This is some fictiony stuff I'm working on. I hope to post more installments on here as a kind of serial thing:
Well, shit. We made it all the way down the runway, when the plane slowed down, turned around and stopped. Apparently, there was something wrong with the engine and they discovered it while we were taxiing. That doesn't seem to be inspiring a whole lot of confidence in their pilots or engineers or whomever is responsible for making us safe on this flight. Luckily, I've never been afraid to fly. Well, at least the one other time I flew on an airplane when I was ten in 1975, I wasn't afraid to fly and I'm not freaking out about this flight yet either.
I am not all that excited about the prospect of sitting on the plane for however much longer, listening to the loop of Billboard's top 10 songs on the headphones the plane provides - "We are the World", "One More Night", "Material Girl", "Nightshift"... There. Now you have to have to have them in your head too.
They just told us we have to get off the plane and wait for a new one. Some people are freaking out, but I'm just trying not to think about what could have happened if we had actually taken off. I'm good at not thinking about things. It's the only way I do anything. If I look to closely at any one thing, I scare myself off. I'm too cautious. So, I just try to charge right ahead, without thinking too much, like a bull in a china shop, when the whole world is the china shop. That's how I got here.
I was screwing up in college. I had a lot to recover from. I know everyone feels like they have a lot to recover from in childhood, but I seem to have had more than most of the people I knew in college. I once even had a guy tell me that he thought I was totally entitled to be crazy after he heard what I'd been through. Of course, I know. There are so many people who have been through worse, but I don't have to live their lives, I just have to figure out what the hell to do with mine.
Right now, I'm deciding to take off. Fuck it. I screwed up in college, I messed up my grades, I didn't feel like being there. I wanted to feel like I was helping, doing something to make the world better, even if, or especially if, I didn't have the means to make my own life better. Fixing someone else's shit is so much easier than fixing my own, right?
Where am I headed? To California. Why? Well, it's like this... I was working at a restaurant and screwing up my classes (as I've mentioned already several times) and I wanted to do something else for a while. My roommate was telling me about her sister who was in the Conservation Corps for a while a few years ago until she met Dinah Shore's son and moved to Eureka to grow and make every food item possible out of marijuana. "Jody used to talk about what it was like to have Burt Reynolds as a step-dad," my roommate Lisa said. She also said she thought that her sister and Jody would let me use their address to get into the conservation Corps.
So, I looked into it all. I had to actually show up in person to apply and get a physical and then it could take another month to see if I got into the program. Which meant I had to move to California, apply, wait it out and hope for the best. Never mind I didn't know anyone in California I could stay with, or that I didn't have a car (and didn't even know how to drive if I had one). I was just going to wing it. Super smart.
"So, where should I go in California if I want to live somewhere relatively safe and cheap and I can't drive?" I asked one of the dishwashers who was originally from California. He said, Santa Rosa. I went to the library, found a Santa Rosa phone book and looked for motels. The Redwood Motel sounded nice. I called them and reserved a room for a week. I had no idea where they were located in Santa Rosa, whether I could walk where I needed, if there was a lot of crime in that area or what I was going to do after that week, but the beauty of not letting yourself look to far ahead, you just don't worry about that until later.
I'm sitting in the airport, waiting for our new, hopefully functional, airplane to show up and listening to my Walkman. I always hope that people take the fact that I have headphones on as sign not to bother me. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I've been lucky so far today.
A half hour later, we are called to board the new plane. Some people are still freaking out and suspicious. Me? I'm not thinking about it and I'm not thinking about what will happen when I reach San Francisco and then in Santa Rosa. I'm listening to my Walkman and hoping no one will try and talk to me and stick my head in a book, or the sand, to take my mind off of everything that could go wrong.