The melancholy you find yourself in, at your aunt’s house, sitting on a couch that once belonged to your grandparents (still alive, just some better style and downsizing), listening to music from the late 70’s and feelings of loss well up from a past that included the proverbial death of your parents as you knew them just before life became very, very real. It was so uncomfortable, I was two second-hand clicks away from squeezing out some real tears that weren’t scheduled to commence for another two hours, just to get the hell out of there. They would all understand, “She’s had a tough year”, “This must be the toughest holiday for her, I’m sure”, She’ll get through this” would all be muttered after my departure. The self-deprecating loyalty kept me on that couch, wishing I could close my eyes and fall asleep at least giving my conscious mind a break from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Fleetwood Mac. For a spirit that so often soars above any dark cloud that floats over this physical body, why am I feeling this bit of emptiness? I’ve been surrounded by friends, family, lovers and yet there is an echo within, a space or maybe there was just a little bit of a landslide (Thanks, Stevie) of sand, you know, like those small sand banks where you step to the edge and it slides down underneath your feet. I feel like I just had a momentary slide of sand in my heart, nothing a full moon, rising tide or storm can’t replace. Maybe I am on the verge of the storm, the chaotic fronts moving in wreaking havoc, washing everything away making way for the clean, clear, sunny sky.

I smiled, solemnly, at everyone, made small talk and hung in there until the end. It wasn’t my ex I was lacking. I knew that for sure. Was it the impending workday or the stop at the storage units arriving in 15 minutes? It felt like something equating to a recovering alcoholic sitting at a bar with a low-ball glass of Grey Goose sitting in front of them, staring into a liquid reflection of the person they used to be and never want to be again. Visiting my storage units is much like that, two cold, dark, 10x10 cubes of my previous life, from the previous chapters, all items staring back at me wondering why I abandoned them and whatever happened to that other person we belonged to?

I made it through, got what I needed, drove away, contemplating a scenario of my life’s situation getting bad enough to the point of whether or not I would get caught if I needed to sleep in one of my storage units. I was even planning how I would handle my car being there overnight on the first night, a little sick and twisted, no? I left those thoughts on the other side of the programmed gate as I pulled out of the concrete jungle of cubicles full of inanimate objects that really mean absolutely nothing at all, it’s all just “stuff”. I got back to the “moho”; my little haven for the me that is now, that is true, located in awesome North County San Diego amidst rolling hills, open fields with a freeway and highway nearby. I am here now and now is home. I unloaded the item from my car with so much anticipation. I crammed it into an already small space where I can no longer move within it. As I unzipped the bag, my eyes sparked a few times as they came to life gazing upon the item that felt like a best friend returning home from the war. Like a piece of me was missing for so long and it is now back and a flow of overwhelming gratitude coursed through my veins for how fortunate I am to live in Southern California.

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