Today was good. Today was so good.
You gotta savor days like today, when three close friends are able to spur-of-the-moment peace out to Flagstaff for some coffee and tree-therapy with you.
(Before we move on, know that Ric took a frickin’ instagram video of our drive up there and its mostly me talking to no one in particular about the cool forest, the good coffee, and “the outdoor gear store…awesome”. At one point I’m like, “I’m cool with whatever. I do wanna hit up the forest at some point.”
God, when did I start speaking like that? I wanna hit up the forest? wtf.)
I found out I had Saturday off and mass-texted the Neighborhood crew, but only Bryan has the kind of car that can safely get us all the way to Flagstaff. Becca, Ricardo, my puppy Maroussi and I hopped in Bryan’s truck early this morning and fled this concrete jungle for bluer skies. We listened to NPR and took selfies and talked about racial tensions in the United States, and how our lives are different from our parents’. Thank god.
It was a really sweet drive, and I mean that in the taste sense. It was sweet like the honey we harvest at Hope House or the way my puppy’s fur smells when I bury my face in his neck after he’s been playing in freshly mowed grass. Just…sweet.
It was sweet because we’re four friends who volunteer/work at a nonprofit that seeks justice in very tangible ways down here on the ground, and it gets a little discouraging sometimes. Sometimes we really need a break.
Case in point; yesterday was real bad. So bad, that when some homeless lady walked by my apartment while I was outside with Maroussi and asked for spare change, I flippantly told her I had none. She asked if I had cigarettes.
“Nope. I got nothing.”
“Well how about a bite to eat then?”
“I have nothing.”
“What about inside your house?”
“Seriously? I literally have no food inside my house.”
“Really?” She was incredulous. “You have no food inside your house?”
“I literally have no food inside my house! I have nothing, ok? Fuck.” I really did, truly and literally, have no food in my house. That’s been a problem. We’ll get to that.
“Ok, well,” she continued, now almost as furious as I was. “I’m homeless and you’re not, so-”
“Jesus fucking Christ I have nothing to give you, ok?! God!”
“What about dog food? I’ll take dog food.”
“GO AWAY! WHAT THE FUCK!”
I wanted to punch a hole in my wall (impossible; they’re brick) and fall face down on my bed (er, futon from Meg) and scream and cry because I am an asshole. A real and total asshole. I wanted to burn my apartment down because it smells weird and I wanted to rip up all my clothes because they’re old and don’t fit, and I wanted to not have mirrors anymore because I’m sick of seeing my tired asshole face.
Instead I hung out with friends and talked about the movie Filth and how much I love it. It was great.
Then I texted everyone about desperately wanting to go to Flagstaff and lo, fifteen hours later I was there.
Everyone who’s ever written about the forest is right. Get up and out there. Thank that ole diety you used to be enamored with for forgiving you for being a depressed asshole all the time, and goof off with your friends up there. We went to Macy’s for coffee, and all the “awesome” outdoor gear stores, and everyone loved Maroussi all over town. We drove to the lake and smoked cigarettes by the water, and walked through the trees way out into the forest and giggled at the deer carcasses hung by the legs at some hunters’ campsite. We enjoyed each others’ company and laughed at my adorable little puppy.
Ric said something cool in the truck. It’s stuck with me all day and I guess it will forever and it should. We were talking about our affection for each other, the work we all do and the things we believe in. And where we came from. The four of us are, respectively, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Irish (with some Italian and whatever else splashed in for me.) Our ancestors may not have been friends. Hell, even our parents probably wouldn’t know how to relate to each other!
But we love each other. We do life together. We take random trips to Flagstaff together and make food for each others’ parties and lean against the same walls at church.
So Ric said, “we’re living reconciliation.”
I like that so much.
Reconciliation is a messy mosaic kind of process and there isn’t actually a rule book, or if there is none of us received it. Sometimes its beautiful and perfect and there’s pretty trees and things, and other times its wretched and you snap at a frustrated homeless woman for no reason other than you’re tired of all the sad broken things. Somehow this is all part of the same painting.
Actually…you know, that makes sense. Have you met artists? They’re crazy mothafuckas.
Anyway, I’m thankful for today, and all the shitty days too, and I’m all crazy sorts of thankful for my friends who continuously save the day.
Also I’m thankful these ones humored me and blasted the entire Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack all the way home. I’m gonna be hoarse for a week.