Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's over so we'll work backwards

I managed to get caught up in the reality of my trip so much that I never managed to blog about it. Maybe it's because I was never settled enough to admit the truth of why I went. I was prepared to spend several hundred dollars to fly to DC and no one knew the truth of my reasoning. I gave fiddly reasons about museums and monuments and my love of politics when the truth was that those things were negligible when looking at the real math of my choice.

A Kite That Couldn't Be Tied Down
Today I read a story in the New York Times that hurt in that way scars will suddenly ache with no warning or reason. It surprised me and left me both crying and smiling. And wanting to tell the truth about why I went on this journey.

There is a girl and I fell painfully, deeply, inexplicably in love with her after knowing her for two hours. She was fiercely supportive, fighting even me to argue that I was something great. When others we worked with questioned my dedication and work ethic she defended me faster and more decisively than anyone I had ever seen. It was a sensation unlike any I had experienced. Suddenly my attempts to be good enough were not treated as something to be painstakingly dragged out of me but rather a delightful surprise. She was grateful and loving and confounding.

And she left when it was over. She disappeared to DC to continue her work to change the world for the better. Our communication ceased almost entirely. We never really knew each other; there wasn't a whole lot to say. But that impression she made on me stayed with me and when the days got bad it was the thought that she was out there and she had believed in me more than I believed in myself that gave me that little bit of strength to clench my teeth and keep pushing.

She had a love of the word "amazing". 
She used it all the time and I once asked her
what she was like when she saw something truly amazing. 
She said she thought everything really was amazing. 
She is amazing
She became my happy thought. In the darkest hours it was the thought that, while I was still stuck in this pit, she was still out there that kept me from collapsing entirely, from sliding back into that inescapable place of pain. I built her up and gave her new attributes, tweaked my memories of her to create something to hang on to when I just couldn't find any other reason. I used her as the channel to believe in myself. Through thoughts of her I gave myself permission. I created a superhuman goddess, my own Wonder Woman who would save me from myself some day and I gave my Wonder Woman her name, her face, her voice, her smile.

I can't give an adequate explanation but I needed to know if she was real. I needed to make my pilgrimage and see her and hear her voice and find out if my Wonder Woman was real or if I was just daydreaming. I needed to feel her believe in me again, the way she had before, because I'm getting tired of letting myself down as often as I have. I'm getting tired of believing and building myself up only to be disappointed in the end. She was what I held on to when things got rough and I needed to hear it from her.

I'm that broken but that's a blog for another day.

So I hopped a plane and flew 2,000 miles to a strange city with almost no money all in the hopes that I would finally get some closure. I would finally be able to let go of her and the part of my life she represented. Or maybe I was chasing her down in the hopes that she loved me the way I loved her. I'm not really sure. I just know I went to find her.

And I did. I found her and she was not the superhuman Wonder Woman I had built her up to be. She was just herself. Just as scatterbrained and frustrating and sweet as I remembered but she was not her. And I silently begged for her to tell me I was alright and that I was making the right decisions. She didn't. She told me to finish it. She seemed to expect more from me but she was still sweet and supportive. And she told me the thing I needed to hear most. That it was hard for her that it was all over and that something like the adventure we all shared is something that only happens once in our lives and we can't relive it.

In that instant it was finally over. So we said goodbye and three hours later I boarded my plane home not knowing if I'd found what I came for.

Maybe I'll tell the story of what actually happened over the course of my trip. Maybe not. I'm not sure yet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Massive F*cking Slingshots

As a fat person I find it deeply satisfying and wonderful when I get both seats in the two seat row to myself. On your left you will see a Kate, sprawled across two airline seats and enjoying it like a cat enjoying a sunbeam. Today on my flight from Atlanta to DC I got just that: a two seat row all to myself and across from me isn’t even more people, it’s the galley which I consider to be something of an upgrade. Fewer people to deal with when I’m trying to disembark is always a good thing.

So I’m flying to DC and I don’t rightly know why. Someone asked me “So what brings you to DC?” and I couldn’t really answer their question. It’s hard to explain what brings me to DC. There’s this tugging feeling I get behind my ribs that keeps telling me to go, keeps telling me DC is where I’m supposed to be so, until I can relocate permanently, I decided to hop a plane  and spend some time figuring out just why I’m so drawn to a place I’ve only visited twice. Who knows?

I meant to write something about the drive to the airport. It was frantic but the fact that it was 4AM made it strangely tranquil. The whole world outside the freeway seemed to be still and silent. I remember seeing the smoke stacks and knowing that there was a sprawling city on my left: Ciudad Juarez. I knew it was there but when I glanced over all I could see was street lamps spaced with no particular order or regularity, just random. A sprawling mass of flickering yellow lights at random intervals. It looked like the city itself was holding a vigil for all the people who die there. The hardest part is knowing that the only thing that separated the people of Juarez from a life in the United States is a river and a chain link fence. They’re so close but the difference is so stark. It always catches me off guard.

So I drove to the airport and thought about how when all the windows and houses are dark it looks like the city is a sea of candles. What’s more, in the quiet and stillness it felt like the city was mine, like I was the only person in the world to see it and enjoy it and it was there for me. This obviously isn’t true but at 4:30AM, having had no sleep, a lot of things seem perfectly logical.

After watching the street lights of two different countries flicker like a sea of candles I finally got to the airport and discovered that security has been slowed down immensely. There were two huge lines all the way from the escalators back to the main lobby, a good 200 yards. Two lines full of people. And this was just downstairs. Upstairs it was a fight for your life to get through the scanners and you knew the TSA folks weren’t happy to be there that early. I managed to survive the gauntlet and boarded my plane just in time to watch a beautiful sunrise before being flung into the clouds like a marble in a slingshot. Every time I am on a plane taking off I always imagine myself like a marble in a giant slingshot.

And here I am being flung into the clouds again only to come down in the place that has been relentless in its occupation of my thoughts and emotions for the past year and a half. We’ll see what happens.
Let’s have an adventure, shall we?

PS. I'm posting this from the plane!! In the AIR!! FLYING!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Scared Sleepless

I went to bed at a reasonable hour (10ish) and woke up at 1AM like someone had freaking tasered me. Bolt upright, wide-eyed, coked up awake. It was weird.
All I could think was "HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO DO THINGS!!"
I rarely have anxiety attacks but when I do they're weird things. They're shifty and hard to predict. This was one of those times when I couldn't tell if I was having an anxiety attack, a hypo-manic episode, or was just generally terrified, excited, nervous, and anxious all at the same time. I knew something was off today because I started stuttering. I almost never stutter. I do not remember having one as a child or at any previous time in my life but occasionally, out of no where, I will stutter. Today I did it more than once which meant it wasn't just random but I have no idea what the real cause is.

So I woke up and turned on my light and got out of bed and went into the hall and discovered my sister was still awake. I went into her room and sat down on her bed and told her I was jumpy and couldn't sleep. So she had me bring a suitcase into her room and start packing.

Holy shitballs. It wasn't until I started packing that it finally hit me what I had done... I booked a single round trip ticket to our nation's capital to spend 12 days wandering around BY MYSELF. I set myself up to spend 12 days on my own, in a strange place, in the middle of summer. What the Hell Ass Balls was I thinking?

People sometimes think I'm brave. These people are sorely mistaken. I am terrified of everything in the world and prefer comfortable, familiar, safe things.
But maybe I'm just having an anxiety attack and I really am brave. I guess we'll find out.

Tonight I'm just sitting in my bed being so scared I can't even sleep. Go Team.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Because I can

So I have decided to undertake an adventure and randomly hop a plane to DC because I can.
Why DC? Because in all my dicking around and struggling with school and bipolar episodes and other whimsical fuckery I've lost any sense of what it is I want or am meant to do. The best I can figure is to head to the epicenter.
There are a handful of things in this world that have acted as catalysts in changing my life and right now the majority of them are either beyond my reach (as in they're dead) or they're in our nation's capitol. I'm viewing this trip as less a sightseeing lark and more a pilgrimage to my Mecca. Mind you, it will be a pilgrimage full of random adventures and silliness but I'm hoping that in getting away from what I'm supposed to be and people who know me and expect certain behaviors or actions from me that I will get to remember who and what I am and want to be without the input and opinions of others clouding my head.
I hope.

In any case I plan on having lots of fun and seeing people whom I love very much and rarely get to see.