I was killing time on NW 21st Ave. before Thursday night's Stovokor show when it dawned on me: it's been nearly two years since I started visiting that neighborhood once a week for the Firefly screenings at the Mission.
Doesn't feel like two years. Technically, it isn't -- those screenings started a year and nine months ago -- but the start of that event seems closer than that stretch of time between would suggest to me. It doesn't feel like nearly two years. Like a short-circuit to life, the memories leaped past the time between then and now and asserted themselves. And made me think What have I been up to?
Plenty, of course. In July 2007 I was 11 months away from quitting my ever-more-maddening hospital job. I was one month away from flying to San Francisco to see my cousin Walter Weare and his fiancee get married. A month earlier I'd taken part in my first Can't Stop the Serenity. Two months earlier I'd taken a long weekend break from my maddening job of the time and luxuriated on the Oregon Coast. (This is starting to sound like Dr. Manhattan looking back at his life.) I was three months away from becoming a regular viewer of Cort and Fatboy's Late Night Movies, the same month I first heard about Erin Bennett, the young woman who died last month. I was a year and a month away from flying east, going to Pi-Con, hanging out in Upstate New York for a week with slipjig and rafaela, and then hanging out in Salem, MA with octoberland. My then-current car was somewhere on its path to decrepitude that finally pushed me to replace it with my current car in May 2008. I replaced the car in May 2008, 10 months from then and 11 months before now.
That's just a sample of life. Yep, I've been living life. But memory works differently than the time in which we live.
Here's a moment of, I'll say, "personal relativity": in late 2003 or early 2004, I realized I've lived in my current apartment longer than I lived in the basement of the house near Hwathorne Blvd. -- but it feels shorter, because there was so much drama packed into my time at the Hawthorne house. I'd spent a year-and-a-half in that house before moving here, and I moved out of there after a few incidents proved blindingly to me that I couldn't trust at least two of the people living in the house. (Here's a bit of why. It's a somewhat embarrassing story.) Within a couple of months of my moving out, one of those people misbehaved his out out of being able to live there. More drama. Drama I'm glad I avoided (and which I learned about later in 2002 when I visited the house). Since moving here, any drama in this apartment has been my own personal drama, but I own that.
I keep listening to music, I keep visiting with friends, I keep reading, I keep either working or looking for work, I keep eating, I keep walking, and it all adds up to life. And sometimes I'll be surprised at how much life I've lived, and how much time has passed in that life.
What am I a month away from doing? A year? Two-and-a-half days? Two-and-a-half months? If I knew that, I'd be really surprised, because time doesn't work that way. I already know that.
And whatever happens, I'll keep writing about it. Blogging: record-keeping on behalf of 2010 Chris, and 2011 Chris, and 2014 Chris...