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Friday, August 31, 2012

Countdown to Homeless

August 31, 2012

Here I am, my last day in my apartment before I leave Los Angeles.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  My landlady is a real nice person and has allowed me to spill a few days into September.  Even after that, I have planned to stay a few days with my friend John to take care of some last minute business.  However, it seems that it doesn’t get any more last minute than this: I am sitting in my last chair and looking at what is not an entirely empty apartment.  Despite the load of a dozen or so boxes I have already taken to shipping and the dozen or so boxes scattered around the floor awaiting shipping, there is still so much!  I still have a fair amount of furniture that I have enlisted “Craig” to help sell, but he isn’t as diligent as you may expect.  That leaves two bookshelves, a computer desk, a large kitchen table, my TV, wall-mount, and 5.1 surround sound speakers.  Plus, I have a load of knick-knacks that just don’t fit into any boxes.
            I am not a strict planner by any means; sitting in my easy chair on the last day of August in an apartment that should be a lot emptier than it is, may tell you just that.  That said, I am great at making a loose outline.  After I depart here, on whatever day seems worthy at the time, I will make way to San Francisco where I will spend a number of weeks.  When I am ready, and I have received proper correspondence from the wind, I will embark on the true journey. 
            What I have planned is a tour of the United States, staying with friends in various cities as I cross the country destined for a small town in South Carolina where I was born and raised.  That’s right, a long tour of America and I’m not even running for President!  But, just like those guys, I will be learning all about the places I visit and the people that live there.  There are so many beautiful places and people in this country and part of my mission is to seek it all out. 
            This trip does hold certain expectations and a wide range of unknowns.  I have traveled much in my life, both in the US and globally, but this trip will hold many states and cities that I have never been to and am eager to explore; not the least of which are two of America’s finest National Parks: Yosemite and Yellowstone.  Ready or not, it looks to be happening.
            As I said before I had already shipped a full carload of boxes using Amtrak.  I did not know that they performed that service, but word of mouth is a powerful thing.  Apparently they are not allowed to advertise that service and will not be giving any royalties to yours truly for this little excerpt.  So, I shipped what seemed completely useless for the trip and tried to prepare all the things I would need and fit them into my small economy Honda.  I have separated a load of supplies containing camping gear, a good range of clothes, and things that just could not ship like artwork or media equipment and musical instruments.  Looking at what I have separated, I have sardonic high expectations of what will fit in my car.  All that is left is to ship the rest of the boxes and breakdown the rest of my place, and pack up the car…. It’s not like this is the last day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Find Your Place. Find Your Self

August 22, 2012

     It is hot in Los Angeles, and nowhere hotter than the San Fernando Valley.  My wall AC unit is loud and does little damage against the overwhelming heat.  I have curtained off the main room to keep the cool in as much as possible but the rest of the apartment remains an oven.  I scour my entire living space, grabbing all the little toys and chaff that have accumulated on the shelves over the years.  I have gone into all the main rooms and sorted things together; kitchen, office, tools, painting, film, clothes, crap…etc.  It’s looking pretty good as my deadline of the end of the month approaches.  There are so many boxes and still so many big unsold pieces of furniture.  It’s all coming together.  I take as much as I can until I have to come back to the cool room.  My time in Los Angeles is coming to an end.      It’ is quite exciting as I prepare to leave.  I have already quit my job and have only to finish out the month.  In that time, I found that it would be really nice to live here if you didn’t have to work.  I’m having the time to socialize and say ‘good-bye’ to good friends, to stay out late and wake up accordingly… hell, I had almost a dozen oysters today!  I suspect there are many cities that not having to work would be a load of fun, so I’m off to find them and learn what they have to offer.     As I said, I quit my job.  Now, considering the times, you may be saying, “what the fuck is wrong with you?!”.  And on paper, my job was pretty sweet.  If I sat here and described it to you, I would come off like a crazy person and cease to be relatable.  Especially when so many people in this country don’t have work and are struggling daily and supporting multiple people.  But misery is the effect of many causes.  And my job was the cause of my misery.  I made the decision to be smart or be happy.  So, like an idiot, I'm attempting to be happy.  Life is about living and living contains more than just boredom and stress.  This world is so vast and beautiful, it is a shame to see your years go by inside the same set of walls.  It is a shame to be surrounded by people in one of the largest and most sought after cities in the world and feel completely alone.  There is more to life than a job that allows you to afford to survive day after day.  So, right or wrong; smart or dumb; I have quit my job in this world obsessed with corporate takeovers and I am on the search for something more.       I feel like my time in Los Angeles has dulled my senses.  I feel that the way I used to think and observe has been stunted by this mundane environment and empty people.  Sure the responsibility is on all of us to work harder and push past adversities to truly become the best we can be.  I have spent too much time avoiding the lesson that Los Angeles is not the place for me to achieve that.  That time is over.  The lesson is clear.  I am on the move.