This week I am the crossroads. Snarled dynamite fuses. Matchbook in the fire pit. The launch of my novel SKYGLASS reels closer. I have genderbent god-horns to make. A fox project to kindle. In a week, I move seaward. Permanently. It’s a relocation I’ve been waiting two years for. In days, friends arrive, then Miscon, where we’ll make an appearance as Sailors Loki, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. (I claimed the trickster, surprise surprise.)
Two of these convergences are a long time coming. When we first arrived in Missoula, we named it purgatory, and knew our stay would only be as long as necessity dictated. Now that Cavan is officially a Linguist, we’re off to Eugene, so I can study folklore. (And write books about girls and their giant asshole robots; books about foxes and metalheads.) The other node has bidden its time even longer: in third grade, I wrote my first book (an educational self-published paperback about trolls, with a limited run of one); in fourth, two goals set up shop in my brain and never left: 1) write more, always and 2) get published. And though #2 included fine print that translated, basically, to PUBLISH ALL THE WORDS, novels have always been at my narrative heart, so naturally, to me, there’s an un-pry-able correlation between get published and get a book published.
So it’s strange, to have these two waitings end so close to each other–but what’s stranger still is how quick and easy the mindbody swallows upheaval. Twenty months of my dirtbound existence were spent at The Good Food Store, dealing with petulant espresso machines, thunderous juicers, and customers who ignored my name and called me Guinevere (or sometimes Galadriel). I honed the fine art of asking random/inane/tangential questions, and the finer art of listening. I met good people–my topnotch co-workers, mainly. If there’s anything bitter about the sweetness of my departure, it’s the sudden absence of would-you-rather games, black market conversations about fish, teratomas, womb-puppies, and Cormac McCarthy’s obsession with dead babies.
Twenty months of this, long days of wanting to be elsewhere–and now it’s gone. I miss the people, but not the waiting, and it’s unsettling how quickly I’ve adjusted. I’m no longer a meat-slicer of prosciutto that smells like cadaver (don’t question it; I can verify the smell)–I’m a magpie now, scouring the internet for images of cyberpunk cities that make me feel homesick (this hackerbird iteration of myself is actually work-related). Instead of eight hours of coffee-ochred hands, I’m playing nesting-doll with my apartment, taking everything that’s in the box of our flat and relocating it all to smaller boxes.
But I like being the crossroads. I’m a path of muscle, grit, and bone. I can supplant my roadself anywhere.