Sunday, March 19, 2006

Corona Del Mar

There it is, in all its glory: my $18 martini, shining with the last rays of the Laguna Beach sunset.
I totally took that picture, all by myself! Doesn't it look like a travel poster? Pamper yourself in Laguna. Wrap yourself in luxury. Enjoy the finest cuisine in the most opulent surroundings money can buy.
I stayed with a friend in Corona Del Mar a few days ago. It's the Beautiful Life: waves crashing on the rocks, the smell of fresh sea air, some dickless jerk weaving in and out of traffic in his silver Carrera. Everything you could hope for. We had a great time, ate our weight in oysters and had our toes done...kinda fun to pretend you're rich for a couple days.

On my way to California, I listened to the first half of Jack Kerouac's On The Road, read by Matt Dillon. I couldn't help wonder if my little road trip was going to yield the kind of personal insight I'd hoped for. There's no miles of walking, no long inebriated conversations with hoboes, no sleeping in boxcars. I can make reservations from one Motel 6 to another without leaving my room. I'm organized, funded, and centered on a single project. Not that that's a bad thing. It's just different from what I'd thought I needed when I was a twentysomething.

Back then I had that ache to disappear for a while. To drive away from everything and everyone familiar. To wake up, as Sal Paradise did, not knowing who you are for a few minutes while you watch the light change. Once, in my late teens, I was upset by something, jumped in my car, and drove east for a couple of hours, past Dallas, past the outskirts, past everything I knew. I realized that not only was I in new territory, no one knew where I was. No one could even guess. It was a little rush. What if I kept going? Whoever it was that had pissed me off might miss me, wonder where I was, worry. I felt independent, free, and courageous. Until I ran almost ran out of gas. Then I felt like an asshole.

Oh, man, I had it all planned out--hitchhike to Haight-Ashbury or New York or wherever, meet all these amazing writers and intellectuals I imagined were parked on every corner who'd recognize me for the budding genius I was, take me under their wing, and feed me while I typed in a candlelit corner of someone's shoddy flat. My deep, brooding tales would enchant the most arrogant literary circles, and I'd be a sensation. Then I'd overdose on heroin and die. OMG, that would be perfect!

So anyway, I grew out of that shit, obviously. But there's still that teensy urge...I think to myself: I'm not going to call anyone all week. Let 'em miss me. Let 'em wonder where I am.

After I've relished that thought for a while, I think: I wonder how my kitties are? And I call Jerry. And then Carmie. And then Gwen. Total disappearance time: 45 minutes.

So worry not, folks. I couldn't disappear, even if I wanted to.

There's loads of photos to look at, but right now blogger's not working with me. Check out my flickr account by clicking on the Flickr flash badge below the links on the right.



Post a Comment

<< Home