how she opened the door and flew onto my lap, legs curled over mine sideways, and how we kissed right there under the tree.
I was going to tell you about the lightening bugs in the alley as the night came on and how we held hands with the coming darkness. I was going to tell about the tears and us laying there in bed, our eyes laughing like little kids, how we made love in the morning and just held each other for hours. I was going to tell you how she, in a fit of joy, jumped up and flung open the blinds in one fluid motion, her arms outstretched as if to hug the light and hold it and I laying there still in bed bathing in the warm stuff now washing over us both.
I was going to tell you about her love for sharing and how she has a million ideas rolling around in her head at all times. It’s true. I was going to tell you about it. I was going to tell you about how she showed me Carter Lake where she used to live with the girl in and out of jail, the small house that looked like it was falling apart and how it faced the sunsets and how she wanted to buy that little house because of the lake and the grass and how we sat in that grass and talked about her mom and dad now gone and I was going to tell you about the keychain she gave me in her room that says home is not a place, but you are home which made me feel like I was and still am.
I was going to tell you how our first date lasted nearly eight months and how Nina Simone’s I Wish I Knew How It Would Be to Be Free played around and through us as we pointed north towards South Dakota.
I was going to tell about how we fought in Kennebec and then Big Horn National Park, how we fought in Billings and later in Minneapolis. I was going to tell you how we fought in St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Montepelier, New York, Boston, D.C., Richmond, Myrtle Beach and I was going to tell you about how in a fit of rage I almost sent her back to Omaha from Dallas, alone, and how it was raining at the airport, a mist of clouds and cold air, and how I ran after her in the Enterprise and pulled her out of line before she left for good because I could not picture my life without her, but she was already waiting for me to come after her.
I was going to tell you how after every fight something beautiful happened like a sunrise party on the Mississippi or a sunset over Niagara or meeting our road Uncle Joe the old poet from Milwaukee with crazy white hair and crooked glasses or Jermo from Billings that grizzly bear with a voice like he’s gargling crackerjacks who shot his 9mm at the moon high on a mushroom trip. And I was going to tell you how she shows me that understanding is like a fine tuned instrument playing beautiful notes of harmony through the anatomy of our union.
And I was going to tell you about the drive back to California and Christmas with my family and how they all loved her so much and how we looked for a place to call our home and how we settled on Omaha because of the trees and the people and the opportunities to make a house a home, and how we piled everything I owned into Modestine and how the drive shaft dropped out twice on the way here, once during a snow storm in Prescott, AZ and the other just outside Lincoln so close to our new home and how we waited there in twenty degree weather, screaming at AAA over the phone after 4 hours of waiting and waiting, going nowhere, our bodies shivering, only to finally have a driver come out and move us in on the back of his truck and then he not being able to get the van lowered off the bed because the van was too large and the rear-end sagged like a large dog with bad hips, the thing scraping the new driveway, grinding metal against concrete.
Yea I was going to tell you all about it. I was going to tell you about the sad times and the mad times and the times we laughed our heads off. I was going to tell you how I continue to trip over my triggers while my childhood trauma wears my current face like a mask when all I want is to have my best friend without pushing her away out of fear.
I was going to tell you it was her all along, how she is the reason I’ve come to Omaha and why after thirty-seven states and 15,000 miles I’m still working through it all.
She, who loves with abandon and speaks her truths and shares all the millions of thoughts swirling around her head, the one who sees it all so clearly and feels it all so deeply and knowing more than anyone that if we can solve the mysteries in ourselves then all the world could be healed. She, the one who says “yes” to living, playing all the time in dreams and bringing them into reality. I was going to tell you about it, and about her wanting to feel safe and good and happy by being open and inclusive and sharing and talking it out until we’re blue in the face. I was going to tell you about her love for tiny things and bananas and Millie-dog. I was going to tell you about it. I was. I really was.
I was going to tell you about it all, and maybe some day I will.
September 29th, 2021
The culmination of our experiences and emotions stack up like Southern California traffic. They get bottlenecked up to a point then explode out into open lanes, the pains and congestion assuaged in an instance of relief that spreads throughout and across the surface of our existence…
September 21st, 2021
Our relationship almost ended before we arrived. One moment we were in complete understanding on the I-70 writing a new contract for our union, and the next it became fissured in a fit of fatigue somewhere in St. George, Utah…
September 15th, 2021
The place is dark though well-lit. The light comes in through large windows facing Vinton Street and then dies out into a darker light that shines down from half-lit fluorescent lights tucked between ceiling tiles…