Start again.

The idea was to create a new website. But I don’t feel ready for a whole website, I just need a blog. Well, I don’t NEED a blog, but you asked for a blog, so here it is.

This is what I do: Cook. Bake. Write music. Sing songs. Work part-time as a paralegal. My life is not remotely like I’d thought it would be; I’m doing it backwards, it seems. Nobody’s life really goes the way they expect it to, but mine has gone off course too many times to count, so many times and often so violently that nothing resembles anything, and all the parts have been replaced, most at least twice, an existential Ship of Theseus.

It’s time to start again. Not start over. Start again.

Years ago–not many, but more than it seems, still in the Aughts, when everyone had a cellphone but not a GPS–I drove from a suburb outside of New York City to Arlington, Virginia, to see a few friends of mine perform music. Preparation was easy; I travel light. I printed out directions from Google Maps and looked them over enough to learn the general idea, so I wouldn’t get too distracted while driving. Or so I could get distracted while driving. So I could listen to music and sing loudly while mildly speeding.

It didn’t take long for me to mess this up. I’d just crossed the George Washington Bridge, and I missed the exit for I-95, because I was singing too loudly and not paying attention. I found that I was on I-80, headed towards Scranton, Pennsylvania. At first I didn’t realize what a big mistake I’d made; I thought, I’ll just keep driving and I’ll find I-95. Just like that. Like I’d just keep driving straight on the wrong interstate and get on the right one, in a matter of minutes. The dumbest thing is, I’d driven up and down the Northeast Corridor so many times, I knew that I-80 didn’t intersect with I-95, but I just kept driving. And driving. And driving. Did I think the right road would appear before me? …..I’d stop singing by this time. And then I found I was around Stroudsberg. Pennsylvania. Not far from the Poconos. This was way, way off course.

I stopped at a Best Western and asked the very nice lady at the front desk how to get to I-95. This is when I also decided to keep a road atlas in my car at all times, by the way. She was very kind and wrote it down for me: Take Route 43 to I-78 East to I-287 South to I-95 South. I didn’t realize just how far gone I was until then.

So I got back into my car, and told myself that I could only listen to music once I reached I-95, as a sort of reward. At first I felt embarrassment and shame at my own ignorance, but then I realized the only thing I could do was to just pay attention and keep going until I reached the right road. In my head, over and over: 43 to 78 to 287 to 95. 43 to 78 to 287 to 95.

No mistakes this time, not after the really really huge mistake that took me into the mountains near a resort town where people sip champagne in bubble-filled heart-shaped tubs.

The bulk of my life has been that detour; and now I am on….well, not I-95, but probably I-287, metaphorically. The right direction. The right direction. The trip isn’t over yet. My life isn’t over; it has begun. Again.

These are the things I will talk to you about:

  • Things I cook.
  • Things I bake.
  • My daughter. (Sparingly–I am very protective of her and her privacy.)
  • My dog. (He doesn’t care about privacy.)
  • Music I’m writing.
  • Performing music.
  • Vintage television shows. Mostly Columbo and The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Also Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • My boss. (I am very fond of him.)
  • Sad things.
  • Happy things.

And if, in the course of these postings, and our exchanges, I forget to tell you, let me say it to you now: You have saved a life.


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