Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I once was lost, but now I'm. . . missing?

You ever found yourself sitting on rocky bed of a Chattanooga Motel 6 wondering where things went left? Not just left-left - left on Tulane left. I feel unfocused. I look unfocused. The trip home was necessary for so many reasons. I thought this trip was simply an opportunity to reconnect with people I cared about from whom I had been separated for far too long. I was partially correct, but it ran SO much deeper than that. I needed to discover how disconnected I had become from myself; mind, body and spirit.

I've felt like a lost lamb in the woods before, so I figured the journey home would aid in clearing my head, and everything would be okay. I would have hatched a plan by then. Imagine my frustration when I found myself one hour from home, and no closer to a solution than the hour I embarked upon my journey.

This feeling is not hopelessness, nor is it helplessness. If anything, it is showing me that I am growing up, and I have real things to deal with; real decisions to make. Those who know me, know that a plot is in the making. I'm just not sure what it is yet. Stay tuned though. I feel a breakthrough coming on.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Odyssey, Pt. 1

This trip, I believe, may well be known as "the journey which launched a thousand posts.". Stories such as, "The day I discovered my father's pimpin is real," "you know that beignet sugar is really crack, right?" and "who knew that hunting El Chupacabra could make you sexy as hell" are begging to be told. I'm sure that some stories I will tell, and some I won't. But I've had a great time and hold mixed feelings about leaving. Don't think I've lost my mind and am entertaining the notion of returning to New Orleans. I just didn't anticipate how hard leaving could be. Let me also say that there is something positively soul stirring about traveling with the knowledge that with every stop, you're going to spend time with people that love you dearly.

I've learned, with this trip, that there is a time and place for everything. I've learned that sometimes, you don't have to rehash the past to look at the future. I've put some friendships on pause, taken others out of limbo, and even got transported back to my high school days. That's kind of what going home is all about, isn't it?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Award Tour

I'm out of the office until August 25, 2008. Earlier this week, at 3:39 on a cool morning, I got in my car, and started driving. I drove through Maryland. I drove through Virginia. I drove through Tennessee. I drove through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and finally ended up in Houston, Texas.

It is a MUTHA to get out of Virginia, but it's one of the most beautiful drives I've ever taken. Driving through the mountains really helps put things in perspective in seeing how truly insignificant we are. Once I hit southern Virginia, I found myself amazed by the number of black people I DIDN'T see. I went to a Walmart, and I was the only black person in the store. THE ONLY NEGRO IN AN ENTIRE WALMART. I remember being a kid and wondering, "How are we minorities? There are black people everywhere I go." But I was only going to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston and a few heavily negroidian areas in Missippi. I think black people are in maybe ten other cities and that's a wrap. When I saw two separate trucks full of Mennonites pull up, I knew it was time to get the hell out of there. Nothing against the Mennonites; but I was still trying to adjust to the fact that there were no black folks in Walmart. That was as different as I was ready to handle after eight hours on the road.

Between Virginia and Tennessee, there are 6,845, 293, 957 Cracker Barrels at various exits. I began to opine that they were operated by the minions of Beelzebub, and would have no part of it somewhere early on in Virginia. However, by the time I hit CB 6 billion, my resolve had worn thin. I wanted a sit-down meal, and I vowed to avoid typical fast food fare, so I finally pulled into a Cracker Barrel, only to discover that it's not run by minions at all; but the food was delicately sprinkled with crack. It wasn't soul food, but it definitely did the trick.

After lunch, I decided I would drive for another hour. By then, I anticipated being attacked by the 'itis, and I could take a nap at a rest stop. Every rest stop I encountered during my post-CB exodus from Tennessee was closed. I finally pulled into a Kmart parking lot in Alabama to get a few zzz's. But honestly, how much rest can you expect to get in a Kmart parking lot in Alabama. So I drove into the Alabama night, where there was NO lights. I have never in my life been so afraid of the moon. And let me tell you, we're missing out on a lot of stars in the city.

It was midnight, and I still hadn't made it to Baton Rouge where I intended to bunk for the night. After seriously considering falling asleep in the parking lot of a busy gas station (I just didn't think I had twenty more miles in me) I decided that grabbing a motel was a much more reasonable, not to mention safer option. So I bunked in Meridian, MS. The prostitutes there are friendly. That's gotta count for something. The next morning (after briefly stopping to say hi to my sister in Baton Rouge) I headed to Houston.

*sigh* What can I say about Houston, Texas? Everything and nothing. As much as I love to share, this one just kind of ain't anybody's business. But I can say that I've never been happier to let go of fear and live in the moment. I can also say that no matter how tough I like to believe that I am (and I drove from MD to TX, so I think it's fair for me to label myself "Tougher Than Leather), there exists a person that makes my insides feel like one of those molten chocolate desserts simply by hugging me. No clue what that means for tomorrow, next month - or even five minutes from now for that matter - but in this moment, I have yet to stop grinning.

Before I left Texas, I got to spend some time with the Creole Queen and her family. They have basically given me a time limit as to how much longer I am allowed to live in Maryland before I move to Texas. I love when people love me.

At this moment, I'm sitting in my sister's house (she's still in Baton Rouge) at her computer, still on a high from the last few days. I'm sure there are more stories to come. Stay tuned.