Mini-tour did not proceed as pictured. It started with rain and Krusty Pups and the jumbotron and metal folding chairs and cheap clear plastic ponchos at the Puyallup fair. We never did get to see the draft horses and Jess didn't get her soft serve, which in my opinion means I owe her one and I do look forward to making good on that one. But the three of us had a good drive out to Puyallup, just happy to be with some of my best ladies and then Dakota was added once we got there. The rain let up a bit and Willie's new haircut was cute and even though it was odd trying to choose between looking at him way up there on the stage with my naked eyes or up close in jumbotron detail on the big screen, I was just happy to see him. Jessica and I stayed up late talking to Kate and then even later once Jessica and I got all settled in upstairs, me in the new bed Kate set up for me and Jess on the air mattress that, inflated, fills up the whole rest of that top floor. The next morning Jessica and I had quiche at Honore and then I ran around town collecting what is starting to feel like all the little bits and pieces of myself before driving off to Portland in the rain.
This morning at the mini-farm I woke up talking about the anxiety dream I had last night. I was in Santa Fe for the weekend, time run out on my dorm room and overdue back in Seattle, with nothing packed to go at all. "Sounds like your life right now," Tom said, and he was right. That trip to Portland was so good and so disconnected at the same time. I spent 30 hours at the Edgefield, the last part of Friday in Ruby's soaking pool late into the evening, in the warm dark rain, then reading magazines in my room while my toenails dried. The next day I talked on the phone in a little shelter in the garden while the rain kept coming down around me, soaking the lawn where we would sit to see Willie later. I sat in the cozy bar at the Black Rabbit for breakfast and thought about Nell Thorn and then went back later for chowder and a salad for dinner. The big covered porch with its adirondack chairs was perfect for reading too, even though the novel I brought to read completely turned me off after the first ten pages. It turned out to be a good thing that I had indulged in both Vogue and Vanity Fair before I left Seattle.
Even all that relaxing felt unsettling, though. The best part was seeing Amber and Charla and Candice, and having Michael standing in front of me at Willie, turning around for no reason other than to smile to me. I fell in love with Amber's kids and Candice's girls all over again, and filled rolls of film that haven't even been dropped off for developing yet.
And that's a whole other story. How I came home Sunday feeling strange, not knowing if it was too much car time, or what. A cold, was what it turned out to be. Two days at home feeling like someone had punched me in the sinuses. Luckily there was Tom with glasses of fresh-squeezed juice from the organic valencia oranges that we buy from the co-op by the big paper sackful, and a real breakfast every morning, perfectly fried eggs and potatoes with cheese and kale. I don't need to tell you that it was a little hard to go back to work on that third day, but reminding myself that work is what makes all this possible helps. The life I'm living out of bags and boxes right now may feel unfinished and hectic, disorganized and junked up and always running late, but I want it, for sure.