Desert Living

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This past month of traveling has really got me thinking. Wondering. Asking myself:

Why the FUCK do I continue to live in the desert?

I remember how much I used to love the heat, the sun, feeling crispy and smelling like coconut, laying poolside with girlfriends. I actually used to love the way sliding into your hot car felt after being in an air-conditioned office. I liked that the heat in Phoenix placed this hazy screen over everything- love happened most often in the summertime. Driving with the windows rolled down. ‘Screaming “catch me if you can!” with a cigarette in hand’. You could dance and get dizzy and spin, spin, spin in heavy summer heat.

I don’t feel that way anymore.

Now I wonder what I am missing out on, not wanting to be outside in the summer. I am jealous of my former Midwest students, who actually barbecue and take their children outdoors in the summer. I am envious of my California friends and family who wear cardigans year-round. I am munching on a bright case of the grass is greener…anywhere else. I am outgrowing my hometown and tired of the familiar faces and how small the Valley of the Sun gets the older you are.

Perhaps part of it is flying into Sky Harbor is like flying into a grid-lock. Little squares as far as the eye can see. Coming from nowhere, going nowhere. Touching down and being reminded of every mistake, every hurt, every trauma that accompanies me in my dark moments. The ones that live in familiar cross streets, known buildings. Aromas that rise up out of nowhere when you least expect them. 

How do you create a new future when your past is all around you? 

How can I leave Phoenix when my mother needs me?

At least this time, Eamon sent up the red flags before the fifty-one-fifty. Stopped the train in its tracks. How much longer do we wait for it to run off course? And why is it always in the summertime?

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