Sunday, August 31, 2008

mama i'm coming home

last night my boss sent me home from work because he started an argument with me based on his opinions of my personal life. i asked him to walk away, or stop talking to me, but he kept at it, just digging for an emotional response. finally, i caved and got angry, told him he was an asshole and to leave me alone, at which point he ordered me to take the night off. i did. this came at the tail end of my fast and i was feeling really clear, so i spent some time really evaluating my situation. i don't need to stay here. i am so close to my goal that it's fairly inconsequential if i decide to leave in 2 weeks or in 6, so i've decided to leave earlier rather than later. why stay here and undergo mistreatment by a chemically imbalanced boss when i can just go to my hometown? my mom said she could use some help with the bed and breakfast and the office, and though i haven't talked to my brother, i bet he could use me at his restaurant too. these are all jobs i have done before, and though they don't pay as well as my current one, at least i can be spending time with my family while i'm doing them.
tuesday i will put in my two weeks notice. looks like my plans got moved forward yet again. i'm really excited and happy to be in the final countdown.
winter plans are coming together. i got a note from my aunt who is finishing up her alaska trip (in her rv of course) welcoming me to come to arizona for the winter, and an email from an uncle telling me of his plans for the fall/winter which include a visit to the slabs (in his rv of course). though my burgeoning plan doesn't quite line up with either of them, i hope our paths will cross in the meantime. do you think this wanderlust is in my blood?
the next two weeks, i'll need some strong selling luck as i unload the last of my unwanted belongings and pack up the chateau for it's maiden voyage. at long last!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

some good news

after a rough couple of days, i'm feeling positive about my situation. who cares that i got kicked out? i needed to leave anyway. yeah, it's messed up and probably not technically legal, but i have to face the fact that the authorities don't want to see me. out of sight, out of trouble is my new motto. and it wasn't my fault they were there, it was my crappy landlord's fault because the place was overtaken my weeds. i'm setting my sights on new horizons and taking steps to make the rest of my time here worthwhile.
here's the good news:
1. freyja is all better, the anitbiotics took a while to work, but she's back to normal now. she's getting along well in her new surroundings, staying at terri's has been really easy.
2. i had a fun weekend wherein i cooked out with several friends of mine and drank too much wine. we danced to some 80's music and then chilled out to morphine (the band not the drug!) as the hour got late. i even stole a kiss from one of the hosts. john angel P.I., the large spotted fish who lives alone by the tv, already had a docket on me, but now it's a little juicier. ahh, perfection still exists.
3. living with terri is fun. she really needs the company and i'm learning alot from her about life. her stories are various and mostly horrible, but this is the life that created her. i understand how she got where she is, and that's the beginning of friendship.
4. today was day one of a five day fast that i'm going on with my friend from work. time to clean out the system and gain a new perspective. i'd been eating anything and everything for a while and i just want to start over. the "master cleanse" is a simple (not easy) way to do that.
5. i've been going to yoga 3-5 times a week for three weeks now and i feel like a much more balanced person. since the van dwelling adventure started, i haven't taken care of myself like i should. now i'm changing that.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

get out--part two

yes, it is illegal to live in your van, at least that's what the officer told me, and he assured me that if i refused to vacate the premises (which i believe means that i would still be living in a van, but not in his direct line of vision) he would arrest me. i haven't been threatened with arrest ever before, it's so strange how you can wake up one day and get arrested for being where you are. i made very little fuss because i didn't see the point, i was leaving in 10 days anyway, so i just moved my moving date up. i called my slumlord and he acted like he had no idea what was going on. i don't suppose he paid any attention to the notices the city sent him about the lawn violations. he felt bad about what happened, because i'm probably his best tenant, but he's in shit up to his armpits already with all the violations and didn't offer much in the way of explanations. he mostly just wanted me to tell the cops i wasn't living there, that i was just storing my stuff there and happened to spend the night in my van. he must have known that renting that spot to me wasn't legal, but i wasn't interested in lying for him. i'm just glad this happened now and not two months ago.
i have a much better sense of how much stuff i have now since i had to move it all in an hour. three boxes to get rid of by various means, three boxes of things i have to fit in the van, my massage table and massage chair, tools, cat, scooter, bike. not bad, but there has to be some arranging to be sure. the city code enforcement team watched blankly as i carried all my stuff across the alley, speaking spanish they thought i couldn't understand. i wonder if they told their families about me at dinner. crazy white woman. this week is the first week i've started to think about being sick of living in a van. i'm not there yet, and i think it's mostly due to being stuck in one place, i need to DRIVE the van to enjoy it more, and avoid the problems of being too visible.
for now, i'm crashing at terri's place, she was luckily ready for me and didn't mind. i slept in her house last night and it was weird. it's not like i haven't slept in a building lately, i did it on vacation, but this was different. i was "home" but not in my van. i'm anxious to be gone from here. october first is a definite. destination, still unknown. two probable paths, plenty of room for improvisation.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

get out--part one

i am watching a roach crawl across the wall in the office at work, ick.  i am wondering if someone will bust in and catch me on the computer.  i am one more step closer to leaving--yesterday i got kicked out of my parking spot by the police.  they said it was illegal to live in a van.  they were called there on a grass and weed violation, probably by the tenant that was being evicted by my landlord.  so, i'm out 10 days earlier than i thought.  there is more to the story which i'll share, maybe later tonight...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the short term plan

i have to be out of my spot in less than 2 weeks, this is cool because it's giving me another chance to be even more prepared to hit the road. i want to stay in my city until at least october first as that will allow me to have the funds i need, so that leaves the question of september. while i don't need a "place" since i live in my van, my neighbor terri has insisted that i should crash with her until i'm ready to leave. so, that's what i'm gonna do. it'll give me a place to get organized, and a place to sleep while i get my van checked out and all ready to roll. also, i'll be helping her with the rent which she really needs.
i don't know what to do about and address when i leave. i suppose i'll just pay all my bills online, but i don't know about personal correspondence. maybe my mom will be able to forward it to me wherever i may roam. what do you think mom? i've had a pretty heavy amount of letters coming from a certain institution in PA and i don't want that stream to be interrupted. i would just keep my po box and forward it somewhere, but the post office where i have my box is closing! on september 30th. yet another sign.
work has been better, the money is ok, and next week there is a huge convention in town which should give us a fairly large turnout.
as the weather shifts toward fall, my creaky gears are slowly engaging.

the news

it's all been very strange lately, and i'm taking the good with the bad, trying to determine which reality i'm in.  i don't want to be an asshole, and i don't have to be the best, just want to do what is morally correct.  the most communication i've had with eric has been on this blog and i wonder why.  am i impossible to talk to?  well, it seems like he's found his peace with the situation and for the record, eric is a wonderful man full of love and very giving, like he said.  just didn't work out in the fairy tale sense.  so that's the reality.  i hope he's doing exactly what he wants to do with his days and if i'm not a part of that, then so be it.  i can accept that i wasn't the best thing for him, and i think he's forgiven me for that too.
i have less than two weeks before i'm out of my parking spot, and i've made significant progress on paring down my existence even more.  lots of things just go in the trash, it's easy and most of it is not worth worrying about.  i made a few bucks selling clothes at buffalo exchange and i'll take some more books to the store that buys them, then all i have is a few items to sell on ebay and i'm done! it's all contained in my van at that point.  
my boss tuned up my scooter today, which was arguably the nicest thing he's ever done for me.  i didn't ask him to do it, he just wanted to and so he went to the parts store and worked on it for an hour or so.  pretty cool.
my cat's not better, i'm still feeling lonely, and my plans are still nonexistent, but i think it's all gonna change in the next 3 weeks.  at least, i'll be out of debt at that point.  the culmination of one of my dreams...

Sunday, August 17, 2008


i am no longer wallowing in misery which is a big improvement. still sad, still a bit confused, but ready to do the next thing. last night i went out with someone i've known for a while and we made a connection that surprised me--i always thought of him as kinda crazy with no sense of balance, but i learned that there are some terribly sad stories behind him, stories that made me feel like what i was going through was bearable. he's actually doing fine when you consider where he's coming from. we consoled each other (he's also in a weird relationship situation) and closed the bar down, then went walking through the city in the rain until 4 am. i felt like a teenager, like the world was being washed and i could be new again, if just for a moment in time.
some good news today--i sold the old van!! for what i was asking for it!!! thank you randy and stacie, i am so relieved to have it sold and cash in hand. now i can pay off two credit cards and that leaves only one more bill to pay off before i'm totally free. wow. i'm so close the day i've been dreaming of for months. maybe years.
i finally hung out with my other neighbors today, bob and larry. they are totally awesome dudes who have a sweet bachelor pad across the alley from me. they welcomed me like a friend and i drank a few beers with them while we watched "the last waltz", hands down the best rock movie ever made. robbie robertson is so damn hot! bob heated me up a bowl of his homemade chili which was soooooo good, and we sat around and laughed at each others jokes. they are so funny it made my guts hurt so i'm definitely going back soon. i could use a little hilarity in my life. they said to come over any time, since they'd more than likely be partying.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

if i could edit the past...

eric wrote a letter in the comments on my last post. i'm devastated, and don't know what to say. i don't feel like i was horrible to him, but apparently i was and that realization makes me doubt who i really am. everything i say must be selfish, everything i did to him must have been wrong, i must be a rotten, evil woman with no heart. why did he love me? why did he want me? where did i dive off the path of love and become a wretched failure?
i don't know what i can do. he's already lost faith in me completely and is now publicly shaming me. all i wanted was to have some time with him, but he knew that and that is just what he won't give me. it's always something, some appointment or he's out of town or he doesn't feel good, and that's fine, i don't want to be annoying, but he's had time to buy a motorcycle, and apparently a new truck, and see his other friends. friends who loved him good enough. the favor he asked is minimal, it's no big deal, and i am perfectly happy to do it, but he never answered my calls or texts when i sent love and desired to know how he was. suddenly when he wants something, he texts me. i'd like to believe he didn't get my calls, but i know better. he's punishing me because i didn't love him the way he wanted in the past.
i failed him. i am sorry. eric, i wish you would just talk to me instead of this. if what you want is for me to feel awful, then i do. if what you want is for me to have been someone else, then i'm sorry but i can't. i am who i am.
it's been raining for over 24 hours, a rarity in colorado, and i am soggy with life, with sadness, and wondering what kind of person i really am.

Friday, August 15, 2008

october one

the guy i rent the space from called me and told me i have to be out by the first. he's going to build a garage there so he can charge more for it. it's ok because i live in my van and i don't have to care if someone doesn't want me there anymore.
freyja has a urinary tract infection and i took her to the vet today, antibiotics for ten days and i hope for the best.
eric doesn't want to hang out with me, he just wants favors and it's ok because he's dying and so i better not complain about the way he treats me.
it's raining and the pigeons are making death threats because i'm sitting under the only cover at the library at 2am.
the next road i take is my own. i will break promises to myself, and will surely disappoint others. i've decided what is next and am moving that direction.
october 1, the chateau launches.

Monday, August 11, 2008

turquoise eyeshadow

i've been going to yoga almost every day and today for most of the class i had a brainstorm of ideas for what i'm going to do next. none of them totally satisfied me, but i came up with a general direction. i'm going to have to make some money over the winter, not much, but at least 500 a month, that could be done in 2 days a week or less bartending, so that should be easy. but what i realized i needed today was something i hadn't thought of in a while--i want to be part of a larger group of like minded people. somewhere i can learn something valuable, like a yoga center or an ecovillage, or i don't know what but i'm sure they are out there. i once did a volunteer program at kripalu yoga center in western massachusetts, it was a life changing, heart opening experience and while i don't feel the need to recreate it, i'd like to do something equally as amazing.
i feel like a stranger today, anonymous and faceless to the people who see me on the street. i've lived here for 18 months and still nothing has really hooked me. i've tried to get in touch with eric, but he's back to not answering my calls or texts. and i didn't see him last week like i though i would, he had a bunch of appointments and then was not feeling up to it. i'm deeply sad that he's so sick and i just want to be around him. he used to help me feel like i belonged here, and i used to make him crazy with my projects and ideas. there was always a little teasing involved in our exchanges, like just when one of us would forget about this stupid song we'd been singing, the other one would start singing it "chocolate rain..." oh god, that made me nuts!
it's a strange juxtaposition of familiarity and loneliness that induces my need to depart. a feeling i've come to recognize as part of my pattern. i've tried different reactions to it, leaving, not leaving, reinventing myself, reverting to old habits, and no matter what i do, it returns. it's not a bad thing, and i'm accustomed to it, but i'm not sure what it's trying to teach me.
i had an uncanny urge for turquoise eyeshadow, so i bought some and i'm wearing it. for those who know me, this might seem out of character. i guess my character is changing.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

flood and famine

yesterday the rains came raging through the streets and the restaurant flooded.  everyone was in bare feet and soaking wet, it was kinda awesome.  i've never seen flash flooding like that before, the temporary river was wicked fast and the thunder and lightning tremendous.  the guys built a dam with tables to divert the deluge from going straight down into the patio, quite dramatic!  it felt like we were on the titanic having dinner and drinks while the ship was slowly filling with water. 
my scooter was knee deep in water for a while and i half expected it not to work, but all i had to do was dry the spark plug and she started right up.  i worried that my cat had drowned or my van had filled up with wetness, but everything was fine, if a little damp.  
today i made very little money, confirming that this job is going down the drain.  i may not even be able to meet my goal of paying off all my debt before i leave.  i'd rather leave still owing a little bit and get a job for the winter than stay here and wallow in the recession.  not that i'll be able to escape it, but at least i'll be warm.  i wish i could be a hobobartender and just show up in town for a guest stint at little hole in the wall places, that would be so cool.  
a reorganization of finances and plans has to occur in the next week or two.  i think i can still pull off something fantastic, but it's going to be trickier than i thought.

Friday, August 8, 2008

pushing me out

as usually happens, the place i'm in becomes less and less hospitable as the date for my departure draws near. i don't know how it happens, but i trust the shifting energies and will follow their currents.
the hot dry days of summer have moved out and heavy clouds laden with messages dominate the days. no longer can i ride my moped at night without my down jacket. the late night t-shirt rides live only in july. weird tensions with my neighbors remind me that the same rights and privileges of rent-payers don't apply to those who live in vans. i have quite a list of things to do before i can go, and the clock is ticking. summer had lulled me into an easy routine, but change now looms close-by.
a fellow van-dweller who i met through this blog visited me this week. he's also from the northeast and we shared thoughts on how weird it can be there. he's moving to oregon because he wants to and there's no reason not to. a simple philosophy that he's applied quite well to his life. it was fun to have him around, we rode bikes in the glorious rain, i fed him gourmet treats at my work, and he showed me his tattoo which is awesome/hilarious. we talked about the salton sea, key west, bike-punk ethics, and strategic parking skills. even if i mother-henned him a bit, i think he enjoyed his time here in freedomvanland.
for those concerned about "friend", he was adopted this week. he's not dead.

Monday, August 4, 2008

fear and the northeast

i'm trying to live my life in the best way i know how. so far, i've figured out this means to take care of myself and not be a burden on anyone else, to give support in what ways i can to friends, family, and occasional strangers, and to navigate through the possibilities in life with love as my guide. it is simple, and mostly i manage to be satisfied with my efforts, but i'm having trouble with solidifying my winter plans. being a person who has no commitments, it would seem easy to just make a decision and go with it. but lack of commitment does not mean lack of responsibility, and i feel responsible for visiting people who are unable to be as mobile as i am because i love them and value their place in my life. so how to fit all the pieces together in a satisfying and mutually fun way is confounding me. if i don't drive to the northeast this fall, i won't see over half of the people i care about for possibly a year or more. that's just a fact, my family and a few key friends are there and in the coming months i will have the freedom to make that trip. i have an irrational fear that if i go there, i'll get stuck for the winter, and i REALLY don't want to do that. i have no fear of any other place, or of getting stuck anywhere else, but there are so many factors that could come into play in the northeast. some of which i'm surely not even conscious of. i left that area so i could figure out who i was in a different context. i'm surprised that i have such a strong fear of going back.
the pull of autumn can be felt in the air today. a cool rain with tortured clouds dominates the day and i know i'm about to take a turn on the wheel of fate again. at once terrified and exhilerated, i abandon comfort and accept the wild ride.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

under the bridge

i have great respect for the animals and plants that choose to live amongst people. it's easy to see the beauty of the wild forest or the lonely canyon, but ordinary nature on the city street is so often frowned upon. why do people hate pigeons? i am fascinated by them. the way they live in the city is much like the homeless live--under bridges, surrounded by concrete and steel, and almost always in public. they build their homes, have babies, and live happily in circumstances that many people find squalid. they do not concern themselves with the opinions of people, they just live with them. i am reminded of the human impact on the world by the messes the pigeons make. we do the same, only flush them away or take them to the dump, but really there is nowhere to go, we live in a closed system. maybe that's why the creatures of the city are so hard for some to love. they are too much like ourselves.

things n'stuff

tonight, i finally made money and i can rest a little easier.  i made a list to day called "things to do so i can get outta here", and i crossed off one item--cashing in my life insurance policy.  it's going to be my seed money for the next adventure.  it seems like every day i meet someone at work who tells me of a new place to go for the winter.  a guy with a shock of grey hair and a sly look told me about costa rica and some place in mexico which i can't recall the name of, but he was dead set that going to costa rica was a better choice than the USVI, so i'm going to do some research.  
eric called me today with his new number.  perhaps i have a chance after all.  he said he'd let me ride his new bike!  i'm pretty excited to see him on monday.  i hope things can be better between us.
going on 22 straight days of 100 degree heat here in the mile high city, but i went for a run anyway.  i'm kicking into gear now that the vacation is over.  i want to be comfortable in a bikini this winter!