Move to the West
Why have you moved? you ask
Why have you not? I say
Once again I have made a major move, this time it’s out to the West. Once again I have no idea what I am doing or what I will do. I just know that I will live. Isn’t that the American Twenty-First century way though?
“I wanted to experience something real – I figure I just want to drown in life, and how I made it out…”
What will you do? What will you do? What will you do?
I thought that I could move out West and I would be who I was when I listened to Stevie Nicks, Faith Hill, Joni Mitchel, Elvis and Fleetwood Mac. When I collected crystals and had an altar. I prayed to Mother Nature and knew my body like the back of my hand. Living in the Mid-West makes you forget. It makes you so dizzy that you can’t breathe until you become one the moving people, ever changing, ever experiencing, ever someone you cannot recognize.
I missed the sun and grew in places I never knew I owned on my body. My skin grew paler with my eyes and hair grew dark. I wondered what I looked like when I used to be golden. I asked for this I thought. To return to the place I was born. I wanted to walk the grounds that my father walked, the man I never knew. I thought it would make me understand him, I thought that I would run into him one day. Pale blue eyes that appeared to hold the sadness of the world inside of them, drooping large and low. Hair black and breath that smelt of bad choices. He was like a Pablo painting. His life was Picasso’s blue phase. He taught me about true sorrow. The understanding of loss and the misunderstanding of feeling lost and alone.
I breathed bourbon and lost myself in midnight and courier script. I went back to school for writing and looked for spirits to befriend in haunted hotels. I almost drowned in my bathtub, stomach full of cosmo’s and pills the night my husband was robbed at gunpoint and knife point and I woke up thinking we were both dead. Ghosts wandering the hallow city -who would have even noticed if you were talking to one? I came close to loosing myself. To never waking or the true fear of ending up in a mental institution again. Was I haunted? Cursed?
I don’t even remember leaving, it was like a bad breakup. I tried to forget the city. I tried to take it all in. I walked everywhere and drank everything and gained weight. Then, like I arrived, I was gone. Like a faint apparition, but I had left my mark. I worked my dream job, I walked more miles up and down Magnificent Mile more times than I could rack up. I ate Garrett’s popcorn and armfuls of warm pretzels. I lived on Printer’s Row where Hemingway traversed, wondering if he would ever be a great novelist. I began my book, in the nook of my nine story apartment that overlooked the west loop and the glistening John Hancock. I stared at Monet’s for hours. Dazed at Egyptian makeup boxes, wondered what it must have been like for Ceasar and Cleopatra to be in love.
Now the desert is my home. I am collecting skulls of buffalo, turquoise, quartz that I stumble on in my fringed boots. I am tanned and thinned out, eating what grows straight from the ground or has recently been killed and skinned. I am learning to breathe again, slow and steady breathes. I am not constantly on guard, eyes widened like a rabid animal, hairs that stuck up have calmed and I feel my soul has regressed. Back to a natural state.