Location: Home (Berkeley, that is)
Somewhere along the Dumbarton Bridge turn off it starts to sink into familiar. The glazing over, the conversion to two-dimensional. My mind switches out of the sharper analysis of the alien.
It takes a moment, a bit of mental yoga or stretching or writhing or _____, but a shift and a crack (I think it’s somewhere in my lower spine … I’ve gotta stop sleeping in the car) and I’m back in place. I’m seeing from the objective eye, the silhouettes of familiar playing against a sunset I don’t remember seeing before. There are more palm trees than I thought. Ivy on the freeway walls. Oakland skyline over the debris in the cold of an empty parking lot. I’m not stopping, but I can see the shots, and I can only hope I’ll still see them tonight of tomorrow.
I’m home, but I’m not back. Or I’m back but not home. I have to figure out which one. While I’m back, on vacation from a vacation of working, I’m not sure if I’m working. I’ll work, but am I working.
Today will be rest and planning. Tomorrow shooting. Then back to the road.
Location: Tulare, California
A moment of the aforementioned scatter-brained introspection, resulting from a sudden influx of personal patience and steadier footing provided courtesy of Mom and Dad.
My expectations for this trip have pretty spectacularly been tossed around in a burlap sack and smashed against a rebar-ridden concrete pillar, only to be mangled and digested by a starved coyote and excreted off a cliff and into a raging forest fire. I’ll admit, looking back (on posts and into the garbled semblance of my memory), that I didn’t really know what I was getting myself in to, nor did I have a specific expectation. But I certainly wasn’t expecting this level of physical drain.
But my expectations aren’t really important. I have to keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what my product is here and now. This is, as it were, an adventure. There is, at the end of this trip, a whole, and only then (“then” in this case being after I’ve been home long enough to have not driven for a whole 24 hours) do I get to judge its effectiveness. And even then, it’s not about a set product.
I’ve certainly done something today, yesterday, the day before. Mostly driving (fucking driving and driving and driving), sometimes stopping. Maybe not the most exciting adventure (indeed, I’ve only been in the middle of two slow-motion kung-fu shootouts so far. WTF, mate?), but still.
There, a positive (bitter, cynical, kinda pissy) post. I needed one of those.
Christ, I’m having some crazy mood swings.
Location: Aliso Creek Rest Area, north of Oceanside
Lessons from the road:
- Rest stops will invariably be miserable. Please remember:
- Your normally high caffeine tolerance will revert back to that of a three-year old with a bag of Pixie Stix: i.e. you’re not going to sleep.
- Although you’ve eaten nothing exotic or interesting today, you will experience the worst heartburn of your life.
- If in normal life you’re relatively indifferent to light or noise while sleeping, you’ll find yourself wondering what alternate dimension that ungodly light (that seems to be targeted directly at your face) and the Hellish baboon-raping screeches are coming from. It’s not human.
- Your bladder is now the size of a pea.
- That minuscule amount of playa dust you left on your sleeping bag is now enough to thicken the air to a consistency not unlike a sock stuffed with mothballs.
- You cannot punch away heartburn. Trust me.
Location: Berkeley, CA
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the jitters. I’m pretty much a finger’s breadth away from completely and totally unprepared for this trip. The saving grace there being that there’s basically no preparations necessary. The car’s working, I’m not (to my current knowledge) going anywhere that’s beyond communication range, and my license hasn’t been suspended yet.
Originally today - now tomorrow - I’ll get in the Volvo and take a direct path down to the fence at Border Field State Park (apparently not called border beach, despite my constant repetition of that descriptor and the seeming comprehension expressed by anyone who’s been pigeon-holed into listening to my nebulous attempt at a “plan” for this trip). Take some pictures, maybe even force myself to interact with some people. Then begin heading north. Maybe a little east. Mostly north. Hopefully not get lost. Or get lost in interesting places.
I’d rather have a plan, but if I did I’d probably ignore it. So … here goes, I guess. Or tomorrow, “here goes”. Maybe late tonight.
Fuck I am so unprepared for this. Lovely.