That’s how every call from my boss began. We both knew I wasn’t anywhere near where he wanted me to be — babysitting a vacant office building in Southern California. Being a Property Manager never fit, as if I’d been wearing The Talking Heads’ oversized suit. Maybe he really was interested in my Tuesday afternoon, but all I heard was ‘Why aren’t you wearing your suit?’ The question hung out there like a piñata stuffed with tall tales about why I was someplace else. My job had become avoiding the one person with the right to ask “Where are you?”
It reminded me where I wasn’t — following my own road; going confidently in the direction of my dreams; feeding my soul with creativity and travel, curiosity and wanderlust. Neither of us knew Jack s%!#. We were driving in circles, round-and-round till the exit ramp had blurred with all the dead-ends. Where was I? Screeching into Nowheresville at breakneck speed. I had to slam the brakes.
Asked to account for my place in the world, I wanted to reply I was ripping up The North Fork in Montana on my vintage cafe racer or spending the summer hitting minor league baseball parks in my converted school bus or making love to Camping Kitty at the foot of Multnomah Falls in broad daylight or entering my pit bull Jameson in the Westminster Dog Show for shits and giggles. I wanted to say I was handing out free flannels to flood victims in Louisiana or building ‘AdventureMobiles’ with my nephew Barry so anyone can tear up their piece of turf.
So this is where our story begins — leaving my “job” and embarking on the road trip of our lives, a road trip with no end, a thousand and one miles of coolness. This is where we let go of everything that no longer serves us, everything but my beloved girl Kitty, my best pal Jameson and my cherished 1920 Remington typewriter — everything that doesn’t fit on the bus. The rest can go down with that empty building in Southern California, the one that’s dead inside.
I hope my old boss calls again and begins the conversation the way he always did. This time, I’m chomping at the bit, ready with an authenticity that’ll come spilling out of me. I’m going to my bones, a life reimagined and filled with wonder. Everything has been reframed. Now the sweetest thing anyone can ask me is the very question that made me cringe.
Where am I? Exactly where I want to be.