I’m told it began in California and from my earliest memory that’s been the case. Happiness blossomed for me in California. I liked everything as a child and I quickly became a pop culture fanatic, devouring everything from the Six-Million-Dollar Man to standing in line for the 1989 premier of Batman. But it was short lived. The opinions of others easily swayed my own beliefs back then, particularly those that said life is cheaper, therefore better, in hot Arizona.
In my early 20s I decided to find out if that was true. It wasn’t. Not better by a long shot.
There were a ton of “ers” to be found, but none of them were particularly appealing. It’s hotter. It’s dustier. It’s colder in the winter. It’s buggier. And (from what I saw, and with the exception of Bookman’s, the Pererine Book Company, and Changing Hands) it’s dumber. California came with memories of my mom and how she stoked the fires of my inner nerd with Spider Man dolls and introduced me to the beauty of the rolling sea. I clung to those memories after she died, while I worked on a road crew in Phoenix, when I learned DOS programming, and when I thought I would succumb to heat exhaustion while surrounded by saguaro cactus. Twenty years later I left the only two good parts of the Grand Canyon State, my children, and returned to the place where I was born.
Today I walk over the memories I cherish, see the same sights every day that I saw through younger eyes, and wish my children were here with me. I came home again.
But I want to take them from theirs so my world will be complete.
12 thoughts on “From a Big Sur writing retreat Part VII”
You’re an incredible writer. Now I feel sadder because it’s a bummer your kids live in Arizoner. That was my “er” contribution.
One never wants to leave Phoenix and the other wants to go to college in Santa Cruz. Fingers way crossed.
The youngest will be here next week. I plan to remind him of the idea.
Awaiting the update.
And maybe a blog about this week’s road trip to AZ and back!
Definitely. Especially if it includes roadside attractions like a truck-size ball of twine in someone’s front yard.
If only I were so lucky. What I’ll probably see is a bathroom in terror and heat mirages that look like melting candy bars.
Sounds like a Dali painting.
If things melt while I’m driving it will be like a Hunter S. Thompson novel.
That would definitely be something to write home about.
And write often!