I stood, music blaring in my ear, staring out of the kitchen window. The grass was green yet, but was dying due to the constant and confusing fluctuations in temperature. A mild winter ranging from 20 to 50 within only a days time caused this conflicted grass. I was on cigarette number three and cup of coffee number four. Able to justify my apparent laziness, as I had only woken up forty five minutes earlier, the thought of the move loomed in my thoughts. There was plenty to do. I had hardly begun packing, laundry wasn’t done, and the enchanting evening prior played on repeat in my minds eye.
The smoke from my cigarettes played in the sun’s light. Curling and twisting to make a scene that added to my sense of dreaming. A smile had planted itself upon my face and I had no intention on changing that. Theses moments that I considered “waking up” was a time when I would plan things out. I would decide the most important things to do within the day, which goals to set and achieve, and my course of action. Once upon a time I would have a pen and paper near by so I could jot down my thoughts, even if to re-organize them later. Today, and many days prior, I felt it best to just “go with the flow.” Yet another fantastic way of minimizing the laziness which had crept so horribly into my life.
As of now there was no way to alter what had been decided. The prestigious job that I held was now in the hands of someone else. Insurance cuts off the last day worked as well. That has and continues to be deemed an issue. Last day worked I had to go to the doctor due to a nasty and quick flare up of strep throat. In addition my mornings coffee seemed to be taking a short cut out of my body. My boss, and the team, had already begun realizing how great life was without the loud singing and obnoxious noise making. The plan was set into motion, time bidding to take every moment hostage, and my yearning to do anything diminishing; by the second time held in it’s possession. Weeks prior I had fooled myself into believing that there was so much time. Now as I stood on the last morning that I would wake in Pennsylvania I knew I had been a fool. I may have planned too close, too close to a perfect time, that the money might not be there.
The last few weeks had been an amazing time. Thanksgiving I had found a wonderful new group of friends. Happy, beautiful, and responsible gay men. Time spent with them reminded me of how wonderful life was. How people were good. How a good time wasn’t just me laughing at mundane things while under the snare of beer. They didn’t say a word when they saw me drink. Not that they approved, but they watched with a careful eye. As a nervous mother watching her child with the neighborhood bully, afraid of the influence, while worried of his protection.
Thrashing the old cigarette around in the ash tray to diminish the ashes; left me pondering the other events I had planned for the remainder of the day. My grandmother came up a lot. I had missed seeing her this past Christmas. The one I blamed work for the reason why I couldn’t see anyone. While I closed up and hurled myself into gloom knowing the other half of my dream relationship and life was sitting in front of the fireplace by the tree he decorated, with his boyfriend of three months (you do the math). I had also managed to dodge every one of my father’s calls as well. I had to see them. I would see them.
San Diego was so close and yet I was so far behind. So excited to go, yet there was a very clear unconscious effort that screamed, “I don’t wanna go!” Damn unconscious, it always focuses on what I have, and what is comfortable. He didn’t want to focus on the excitement that lay ahead in the new chapter of my life. The acting, the surfing, the writing, the living, the singing, the dancing, the friends. A whole new life that beckoned me to join. A whole new life, I couldn’t wait to discover.
Thank you for reading,
Caleb A. Mertz
A month and a week has passed now. A month and a week from the time my ties were severed to the greatest relationship I have known. With this separation amidst all of the feelings of aggravation, fear, and hurt; I was able to begin searching for a self that was greater than I had known before. Searching for ways to cope. Something to make me feel better. I couldn’t write in my despair. Nor could I retain enough focus to read. Even this post will be something of almost illegible fashion. I feel the need to write. I must get back to feeling myself. Like I’m contributing. Like I have purpose.
I have had many instances of literary genius in this time. Yet it can’t be counted as literary genius if it never made it to paper. Time swirls past me much like the leaves do now as I jog in the morning. That’s been a good start. I jog now. It’s been five consecutive days, and I feel great.
My job is what I had been getting up for in the mornings. The morning of the past three years. When the love is gone, yet you keep going for the comfort of it, you need something to get you up in the morning. My job has always been the thing that has inspired me. My muse, if you will. I now read over the last two sentences and laugh. I laugh at how my life could have been formed to swirl solely among and around a restaurant. Writing has been my passion. Something that I love to do. Some may say I am horrible at it. If this is the first or the last thing they ever read from me, I may have no choice to agree. My rhythm is off. Short sentences to long almost run on sentences. Stream of consciousness then well thought out prose.
What if I pick it all up and go? San Diego. She looks like a beautiful place to go. I believe that there are many signs wishing me to go there as well. The second I began thinking about it even the most random of people would tell me their son was driving out there. Or someone just got a job out there. Or “my God, I wish I was in San Diego.” Random conversations from guests. Then I log onto Craigslist and my location is randomly set at, you guessed it; San Diego.
I will admit, it couldn’t happen as quickly as I would like it to. I have debts here that I need to settle before I can go. I also have a big book release coming up that I absolutely must do here.
The best moment of my turn around was when I was telling a new found friend good bye. We hugged and I kissed him on the cheek, like I do with all of my friends. He kissed my cheek. I went to back out of the hug when our lips met. It was quick, brief, and releasing. My first instinct was to feel guilty, but the moment I knew i didn’t feel that way I was emancipated from the horrid feeling of not getting over it. Thank you friend.
Thank you for reading this. Whether you made it through all the way or not!
Caleb A. Mertz