Posts Tagged ‘running away from home’

Pulled That Trigger

June 11, 2016

Holy shit.

I can’t believe I did it.

Especially when I looked at the cost of flying there.



Fuck it.

I want to go and I decided.

And I registered.


I am going to be out of town Fourth of July weekend again.

Last year I was in Atlanta.

This year.


Woot! Woot!


I am a little excited.

I found out the family I am working for will be at Carmel Valley Ranch down the coast for the holiday weekend and I’ll have that Friday-Monday off from work.

Then, tonight, I heard an announcement about he “Road to Detroit.”


My ears perked right up.

I plan on being in Detroit for the big one in 2020.


I like to make the plans.

But Atlanta was so amazing, I committed then and there to go to the next one.


Wouldn’t you know?

They’ve decided to build some enthusiasm for the big one in 2020 by doing smaller regional events and the first one, this year, is in New Orleans.

My whole body broke out in goosebumps.

I have been thinking non-stop, every day since Saturday, about going to New Orleans.

In fact.

I started writing it down in my morning pages, I am a world traveler, I am going to New Orleans for Jazz Fest.


l have to say, when I listened to my heart, my gut, my interior, Jazz Fest seemed just too far off, so the other day I just started writing I am going to New Orleans.



The announcement, the see me after for more information.

I registered.

Fuck, it was only $10 to register!

The Atlanta convention was $100.

Granted, money well fucking spent, but still.


I talked to the dude and forked over my ten bucks and did a happy dance and rode my scooter home with a wild silly grin slapped on my face.

Until I started looking at tickets to fly there.

Holy shit.

That’s a lot.

Then again.

It’s going to be a lot no matter where I go.

I had reached out to my friend in Wisconsin and not gotten back from her and the tickets to Minneapolis/St. Paul were about the same as New Orleans.

And well.


I owe myself an amends to go back to New Orleans and do it right.

I have only been one other time.

I was only there a night.

I was busy running away from home with my not so secret crush, as it would later turn out, at the age of 19, having just dropped out of college, blew that full ride good.


Fucked myself out of a full ride to university.

I just had to get the fuck out of Dodge, or Madison as the case may be.

It was a huge geographic.

I had no idea where I was going to end up.

Homestead Florida.

Never heard of it?

Don’t worry, you don’t want to know.

Along the way there, so many adventures.

My we were so young.

He was 17 and I had just turned 19.

We had very little money.

He had a Datsun 280 Z.

It was maroon.

It had bucket seats and a tape deck.

We listened to Jethro Tull and Steve Miller and The Eagles and anything Southern rock we could.

We smoke a lot of cigarettes.

A lot.

We camped out.

But in New Orleans.

We stayed in a cheap motel on the very edges of town and decided the next day to stop and go through the down town area.

We were so young and naive and broke.

We parked in a parking garage and I remember my friend climbing out of the car, my soon to be lover but never truly boyfriend, I got scooped by the older guy in Florida who you know did some minor hot point hits for the Mafia and was 28 to my 19 and introduced me to smoking crack cocaine and I was his old lady, but I digress, and his curly, unruly hair barely held down under the sailor’s hat he had bought at Sacred Feather on State Street in Madison–a Greek sailor captain’s hat in dark navy blue.

I remember the first time I heard “True Dreams of Wichita” off Soul Coughing’s album Ruby Vroom, I felt like my heart was going to blow out of itself.

Push out dead air from a parking garage
Where you stand with the keys and your cool hat of silence
Where you grip her love like a driver’s liscense


That was what it was like.

Standing in the humid murk of New Orleans and we were running away and it was scary and romantic and full of bravado and more than a modicum of stupidity.

Young and dumb and so on fire for life.

And too stupid to admit how afraid I was.

So fucking scared.

It only got worse, but that day, wandering around New Orleans, the boys in the Quarter tap dancing with Coca Cola bottle caps on the soles of their shoes, no diamonds here, and my heart trilled in my chest when we walked down a windy little street and I saw a peek inside a courtyard.

The trellis heavy with flowers and the wrought iron gate, the quiet splash of water in a standing fountain and I felt something batter in my chest, a bird with a broken wing.

I want to live here.

I want to come here again.

I want to sip bowls of coffee with my bare feet on the patio cement.

I want creole food and The Meters and Clifton Chenier and Gumbo yaya and voodoo and heat and humidity, I want the hair lifted off the back of my neck and spit curls at the nape damp with heat and sweat and love and the miraculous.

I had no idea what I wanted.



I did so want.

We spent no money.


At at tobacco shop.

I bought one pack of fancy Nat Sherman silk cuts.

And he bought one really nice, for a couple of naive kids from the North, cigar.

We got lost on the way back to the motel.

Remember folks, I’m a bad navigator.

And we had the car literally, and I am not joking, shook down for the change in the console at a 7-11 we stopped at for directions.

It scared both of us.

But we got out and that was it.

My only visit to New Orleans.

I dare say.

This time will be a little different.

Though I hope for bowls of chicory coffee and jambalaya, shrimp creole, and dirty rice, Zydeco music, much doing the deal, and summer dresses and sandals to dance in.

I’m about over the foggy gloomy summer.

I’m going to New Orleans!







How Did I Get From

May 4, 2016

Here to there and back again?

The day just flew the fuck by.

And here I am again, at my little sky blue, robin’s egg blue, tiny table writing yet again.

I have already written a lot today.

I started and finished my Multi-Cultural paper.

Five pages, 11 pt font, 1.5 paragraph space, 2,653 words–not counting my reference page, I haven’t put that together yet.

And I haven’t proofed it.

I was typing out the last paragraph before work when I realized, holy shit, I have to go to work.


I mean, go.

I was a few minutes behind my normal walk out the door time.

I had gotten up early to do the paper, I also wrote before I wrote the paper, my standard three pages long hand.

All the writing.

All the time.

I don’t mind though, the words they come and I am continually grateful that I have the words to express the pictures in my head.

There are a lot of scenes, there is a lot of language.

There are a lot of notebooks, blogs, papers, book manuscripts, poems, etc, etc.

I have written (not including the blogs, probably about 45-50 that I scrubbed when I started this previous nanny gig, my employers did a deep back ground check and I did not want them to find anything should they be led to my blog) 1,789 blogs.



Each of my blogs is at least 1,000 words.

That is always my goal, get to a 1,000 and if I get past that, fuck yeah, but at least get to the 1,000.

The same goes for the morning writing, at least three pages long hand, there is importance to not losing that muscle for me, often times I am working something out in those pages, even if they seem insubstantial, I can tell when I have skipped, rarely, or skimped, again, rarely, but it does occasionally happen, I can feel it in my bones.

I am many, many, many things.

But I am always a writer.

It does not matter how many views I have had of my blog.


Or how many people have visited my blog page.


Or how many followers I have.

Not so many.

But most of them I don’t know, they, you are not my friends, you stumbled upon my little blog and read a few of them and subscribed.

How fucking flattering is that?

I have 281 followers.

281 people that have opted to have my blog sent to their e-mail.

Whether or not they read it, well, I have no clue, but I am flattered none the less.

But I don’t write with you in mind.


Sometimes I edit what I am going to write about or I allude to something, I can wear my heart on my sleeve, I can be totally transparent, but there’s still so much left unsaid that I am quite aware that I could be writing another blog entirely with a lot of material that I would not dare put here.

That being said, I do like being available and writing about things that matter to me, to my heart, to my being, I like speaking to and about my experience.

I don’t know for the most part what I will write when I sit down to share.

He sent me a photograph of train tracks.

I was reminded of summer days in Wisconsin, living in Windsor, the railroad tracks that cut through town.

Depending on my mood I would go left or right.

If I was going left I was wandering off into fantasy land.

To the left were banks of golden red snap dragons, their sword like leaves cutting through the humid air, there was a farm with horses that were out to pasture, there was a small bridge over a creek, there were blackberry brambles, and off to the left, heading out of Windsor, toward Madison, there was an island of old oak trees in the middle of a corn field.

I would balance on the rails and walk them as far as I could without falling off.

I would see that island of oaks and think about sitting in the grass there, what that perspective would look like.

I would fantasize about sitting under those oaks and the romance of it was dire and daunting and isolating, but sweet too, though bitter, I would nibble at the fantasy, a thin wafer cookie of sustenance to get me through another summer day.


If I was going to the right.

I was running away from home.

Heading toward school.

Going towards the town of DeForest.

It was infrequent that I turned right, but it did happen.

And usually at night.


Once in a while I would be returning from school at night, too embarrassed to accept a ride home from swimming practice or debate or forensics, or French club, because my mom had forgotten me or was late or, who knows, I would wait and wait and wait.

And at some point.

I would head through town, walk out to the front of the school, hope to hear my mom’s car, knowing all the while that I wouldn’t, I would walk down the left side of the road and hit the railroad tracks heading back to Windsor.

I would hope for a passing train and I would imagine jumping up and catching the last rungs of the metal ladder hanging off the caboose.

Once in a while a train would come.

Most of the time I would scoot down the sides of the shale and quartz rock and let the train pass, berating myself for not trying to jump the train, not having the courage to do so, the where withal to really jump and save the hours of walking ahead of me back to the house in Windsor.

I remember once making the decision.

I could hear the train coming and it was going to be coming around a corner of the rail and it was going to be moving at its slowest, I was determined to jump it.

I gathered myself and sprang up the tracks as the last car rattled by.

I chased it for awhile, “jump, jump, jump,” I admonished myself.

I could just reach it.

If only I were to jump.

I didn’t make the leap.

I think back now and I am glad I did not.

“Argh, you are lucky to be alive,” he texted me.


I am.

Who knows where I would have gotten off, if I had gotten off that train heading away from town into a wilderness of unknown possibilities and challenges.

To read the story of The Boxcar Children was one thing entirely.

To think that it could actually happen for me was another.

In one way or another, I realize, I have been catching trains all my life, jumping, trying, falling, stumbling, dreaming of things that are just outside my grasp, just beyond my reach.

Until one day.

I realized I had caught my train.

I had been riding it for years.

Irony that I have dated three train conductors since I moved to San Francisco?

Is it odd.


Is it God?

I don’t know, I certainly don’t need to analyze it.


I did enough analyzing this morning while I wrote my paper.

Suffice to say.

I am pleased with the work and the gift of being allowed to do the work.

I’ll be riding this train for a while yet.

Dream train.

Steam train.

Good night.

The moon in the window, the tracks a circle on the floor, the little engine that could puff, puff, puffing into the shadows of the night.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.


I did.

My paper’s done.

My day is done.

I made it.

Tickets please.

Estimate Departure Date

April 28, 2012

After Tami and Allen’s wedding.

I finally saw lady Tami tonight. It has been months, literally months.  The last time I saw her in the flesh was right before she flew to Chicago with Allen for Christmas.

Where he proposed on Christmas Eve.

So darling.

I have weddings to attend.  How amazing that I have friends getting married.  June will be Fred and Heather; October will be Tami and Allen.

Then my own wedding.

To the road.

Thank you very much.

I told Tami tonight what I was planning on doing.  If you can call planning having absolutely no idea, but that I was to be leaving on a world tour.

Not a three-hour tour.

But a world tour.

I suspect I will be out of San Francisco circulation for about a year.  But I have no clue. I really don’t.  I am so excited sometimes I could scream.

Well, maybe not that excited, but excitement is there, oh yes it is.  Nerves and fear and anxiety?


At least not at this moment.  Right now it all feels still rather surreal.  Am I really going to up and go?


Yes I am.

The more I put it out there, the more positive the feed back.  I have not had a single person say, Carmen, bad idea.  Oh, I suspect there are a few folks that have had that thought, but the fact is, it just feels right.  I’m not walking out the door tomorrow.

That is helpful.  I am taking some time.

I have suspected for over a year that I would be gone in September or October of this year anyhow.  I was thinking it would be Paris and it would be for school.  Who knows, I may find myself in Paris at the Sorbonne for a semester, then again, I don’t know.  The window is open, the road beckons.

I believe though that I will be gone, I will be out the door.  I will be off on the adventure of a life time.

I have resources, some of which I am still developing.  I have friends, I have community.  I have a place to check in when I am out there.  I know where to find the rooms.  And I know how to ask for help and direction and to take direction.

The first time I ran away from home I was 19.

I left without telling anyone.  I fled with less than two hundred dollars in my pocket.  I had ramen noodles, cans of tuna, apples, and raisins stuffed in a black canvas messenger bag.  I had some cigarettes.

I had no idea how it was to end up.  The hope was to go Miami and find work on a cruise ship.  I was naive.  My travel partner was naive.  I was 19.  He was 17.

We wound up homeless on an abandoned airforce base.

The next time I ran away from home I was 29.  I had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.  I had also received my black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.  I had been running a successful micro brewery and nightclub for the past six years.

I spent the summer in Madison playing as hard as I could.

Sometimes a little too hard, oh sweet Lord what was I doing at Justin’s house at 3a.m.?  Too much beer, too much maudlin emotion.  And a very misguided, drunken idea, that if he only knew that I had never had an orgasm with him over the course of our five-year relationship that we would have never broken up, because my needs weren’t being met.

Oh yeah.

Great idea.

Bad hang over.

Really bad hang over.

Then I cut my ties, I cut out and I ran.  I dashed across country in my two-door Honda Accord with my best friend in the world, Stephi, and landed up in the Mission at Eric Roblees one bedroom apartment on 18th and San Carlos, before the Mission gentrification, when the hookers shot up in the street and shat in the gutters in between blowing johns.

I stayed at Eric’s place over that Labor Day weekend, hugged my sweet Stephi good-bye and the prepared to do the ultimate running away from home.

I ran away from myself.

For two years, I shucked, I jived, I smoked crack with homeless men in between parked cars on Minna Street, I partied with the DA’s office, snorting cocaine off plates being passed at the assistant to the assistants loft in Potrero Hill; I showed up to work hung over, or still up.  I danced at 1015 until dawn and then bought sunglasses at the gas station with extra packs of cigarettes and squandered my good sense and all my money at the End Up and on cabs too and from.

I lost my self.

I lost my mind.

Then I stopped running.  I have since tried to run in small circles around the city, trying here and there to run from feeling, thoughts, ideas about myself and who I am.

Always over the course of the seven years I would have recurring ideas about travel.  About where I want to go.  When I actually sat still for a moment, in a park, on a bench, in a coffee shop, I dreamt of where I would go.

Ice Land.




The Pyrenees Mountains.



Then I would quietly drift off and fantasize about what career I could do, what would bring in the bucks and let me travel the way I wanted to–and ultimately that was just more fantasy.

So I continued running away from myself, but as the years pass, as the days add up, I am still here, the dream is still here and I circle it closer and closer.

Until I stopped.

I stopped running.

I said.  Ok.  I will stay in the job. I will stay in the room.  I will stay put for long enough to let my dreams out into the light of day.

And poof!

They came.

They were always there.  A passport full of stamps.  A camera full of pictures.  A daily blog with travel itinerary.  A cafe across the world with internet where I upload my life and document my journey.  There is not better time, there is not another excuse, no if this than that.  I made a decision, to sit still and meet conditions as they came.

Life, in other words.  I stopped running away from my life.

My departure date is set.

Today I have stopped running away and now I run toward.  Towards my dreams, toward my authentic self, I take a giant leap of faith and believe that I will be caught, carried, taken care of, transported.

By cargo boat, plane, train, automobile, perhaps the back of a pachyderm.

And love.

Let me not forget, ultimately by love.

The only way to fly.


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