Thursday, March 11, 2010

What it is

"[I]t's very hard to do some extraordinary triumph without taking some extraordinary risk or making an odd judgment that other people would not make. That’s why the triumph is extraordinary." -- Penelope Trunk
I think one of the reasons -- well, the reason, actually -- that I am having such a hard time deciding where to live next -- by way of example, not long after I wrote that post about wanting to move to NYC, I took a walk and decided that what I really wanted to do was move back to Los Angeles -- is because I don't really want to live anywhere. I would like to live everywhere.

A few years ago, something happened, and, for a while, I didn't have anywhere to live. I had a carry-on bag, one of the small ones, of clothes, and that was it. My best friend took me in, paid for my plane ticket to fly me to her, and put me up in her son's room in the attic, where I slept in his red race car bed. The ceiling was a constellation of glow-in-the-dark stickers.

As it turns out, the inclination is to master it by repeating it. In a way, I don't really want to live in LA or NYC; I want to live nowhere. Today, I got an email from this guy I don't know. "Sometimes the most important place to live is in yourself," he wrote. That's about right, I thought.

I love hotels. For their transience. You live in this weird kind of limbo, and food gets brought to the door, and every once in a while, you peer out between the curtains, and see what's going on: the cars crawling up the street, the skyscraper lights blinking in the night, the landscape you don't know blanketed by the snow.

Years ago, I drove across the country. Or, mostly, anyway. From California to Chicago. It was crazy, to see the country like that. The big Montana sky, and the endless Iowa fields, and the dry Nevada desert. The Mississippi River took my breath away. The Faulkner story had come alive before me.

I want to get rid of everything. I want to be unmoored. If I can get to nowhere, I'll be somewhere.