2013! What. A. Year.

December 30, 2013

I’ve been going through photographs and trying to put together a highlight album and it’s damn near impossible to do in under 250 photographs. It’s been a great year: It started in New Orleans (during my visit) at the stroke of midnight on January 1, and it will end here. In between there were visits to St. Louis, Vancouver*, Seattle*, Louisville*, New York, Mexico City*, Washington, D.C., New Orleans twice, St. Louis again, Pittsburgh*, Buenos Aires*, and New Orleans twice more, including the one-way flight that finally moved me here (the _*_ denotes a city I visited for the first time this year).

Living in the French Quarter is proving even more magical than I initially imagined it to be. Even when I have a trying shift at work, stepping out onto the street brings a deep sigh and an involuntary smile. Even the madness of Bourbon Street, which I don’t much enjoy and thought I would find to be an intolerable nuisance, just makes me giggle a bit as I swerve my bicycle around the intoxication pouring out into the street.

I’ve been here a month. Everything is so uncertain, but for the first time I embrace it, the not knowing. It’s exciting, in a way. I didn’t carry out the relocation here the way I’ve been running my life for close to ten years; if I had, I would have paid down more debt, but that would have kept me at a job I didn’t care about anymore, in a role I actively didn’t want to be in.

It was time to jump.

And now, even with all the uncertainty, I feel myself pushing many big, heavy doors open. There are about a dozen different opportunities with varying paths right now, and I’m pursuing them all. Some of them have me venturing out on my own to chase what is sure to be a difficult but worthwhile passion; others have me continuing the career path I embarked upon most recently, and still others have me returning to previous career lives.

And while all this unfolds, I’m slinging drinks, making conversation, smiling up a storm. Networking, I think they call it.

Look through the photos, if you like. There were some good moments this year, and many of you are part of the memories. Thanks for that.

 

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Chemistry

December 27, 2013

I crave it. Don’t you?

I’ve had tastes of it, many different kinds. To be fair, sometimes it’s been more than a taste. I’ve gorged on it.
Often.
But I never get my fill.
Yes, I definitely crave it. The closeness. The wordless exchanges. The touch without touching, the sensation of falling into the rhythm of another person’s breathing, comfortably.
Without thinking.
The thinking, sometimes it ruins things. 
As much as I crave this intensity, I just as fiercely desire my alone time, my independence. I could have a fantastic, attentive lover in my bed, fall asleep in his arms, and awaken in the middle of the night only to scheme how to get him out, away. I have things to do, you know. He’ll be in the way. And as addicted and insatiable as I am when it comes to carnal, physical intimacy, I just as rabidly protect my moments of introspection, of self-examination. There’s a gap, and not a small one, between long-term intimacy and solitude, both things I want.
Or hell. Maybe I just want time to pet the cat.
So I wait for him, for that spark; he whose touch will come easily, who will be attracted to, or at least respond well to, my easy lean into being affectionate, but will also have enough going on in his life to exit, or allow me to exit, stage left when ready.

 

Christmas

December 26, 2013

I spent some time looking at photos tonight while I put together a little project, and I’ll get a pretty photo book in a couple of weeks for my efforts. But tonight I walk away satisfied and feeling that the past three years have been exceptional. I have no regrets, and I really did achieve just about everything I set out to do. I’m looking to narrow my focus so I can continue this success into 2014, since my biggest challenge right now is that the ideas flow faster than I can capture them, and there are simply too many. An excellent problem to have, and I know it.

Actually, there’s only one thing I’d change, if I could. I started Christmas off right at midnight missing her.

They’re not kidding. The holidays really do stir up all the emotional crud, don’t they? Even the cheesiest Christmas carols become… meaningful, somehow. ergh.

It was only two Christmases ago that we went on that crazy cruise to Cozumel, where by Christmas Day we were so grating on each other’s nerves that I spent most of the day on the sundeck with my iPod. As much as we adored each other, we had a three-day limit on being around each other 24/7.

Looking through photos is always like walking through a minefield. The one that set me off tonight was one of her on the balcony of our cabin on the ship, looking out to the sunset. I can’t even see her face, it’s a picture I took from behind her. My mother, looking out to the ocean where her ashes were eventually scattered.

Only two Christmases ago, and I don’t know how many lifetimes ago it feels like. Several. Many.

For now I’ll have to hang on to what I know she’d do: smile, shake her head a bit, and tell me there’s no point to living in any part of the past. Move on, or the world moves on without you.

Tips and Other Gratuities

December 15, 2013

Aside from cash tips, here’s what I got out of working on a busy Saturday night during holiday season:

  • one compliment that I look like Sandra Bullock
  • multiple compliments on my holiday antlers
  • a nice conversation with Leroy Jones who now knows me by name (!)
  • a flyer giving me the heads up that American Horror Story is filming up the street on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I will now be on the lookout for Jessica Lange
  • the “in” at Preservation Hall (thank you, Katja!)
  • a 2AM meal with JMB to compare notes on New Orleans and possible future projects
  • seeing some New Orleans burlesque talent across the counter at the diner where we had said meal, which of course justifies eating a club sandwich and half a waffle at 2AM.

I’ve got that “can’t wait to see what’s next” feeling…

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