Lorelei broke up with Colin after five years. I could hardly believe it.
Lorelei is such a good friend of mine, and has the esteemed distinction of being the only person who ever lived with me for a whole year and never got in a fight with me. (I think I'm best in small doses.)
As soon as I found out, I told her we'd better get out the fuck out of dodge and go camping somewhere as soon as possible. That turned out (a month later) to be this weekend. I figured this would be the only way to hear and tell the full story about our breakups and subsequent life.
I picked her up in Bellingham and we drove out in WA-2 through such lovely towns as Concrete and a strange faux-western town called Winthrop, where we unfortunately stopped for coffee. I wanted to take a couple of photos of Winthrop, but Lorelei talked me out of it, on the grounds that Winthrop was the kind of place where one should go and then leave forever without a trace.
Finally we made it to our first destination, one of the rare free campsites, near Loup Loup in Eastern Washington in time to see an eerie moon rise above the lake.
For dinner I was going to make Heartbreak Soup, a kind of salty beet soup for which I can unfortunately not reveal the recipe. It's inspired by a Love and Rockets comic story by the same name. It is a healing balm for heartbreak, but as she and I began to get stoned on the ample Sake we brought, it became clear to me that she was at peace with her breakup, and I was mainly making it for myself.
Indeed the last long road trip I went on was one of many with Roseanne. Like this trip, I was the sole driver on our many road trips, since at the time, Roseanne did not drive. Sometimes the memories (of her elaborate road snacking setups, her massaging my upper arm while I drove and started to get sore, and her appreciative looks while I drove for hours and days on end) were almost too much to bear. What can be done but to go make new memories and make heartbreak soup?
Lorelei and I got ourselves good and drunk, ate the soup with drunken gusto and laughed about stupid jokes from years ago. We peed drunkenly in the bushes, talked about our new hotties and policies, and actually spoke very little of the past.
Finally we fell laughing into the tent, and I had many strange dreams that I can only half remember. I woke, bleary and cold, to Lorelei pushing against the side of the tent, and something sliding down the side. I was uncomprehending, and only half aware of her putting on outside clothes and unzipping the flap.
"It's snowing," she said.
I got it together. The hangover gods had been quite kind to us, but our campsite was covered in snow. We had left things out, and we scrambled to get snow off of everything and get everything packed up in the car in some kind of order. Cooking breakfast on the burner was out of the question, so we first had an ill-fated breakfast and another ill-fated coffee attempt in Wenatchee. I got gas, left my debit card in Okanagan, and we headed out into the wilds of eastern Washington again, looking for somewhere breathtaking to walk around in.
It was such an mellow, spooky grey day, and the palette of the park was such a rich mix of muted colors of moss, lichen, rocks and grasses everywhere. The air smelled sweet with the fragrant smells of wormwood (vital ingredient of absinthe).
Realizing, after driving around all day in the gentle rain, that nowhere in all of Washinton state was going to be dry, we came back to Seattle, had a hot pizza at Santorini's, and camped blissfully in my warm bed.
It was almost one am and I was still at the office. Just a friendly face at the Wedge is all I'd like...one foamy sweet pint of Guinness before everyone closes up shop to ease down the tensions one notch and have one moment of sweet bullshitting with another human being, at the bartender's mercy of course. Went by the Wedge, and Patrick had chairs up, and all the neon lights were off. I rattled the door just in case and started walking away.
He must've seen me through the window because he came and unlocked the door and poked his head out, "We haven't had a customer for like two hours...sorry man, the register's all closed up and totalled out." He looked at me as if there might be something else I needed, like a copy of The Stranger or something.
"Thanks, man," I said, and made for the car. Perhaps pies and pints. I can't believe that my favorite bartender Emily stopped working there days after I had just been talking to her. I went in a few nights ago and some lady who was filling in told me she'd just stopped working there. It wasn't a week and a half ago that she offered me the same kind of company I was looking for now. I drank my beer and she talked to me while she poured. You know, small talk, sometimes not even a whole paragraph about the same thing. I remember I was so grateful.
"Thanks, Emily, I really appreciate the generous company," I said.
"Yeah. I was gonna say, when I see you come in, I'm glad, because I know I'm not going to have to talk about sports." I laughed. I just found out it was March Madness...so that's why there's been basketball on every TV in the world lately.
Whatever. Pies and pints was closed. I think they close at midnight. Emily's gone now anyway. I knew there was another place right by there. The Atlantic Crossing...another of Seattle's many "how I wish I was an Irish bar" bars. Go into a strange pub? Where I don't know a single soul? Did I even really want a beer?
Sure. Sure I did.
Walking into a new bar I suss everyone out in five seconds. Who's going home with who and who's nearly incapacitated and who's on top of their shit. Table of seven drunken girls rocking some kinda red shot and singing along to Van Morrison.
I go order a beer and he looks at the clock for a long time before he finally decides to serve me (he serves some lady a Maker's like 15 minutes later, the shit). They make me wait though, while they make seven of some red shot for the seven drunken girls. The most forward one comes over to get the drinks and says hi drunkenly and collects the sticky recepticles. She goes back to the table and starts Moondancing. I walked by her and she turns her back to me and sways, whether turning her back on me or inviting me to dance with her, who knows. I walked past her and just sort of stood where I could see the pool table and the whole bar.
I drank my beer. It's what I was there for after all. I walked back to the bar, but then stopped for a second at the table, the girls were starting to pack it up. "I don't know about the rest of you," I said, "but please tell me that one's not driving, right?" I pointed to Miss Moondance.
"No, we all live two blocks from here, we're walking."
"Good." I said, set my beer on the counter and walked towards the bathroom.
On the way back I saw there was a bag in the girl's bathroom sure to belong to one of the drunken girls. I walked out holding it aloft and saw the look of recognition on one of her faces. She had like really twisty Kyra Sedgewick kinda hair. "Thank you," she said, and loitered on her thank you. "I live just a few blocks away from here."
"That's cool," I said, "so even if you got all the way home you still..."
"That would have been bad," she interrupted, "so...so thank you. That was really really nice."
"Have a good night." I said.
I wasn't looking for that kind of company.
There was once a gurl who meant well, really she did. She hibbered about the ave, dodging the dodgies and patting the young bastervilles on the head with a mop. The denizens of the ave revered and validized her and longed to get her alone on the couch at the Sureshot for just five minutes.
Her hair was purple and straight and that never kept her from telling random people on the street how she felt. She could not mate, because she was truly one of the last of her kind. She did not wish to have mutant one-sixteenth inner panda babies who would have to live their whole lives craving bamboo but being unable to digest it. In other words, she couldn't get her no....nonoNO! Hey hey hey!
She saw her likeness once on a pillar in a park and admired it's amazing likeness except for the insufficient rendering of depth and it's portrayal of her lip as pouty. Sad certainly, but she'd be taffeted if she ever but once pouted. Pout really refers to various freshwater and parine fishes, like the eelpout or hornpout. She sniglered at the idea of herself as a bullhead or hornpout nuzzling through a sludgy bog.
She regarded this wall-artist with a mix of consternation and appreciation. Well, she thought, perhaps they got it just right.
Roboticat moved to lusher quarters today. Carpet and paint and everything.
we each have our own faithless jewels
our own habits we won't admit
our own restlessness we won't fight
our own justice we hope will be performed
our own beasts with meat juice on their lips
who has more secret hurts?
surely she is the winner.
who was helped or healed the most?
surely he is lost.
The beginning of march and everything is starting to bloom. Other parts of the world may have their vivid autumns, but in Seattle in early spring, the world is transformed into bursts of pink, white, yellow and red as all the cherry blossoms, apple blossoms, and scotch broom bloom.
I was sitting at Whole Foods, and this guy pulls up a cart full of daughter. He looks casually at her as he begins to pack things up, "She can sleep anywhere."
I laughed, looking at her face pressed up against the mesh. "I guess so!" I said, "Can I take a picture?"
The post office was out of almost every cool kind of stamps so I ended up getting purple heart stamps, they're not that exciting, in fact kind of creepy. I want YEAR OF THE COCK stamps, but they're not out yet.
I'm still feeling shitty, but not quite so crazy. It's amazing how email conversations with Loverzan still have the power to calm me down a little.