Last week, I left Southern California for the first time since I flew to Alaska in August.
Truth: I wasn’t supposed to go on this trip. My parents were going to visit my older sister and I invited myself along because I was desperate to leave. Speeding up the 5, we passed a small fire in the brown Santa Clarita hills. And, you know, after writing about a wildfire all autumn and declaring my revision done only the week before, I considered this–the obviously contained fire–a sign. A good sign for the book. Is that dumb?
And it kind of totally was a good sign. I think so. We’ll see. I’ll let you know.
So last week, I reunited with my two sisters, because my Chico-living little sister invited herself too. A mini reuniting before next week, Thanksgiving. It was fast and lovely and I was sick and miserable but so happy and we toured Tesla (where my brother-in-law works) and we hiked around Saratoga and I slept on a couch and I was cold and felt compelled to text long paragraphs of messages to friends far away until I finally fell asleep, which took too long.
And then the drive home down the coast, when it was time to go. Central Coast. California is home, the entire state. I feel odd and disjointed that I didn’t go further north than San Jose. It’s weird to not know when I’ll come back for longer than a visit. Never? Maybe. February? I hope not. And it’s also weird to think back to two weeks ago, when so much felt floppy and far away that now feels close and real. Nothing has really changed. I’m still on the living room floor. I’m still struggling with picking myself up, with my health. I’m still scared of Alaska and the cold and falling on my face and freezing in a snowbank. I was sick two weeks ago and I am sick now, nothing has really changed, but I’ve seen my sisters in this time and I’ve talked on the phone with people who made me smile and the days are passing and basically EVERYTHING IS WEIRD.
Anyway, it was a good little road trip. A nice break from the past 13 weeks. It was a mere quick jolt north. Nothing special. But considering how well I’ve stayed still the past two months, it was ever so slightly spectacular.
Also, I think I’ll have NEWS news soon.