It’s summer solstice. 8:04 pm and the sun is still beaming. If I were already up in Fairbanks, up in Alaska, the sun wouldn’t set until tomorrow–until past one am–and would only remain down for about an hour.
But I’m in California. In the house I grew up in. In the office where I wrote Harry Potter fan-fiction for Quizilla.com and threw hours into Neopets. Difference is that at thirteen, I used the desk. Now, almost twenty-three, I prefer the floor. Thank you, please. Not much has changed since winter 2010, before Colorado Colorado and Humboldt County. Saturdays nights spent in this office on the moss colored carpeting wanting to write but not wanting to write and kind of feeling like I should cry or maybe eat chocolate.
It’s been over a month since I left Colorado. Over a month since I graduated. I miss it and I don’t miss it and I’m angry that Colorado Springs is experiencing its rainiest summer in the last three years. I miss people. Friends. And I miss people I didn’t expect to miss. The dude at the grocery store who always worked the self checkout lines, who always nodded goodbye. The baristas at the Starbucks I went to when I was trying to hide from my college life. The baristas I didn’t want to be on talking terms with but somehow was coerced by endearing smiles. And then the lanky barista with short curly hair at my college, who I somehow often saw at the most random places, far away from campus, like the Barnes and Noble up on Academy and Briargate.
I swear I don’t have a thing for baristas. Those baristas were just rather nice.
I miss the people I can’t find online, that I can’t talk to from here, can’t even stalk. I miss the I-25 and the drive from 19th street to Mesa Rd to Garden of the Gods and then further north, always north, drive until Centennial curves and I then barrel east on Woodmen to suburbia. To the strip malls that are inexplicably relentlessly comforting.
You know, I’ve been either in a state of missing Colorado and headed to Colorado soon or in Colorado, blessedly in Colorado, since 2006. But now I’m only missing the place, with no plans to return, no idea when I’ll land in El Paso County again.
Corporate life is unexpectedly soothing. I’m seasonly employed by a financial management company that is owned by a big time bank and I thought I would hate it, that I’d grit my teeth in my attempt to pad my savings, attempt to throw some money at my loans, but I’m not gritting my teeth. Not at all. In fact, it’s calming. It’s the most calming job I’ve had and somehow my copy writing and copy editing and web design and all that jazz experience has already been of unexpected use. My primary task is database clean up–that’s why I was hired, that’s my real deal task. So the surprise of playing with words and images paired with the surprise of how freaking nice everyone is, how the soft hum of the 11th floor calms my nerves, how the escape from my frazzled writing space is a welcome moment of my day–I didn’t expect any of this. I didn’t expect my summer to be this way.
Maybe academia and creatives lend a more chaotic workspace. Maybe I’ll feel differently about the lure and clickty clackty and foreign language of finances by August. Maybe the calm will turn into a dull. I’m not even saying I prefer it to my usual gig. I’m in no way saying I’d want to remain in the long-open-shared-whatever cubicle desk forever and ever and ever. Hell no. I’m only surprised. Relieved. The paychecks are exceptionally nice.
I also didn’t expect to take a knife to my manuscript and cut the last 10,000 words and start out to wholly rewrite the end. But so it goes. I am. I knew I was doing a revision and revisions seem to typically turn into rewrites for me. So why am I even surprised?
The sky is white and warm and thick. I feel like I should do something to celebrate the solstice, but summer has never been my season. Never inspired me. Not the least bit invigorating. Summer makes me sluggish and weepy. Winter solstice is what sets my fire. When I take deep breaths and light candles and write lists and bake crazy chocolate cakes and don’t even mind when I wake to floods the next day. I never know what to do with summer. How to consider summer, but I’ve stopped hiding my legs. I miss ballet. This limbo zone is weird. Alaska. Is that even happening? I don’t think I’ll think of it as a real thing until I’m there. I don’t think I’ll realize I’m actually not returning to Colorado until I drop myself into Cold Country, scavenging a new life up there, so far removed.
This little blog has been back up and running now for over a year. Woohoo?
Summer solstice. I suppose I’ll touch my toes.