What a wonderful gift to be able to pass through quietly. Like a ghost, but a happy one. I didn’t sleep at all the night before, wondering if it was a stupid idea, worried about money, freaking out that I would run into one of the three pilots, or anyone who knew me. In the end, I just said fuck it, and hit the road at 4:30am. I almost went to Mt St Helens instead, but I’m glad I didn’t. I just needed to go home. I missed the island a lot, and it made my soul feel better to go back.
I did do a lot of ridiculous things to try and stay under the radar. My hair is different, I wore a hat and sunglasses on base, and I was driving a different car. I even pulled the battery out of my phone and didn’t use any credit or debit cards until I was almost ready to leave the island. I had too many freaky things happen up there to be entirely comfortable. On the other hand, I’m completely predictable and non-threatening, so if anyone was paying attention (they weren’t), it wouldn’t matter much anyway. I also took the precaution of stashing my weed on the beach under a log before I went on base- duh. I almost didn’t go do that part, but I was willing to risk pissed-off pilots in order to get some good photos. I was nervous the whole time, but it’s been so long and people are so busy, of course I could disappear in the huge crowd. Phew.
The first and last thing I do when I go there is walk on the beach. My favorite beach has access points at both ends, and I used to have days where I would alternate between and sometimes walk all the way back and forth. This time I swam at one and walked on the other, and soaked up the sound of the ocean, the feel of the hot sun. That stocked me up for a while. Then I did the thing that’s been bugging me for years; I took a letter to my old neighbor, saying how upset I was when he made fun of my suicide attempt. I was pretty gentle, but only because time has dulled some of the pain and outrage. It was funny that even though he knew me for years, he didn’t even recognize me. I wonder how he reacted when he opened the card and read that note. I’m ok not knowing.
And then, I went to my favorite park and rode around on the forest trails for a while. Luckily my mountain bike could dismantle and fit in my rental car – I needed the ride to help process some of the emotions. I popped out on the cliff side overlooking the water, and just felt the breeze blow it all away. Time doesn’t heal fast enough, but travel helps. And sometimes, under the right conditions, revisiting your former home can help heal a lot of wounds.
The funny part was that on my way to the beach, I saw a party for VIPs and I wondered if the one pilot was there. I never knew him really, we live in completely separate worlds, but it would have been hilarious if we were right next to each other without even knowing it. Thank god he didn’t know I was there. All things considered, I’ve always felt horrible that he was the one to get the brunt of my illness up there. I’ve had crashes before, but that was the worst period of my life by far, and oh lord. I know well that people never look at you the same after you have an extreme episode of either up or down, and holy fuck I’m sure I was a crazy bitch. I thought I was dying, I wanted to die, and I hated all men – I had no business even dating, much less going out with someone that I knew I had zero chance with. I set myself up to fail, and I was wildly successful that time. I’ve always wanted to apologize, but guys like that won’t hear it, won’t care, have better things to do. I did pick up a picture of a fighter jet though, just as a reminder of how bad my crashes can get. Given the years of build up to the perfect storm of shit that caused that one, I don’t think it will ever get that bad again. God willing.
Sometimes though, when I miss my family, miss my dog, and wish I was safe at home, it does get overwhelming. It’s hard to plan for a future when I still expect to drop dead of a broken heart at any time. Then I have a wonderful day, and I think I can make it a little while longer. I did get to hear my favorite radio station for hours – 91.3 out of Victoria.
Now I am back in the shit of everyday life, even more broke than I was, still not sure what to do, but my head feels better.
Walkin Alone – Charlie Musselwhite
Go – Chemical Brothers feat Q-tip
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES