Dude. The quintessential California
word, used to indicate some sort of chummy familiarity. It just seems to roll
off this beach girl’s tongue so easily. But Leigh now knows she’s not just some
beach girl. She carries around heartache, a history. We all do, but most
peoples’ pain is simply a mystery to us. It has to be that way. If we opened
our hearts to everyone who passed by on the street, we’d be depleted by the
time we hit the corner.
Ten years ago at this time, I was sitting nervously at Jump'n Java Coffee House on the border of Berkeley and Oakland. I was waiting for Adam. Two days earlier, he'd broken up with his longterm girlfriend. I thought I'd wanted this for years. We knew we cared about each other, but couldn't act on it not only because he was otherwise involved, but because neither of us was ready to do it.
We were meeting up. I didn't know what he was going to tell me. I was freaked out as all hell. For all I knew, he was going to tell me he was totally changing his life, dying his hair purple, moving to Bora Bora, becoming a male exotic dancer. I might never see him again. I might never again hug him or hear his voice.
I sensed change in the air and that scared the living daylights out of me. I hadn't been happy with the situation before, but at least I understood what it was and its boundaries.
He walked in. I said "hi." I think you probably know the rest.
I volunteered for Northern California Family Dog at today's Bay Area Pet Fair & Adoptathon in Marin. Here I am hanging with Speckles, an amazing sweetheart of a dog who I would adopt if I could. Seven months old, deaf, amazing with people and other dogs, just an incredible girl all-around. Truly good times.
It's a time of introspection, so I got off Facebook. That's a bigger sacrifice these days than one might imagine.
We weren't as good about services as we have been in the past. We missed Erev Rosh Hashana because we were in Portland and we slept in past service time this morning. Fortunately, that doesn't stop me from giving though to the meaning of these holidays and what I can and hopefully will do to change and better my life.
I feel really choked in my thought about all this. I wish I had some smooth thing to say, something really articulate, but I don't, at least not at this moment. It's kind of like when I go to therapy. I'm not articulate about it for at least a few hours afterward. Same with the holidays, I guess. I've been doing a lot of thinking, but less piecing together of that thought. Maybe that's the plan for the year ahead: putting the pieces into somewhat of a whole.
I'm a writer and storyteller in Berkeley, CA. If you're wondering where that is, follow the smell of patchouli and skunkweed. There you'll find me with my kickass husband, gorgeous little boy, and manic Lab-Australian Shepherd mix pups. I'm represented by Miriam Altshuler of DeFiore & Co., but of course, my views are my own.