Monday, December 14, 2009

Holy Smoke

Only two more days left? Noooo...

I'm not ready. Not hardly. But so close. Still more pieces of furniture, file cabinets and a desk to sell. Records to purge and box. Paintings to get to Vonder, who will sell them for me after I'm gone. Clothes to pack, some in boxes for UPS.

Thank you to Charloa, my wonderful friend who drove 50 miles each way from Ojai this evening to bring me dinner from Gelson's (with leftover rotisserie chicken and roasted veggies for tomorrow!) and spent a couple of hours with me eating and listening to the whole story. While I stuffed my face and then stuffed the fireplace with records needing to be destroyed. (And, yes, I burned my left ring dip joint.) Oh yeah, Happy Birthday, Charloa!

The last two mornings I woke feeling not so great, but managed to make it through both days. And emptied about 2/3 of the stuff from the garage on a rainy Saturday morning in California in exchange for a few bucks for the road. I also got to meet more fascinating people. The teacher, Esther. Keith from Ventura came back by, bought another lamp for his store. Larry, 35-year retired L.A. Country Sheriff, hung out in the garage, out of the rain, swapping stories with me and picking up first one treasure, then another to add to his pile. An hour and a half and his Navy-cinnamon-roll-story later, he left with my card, his new treasures and a smile.

My first words to everyone who walked through the garage door yesterday, "Don't look at the prices, just put whatever you want in a pile and tell me how much you want to pay for it, I'm making deals today!" Invariably, they did. Some gabbed and stayed awhile, others grabbed a few things and left. I even sold my scissors (the ones I used to cut price stickers). For a quarter. And had a blast.

The longer I live the more I know that my role, my real purpose in life, is not about what I do in exchange for money or a roof over my head. Someone once told me I was like the front porch on a grand old house, one with a swing that you want to sit in and hang out. I asked what that meant and he said that I'm easy to talk to, that I make people comfortable right off the bat. What an interesting metaphor. For one who is quite partial to wraparound, rambling porches replete with swings, I kinda liked it.

The ability comes, I think, from being a shy child, forced to learn the art of small talk in self defense. Later came a job that demanded I speak up, demand respect. Later still, in AA, I learned to speak my truth. Somewhere along the line, I found my voice.

Lately, it seems to be on overtime. Another defense mechanism. When nervous. Or exhausted. When needing to push on. I talk.

So I don't pass out. G'night

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