I got to talking with a friend the other day about moving around.  Hint: I know very few people up here who are actually from Seattle. More likely is that the person ended up here at the tail end of something else, or running away from something, or running to something. Whatever.

I grew up mostly in Wichita, KS. Spent a lot of time in other places along the way. in 1990 I left for SoCal. Did five years there before I left. The leaving part wasn’t exactly planned. I had been talking to Bishop about how much I hated LA and he said, “So what are you going to do about it?”

<light bulb going off/>

Picked up the phone, called my mom, and told her I was leaving LA. Didn’t know where I was going. When would be as soon as I could get everything packed up and find a place. Options were NorCal (Coop and Dusty had ended up north), Houston (open invitation to stay at a Buddhist monastery. Long story.) Somewhere totally at random pulled out of a hat or pulled from a dartboard.

Ended up back in Wichita, mostly because I had too much stuff to just pile it in the parking lot and burn it. (Did that later. Another long story.) Was there for about eighteen months before a woman I knew in LA convinced me to move up to Seattle, where she was living.

The moving to Seattle part was a good idea. The living with her was less than good. (More long story. You’re gonna need a lot of beer to pry that one out of me.) Ended up moving out very quickly.

Had my own place, in a town I barely knew, 1500 miles from anything. Flat broke.

Fell in love with the Pacific Northwest flying over it, the first time, before I had even landed for my first visit, before I moved up here. So I made do. Met the first wife. Fell madly in love. It was good. She and I bought a house in 2001. Lost her in the summer of 2008. Sold the house in the fall of 2014.

Between 1990 and buying the house in 2001, I had moved 17 times. Wanderlust. Horizons.

These days, I live over the pass. Sitting on six and a half acres with water, trees, fruit, and elk. And very, very little interwebs coverage. Some days, 2 bars of 1x cell coverage. Have to go into town to get access to the rest of the universe.


Interestingly, most of the writers and creative folks I know have similar stories. Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) left the country with a one-way ticket in the early 90’s and was gone for several years, doing more countries than I had states, but she was looking for something different than I was. Don’t think she ever found it, but haven’t really asked.

We all have many ghosts.

Seattle is a place for creatives to pool themselves, not so isolated as they were when they lived in the land of traditionally stupid and boring lives. I have friends who went white picket fence along the way. Occasionally they find me on social media and wonder at the “what changed from thirty years ago”. (I’m told I still look the same, just with more gray in the beard, but anyone from that, they would know me as soon as I walked into the joint. At least, that’s what Dusty said when I saw him for the first time in twenty years.)

They stayed home. Got out of school and got a tie-wearing job. Went into business, or law, or banking. Happily-ever-after. -Ish. Close enough. We don’t speak the same language these days, so it is hard to judge.

But I wonder what life will be like for this new generation. I could disappear off the face of the planet more than twenty-five years ago. Disconnect the land-line. Forward my mail. There was no email, or social media, where everybody was just across town and could stay in touch, regardless of how far they might travel. Just a gap where something had been once, and was gone.

I did just that. Disappeared for a while. (Another very long story.)

I leave public trails these days, for people who are looking and know how to look, to find me. And I’m far more gregarious than I used to be. (Being happy helps.)

Every once in a long while, someone pops up from my distant past. Friends I went to school with. Girls I dated. Old enemies.

And a million miles have passed.

We’re not the same people any more. I don’t hold grudges. Not worth the effort. Bygones have forgotten how to even be bygones.

We’ll get together, over a beer or a chat window, and talk about the old days, but there’s nothing really there.

I was always over the next horizon. They knew that then. They know it now.

I had a dream I was pursuing. Haven’t caught it, but I’m catching up. Dunno how to even talk to folks that never had a dream worth pursuing at these sorts of costs. Most people, I guess, never want something this bad.

Most people don’t have adventures.

Yesterday, Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) and I caught a train to Portland to meet some friends for lunch, and then took the train home. Nothing more, nothing less, than a new adventure. Could have driven. Have done that several times. Wanted to see the world through different eyes.

Still do, but I’m not sure how many people have that dream, that itch.

What do you want that bad?