...as in: I picked one up yesterday from some member of the howling mob at yesterday's Media Circus. It's not awful, just a stuffed-up nose, maybe a mild fever and a stronger-than-usual feeling of lassitude. Also: by local standards, it's getting chilly here now. Thus, colds.
The germ assault may have come at a good time, though. While drinking coffee this morning, I was seized by an almost irresistible temptation: I wanted to get in the car and drive, and drive, and drive some more until I found some place with an aura that says "stop! Stay here!"
Never mind that I don't have enough money to get from here to the county line, never mind that there are things I've committed to do. Never mind that I would never abandon the cat (who hates riding in cars), and never mind that there are several dozen other reasons, all good, for not doing such a thing.
I was ready, ready to see this city and even this state vanishing in the rear-view mirror. Ready to find some place where I might make new friends, find new things to do, maybe even feel, well, happy once in a while.
Obviously, I didn't do it. The pull of reality is too strong, and only those who have the resources to survive in a new location while resettling and reinventing themselves -- or who have so little to lose that almost anything likely to happen on the road would be an improvement -- can make this kind of mad leap.
PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: Most people might think I'm among the latter class, and I guess in many ways I am. But I am not yet ready to give up the few things I've accumulated over the years that still have meaning for me. I may have to in time, just not today.
But damn, have I ever been thinking about it, as in all day. The desire is still there, and I don't think it will be vanishing anytime soon.
Where would I go? Clearly, I have no idea. I can think of at least one place where I wouldn't be welcome, where the reception would be as bitter-cold as the chill winter winds now sweeping that area; another would be a substantial risk. Those are also the first places that showed up on my mental navigation-system screen. Of course.
Beyond those two destinations, I'm completely in the dark about what I'm looking for. I think I'd dig a place with real seasons, and in my mind I tend to gravitate toward the notion of a small town with friendly, open-minded, reasonably interesting and sophisticated people in it, preferably within reasonable distance of a big city. Places like the latter are pretty rare in my experience. But all I need is one.
If I had followed through with this disastrous scheme, I'd probably head for the Southwest, then keep on Eastward until I hit water again, either the Gulf or Atlantic Ocean. I know better than to drive North, and the Northeast doesn't seem a good bet either. I can say that now; I wouldn't dare to guess what I might have done twelve hours ago. I think I'm a little more rational now.
And what would I do when I get there? Writers on the ragged, ugly edge of burnout with little experience is mainstream jobs aren't really good prospects in the small-town job market. Or the big-town job markets, come to think of it.
The fantasy is clearly better than the potential reality, at least for now. I'm still clear-headed enough to know that the ultimate fantasy -- warm, welcoming arms and a glad-you're-finally-here smile meant just for me -- ranks right up there (or down, depending on your point of view) with a big lottery win on the it-could-happen list. That's what I need most (the welcome, not the money), and am least likely to find.
In any case, it didn't happen. I didn't go.
That's not to say it won't, tomorrow, or the day after, on next week....
At a certain point, one I'm approaching more rapidly with every passing hour, all that will matter is to keep moving until the fuel runs out.
8 hours ago