Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Woman In a Suitcase*

"So, where do you live?"

It's a simple question, really, a standard get-to-know-you inquiry, but I am flummoxed every time. 'Good question,' I think, 'Nowhere? Everywhere? Anywhere?'

A friend once described me as "the girl without a home" but I think the opposite is true. I'm not so much home-less as I am home-ful. These past few years, I have lived in my North Dakota farm trailer while also playing houseguest in Colorado, New Mexico, Mississippi, Minnesota, Arizona, Oregon and most especially, Southern California. My license plate is from North Dakota, my mail goes to Long Beach and my cell's area code is all Denver, baby.

And so, the question remains: Where do I live?

Usually, one's residence is tied to a job. Here again, there is no simple answer. I have not worked in an office since May 2006, right about the time I gave up the land line and the television. Since then, it's just been me and my MacBook Pro, my beat up iPhone 4S (also my wi-fi-hotspot) and Netflix. In this way, all my professional and cultural needs are met without fuss. I have at least one client who assumes I work from a fancy office in San Francisco (Why correct them?) and another who occasionally asks, "What time zone are you in?" Otherwise, no one needs to know that I have conducted eight-person conference calls with tractors rolling by my trailer window. The Internet came along just in time.

But again, this extreme mobility can prove challenging. Recently, I was asked by a media release outlet, "Where is your agency located?"

Turns out, "In my head." was not an adequate response. I tried again. "You know, the agency moves with me. It goes where I go. On my laptop. Whatever. I mean, it's 2015, I can't be the first person who lives like this."


"Fine. Los Angeles, then, if that helps."

"Yes, it does," said the woman, shaking her head out there, somewhere.

And so, as I face down the smoking hot barrel of 50 (December!), I am getting signs it's time to slow pace, pick a spot, settle down and be An Adult. I long for my own kitchen, a yard to mess with and a doggie of my very own. Most of all, I badly want to repay all those hosts who opened up their guest rooms, offering fresh towels and keys to their front door. But the Universe has a sick sense of humor, so the biggest sign of all?

My suitcase zipper broke.


*Anyone pick up this reference?


Brandon said...

I assume you refer to the Police song, no?

Heather Clisby said...

Yes! Thank you so much for playing my little game. And thanks for reading through to the end - much appreciated.

Mat said...

Gems: "In my head"..."fine, Los Angeles"

Heather Clisby said...

Thanks, Primo! :-D