Well, here we go again.
I’m going to take a minute to throw a number out there, and that number is 36.
“36 what, Jeannie?” (that’s you). 36 is the number of times that I’ve moved that I can remember. Guess what I’ve decided to do in a few weeks? Oh yeah, MOVE- again.
Since this month’s mash-ups are leading up to the big scary Halloween day, I’ve decided that I’m going to let you all in to my personal nightmare: it includes lots of boxes, some tape, a shit-load of dust, and some seriously well-placed puns…
The Shining-meets-The Muppet Movie
I’m not really sure how to start this epic adventure that is my life, but that’s okay because the first few big moves I can’t remember. Sort of like little Danny in The Shining: blissfully ignorant in a family dynamic that is less-than-ordinary, but in tune to (and about to witness) something that will no doubt have an enormous impact on him later in life.
Imagine the Kubrick-ian opening credits as a massive metaphor for my life, only replace the little car with an old Studebaker, and the drivers with muppets: Bear right, frog left.
My first big move was a little like this current one- as in, away from New Mexico. The fam’ moved to upstate New York for some years. Then we moved to Florida. Then we moved to Vermont. Then I took over from there: Gainesville, Fl; Portland, OR; Nashville, TN; Austin, TX; Savannah, GA; Galway, Ireland; Albuquerque, NM. There was a lot of bouncing back to Austin in between most of those moves, but you get the idea… I don’t sit still long.
The Muppet Movie was all about following a dream, right? You’ve got Hollywood lust, musicians on tour, and the constant chase of the corporate world to turn Kermit (me) in to a spokes-frog for something he doesn’t support (Deep breath: the-settle-down-and-get-a-real-job-already-black-hole-of-creative-stagnation-and-life-long-regret/disillusionment-for-not-following-your-own-dream)… Forever, and ever…
So, the comedian and the actor/writer keep “moving right along” from one end of the country to the other in search of said dream. How easy is it to just toss your shit in the back of a car and go elsewhere? Too easy. You just do it, then you go. As Grover says: Near… Far.
Here’s the thing though- the nightmare part: Wherever you land, there you freakin’ are. Whatever ghosts you had haunting you in the last town, well they travel light and are liable to come bursting through your bathroom door with an axe yelling “Here’s Johnny!” while you cower uselessly against the wall. In fact, it seems, the MORE you move, the more those ghosts become tangible items that you haul around in a box and label “baggage”. It’s lonely out there in the Overlook mid-winter, and all you’ve got sometimes are yourself and your ghosts.
The secondary issue with having this “shining” (or: the propensity to move at the drop of Dr. Teeth’s hat) is that, once you do land somewhere, the figurative walls start closing in on you. This happens everywhere- it’s not just subject to small towns, lily pads, or monolithic hotels. Once the elevator doors begin to spill blood down Main Street, the itch demands to be scratched, and the Snowcat/Studebaker starts a-callin’ yer name. At some point (30) you hit the wall and start screaming at the top of your lungs: “Why are you doing this??!!”
What’s possibly kept me from going completely bonkers (aside from having better things to write than “all work and no play…”) is the fact that I really don’t know any different. Kermit knew nothing of being not-a-frog, right? Well, here I am: insert whatever terminology there is these days for American Traveler here.
Luckily, apart from finding my own Fozzie Bear who is equally as non-geographically-committed as I am (or, as we call it, “geographically challenged”), I seem to find myself narrowing down the landing strips. My “shining” is beginning to fade with age, as in the desire to add to the mileage. I know there probably isn’t a “the-standard-rich-and-famous” contract for me (and, sadly, it will not be handed over by Orson Welles), but I’m coming close to finding my way out of the topiary maze and depending less on frightening bartenders- so, hey, that’s something!
This current move is, what else, temporary- it’ll be back to the East Coast next Fall. But I’m going in like I always do: Edith Piaf blasting away “Non, je ne Regrette Rien” from the factory stock speakers in my wagon. Maybe the path seems longer these days, but the distance is certainly shorter, and the ghosts are waning- hopefully a few can be put to rest here in Albuquerque.
I guess it’s all part of livin’ the dream… or is that a myth? A what? A MYTH: MYTH!