All the lights are changing, red to green

Subjectline courtesy David Gray. I’ve been singing it this afternoon, after a chance encounter with the song on the radio. It’s probably one of my favorites from this year.

I’ve been toying with how I wanted to start this entry; this, my official switching from everyday life to the frantic and frenzy that comes for preparing for a classic Domesticat RoadTrip. I’ve been at a loss for how to begin.

That changed, very late last night. I finished the book I’d been reading (a birthday present from Kat) and wandered into the library to pick another. I know that I haven’t finished all of the books that I bought when I last went up to Washington D.C. A fruitful trip, that; I took an extra suitcase just for books and came home not one whit disappointed.

I’m not certain why I haven’t attempted Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men yet. Perhaps the time wasn’t right. I have this strange, fateful half-belief that, like cats, the right book finds you at the right time.

I read ten pages into the book and encountered this passage:

A man goes away from his home and it is in him to do it. He lies in strange beds in the dark, and the wind is different in the trees. He walks in the street and there are the faces in front of his eyes, but there are no names for the faces. The voices he hears are not the voices he carried away in his ears a long time back when he went away. The voices he hears are loud. They are so loud he does not hear for a long time at a stretch those voices he carried away in his ears. But there comes a minute when it is quiet and he can hear those voices he carried away in his ears a long time back. He can make out what they say, and they say: Come back, boy. So he comes back.”

Yes, indeed; I do believe this is the time for me to be reading this book. For others, this is the month of gift-giving; for me, this is the month of roadtrips and cat-spoiling. I will log approximately two thousand miles of road miles this month, and will attempt to spoil seven different cats.

Though, thankfully, no more than three at any one time. I may be a seasoned road warrior, but even my capabilities have their limits.

The overblown adage about how the journey matters more than the destination is all too true in my case. Do not mistake me; I am excited about seeing friends in this trip, but in many ways I am taking this trip as a celebration of surviving this year.

I lost a lot of time this year to an illness that I now strongly suspect was mono. I started getting sick in November, and by January I was a complete and utter wreck. It was well-near summer before I felt like myself again. So much time—wasted. I mark December 2001 as the beginning of the worst. If you weren’t a reader at that time, you can take a peek back to delirious entries like these to get an idea of what it was like.

Nothing like getting a lesson on how quickly your life can fall away from you.

It’s easy to see this December as a starting-over point. Depending on how you look at it, any day can be perceived as the first of a new year.

I think that while I am gone, I shall raise my glass in a toast: to friends old and new, to recovery, to love, to life. Even if I don’t say the words aloud.

It seems somehow appropriate that my car’s odometer will hit 100,000 on this trip.