Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

WHIRLWIND RETURN
In the past five days I have traveled thousands of miles, many of which by car, through two countries and three states. After a 24 hour visit in Salt Lake and dinner with friends to celebrate Jessica’s 22nd birthday, I hopped in a rental car with Jess and all of her belongings and headed for San Francisco, where she is taking up residency to begin making her mark on the world. We drove hard and fast, listening to her iPod and reminiscing about the past and dreaming about the future. We stopped in Fernley Nevada for the evening, where we dropped a few coins in the slot machines. We finished the trip and delivered her belongings to her friend’s house to store until they secure an apartment next week, then we went in search of the hostile that we had booked in Berkeley for the evening.

The address was near the frat houses near the University, and we walked up and down the street a couple of times looking for the house. Nearly every house on the block had students out partying on the lawns and porches, and one run down house we passed had some older people partying on the porch. Wedged between two frat houses, I had to wonder what kind of forty something people would be hanging out with students and partying like they were rockstars. Turns out that particular porch was attached to the hostile we had booked for the evening. It was dirty, stinky and loud, but we put our blankets on the bed and turned in for the night. When we woke up we didn’t even bother to change or shower, the bathroom was too dirty to feel comfortable in. I wanted to hit the road early anyway, so we headed to McDonald’s where we got breakfast and I brushed my teeth and changed my clothes before getting ready to leave.

Jess’s friend wasn’t awake yet for me to drop her off, so we said our goodbye’s at a coffee shop near her friend’s house. I cried as I headed out of town, and stopped at a gas station to fill up before I hit the road. I realized Jess had left her iPod in the car, so I circled back to surprise her at the coffee shop. As I came around a corner I saw Jess walking down the street of Berkeley, alone, looking like she belonged there and had lived there forever, but at the same time looking like my little girl walking down the road of a strange place all alone. I started crying again as I pulled over and gave her a ride to her friend’s house. I missed her the moment I left, and replayed times throughout her childhood that I wish I had spent more time with her, or paid better attention, or enjoyed the moment more. I had twelve hours of driving ahead of me, and it wasn’t until I was past Sacramento that I stopped crying and wallowing in the self pity of wishing I had done things differently when she was younger.

I made really good time leaving California, and I thought that I would drive all the way home in one day and still make it home in the early evening. Then I hit the California/Nevada border, and between construction and accidents sat parked on the highway for three hours. It was hot, the cars weren’t moving and I desperately wanted to be on my way, but to no avail. When the cars finally started moving, it was a slow crawl into Nevada before the construction ended and we got up to freeway speed again. By that time I knew I wasn’t going to get home that day, so I made it to Winnemucca and found a cheap hotel room. I played a few slots, and although they were only penny slot machines, I hit several jackpots throughout the trip, which I take to be a sign that the universe is lining up for me luck wise. I got up the next morning and worked my way home, stopping in each town to stretch my legs and get water, and drop a few coins in a slot machine. I made it home around 7 p.m. Where my parents had dinner and a comfortable bed waiting for me.

LIFE IN THE CITY
Life in the city begins the same way as it did in Mexico, with a morning jog around the neighborhood. The neighborhood is drastically different, since I’m staying with my parents in an apartment complex in the middle of the Wasatch Front. Jogging is more tedious here though, the only scenery being cars driving by quickly to make it to the office in time, unfriendly people sitting at the bus stop looking like they hate the world. And the motivation to keep moving is drastically diminished when there’s no possibility of a snake, scorpion, bugs, or stray dogs chasing me. The pavement under my feet feels intrusive and jarring to my bones, as opposed to the soft sand of the streets of P Town. But I persevered, running just enough to begin sweating and breathing hard.

I returned home for breakfast and a shower, along with a morning planning meeting. My parents are retired and usually live in their camp trailer traveling the states, but were forced to take an apartment in the city when Dad had surgery. They’re bored, frustrated and a little bit cranky about having to stay in the city until their lease is up, and much like the lifestyle in Mexico, it take some effort to plan enough things to do to keep them busy throughout the day. Today we started off by going to check out the local senior citizens center. My parents are trying to get my grandmother, who is 88, to go to the center to socialize and get out of the house, and figured if we all went together to introduce her to it and show her how fun it was she would be more willing to attend the center several times a week.

Needless to say I was the youngest one at the center, and every senior there was sure to let me know that I wasn’t really old enough to be there, but I was welcome. It was the monthly birthday party for everyone who turned 90, and they were celebrating with a special buffet and musical entertainment. Unfortunately you have to sign up for lunch 24 hours in advance so we didn’t get in on the buffet, but we watched the entertainment and chatted up the seniors. We have reservations to go back for lunch tomorrow, and I’m considering challenging the seniors to a game of Wii. They were playing bowling on the Wii today when we got there and there were signs posted announcing upcoming competitions with other senior center.

We finished the afternoon with a quick trip to Walmart, then I spent my 30 minutes sunbathing by the pool, we had a beer and dinner, then relaxed watching t.v. I finally feel like I’m beginning to relax and settle in, although I’m still in a quandry as to what I will be doing with myself for the next few months.

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August 13, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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