Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back in the USSR

Dan’s unsurprised and welcoming face, 5:07 A.M. Cleveland. “Oh, it’s you,” he says nonchalantly as Moona and I show up at my dear friends’ door after a crazy all night drive across the mid-west. The final push to Ohio, and we leave Chicago at 10:30 P.M. after a late dinner. I stop and buy a cup of McDonald’s coffee, and a pack of Camel cigarettes, though I don’t smoke, to help sustain wakefulness in this last desperate leg inspired by Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac’s crazy all-night rides. And make it we do, as the sun rises up to the East over Lake Erie. Pulled over for speeding and set free with a warning, (a test of my own autonomy and personal agency, as I remain calm in face of a fine) I promise to drive more slowly, and indeed uphold that agreement, driving 65 MPH for the last 300 miles. As the quote of the day, Jenny offers, “Laws are for those without ethics.” Laughing, joyfulness, and then my friends tuck Moona and me into their couches, and we all return to the land of dreams.

Our last tourist destination before Chicago has been The House on the Rock: an eccentric, spooky, and wonderful testament to creativity, materialism, genius and depravity. Oddly, upon viewing the carousel with almost 300 animals, and 20,000 lights, my hurting and sorrowing heart on the human front is uplifted. Beauty is found in many forms, and such a tribute to light, to play, and to delight is odd comforting medicine. I find surprise within at this perception. Humans, oh humans, we are so multi-faceted and unfathomable.

And so it’s several hours of sleep, and then amazing homemade breakfast: homefries o’love, scrambled free range eggs, and Amish bread with pear jam Jenny made last year. O and the coffee, nectar sweet. Upon waking, Jenny and Dan’s five-year-old son Sebastian greets Moona with both the ease of an old friend, and the familiarity of a known soul, and this is the vibe that pervades the day. I get to attend flow yoga with Jenny as my kick ass rock-n-roll yoga teacher. Sun salutations done to the Beatles and U2 are a little easier to take, even on four hours of sleep. And the pigeon pose with instructor adjustment just breaks it all down and cleans house. I’m so taken.

And thus the Eastward journey ends… as we reach Mom-Lady’s farm east of Cleveland. My mom is excited to see us, and takes good care, and the familiarity of this place is sweet, as are the laundry facilities. Respite, succor, love and family. So so so blessed. And wow, we did it, all by ourselves. What a lot of tears, miles, songs, phone conversations, heartbreak, pictures, grease and grilled cheese sandwiches, friends, hugs and kisses, goodbyes, gifts, new connections, deepened understandings, road demons, pee breaks and gas stops. What utter grace. What utter grace.