It’s an odd feeling for me to be looking forward to upcoming travel. I think it has to do with destination; Monday I’m going back to Vegas for a few days. I’m going for work. There are several (4) conferences going on that I am either a part of or need to be around for. That’s not what I’m looking forward to…obviously. But I’m not looking forward to five star dining or a booze fueled gambling crusade either. Vegas is a sociopathic town that whores itself out to strangers around the clock. It doesn’t care where you’re from or what your intentions are. Fee-per-use – that’s how Vegas does business. It doesn’t know who you are. It doesn’t care either.
That’s what I want to be for a couple days – anonymous. I want to walk between people and around their words without being a part of anything. I want to sink into my skin and survey the endless river of strangers passing through the casinos and streets without being detected. I want to lay horizontal with my eyes closed and be lowered into myself, my private self with ear ringing silence and endless stares, unbridled thinking and protected honesty. In short, I want to be me without everything that comes with being me right now.
I was in Las Vegas last June on a similar trip, in a similar place inside my head. I sat at the Mirage pool, strategically positioned next to the waterfall so I couldn’t hear anything except myself. All day I wrote in my journal. I wrote Rhonda a letter too, one that I never gave her. No one on the planet knew where I was or what I was doing…or why I was doing it. My skin reddened, and I felt the simultaneous mental and physical transitions occurring…cold to warm, dark to light, spring to summer, raw to ready.
This month has been hard. Things are pressing down on me; work is naturally and increasingly stressful; my mom’s heart scare has me unable to relax; Juan is descending into the land of the lost; Rhonda and I aren’t right. Inside, I am doing combat with myself and no one knows about how fierce of a battle it really is. I’m worried because I only have so much emotional shelter. My defenses are fracturing and that means eventually I will be overwhelmed and overcome. I need to get out of this house and away from everything so I can consolidate my resources and be stronger.
I’m never as strong as anyone thinks I am or once thought I was. Every day it is more difficult to pull my boot from the place I last planted it in the sticky, sticky mud and take another step forward. When I do take a step, it sinks more into the earth than the last and I worry about what I know but no one else sees: I’m going further down than I am forward.
It’s 7:02am. Ava woke up before anyone else and crept into my office undetected. She’s foggy, but not going to fall asleep again. I picked her up onto my lap and turned on the live version of ‘Bunnies’ by Howie Day. She laid back and we watched the passing cars outside and listened to the entire track before ever saying a word.
Good morning Bird.
She smiled, eyes closed.