Returning to Earth (for the Moment)


Welcome back.

My estimation that the blog would return on Friday was a bit optimistic. It took me a couple of days just to “come back into this world” after Vision Quest and when that happened, I found myself back in New York City. I stumbled around for a couple of days and somehow found my way to LaGuardia this morning with my growing pile of stuffed seabags. One bag alone is full with tent, sleeping bag, cot, air mattress, yoga mat and anything I could stuff in the cracks between these things. I’ve actually brought very little clothing for this month-long adventure. I usually end up wearing the same thing a lot anyway and there are washing machines along the way. Southwest Airlines is great in a lot of ways; one is that you can check up to two bags for free. But that third one is an additional $75. Ouch. The scary thing is, I actually shipped my Burning Man costumes to San Francisco so they’ll have to be packed into these seabags to fly home or be shipped back to Alabama, which is about $85. Even if I could get them all in these three seabags, the weight limit is 50 lbs. and each of these are already over 40lbs. each. If I add another leg to the trip, I might be looking at an additional $225 in bag fees– plus the $50 I spent on the extra bag. If they all won’t fit in the three at fewer than 50 lbs., I might have to buy a fourth seabag in Reno and pay to have it join the growing pile of cargo. I wonder what would happen if I just put it all in a dumpster and continued on with my toothbrush and this computer. Nah. My tent and sleeping bag I need and one of those bags is carrying some pretty sacred objects. Guess I’ll just have to “pony up.” In my last 24 hours in New York City, I paid $31.50 in highway/bridge tolls. Socialism is expensive as fuck! I try to be frugal when I can but one or two “little things” like this can hit hard in the pocketbook. I’ve been considering adding a Palm Springs/LA segment on the end of this trip which would probably mean that I’d have to pay someone to do my Burning Man cleanup job with my fellow burners back in San Francisco, rent a car in Reno to drive to the sober convention in Palm Springs and then to LA to look at whatever apartments Eric Estenzo has found for him, me (and two other roommates not counting my three animals) to consider. With that many roommates, the rent would be cheap enough for me to spend as much time in New York or New Orleans or Alabama as I needed to, provided that there was someone who could look after my pets in my absence. (I don’t like being away from them at all but until I can afford a private jet and a pet nanny…) I’m just thinking out loud here, ruminating over possibilities. I’ve committed to not making any firm decisions until this trip is over and I’m back in Alabama, sitting on the porch swing with all the “data” in front of me about the “what’s next for Jeff” question.

The woman next to me on the plane is reading over my shoulder. Maybe I should ask if she wants the blog address so she can read the others and see how we got here. You’d think she’d have learned her lesson when earlier she was “joining in” the Facebook Messenger conversation I was having with this bloke I’ve been Skype-dating in Sydney and he sent me a picture to prove he’d been thinking of me when he woke up. Come to think of it, that’s probably what got her hooked; he’s smokin’ hot. Anyway– where was I?

So I’ve missed our time together. This has been a very interesting year and with the exception of a few days at Sun Dance ceremony and the time I was at Vision Quest, we’ve visited pretty much everyday. I appreciate your being along for the ride. It made a sometimes daunting and fearful process more manageable.

I look forward to a couple of days in San Francisco, one of my favorite cities in the world (and I’ve seen a few). I could even see myself living there some day at least part of the time. Who knows, maybe I’m just supposed to be a citizen of the world. That’s kind of hard with pets. Human children would make that even tougher. Until recently, I’d given up on the idea of kids but at Vision Quest I got to spend time with one of my favorite families and the father was older than I am when they started. They have two kids. If things work out with Mr. Sydney (the bloke, not my dog), he’s ten years younger than I am so I can just send the kids to him if I start feeling old and they’re annoying me. He loves and wants kids.  I’m joking of course– about the pushing the childcare off on him. At 49 I have a pretty much limitless supply of energy– maybe that’s because I realized the real and sustainable kind comes through me and not from me. If I ever hear myself say the words, “I’m exhausted,” I know that I’ve been relying on “finite self” and not plugging into The Real Source enough.

When last I was with my former mother-in-law I shared with her that one of the backers of my first play had given me a grant to write the second. She said to me, “You always find someone to take care of you.” She’s right but not in the passive aggressive way she meant it. I have found Someone to take care of me, and that capital “S” was no mistake. Even if I don’t quite understand that power and likely won’t in this life, my deeper level of surrender that began when I found myself at the jumping off place a year ago has led me to a new way of life. Again, grateful.

Speaking of the Nelsons, I, of course, thought of Adam when I was up in his part of town. (I’m assuming he’s still at it.) I’ve come to a real place of peace with all that. Publically giving him back the emotional responsibility for his actions was a good choice. I highly recommend it if you find yourself in a similar situation. I’d like to give some credit where it’s due and say that, in what I hope will be our last ever communication, when I’d sought his help to stop some anonymous troll from harassing me (this person had information only Adam could have given them), Adam never called what I’d said “lies.” His mother did, the trolls did, but not Adam. This of course might have been out of his fear that I would delineate and defend them in the blog but I’m going to just go with the idea that it represents some morsel of extant character on his part. All that notwithstanding, New York has once again become “my city” to me (or one of them) and not the place he “stole” from me. We wish him well. I hope his lessons come gently.

We’ll soon land in Dallas and I reckon that’s a reasonable amount of “catching up.” I’ll make sure to post something tomorrow because starting on the 26th, I’ll be “off the grid” until after Burning Man. Two important things will happen while I’m out there: If I stay willing, I’ll turn 18 years sober– and this “year to live” will come to an end. I no longer feel suicidal. I’ve done a lot of personal work in a year, I’ve sought help from an extended network of support, and I can’t say this enough– having you there with me for the journey has helped immeasurably, even when I was sharing embarrassing truths about myself.

I’m not sure what will become of the blog now. I’ve sort of gotten used to having you around. I thought about dropping the frequency and/or changing the format. I also considered taking questions– sort of the opposite of the “I don’t want to hear from you” attitude I started with (that was all fear by the way.) I considered making it a sort of advice column– like a queer Dear Abby. Can you imagine? I could call it Advice from a Crazy Person– Follow at your Potential Peril. I don’t have to decide yet. “The Sentence,” if I’d decided to go that route, wasn’t to be carried out until my 50th birthday (October 15) anyway. “More shall be revealed.” Writing the blog takes more time that one might imagine and I’m about to dive headlong into producing these new works. I’ve also decided to seek acting representation again. The Eyes of Babylon gave me all the acting work I wanted or needed for years and now that that’s done, it’s time to move on to other works. I enjoy acting too much to let it go completely. My “B-job” is with my brother’s company. I’ve become a rep for a laboratory that does drug tests and gene test screenings for cancer. (Who’da thunk?) It’s good money and keeps the bills paid while I continue to raise money for my veterans’ non-profit and produce the scripts I’ve written or am working on. When I land at the end of this trip, I’ll be able to pay off the last of my debt, which is something I haven’t been able to say since I was a teenager. I am exceptionally grateful for this and it’s a far cry from where I was a year ago. Let me hasten to say that even though I’ve done hard work this year, the credit goes to my wealth of friends and family, and to That Which Created Me. Left to my own devices, I’ve often found myself with a bottle of booze in one hand and a gun in the other. (That’s not a metphor.) I’m not yet where I’m going but thank God I’m not where I was.

See y’all tomorrow.

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