Gus is so sick of my shit. Very early on I took him with me on a run, and neither one of us liked it very much. I like to run alone and he likes to run fast. Since his company offers me no solitude and the leash offers him no freedom, well, what was left to do but part ways? Then he had his knee surgery. That was so terrible, remember? His stoned handsome face, stranded there on the floor, full of regret that none of his jobs were being done. No chews were being chewed, no sticks were being chased, and most importantly, no house was being protected. Now he just waits for me to find some damn time for him. As soon as he sees me change into the sausage outfit, his hopeful tail retreats to a sag and his gaze hits the floor. He trudges off to his bed, walks around and around in circles until it's to his liking, then he plops down with the cutest, most guilt inducing groan you ever did hear. As if to say,
I am doing my best to not look forward to after Sunday. And even with my best, lassoing my cantering mind and hauling it back to the present, I can't help but watch it take off on it's way. It tried to make a tattoo appointment for Monday, a small application of ink that would land on the open pages on the book tattoo I got on the last Sister Spit tour in Olympia, Washington. A ruby sparkles from the open pages on one side, and on the other a fancy "26.2" will face the gem. But my pal Sam can't make it happen monday. So my brain turned to some other reward for the day. And my most relaxing massage therapist doesn't work Mondays. There's not much money left to shop for house things, I already went to the spa this week, so I really have no idea what to do with myself. Maybe I won't be able to move.
I also like to pack the backpack for after the run in my imagination. Ginger will bring it to me for when I'm done. There will be 3 cans of my favorite organic coconut juice in there, some raw almond butter in a little pouch I can rip open and squeeze out, a dry sweatshirt from Pratt in Brooklyn that I got with my Dad when he took me there and showed me the classrooms where he learned about engineering 50 years ago, and maybe some sweats to pull on.
I can't stop thinking about any of it, truly. Gallop away mind: Saturdays will be open again, free to roam the world with my hot southern butch, explore the new show at the SF MOMA, go camping for the first time this season, hit estate sales, and cook all the recipes I've been saving up for. I will see my friends again, go back to being a woman who is there for her beloved people, listening to their adventures and woes, their hopes, their big big plans for genius accomplishments. I'll be free to see the pregnant ladies, who've been growing whole new humans while I ran, a nostril at a time, laying in wait for the big wide world. I'll write all the thank you notes I owe people, join the gym and go play tennis, swim, kick things really hard, and go on reasonable length runs. Turns out I really like a 6-8 mile outing. And finally, I'll get back to the beach with Gus. Oh, Gussy, run to the salt water! You'll look downright majestic.
And I can write my book.
It's really incredible how much support I've gotten to do this thing. How many folks have just been pure buoyancy for me when I thought I'd sink. But to tell you the truth, I've been trying to write this novel for so much longer. It takes more sustained energy and it happens in the dark corners of aloneness. I find it nearly impossible. It makes the marathon look like a prep course. Writing a book, at least for me, is such a fantastic struggle and such a constant ache. It's a heavy thing to carry around undrawn ideas, to wait for stories to unfold, to coax them and try and find the quiet to listen for answers. The characters set up their little yurts in your mind, squatters in the realm of your imagination begging to be real. Little Pinocchios wanting a shot at the big time. And today, I have to say there's not much payoff waiting. The publishing industry is shredded to tatters, a Stevie Nicks costume of a thing, and on top of that, the presses that do survive are not interested in a book like my book. Magazines are much the same. The ones that might actually pay a bit for me to be a real writer who writes as a job, well, they don't find my voice in line with what they want. I'm a little messy. A little uncouth. And more than a little bit gay. I know gay goes a lot further than it used to, but still, look around. It's too unfulfilling to write in a different style for pay, although I could. But I guess I'd rather just work at Rainbow Grocery, being myself. And yet the book, it demands to be written, and like the marathon, it teaches me in the struggle to do it justice, that I become a better version of myself if I go out there and meet it on the page. Do its bidding because I seem to be here for that reason. Not because it'll ever "pay off". Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be a writer and a photographer as my main life purpose, but regardless, I just keep writing anyhow. For free. Alone. With friends. Paid readings. Quiet poems. Unedited blogs. The words just come. And it's my job to allow that.
So the thing is that all this time while you have been supporting my run, my hundreds of miles into being a new woman, you have mostly been supporting my spirit to write my story. My Pandora in New York. My Icarus. My Prometheus and Hera. And because of all this help, I know they are going to make it.
And hopefully on Sunday
So will I.
So much Love,