Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.

Portland

The end of a significant relationship always sparks madness, but not always in the form we expect. This being my (ahem) second divorce in 10 years, I thought some changes may be appropriate. After 3 months of wallowing in my own filth, I opted to jump straight off the cliff.

Like any rational, educated, and street smart person would do, I started by quitting my job of 10+ years in the midst of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.  Solid work.  Next step was to divest my interest in both of my houses in a dogshit real estate market, giving away tens of thousands in the process. Sold my car, bike, and sweet orange scooter at fire sale prices and bought a backpack instead. I then announced to my friends and family that I was moving to South America for a year (at least) to travel, write, and find a new path.
For 3 months following this decision, I never once had even a hint of regret, fear, or doubt. I was supremely confident in myself and my actions and knew that all would take shape as I hoped. Until 4 pm on the afternoon before my 6 am flight to Quito.
Panic. I struggled to breathe. I tried to lay down, but my heart kept trying to jump out of my chest. In 10 years of being in the middle of the fire in the live events world, I had never experienced anything like this:  Existential goddamn terror.
The two valium helped a little in that I could now walk and talk (counterintuitive, I know). But what really will help, as it has for the last 6 months, is tequila. I met two friends at the dive bar and went through 3 shots and 3 pints. Now my lips and fingers are numb, but I’m not sure the heart rate has slowed one bit. We rolled back to the house to meet some other friends (whee!! riding in a car is fun!!) and I opted to drink until I passed out, which my mom always told me was the best way to face your fears.  In bed just after 1 am.
Set two alarms for 4 am which would give me 30 minutes for final packing before leaving for the airport. I remember both of the alarms. I remember sitting up and rubbing at my eyes. The next thing I remember is turning over and looking at a clock that says 4:55 am. Fucking hell. This is NOT how this thing is supposed to begin.
Eight minutes later we were out of the house, me reeking of cigarettes and booze and wondering what the hell actually made it in the pack…and what didn’t.
And then somehow, miraculously, the airport was completely empty. Even though I was arriving 35 minutes before an international flight, I rolled through with time to spare. There were two young teens from The Dalles on their way to Disneyland sitting next to me, and I’m not sure what they thought of the swearing and obviously drunk and unstable creepy dude they had to share 5 hours with, but kids have to grow up sometime, right?
.
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In retrospect, it was not what I was facing that caused me such pain. I am still absolutely confident that I will handle whatever life throws at me with grace and style.  I realize that my fear is in giving up what I had:
Ten years worth of amazing friends in my adopted hometown. The people of Portland are so open and so gracious and they proved that to me every day.
A great career and a group of people that I was proud to go to battle with each day for 10 years.
All of my friends and family in Idaho who already thought I was too far away.
My ex-wife, whom I still love dearly. Neither of us would give back those 8 wonderful years. More importantly to me, we found a graceful way to bring it to a close.

And a really sweet orange scooter.

One Response to “Portland”

  1. She Spat says:

    Existential goddamn terror, grace, and style. In that order. 🙂

    Give us a book list at some point too, if I may be so bossy.

    -Jules

    (Sorry, if it posted twice I forgot to sign my name.)

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