This weekend, my old pal, Michelle, is visiting from Santa Barbara and the timing couldn't be better. Lately, I worry that Denver is starting to become just a place where I sleep in between trips. Being gone so much, I've become something of a hermit the last few months when I am home. I only drive to the airport or when I go to ride horses. Okay, not true. I also drive to Swallow Hill for guitar lessons and to Jeff's house/Avenue Theater for Rodent stuff.
Mind you, I'm having a good time - cooking, writing, playing guitar, yoga, reading, watching movies - but I can feel myself detaching from the rest of my species and that concerns me a bit. I've officially, once again, given up on meeting a worthy member of the opposite sex. Either I'm too picky or too ugly or they are too dull. I live on random compliments these days, which, thankfully still come. (After some conversation, a older fellow at Sunflower market said to me yesterday, "You're a welcome addition to the state - a very attractive woman." Thank god for him, even though he is on severe medication.)
Michelle asked me last night as we were driving to Swing Thai, "So where do you hang out or get coffee or whatever? Where is your neighborhood?" Um, I don't really hang out, I told her, and I don't drink coffee so .... Unless I am going to meet someone or do something specific, I really don't mingle. I tried it earlier this week, and even though I met some swell folks, I felt like I was playacting the whole time.
Perhaps this is part of getting older, settling down in a way but since I mature at a glacial pace, any change in my outlook or habits is always confusing at first. Still, I find myself craving winter so that I can at least blame my housebound tendencies on something other than myself. I've got so many creative projects that need tending, projects that I've begun but need finishing ...
Last night, during dinner (while the Rockies were KICKING ASS!!! YEAH!!!) I confessed to Michelle that I've been having some weird physical sensations lately.
"It's like my heart starts racing and it's harder to breathe, and then this heat goes up over my head to my ears and ..."
"Panic attack," she announced. "You're having panic attacks. I used to get 'em all the time, what you need to do is ... "
I'd heard of these but assumed that they were brought on by stress and tense situations. I don't really have any stress, unless I'm late for a plane, and I've never felt more relaxed in my life. Bizarre. I even get them as I'm falling asleep, which should be the most relaxed state one can ever be in. What's the deal? How have I fucked myself up this time?
I'm glad Michelle was the one to tell me - we've known each other since third grade or so and it was she who inspired my move to San Francisco back in 1997. I had just come back to LA after a year of traveling abroad and the place no longer fit me, I needed a change.
After I went to live with Michelle, she sat me down and told me all about this new thing called, The Internet. It sounded impossible. There was a giant box on her desk and it was there she showed me my first email.
"And then, you just type your message ... " she said. I can still recall it like yesterday. "And then, you press send, see? Then, it goes to their inbox."
"But how does it get there? I don't get it." I was a slow student. Eventually, I caught on.
Michelle and I used to throw legendary seasonal parties in our tiny Presidio Heights apartment. We had live bands in the living room and come Sunday morning, we often had at least six remaining bodies, hungry for eggs. A local poet - published and everything - was inspired by these wild events and wrote a poem about them. In between parties, Michelle and I would paint our toes wild colors, watch scary movies and go check out bands. We still laugh about the times I went out even when sick. I'd just curl up next to the amplifier (Les Claypool, Michael Franti or Train, probably) and enjoy horizontally.
Little has changed. Tonight, we're off to see LIVE at the Fillmore. Michelle is the Managing Editor of Santa Barbara's weekly, The Independent, and she's actually here on assignment, to cover the final night of the band's tour. I think we are going to some backstage party afterwards. Anyway, it feels like the old days. When all of our friends get married, have kids and buy big houses, Michelle and I are always left wondering: "Should we be doing that too?"
Okay, that's a lie. Actually, I'm the one that does that. Michelle is a bit more secure in her non-conformity. Very inspiring.
In conclusion, life is weird. I feel like I do too much and not enough, all at the same time. Funny, I have about 10 tightly written posts (with photos!) already composed in my head but this morning, I just needed this space to ramble and reveal a bit.
Maybe because I get comments from people who say, "I read your blog. Your life is so exciting, you do so many cool things!" I would agree that life is not bad for the ClizBiz but it doesn't mean I don't get a little confused and blue. The grass is always greener, etc.
If this wandering un-focused post does nothing else, let it serve as a reminder that everyone faces challenges, some are obvious - like medical stuff or financial stuff - but most are internal. I have always felt anxious about life - like there are various strong-headed women inside me and each one battles for earth time. You know, 32 fucking flavors and then some? Recently, I've begun admitting to trusted friends, "I'm starting to accept the fact that I'm not normal."
They all laugh and say the same thing: "Normal is over-rated." Guess I'll just have to take their word for it.