Thursday, November 30, 2006

Colds...

...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.

5 comments:

DAL said...

I've had days when I'd like to drive until I run out of fuel. On a full tank I could get about 500 miles.

Not far enough. Perhaps if I went until I maxed out a couple af credit cards.

MrScribbler said...

dal -- right now, I'd have to find credit cards that can be maxed out....

lowandslow said...

Make a pass through the Dallas area and I'll grill you a fine steak and fill you with some exquisite single malt scotch, and you can regale me with exploits of your automotive heroics. Sounds like a fair trade, don't you think? :)webeqe

Betty said...

I feel like that a lot, MrS. I would love to move to a small town with friendly people. I think we all feel that way sometimes. I hope things look better for you. {{hugs}}

HarpO'Fly said...

Yay, I fit the parameters for such an adventure. It may not be wise, but who cares?
I have no idea where I'll go but I intend to before much longer. Never know, though, maybe someone will give me reason to locate one place or another. It's one of those eventually things unless something else prevents it.
For years most of the people I grew up with, and their parents in Miami felt that way, and eventually did it. Basically pushed out by property tax and disgust.
Just figure it as a maybe--could happen someday...