Full moon hanging over Topanga Canyon. One week ago I was sitting in my living room in New Zealand having mojitos with my friend Liz. Then I got on a plane, watched a few movies, and am back in a house that is as if I never left it. Perched on the side of a canyon that slopes down to the ocean. Ten minutes from the incredulity of Malibu, fifteen from the flatline of the San Fernando Valley.
I am alone tonight. Profoundly. Like the aloneness is the ball in Jai Alai – the sport I just discovered while doing my crossword. One that is way too hard for me, so I am in a perpetual google search. But I never mind that. What I lack in mental fortitude I make up for in curiosity. Anyway, the alone is vibrating the room with its force.
Outside there are coyotes. Under that full moon. Not like the southwestern prints. There are trees here. And me, in a little house. I’m not lonely. I have the overwhelming sensation that right now I am very cool. I have an adorable hair cut and cute little skirt. I cooked a really good dinner. And I am doing cool things like listening to Brett Dennen radio on Pandora and alternating between reading Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” and finishing my really hard crossword puzzle with Irving Berlin songs as the theme. Also, planning my trip to the farmer’s market in the morning. Come on, that’s all really cool.
On top of that sensation is one that at any moment someone could walk in and say “Oh hi. I have this camembert and this syrah from a boutique vineyard in Santa Ynez. Do you want to try this recipe for mango sticky rice with me? Brett Dennen. Cool.”
And then I realize that that does not, at all, happen. Unless you live in the Australian outback at the turn of the century and a stray traveller wanders up to your homestead seeking shelter in your shearing shed. But, barring that, it will just be me, alone on this couch, for the rest of the night. Feeling acutely satisfied.
What if I were to get in my car and drive to some establishment where people are who might potentially want to come sit on this couch with me and rub my feet and watch quirky documentaries? It would never turn out the way it was in my head before I made the effort to go. I would have ended up hugging a corner, too shy to say anything to anyone. And then have realized that, wait a minute I am surrounded by weird hippy alcoholics who don’t have any insights into the human condition at all! I should have stayed on the couch.
So this is me. Very cool, emitting cool into the night, wriggling around in cool. This is what I’ve got. Get older. Love it. Be alone if that’s what you are. You spent the last three years forcing yourself to not be alone. And you fell. And there was no one to help you up. But you got up anyway, lighter.
Anyway. I’m not actually sure that solitary traveller won’t show up. People get lost in the mountains. Hmm, 93 Across is Change Partners.