I DON’T LIKE WRITING IN THIS ROOM any more: the window glass smudged and dusty and I don’t feel like cleaning it, or buying a privacy screen because my front door is glass, and behind it is my living space: sleeping, dressing, eating and working room.
I can’t write in this room because the surroundings are stale to my eye, the rhythm too familiar, the noise still too noisy. At least that is what I have convinced myself are the reasons. If I admit I am seeking alternate locations, then my right hand slaps my left hand and cries; moving doesn’t solve anything!
CONCURRENTLY to my attitude, the doors opened to a new opportunity, and closed as suddenly. A common misunderstanding between sincerity and acting. It took me three days to accept this disappointment. A woman and her adorable daughter made a verbal commitment with her attorney present, that she would lease the house for six months, beginning February. This would enable me to move to Southern California for an exploratory mission on returning home. I haven’t lived in Los Angeles since 1993. My friends rallied behind my winning streak. The universe did not bring this tenant to me, I brought my offering to the universe by listening to friends, who encouraged me and injected the confidence to complete the mission. I’ve been known to launch rocket ship ideas and leave them wandering in space until another launcher discovers them.
THEN CAME WEDNESDAY. I was at my desk when the news broke. I turned away from work, and spent two days gaping at the unfolding events in Paris. Real time images, shot by shocked photo journalists, and narrative so ridden with horror, racing from one scene to another. There were heroes, and the terrorists and byline stories that will erupt over the next few months. The stories of each individual at Charlie Hebdo Headquarters, the policeman who pleaded for his life, and the French Police and Special Forces that stormed the enemy, knowing they too may be shot.
The next day the Kosher grocery store, and the printing press. Reporters here in the USA, stumbled on reporting the news, and misrepresenting the events. I could see their chests heaving, the terror in their eyes, and it slapped me out of my cavern of comfort. It hits all of us at different speeds and times, and although I am a firm believer in the war that we are not paying attention to, this day I was brandished in awareness.
I sought immediate camaraderie. I dressed at dusk, half-work out half cocktail, whatever you call that and went to the Staab House at La Posada. Cynical Steve was at the bar, to the left of me two suited gentlemen; discussing a financial deal over a few hundred thousand. In the salon several sipping couples, almost whispering. :
“Steve, did you hear what happened?” I asked
” You mean Paris?”
“Yea… yea.” And as he moved away to retrieve glasses, and bottles, I pulled him back.
” Do you know what happened?’
” Tell me. I only heard part of it ?”
I retold the events as I remembered them, emphasizing the courage of the French Swat teams and Police to blow the hostage situation wide open.
” Wow. ” he replied.
I looked up at the TV screen, football .. what a surprise. They don’t feature anything else unless by request of celebrity, executive or neighbor. I am the neighbor.
” Can you turn on the news? You’ll want to see this.” Cynical and a cupid of suppressed intelligence, Steve switched channels. He then stopped his razor rapid chopping, cleaning, and servicing the bar to watch.
THE TWO MEN seated next to me who were slicing up strategy over a few hundred thousand dollars suddenly turned to the screen. I waited. Then they vocalized simultaneously their shock.
I turned to the one closet. ” I’ve been watching all day.” I said.
” It is just horrible. ” Then he shook his head. The other suit echoed the same comment.
Then they returned to dicing up the thousands of dollars.
I took a another sip of wine and waited for another subject to interact with.
A woman showed up at the bar and sat down. She buried herself in a book about Indian Spiritualist and did not ever look up, only to answer her I Phone.
As I was leaving the hotel through the lobby I checked for expressions. The hostess was swaying back and forth on her heels, the concierge was buried in catalogs and her computer. The valet outside commented, ” Not too cold tonight.”
SOME of our media reported beyond professionalism. They showed their feelings. I am awakened.