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I am just going to write for 15 minutes. Not about my day. Maybe about the black and white furball of love called my cat. The cars passing swish on their way. Candles dance on wicks. I’ve just got done watching Pan’s Labyrinth. Such and rich and complex movie, set in a rich and complex world. Our world is a rich and complex place. Writing helps me to see the beauty. It helps me to see the moments. It is like taking a photograph with words. A friend of mine once became a photographer. And he said the world looked different. He saw the world through different eyes. And noticed things he had never seen before, or at least saw them in a different light. When you take a photo you pay attention. When you write words down on the page, or the screen you create a moment. You pay attention. Right now my kitty is resting on the side of the bed. I am sure she is ready for me to go to sleep. To be honest so am I, and to dream. To dream of my future life where I can write, and do yoga, and be happier and more free. But today I live in this life, and I live in this world. Which has its own happiness and its own freedom. I wonder years from now what I will think of today. I’ve been reading Sylvia Plath. What I wouldn’t give to be able to write in the vivid colours and life of her words. Can any writer be as deep and as true. It is no wonder she couldn’t escape from her mind. And for me. At times I can’t get in and at times I can’t get out. The more I live in the world the harder it is to find a way into my own mind. And the more I want to turn on the gas oven. Bury myself behind a wall of brick from the world and either live in the darkness or die. Tomorrow I will go to work, and go for a walk with a friend. I will live my life. Even though my heart isn’t in it anymore. If it ever was. My heart doesn’t want to work for a newspaper writing stories about accidents and people getting hit with their own crutches. It doesn’t want to work in retail. It wants to work in dreaming and magic. But is there a place to live off dreaming and magic in this world. Too many people like me fear dreaming and magic. Yes, I fear the life I want to create for myself. A life I could really share with another. I fear it as much as I love it. And I keep on writing, and I keep on dreaming because what else can I do. On somedays I can’t even write. I can’t even dream. I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to drink, I don’t want to sleep and I don’t want to be me at all. I want to fade away into the light. Blow away in the dust. But my heart remains with me, and my heart will not let me go to the otherside yet. I am here to live, I am here to learn, and to dream and to be me. If only I could learn how. But maybe we are all learning how to be ourselves. Trying out best to be human, and to be divine. Because we are all made of love. Because only love is real. I used to write it almost every day and I haven’t in a long time. So I will write it again. Only love is real. What else could we be made of, we are real. So we must be made of the only thing which is real. And that is love. And if love is the only thing real, it must be God. If God is real. But if God is made out of love and so are we, then we are one and the same. We pass through the world learning to love each other and ourselves. And it isn’t an easy path for any of us. If you do not see the demons another fights. It doesn’t mean they are not just as strong. Just as painful in their own way. We all have our own shadows. Our own fears of love. A fear of what is real. Which when you bring it into the light can obly fade. In the light of truth no lie can stand for long. And any thing other than love is a lie. When you meet your brother just love them, and the lie will die on its own. Because your sister may be living under a lie, but so are we. And our love helps to dispel both the lies for the one truth. Love. Only Love is real. I didn’t forget. But I haven’t thought the thought in too long. I’ve been so focused on mirages in life. Focused on work, and friends, and the gym and so many other transitory things. Things of value, but passing value.
The job in Colorado was a news job. But it wasn’t real news. And it wasn’t a real job. Okay, it was and wasn’t.
The job was part-time. And the part-time I worked was mostly doing unethical coping of news from other sources. The publisher liked to make jokes about the news. So, the biggest and worst part of my job was doing news clips. He would send a list of links to the editor. Along with the list were funny headlines. The paper paid for AP news, so I was supposed to look for an AP source. But often I couldn’t find one. In which case, I cheated. I would copy most of the story and put in limited attribution. In my mind this is plagiarism. But no one cared what I thought.
And for the most part he was not really funny. When there was a long traffic jam in China. His headline compared it to local traffic. The freeway from Denver was often jammed. But I was also a reporter. And in this role I wrote about the traffic.
The reporter job was freelance. I was paid by the word. I covered mostly the small towns in the valley. This is the same area where Kobe Bryant was put on trial. But I moved to the valley a few years after. The news I did cover was county government. I also did a couple stories about local schools. And a range of people stories. From art to new businesses it was all in the mix.
While covering the county I got a tour of the local jail. It was an interesting experience. I have never been, and hope to never spent a night in jail. It reminded me in some ways like a hospital. Like a hospital, you are monitored. But it is harder to get out. The county commissioners were being given a tour. And I asked if I could join them: they agreed.
The road stories were also fun. And they were fun in way most people might not find fun. It was a lot of reading of reports. I had to catch up on different ideas. After reading and talking to a few experts one person mistook me for a local. It was an infrastructure story. There were a number of ideas on how to solve traffic. One idea was light rail. Then there was the idea of a bus service. The last main idea was more road space. A couple plans mixed ideas from these three. Most people seemed to agree a mix was needed. They agreed more freeway wasn’t a enough of a plan.
When not working I spent a lot of time outside. This is Colorado. I would drive for hours along dirt roads. Then sometimes I would hike for hours. There was a large mountain by my house. One of the first things I did was climb to the top and look around. I miss the mountains still. Nature is so grand and amazing.
But one night I got in trouble. I drove and parked. Then followed a path and a dirt road. I had looked at the map. And I had a plan. But it was taking me longer than I had projected. And it was getting dark. I called 911 and told them I was lost. Stay where you are, but they didn’t know where I was when I called. On the map the road was mislabled. I didn’t know this until later. And my phone was dying. So I kept walking. Through the dark and chilly night. I found a house with an open garage eventually. I walked up and asked for help. I told them the story and they called the Sheriff. Who came out and gave me a ride back to my car. It was a bit embarrassing.
While in Colorado I saw my family in New York. It was the death of my dad’s sister. Yes, I know, but I never really knew her enough to have a relationship. So I refer to his relationship. My dad paid for me to fly out of the Denver Airport (which is halfway to New York anyway). It was a good short trip. And it was a chance to connect with family I hadn’t seen in years. Family which wasn’t really family in my mind.
While in Colorado I lived in the town of Gypsum. This was the low end of the valley. Vail was at the high end. There were a number of towns in between. One of which was Eagle, where Bryant was in court. The town – or area – I worked was Edwards. My roommate was an older woman. She was a nutty person.
Well, she was still using AOL dialup. She watch The Notebook everyday. I’ve never sat down and watched it from start to end. But I have seen the whole movie. I saw it at her house just as I would pass through. Or linger to chat with her.
I found the place through Craig’s List. And I am grateful for her renting to me. She had a cat of her own. And her cat was not friendly to mine. Later she also got a small dog. She was a good person. And looking back I don’t think I was an easy roommate. But she was patient and always friendly. While I was away in New York she took care of Baby Girl for me.
There were a number of problems. The drive to work was almost 30 miles. It was a beautiful drive. But a long drive. Also, the money I was making wasn’t enough. I was working part-time and freelance. But my pay was $10 an hour. And the freelance wasn’t much money. I was barely making it, and barely eating. I knew I had to get out.
But I am glad to have lived in Colorado. I never regret anything in my life. Because all these moments have made me rich. And maybe if this book sells well, I will be cash-rich. I left Colorado when I found a job in Nebraska. I put Baby Girl and all my stuff in the car and headed east. Of course, I still had things in storage I hadn’t been able to retrieve.
After I left Colorado the paper went under. It was a free paper and the money wasn’t coming in for ads. My editor now works for the other town newspaper. He is still a good friend.