(in many ways this one is for Megan Pilli and Liza Clark, in many ways this one is for me. thank you for reading. please feel free to make comments on my writing, be it topic, style or spelling errors.)
26 June Friday
Its 830am and I’m mid chapter 18 in this Steinbeck. A sheriff just asked a deputy to go for a cup of coffee. As I drink my instant coffee with instant milk and unrefined buggy sugar out of my red plastic cup I think: this is reason enough to join the Peace Corps.
Never before have I taken so seriously the joys of simple things in life. Coffee cups, coffee machines, restaurants, napkins, seamless underwear, bug-less bedrooms, the freedom of not sleeping under a mosquito net, photos in frames on walls, communication abilities… a bar.
Before I came to Mali, I drank quite a bit. Before I moved from Austin to Salida, I drank too much. My friends, my true and lovely friends, stood by me, mentioned little towards it and I think they did so knowing that I was phasing it out, phasing out some thing of myself and they were always there to hold me up at the end, put me to bed, cover my toes when a chill came through the door, or let me crawl in. You know who you all are, you know that you are all loved; you know that in some way in some time in some beautiful light I’ll be able to hold your hand through something similar.
In France I spoke with my parents for the first time on this topic: my collegiate alcohol abuse. Abuse that was self inflicted. It got me into little trouble, I had a great time and regret very little if anything really, and I did well in school and liked to write then and now and always had something good happen to pull me from a slump. It was the first time I felt like a real life adult, coming clean about something they knew and we all know but that no one would say. It’s OK. To have those things, those vices that we explore. It’s OK but it has to be OK and be OK to end or to alter or to kick out of your life.
I moved, I decided that uprooting and going going going until I either couldn’t or didn’t want to. I needed to know something, something that I still can’t put my finger on, and I think I got it. Its here somewhere in me in this mess of words and the feelings that overcome me when I think of Whitis and Walling and Janna & Co. and I crumble into tears of joy and love and think: damn, sister, you’ve got it seriously good.
Everyone should take the time to sit and read, know, live through this book. East of Eden.
It’s huge, like 600 pages, and I know everyone is working and schooling and living, but please do trust me – it is worth it. It is a changer, a magnifying glass, a beautiful light on ugly things and it is helpful.
It helped me. It probably will always be held in my mind as one of those truly pivotal books in my life. I have a few of those. I read Catcher in the Rye in one afternoon in High School in a hammock, that beautiful piece is peace.
Anyway, take my word for it. Please.
Also, Mama and Daddy, my beloved friends and supporters and the (probably fewer with each post) dedicated readers, Thank You for letting me discover this. All of this. Its OK and its good and its life.