Five of them roll into my car and tell me it is time to roll onto their next destination.
I don’t say a word, a quick look over my shoulder and a signal to let people know I am heading out into traffic.
One kid tells me I must do ok for a professional driver because my car is pretty nice.
“This isn’t my full time job, it is just something I do on the side…occasionally.”
That leads into the usual discussion about how I ended up in Texas but this time he wants to tell me what LA is like.
Apparently I must be some laid back surfer who couldn’t make it in the movies and so I came out to G-ds country.
I ask him if he has ever been there and he says no, but he knows what he sees on television and his friend’s family has been to Disneyland a million times.”
“Disneyland isn’t in Los Angeles depending where you are, it could be somewhere between 30 and 50 miles. LA County is huge, there is probably about 11 million people living in close to 500 square miles.”
That doesn’t shut him up, it just makes him say I am exaggerating because that is what liberals do.
“I suppose you are one of those conservatives who are scared of people and things you don’t know.”
He tells me I shouldn’t speak to him that way, because he is a customer. I tell him that is true and this is just spare cash for me. I only do it when I want to.
Another Stranger In A Strange Land
Some days are easy and some are hard.
Most of today was ok, but there were moments where I knew I was another stranger in a strange land.
Moments where I thought about what happens when your best friends and family are far away.
The reality is you can be close in the physical sense and still be quite far from some people so I don’t get too hung up on it.
Forty some years in LA isn’t going to be replicated or duplicated in Texas and I am ok with that.
Got to blaze new trails and forge new paths, it is all part of the adventure.
Sometimes you have to just gut it out and take it one hour at a time, each time you don’t give in you get that much closer to where you want to be.
Given some time there will be new traditions and new friends. Given time the quiet moments and struggle will be replaced with new things.
But there are moments, yeah there are moments.
Words Left Unspoken
The kid in the car doesn’t have the common sense to understand the beauty of words left unspoken.
It is kind of funny to me to say it because I am known to some as a guy who gets the last word.
But that happens less and less now.
I say my piece and move on.
Very few people are really paying attention anyhow and there are no prizes for the last word or trying to get some biting insult in.
Truth for me is simple, there is a short list of people I want to have real conversation with or whose absence I note.
And if it becomes apparent to me they don’t notice if I am around or not, well then I am going to help them by not being there.
See the prior post for more detail.
Intermixed in my evening was my time at an Independence Day festival to see fireworks and wander the crowd.
Up on a stage a band played music and sometimes the lead singer would try to rouse the crowd, “C’mon Texas!”
The first time I wondered why he said that because sometimes I forget where I am.
In many ways Texas is very different and yet in some ways it feels just like LA to me.
The weather, blue skies and some odds and ends just seem the same.
Or maybe it all blurs together and that is the issue, doesn’t really matter all that much.
A Little While Longer
I signed my daughter up for soccer and it occurred to me I am on my own for just a little while longer.
Knowing the kids will be here soon is awesome because we only get them for a short time and they change.
They grow so damn fast and the little boy/girl who used to ride my shoulders are big enough they have no interest in climbing aboard.
When they last saw me they said I didn’t really look all that different and I laughed because I told them not much would change.
There might be a little more or a little less hair on my head.
My body might be a little skinnier or a little bigger than the last time they saw me, but nothing else would be different.
They have only known me with my adult voice and so they have never noticed any changes.
Puberty is something they associate with friends and maybe with each other, but not mom and dad.
And so I think about being on my own a little while longer and hope their transition is as easy as possible because they are going to do the stranger in a strange land thing.
Although if things go as I suspect some of that will be easier for them because they’ll be in a position to make friends sooner and more easily.
At least I hope they will because that will make all the difference in the world.
I guess time will tell.