27 March 2000
I'm here. I'm sitting in Alexis' room while she's off at work, feverishly trying to finish the new site for the company that I start working for next Monday. It seems extremely windy today.
The final leg of the trip wasn't particularly dense with anecdotal material. I saw three cops within five minutes of leaving Roanoke, and then not another one the whole rest of the way. The ugly little secret I referred to on Saturday was that when the cop pulled me over in Tennessee, he discovered, at almost the exact same time that I did, that my license had expired two months ago. I probably didn't receive a notice reminding me to renew it because it didn't have my current address on it. As the cop said: "You jes got violations left and right, dontcha?" He informed me that if I got pulled over again, I'd probably end up in jail, and this made for some rather tense hours during the remainder of my trip, and probably contributed to my desire to get off the highways and byways of our great nation sooner rather than later.
So I breezed into Philadelphia without ending up in jail once and busted into Alex's house and she made some popcorn and we watched all nine hours of the Oscars. I thought this year's were a standout only because the number of times I wanted to spray mace into Billy Crystal's eyes was relatively low. The only times I got choked up were when Michael Caine gave his speech and gave intelligent shouts-out to the other nominees, which was an appropriate thing to do, and also when they showed Toni Collette's Oscar Moment during the Supporting Actress award because she was really good in it. I'm content with American Beauty cleaning up, although I thought Kevin Spacey could've done that performance in his sleep and it should've gone to somebody else, but it's an interesting enough movie to stand out amongst recent Best Pictures. I still think that it's a Hollywood movie desperately trying to be an edgy independent movie, but I guess there's nothing really wrong with that, when you get down to it. And I'm glad Magnolia got shut out! Ha ha, Fiona! And Star Wars too! And I'm glad Sleepy Hollow got some recognition for how good it looked. And that's all.
So now I have a week before starting my new job, and I need to handle all the many headachy details of establishing a new residence in a new state without the luxury of actually having that new residence yet, and I need to enjoy my dwindling days of vacation, and I need to work on my book, and I need to play Scrabble with Alex. These are all do-able, I do believe.
It's a little strange to be here and know that I'm not going back to California this time. Being here has always been temporary in the past, and although that was difficult and complicated and I'm glad that things are finally more concrete, it's still strange to think that I live in Pennsylvania now. This is my home now, not just a place I visit.
The quality of light is different out here. That always struck me when I returned to California and noticed the change. I can't quite describe it, but PA is blue and brown where CA is green and orange. Something like that. But making this final trip by car made the shift much more subtle, so that by the time I arrived here, it wasn't jarring, it was just the natural evolution of geography and voice and color and angle and tone.
I feel very far from home and very close to it at the same time. It's making me a little dizzy.
I will see you soon, whoever you are.
Alexis' home. I've had a delicious meal of Triscuits and potato chips today. The wind is blowing the blinds back and forth. Her living room is now adorned with pots, an African drum, a weird conical pendulum thingie that I need to ask her about, and My Twelve Boxes.
Today's Facial Hair Report:
My little brothers used to pronounce "goatee" like "goatie." Alex says I should keep it.
Peach Raspberry Snapple. I didn't have much hope for this new flavor when I picked it up, but it turned out to be relentlessly enjoyable. Please note that this is a fruit juice, not a flavored tea, although I'd certainly be interested in a combination of my two favorite flavored tea flavors. This has a smooth, mellow taste, with the peach softening the harsh blow of the raspberry. A little on the sweet side but what's wrong with that.