Thursday, December 07, 2006

Madness & 6am Sitting in a Tree

I have a big crush on the 6am hour. Today during my drive to the train station, I bent with the highway's curve blasting los grand exitos de Sonora Carruseles and I witnessed the downtown buildings lit up by a cantaloupe sun, the Hollywood hills a muted rose. I love curving into the city skyline at that hour. Yesterday, during the same time, I took a run a few blocks north of my apartment where all the bougie houses grow: Brick tudors in XL, gorgeous rich brown craftmans with tremendous porches and California spanish spreads with arched and tiled doorways. Externally, I think the houses are a wasted allocation of huge sums of money that could be used in global and compassionate ways. But sometimes, deep inside, I think, Damn. Especially about the ones with the black doors. Or the red doors. Or the green doors. I love the green doors! And especially when they are dressed with mammoth wreaths of interesting leaf design, like eucalyptus and holly. Along the blocks where I run, some houses are left lit till morning with white holiday lights that lace the grounds and trace the doors and windows. Huge christmas trees remain aglow in the front bay windows; windows that have waited all year to frame a 10 foot Noble that is professionally and perfectly and monochromatically decorated. Yesterday, in the dawning 6am hour, I smelled vanilla waffles through the neighborhood and for the remainder of the block, I did a little skip instead of my attempted athletic stride.

I have a bad case of holiday spirit. I almost pinned a broach to myself that plays tinny carols when you pull a cord. Maybe I'll wear a santa hat on the train. Maybe I'll make dozens of PB&J sandwiches and fold them up in wax paper and pass them out to every homeless person I see. Then I'll wait to get at yelled at for my shoddy, seasonal charity.

A couple months ago, a homeless guy asked for some money near Union Station. I had none, but I offered him a sandwich that I had packed myself. He said, "Sure." When I walked away I thought, "Holy shit. How mad is he gonna be when he bites into a Tofurkey bologna on sprouted bread?"

Today is the anniversary of my Mama's death. My mother mentioned it while she was here a couple weeks ago because she is being deposed today for her divorce. She said to me, like I was a cashier at Trader Joes engaging in friendly conversation, "I have a deposition on December 7th. That's the day my mother died." She says that every year, "Today is the day my mother died." Like I didn't know her or like I don't remember the exact day -- the very hour -- that she died.

I'm really prepping myself for my fortieth birthday, which is coming soon. Only eight months and sixteen days away. 40 has become The Milestone Year in My Imagination. I've pumped it up to be beyond epiphanic. In my mind it will be emanicipatory, and I'm not even sure in what ways it will be or how exactly I'll pull that off. The sobering vanity of turning 40 is one thing, but mainly I feel this urge to expedite passions and only do things that make a contribution. It feels so important. Only half of life is left, maybe, and I'm now really afraid of wasting time. In the morning's early hours, I feel all is possible. I ludicrously plan to sleep less so I can make it all possible though by day's end I'm exhausted. I feel defeated, wondering if I had wasted any time.

7 comments:

acumamakiki said...

never a waste of time i think, that passion to live a life. especially when confronted with your fortieth. i get very wistful about being 42, and think that time passes so fast now. did i appreciate enough? am i living my life full? there is something magical about the early morning. i always love to read the descriptions you provide here of cali, it's comforting.

Deezee said...

Holy shit. How mad is he gonna be when he bites into a Tofurkey bologna on sprouted bread?"

too funny.

and I understand the pressure to perform, to make use of time wisely, to contribute. easing into it all and not getting tense in the face of the goal, ah, the real challenge...

la vie en rose said...

i think you will look fabulous in a santa hat...and it's read so it can serve as a self portrait too...

i love that you are already planning your birthday. i think that's great because it means you are really thinking about it and choosing to honor it.

Anonymous said...

I went through (and am going through) something very similar as my own 40th b-day approached this past Sept....The actual day itself was just another day, but the event has stuck with me, and I still feel like I've entered The Other Side, somehow, and have joined a new kind of club. Not sure this makes any sense, I 'm still waking up...

Michelle Fry said...

Running through neighborhoods early in the morning is interesting. You get to make up stories about all the inhabitants. You get to be a witness to so many things, like who has vanilla waffles at 6 am. Soon everytime you see a green door, you will feel like you should be running.

Regina said...

To begin, love your way of describing your life!! As I approached my 40th I wanted it to be the ending of some really self distructive behaviour, thought patterns so I had NEW activities planned so as to have new beginnings as well. As I was explaining this to a girlfrined she said these words that changed everything: YOU DO KNOW YOU'RE LIVING YOUR 40TH YEAR RIGHT NOW. Wow, for some reason those words shoved me into realizing that I need to live in the moment more. My 40s have been the very best years of my life. I am so much more sure of myself and confident that I will survive, that I am worthy and that I have raised a beautiful happy daughter both inside and out.

Kellyann said...

Geezum. I found myself wanting to call you after reading this. After clicking on the link about your mama. My radiant, wacky, endlessly creative, 54-yr old mom died 6wks after being diagnosed with pancan. Three years ago 12/4/03. For awhile, I read the obits everyday, looking for other people that had died from pancan, somehow feeling connected to those families & their grief. I don't read the obits everyday anymore, but I do feel an immediate connection with anyone who has lost a dear, loved one to pancan.
I didn't think the grief would still be so fresh. I thought the joy of having a child would somehow soften the loss. I thought I had enough faith to sustain me. I've been wrong on all counts.
I need to kick it in gear, the living. The child helps with this!
Thank you, Madness, for sharing. You DO contribute in hugely immeasureable ways.