...after a day, a night and a morning spent on Catalina Island.
As has become the norm for these trips, I saw little of the little town of Avalon, and then only in the early evening...
...and the late evening...
...with the rest of my time spent on a project inside the Casino Building...
Not that I would ever complain about that. I went over voluntarily, knowing I would be plying one of my more useless skills in spaces that haven't really been cleaned since 1928 and demand twisting and contorting the aging body as if it were 40 years younger.
Which it is not. As I am being reminded tonight.
And that does not take into account spending the night sleeping in the rather chilly lobby of the Avalon Theatre with part of a disused stage curtain as a blanket....
To quote a song from a song by the late, great Frank Zappa: does this kind of life look interesting to you?
It does to me, particularly when the current alternative, a/k/a my daily life is not bringing in any money, though work has been done (and published) long enough ago that checks should already have arrived, but haven't, and no pleasure.
In short, I needed to escape.
And so I ran when called, going back to a place that from my first visit has never been short of memorable experiences (I still sometimes think of the girl I spent a week on the island with back in 1970....), to do a job that the vast majority of people -- including you, my friends and readers -- know nothing about, know less about my connection with it and, quite rightly, don't give a happy damn about.
Even if the world is not made measurably better because I know how to fix a broken thing that only a handful of people are interested in, there is satisfaction in the doing.
More important, at least to me, it provides a sense of accomplishment that is lacking right now in the rest of my existence.
The past couple of weeks have proven, in a million ways, that the world has decided it hums along quite well without me. I'm not being self-pitying here; the proof is in the communications that have not come my way, in the mail that didn't hit my box, the calls never made to me or, when I have reached out, were returned.
So when a friend asked me to go over to the island, where one can forget about TV, radio, newspapers and even -- if one squints the eyes a bit -- that one is still in Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A. and help out, I was on hand. I needed it as much as the beneficiary of my skills needed me. More, perhaps.
Of course one remembers everything, with awful clarity, when the boat pulls back into Long Beach. But I had 28 hours in a world where I mean something, where the wolves were not scratching at my door, their bloodthirsty panting all too audible, where I was appreciated for my knowledge, skill and (believe it or not) personality.
I fixed some of what was broken, as much as time allowed, and will go back over to fix more in due course.
And even if I know from painful experience that telling people about what I did, and how, is to see their eyes glaze over and result in comments like "oh, that's nice," or "mmmmhmmmmm, sounds very interesting...how 'bout them Lakers?" I know the truth: I can do things, and the simple fact that those who hold a substantial amount of power over my life these days -- clients, banks and other people and institutions who helped push me into a depression of a magnitude I'm not sure I can cope with -- have kept me penned, for the most part, in my tiny space, have not yet been able to deprive me of everything.
Sometimes I need to be reminded of that truth. Even if I have to provide the reminder on my own.
22 hours ago