I want to go to California.
The friends I mentioned in this post have been encouraging me to visit -- and even make the move -- since they left Indiana two years ago and my interest has been steadily increasing this whole time. I'm not quite to a fever pitch yet, but the urge to leave Indy in my rearview mirror for a while sounds enticing.
I like Indy just fine. Hell, I've been here for 29 years. It's home. It's home to me far more than Santa Fe ever was, even though it was the first place I ever remember living. But my family and I were only in New Mexico for eight years and kid life is obviously tragically different from adult life. Indy has been where most of my milestones have occurred. Junior high. High school. A driver's license. College. Graduation. Boyfriends. Girlfriends. Turning 21, 25, 30, 40. Etcetera.
I repeat myself a lot. I hear it. I feel like a broken record, talking about wanting to move, wanting to make a steadier income, wanting something anything to change. Freelance writing is boss, don't get me wrong, but I'm craving stability. My brain is consumed with all things money and I need a break. I'm not delusional enough to think I'd get to the magical land of California and suddenly find solutions, but a break in my routine would be pretty nice. I'd make my friends drive us around Los Angeles so I could try to spot some celebrities. Or maybe we could just walk around while I wore knee-high black socks with sandals and took pictures of every mailbox and dog I saw.
Oddly enough, that reminds me of a story (which is only related to this post in a "Road trip!" sense). I went to Washington, D.C. with the same friends mentioned above almost 20 years ago. We headed there for some kind of party with our fellow Internet enthusiasts (ah, the halcyon days of BBSes) and spent a day taking in all the tourist attractions. Somewhere near the Mall, we were sitting on a park bench and marveling at the brazen squirrels who were used to kind tourists who would feed them. We were of course from a typical city where squirrels dart away in panic when the breeze changes direction. Dumbfounded, I took a picture of a squirrel who was just a couple inches away from my friend's foot. As I did, I heard a woman comment to her companions, "I wonder where they're from that they don't have squirrels."
Welcome me, California. Tell me of your squirrels.