Friday, December 13, 2013

from rust to sun

I''m going to California with a banjo on my knee/with an aching in my heart/ for a few days to see some old friends and bought my dad a ticket because I suck at getting him Christmas gifts and this year I could get him something really cool. He needs it too, he's been unusually depressed which may or may not have to do with Teamster fuckery, my sister being in rehab and not wanting to talk to them, and just being older and tired and all that comes with it. I don't blame him, that rehab place is dismal, and while I've seen people strung out on heroin before, it's still devastating to watch and to see my sister there completely miserable (because it's like a culty AA nursing home and she's the only one there for booze, a soft suburban girl who's not nearly as hard-bitten as her floormates).

I haven't seen these friends of my folks for at least fifteen years. They were the most liberal of my parents' circle (he dropped out of seminary, she went to Oberlin, and I inherited a bunch of their books and Persian rugs and Ravi Shankar records when they moved), and while political arguments would come up, it was never enough to torpedo a wonderful friendship. Through the wonders of facebook I got back in touch with their dad and took them up on the annual Christmas card offer to come out and visit. 

I used to babysit their kids who are now old enough to vote. The two girls both have serious 90's nostalgia and love bands that I thought The Kids didn't care about, like Pearl Jam. I didn't know My So-Called Life was still a thing, but I guess it is. The girls are taking me to Los Angeles to see their aunt's play, and then after my dad gets in, there's plans of going hiking in Joshua Tree. It's going to be strange to be in the land of stoner rock, the first Douglas Coupland novel, and a lot of rich hippies, but it's good to see good people and get some adventure.  I could use the change of scenery because the obnoxious yuppie gentrifers are getting on my nerves and me and a friend's observation that we're hitting "the rust ceiling' here is feeling all the more acute.

So this week has been packing and sleeping and PMSing, recovering from finals week, trying to stay warm, being glad that the snow and the flu is cancelling all my plans, pretending like I don't have holiday consumeristing to do, and trying to figure out how to pack for a climate completely different from here. I plan to take loads of pictures and soak it all in for a few days.


  1. sorry to hear about yer family's struggles and give my regards to the Pacific