And of course, everyone keeps asking: With the house sale and everything, are you going to push your schedule?
And the answer is: No. We’re still leaving on the 28th. (There are many reasons for this – feel free to offer your diagnoses.)
So what if we have to do another all-nighter or two? (Or three. Or four.) So what if we get really, really good at arguing about tone of voice and packing tape exactitude? We are sticking to our departure date. Come hell or high water.
Speaking of which, it is 10 days away and there are exactly 17 boxes packed (four of which haven’t been unpacked since I moved down to LA from the East Bay in 2007!) On Monday, we move almost everything we own into a 10×15’ storage unit. Yes, this coming Monday, four days from today.
Yes, we may not have a real break until we land in Phoenix on the 28th. No, this is nothing new.
The last time I felt like this I was on a low-budget movie in Texas. I had been promoted (in a sense) to a new position and had to work really, really hard to keep up. On top of which, it was a difficult film for almost everybody – as low budget movies run by high budget people often are. Some people called them “ambitious”. “Divorced from reality” is more like it. Every single week for eight weeks I ate antacids and prayed that the bargain basement charter pilot I’d hired to fly the film’s star to his TV set Monday mornings wouldn’t be late, drunk or worse. One producer wanted me fired the first week. After Week Two, I did too. And, the bulk of the shooting was night–for-night, which meant I got off of work at dawn. 12 weeks with only eight days off. Four of which were nearly sunless. I pushed myself incessantly throughout, playing as hard as I could when the odd day off presented itself (I was 28 at the time). It was surreal.
The current madness is a lot different. There are no big budget people threatening to fire me. The physical labor is harder and there’s more of it. I get up at dawn instead of the other way around. We’ve had four days off in the last six weeks (all in one wonderful Joshua Tree weekend). And, there are only two other beings who I need to look after, none of whom get on a private jet every Sunday.
It is just as surreal though. Less so from sleep deprivation and more so because I don’t think I’ve really connected with the fact that we’re leaving. I’m floating through the days. Like driving home at dawn through semi-rural Austin suburbs listening to Jeff Buckley at maximum volume. Each time a friend or mother starts to tear up, I demand that we wait until the final week to start crying. Is it because we are too busy to feel scared, or nervous, or sad? Or is it good old fashioned denial?
I know It is coming. The house is emptying. The RV is almost ready for move-in. Mattie won’t let us out of her sight. We are writing wills. There’s a gigantic roll of bubble wrap in the living room. The garage has mutated into some sci-fi docking station.
Yesterday, my brother-in-law asked us how everything was coming along and I blurted: “Its getting hella real around here!” Truth is, there’s only one part of me that feels this. The other part is happy to leave everything intact, to keep living our life as it was – friends, work, dinner parties, Pine St. I guess that will change when we drive away on April 28th. Perhaps then, she will finally accept what’s really real and get on the Good Foot with the rest of us.