Dec 29, 2006

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Arizona – Mesquite trees drape the yard. Seed pods attract javelinas, those southwestern stilt-pigs. The neighbors complain about the duff and droppings, but how else is soil made in the desert?

I am in the place where words fail.

Not merely home for the holidays, I am adrift in time: one heartache blurring into another, here in my parents' back bedroom.

Everything echoes more in your parents' back bedroom. Metaphysics 101.

In 2003, I returned here, defiant and soon-to-be-divorced. Sleepless, I wandered at odd hours, slamming doors – then apologizing to the air. Suburbia checkmated my every move. I'd borrow the Honda and ease along the broad, smooth roads, studded with traffic lights and overzealous stop signs. Rarely did I shift from second gear.

Most cacti signal the same thing: slow, slow, slow. A saguaro paw raised: stop.

A pause is the best I can offer.

Arizona shutters down my senses. In the place where words fail, I try only to exist: to drink this coffee, eat this enchilada, read this braincandy book and ten more. Maybe in the torrent of text, I'll recover some self.

I have not taken a full week off work in 2.5 years. My leisure skills are rusty, so I fake along. Powersave mode. Yeah.

Soon my article on Colombia's boob-job outburst is due. Then I'll start teaching and flying and, well, living – rather than existing – again. And I remember how very much I love it all.

I step on the gas and gogogogetgone.


  1. This is both a bit belated and clichéd, but I sincerely wish you a happy 2007. (Really, I do. And I'm not even being sarcastic.)

  2. You taught me to call it "powersave" mode. Before I thought I was just wallowing. Thanks for the "save."

  3. Marie, I'm here for you on the justification and excuse front. Any time, darling!

    However, I do see a fine-line distinction between "wallowing" and "powersave". One lingers lovingly in the depths of depression, the other simply retreats to conserve energy. Ax.

  4. Dingbear, after your virtuoso quiz entry , no one will ever believe you capable of being unsarcastic!

    But thanks – and the same back atcha. AC.