Life is Magic.
It's been over a year since I lost all the possessions that I had gathered over the first 32 years of my life. It's been a year since I slept on the magical mattress that had treated me so well for almost a decade; A year since I slept with Roland, my ratty and charming stuffed dog; A year since I perused some of my old notebooks and scoured them for old story ideas or old sketches I had whipped together while sitting in some lecture hall way back in the nineteen-hundreds. A year. What can happen in one year?
Sitting in a giant metal tube, I decided to finally write a story covering the year since the fire. As I began, I reached into the bowels of my computer to find some digital ghosts from the 12 moons past to refresh my gray matter when I found something I had already forgotten. Only three weeks after the fire I had started writing a blog that I never finished. Reading through, I realize how that one trip set the tone for the rest of my year. In lieu of writing a new story, I present to you a story by a special guest writer: Past Andy. I've barely adjusted his words (hence the paragraphs that cut off, never finding their end) and present them to you here as Step One of my year as a gypsy-hobo.
Written September 21st, 2009:
Where the Wind Blows Me
"Ooo baby do you know what that's worth?
Ooo heaven is a place on Earth.
They say in heaven, Love comes first.
We'll make heaven a place on Earth..."
- Belinda Carlisle
I have a good, solid history with this fine love jam by Ms. Carlisle, but I'll write that story at another time. Maybe. Just know that when I do, it will include: The world's largest bologna sandwich; Going blind; Transforming a stream into a vomitorium/ karaoke bar; A human brain getting stuck on a maddening loop for two years; And, finally, sex, though not for me. That, however, is a tale for another day. Today I open with Belinda's ode to love because I believe I have discovered the original inspiration for this song. Through a small crack in the Universe, I have had the good fortune to sneak a peek at Belinda's original muse: Nebraska. More specifically, Omaha, Nebraska.
When the world comes along and steals all of your possessions with its hot little fingers of fire, your mind sort of... wanders. It looks for something to grasp to help ground you in the reality of the situation. Distractions are hard to indulge, but when a good, solid distraction does grab you, it grabs you hard and you are thankfully whisked away on an adventure that is only as potent as you let it be. This last week I was very potently whisked.
Omaha's love actually started poking me in Los Angeles, taking the form of a bad-ass, tattooed minx from my past. An evening spent in the nicest dive bar ever and then continued on Blues Traveler's couch was my primer. At the time I didn't know it was Nebraska, but now, with my unrealistically pleasant adventure behind me, I can see clear as day that it was in fact Omaha (with a sprinkling of Humboldt and Portland, Oregon in there for good measure) with me the whole time. I know this because this pre-Nebraskan moment was the first time I got the undeniable feeling that I have it good. I have it really good. I know in my head that I am homeless and every non-living, physical thing I have ever loved no longer exists, yet... sitting there on John Popper's couch one week ago, I knew for certain that I am fortunate. This was the first of many moments of euphoric certainty that would set in over the next week. Skipping sleep (because sleep is for suckers), I immediately transitioned from the southwestern desert to the kindest center of America.
I can in no way do this weekend justice with words. Words are to this weekend what a single glass of champagne is to a wedding: insufficient. As much as I try to bend this little language of ours- and boy do I love to bend it- there is no way to mold it into the colors and shapes required to describe what I am describing. So, I will merely reminisce about some of the finer moments and, should you ever be moved to hear more about any section, I cordially invite you to come share a glass of whiskey or wine with me. Once we have a glass or two in us, you will stare into my hairy chest where you will begin to see shapes of my own recollection and your skin will start to feel the perfect weather and warmth of perfect people and you will know how transformative Omaha can be.
Omaha hosted a wedding this past weekend and people came from every corner of the country to be there- a testament to the sweetness and genius of the couple getting hitched. At one point I stood on the stoop of a castle, dressed as a CIA agent. The sun spit straight into my eyes, while a sea of tiny bugs tried (and succeeded) on entering me from many more orifices than I care to admit. I watched The All-Powerful & Mighty Reverend Rachel unite this magical couple and I realized again that I am lucky. This amazing couple saw fit to have me there at their wedding and everyone --
- Floating above the city, drinking free concoctions of deliciousity, I- along with 5 or 6 others- was handed a bible written by a better version of me from the future. How did this couple manage to get their hands on this book, even though it's from a parallel reality? I told you, this couple, and everyone around them, is magical.
- Under the stars, a historically accurate story was discovered about a Jewish dragon exacting preemptive revenge on a group of nerdy Nazi soldiers (and one sexy Nazi librarian) just one week before the invasion of Poland.
- At the Hotel RJ, the largest breakfast of all time was forged in a pit of smoke and surrounded by famous Meerkats. Sean Astin was there to see it all.
- A librarian with an intimidatingly sharp mind for comedic brilliance chose to adventurize the hell out of her life. I was a fortunate witness to her risky, ill-advised, but ultimately wise choice. And a sentence was spoken to me that I shall not soon forget.
- An Amazonian woman passionately listed off all the secret places of genius in Los Angeles, drowning a sheet of paper in ink and shaming all those who hate on the sinful city of dirt and corrupt morals. As she eagerly spouted her mind's knowledge, I tossed out stories of my own 'Fear and Loathing in Hollywood' experiences while chewing on a flower petal. Then it rained a beautiful rain, while outside a building from my hazy past and foggy future watched us.
- So much beer was consumed that at one point my body was a perfect sampling of liquid displacement. If something went in, something went out.
- Zombies of all ages took over the dance floor as a chorus sang out about the power of pussy. Soon after, I was wowed by Kevin's Electric Slide. So was everyone else.
- I slept on a floor and was lucky to do so. The hotel RJ saved the day four times over and for more than one person. I spent my time hanging with the owner of said hotel and a future rock star, bearing witness to the power of Thost, the most delicious substance a toaster can create.
- I was defeated more than once in a game that consisted of throwing droopy testicles across a lovely lawn, despite the fact that my teammate was The All-Powerful & Mighty Reverend Rachel, who has a direct line to the hand of God, but not Jesus.
There were too many moments of amazing to --
My trip was synchronistically book-ended by the bad-ass minx who kicked off my travels. Just as she was the first to remind me that I have it pretty damned good, she was also the last. She blogged me and she blogged me good. You ever been blogged? I have. It makes you feel better than you are and I'm thankful for each undeserving word. She book-ended my trip with surprising awesomeness and I will try to do the same with this blog.
"Omaha... Somewhere in middle America.
Get right to the heart of matters.
It's the heart that matters more..."
- The Crows that are busy Counting
Soon after I wrote this, I found myself waist-deep in my favorite corner of the ocean and perhaps the most significant place I've ever stood. Let the magic continue...