All the Way up From Laguna, through Santa Cruz to Petaluma

On Wednesday October 28th, 2015 I loaded all the belongings I had with me into the car and drove north from Laguna Beach all the way to Aptos where I had booked an Air B n' B. I needed to find the next place to stay.  This picture is sunset outside the gas station near the end of the trip where I was about to head west from the central valley to the coast. 

I drank beer on the beach that night and listened to Eminem's concept horror movie soundtrack record, in my headphones marveling at how disconnected and open life had become. It sounds dark and immature, but really it was quaint. The Monterey bay's waves in front, the frogs in the estuary chirping behind. A twenty two ounce of Modelo Especial. The white and blue can in the moonlight.  I went to college not far from here and felt not so different then, though now I felt more deserving of such luxuries, having the gift of some measurable humiliations to see clearer the good fortune of being anonymous and un-judged for listening to children's music at eleven o'clock on a school night. 

The next morning I drove to check out this apartment on the grounds of a bed and breakfast in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I really loved it. It felt like something I'd cut of a magazine but the price was high, and I had an option further north for less, so I begrudgingly told the inn keeper no. She was a singer and gardener with lots of style.  

I left the Santa Cruz Mountains and this little inn around noon, and made my way up the coast and slowly north, to where I'd be spending the evening with my friends in Brisbane. I stopped in Davenport and saw bobcat on the railroad tracks above the ocean, and I talked to a pretty girl who sold repurposed flannel shirts out of shiny trailer parked inside a hay bale garden. 

That night I arrived in Brisbane to my friends Jerome and Vanessa's house. Jerome insisted we wear costumes, and took me to a party at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The party was a celebration of vintage animation. It was near halloween so there was a lot of skeletons dancing with goblins and batty eye lashed, antique concepts of femininity. We watched the movies and played with the science machines. The next night was Jerome's birthday party. We ate oysters and Jerome screened ambient movies of birds on wires on a white sheet in his backyard garden. I stayed up late after everyone went to be trying to get it all straight listening to a parody of myself hoping no one could hear in this kind couple's house. In the morning it was Halloween. I went for a long walk in the sun with Vanessa talking about how to dodge the traps that keep catching. I felt a lot better and at around two pm I drove north towards Petaluma. 

Petaluma is in the countryside north of San Francisco. Our friend Brendan lives there. He's good at cooking and living in tune with the old ways. We carved pumpkins, ate a good dinner, and sat by the fire as the sun went down and the stars came up, drinking beer, telling stories, and laughing. Very late at night I went to sleep in an artistically built garden shack. Annie and Wiley have a dog called Sawyer that looks like a healthy, cute goblin. Annie likes to cause  humorous trouble to other's lives so she secretly placed Sawyer's fetching ball with lots of slobber in my sleeping chamber. 

The next morning I woke up early and took pictures of where I slept and of the place outside where we stayed up having the good party.  

The party continued once everyone woke up, and into the afternoon, when we drove to Bodega Bay to eat fish and chips by the sea.  Most of these friends have some connection to Maryland that I left long ago. We didn't know each other there. But it strikes me often that I enjoy them so much and can't believe I'm just up and leaving the community. It was like leaving home the last time. One has ideas of needing to change to avoid falling through hole into the ground.  Meanwhile all around you people are having relationships and making an effort to live life together. I know I'm not leaving that cause I'm better or more adventurous. I've been lucky and been around generous people who let me belong. I don't know why I'm on the run right now exactly. On the positive side, it frames these times together in a way that helps me be smart enough to really reflect and be appreciative. After we ate the late lunch, the autumn dusk came a long with a cold, deep fog. We said good bye. Brendan and Heather went back to Petaluma. Sterling, Indy, Wiley, Annie and Sawyer went back to San Francisco. I drove inland a little ways towards Forestville where I'd be living next. I know you might not know these people's names and I'm being like my grandmother Olamae telling stories assuming you do. Or maybe you do know and right now you're remembering too. 

This is another one of those songs I made cause I'm too undisciplined to keep an accurate journal. It's meant to summarize this part of the trip, and to capture conversation and private thoughts that I didn't feel like writing about in narrative prose.