It's raining, and New Jersey is rolling along beneath us -- rain slides along the window. Like always, I'm moving through my present towards my future never seeming to reach it, but acquring more past every time I look back. There were days, I remember distinctly, when I was working on Armed America when I desperately wanted it to be the future -- I was slogging along and I thought I was going nowhere, I hadn't accomplished anything and I wanted to be on the Other Side, looking back and thinking "Ah! Job well done!" it didn't seem like that time was going to come and the days crept and it seemed like I was in a hot car, or an airport terminal, or on the sofa of some kind soul I'd only met that day, but I wasn't anywhere near where I wanted to be. The work went ... slowly.
And now that I look back, that was three years ago. And not only did the work get done, the project get completed, the book came out, the book got crazy famous, but so many other great things have happened too, and I'm not even sure how it happened. And I realize now that the hot car, the airport terminal, and the sofas and livingrooms of strangers are exactly the places that I needed to be, and I wouldn't trade them for a shortcut to the goal line.
I wish I could reach back through time three years and write myself in the margin of those agonized journals saying "just wake up every morning and do what you're doing, don't pine for tomorrow, she'll come on her own schedule and things will go wonderfully." Maybe I should flip forward a couple hundred pages and write that in the margin anyway, though I doubt I'll forget.
So we're on a bus coming back from the SPIN.COM book club where Neil read, Amanda sung, and I crained my neck to try and see photos I'd taken projected on a giant screen behind me and it was wonderful. I got to wallk through a room and hear people whisper that's Kyle Cassidy which is about the best feeling you can have ( -- unless compromising photos of you snorting Bolivian Marching Powder off of the stomach of a hooker in a hotel in Flint while wearing her underwear have just surfaced in the National Enquirer, then that whispering is probaly not so fun.....) I got to see something I worked long and hard on come to fruition, be birthed, and be wonderful. (And I got to see one of the two copies of that book currently on this contenent auctioned off for THIRTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS -- I kid you not: $1,300.)
Life is pretty awesome. So awesome that I don't feel bad that I'm missing the after-party. It would be great to be there, but when I get home there are cats who will run in circles around me and there are new projects that must be worked on, must have their small moments of attention, so that they may roll, slowly perhaps, but yet inevitably, toward their own Grand Finalies which lie somewhere in the future, somewhere in the days ahead, somwhere hundreds of journal pages from here where I, a little older, might look back at this night and think "you need no comforting words, because I think you understand."
Some photos, edited on a bus with Paint Shop Pro 5.0: