Friday, May 15, 2015

108 Days

I have no idea what I'm doing!

These words, the idea; it keeps ringing through my head, particularly today. Earlier today, I went and purchased my new home for a solid deal of 42 dollars. And a brand new bed (read: self-inflating sleeping pad) - also on sale. Thanks REI Anniversary sale! My Amazon wish list continues to grow as well, as I tag things I think of in the moment that maybe I'll need for this adventure. (Stun gun included.) I also began to look up some camp sites (after reviewing my finances) and realized camp sites are more expensive than I thought. I may be squatting in more Wal-Mart parking lots than originally anticipated. $28 for one night of tenting at a KOA? I'm going to need to take a really, really long flip-flop laden shower and befriend a BBQing old couple to justify that cost.

I also figured out that my Mazda3 (manual) hatchback will probably suck in around $200 worth of gas per week if I keep moving. Sorry, Earth. And then there's food; food should be interesting to come by, but I found a sturdy, cheap sterno stove, so at least there's that. (I'm sensing a lot of fried eggs in my future.) But what happens when I run out of eggs in the middle of South Dakota? Can I use Tinder in a pinch?

I'm picturing my Craig's List Ad/Tinder Profile already: Rolling Stone Seeks Evening Companion and Free Hamburger (Mainly just the burger, but I'll listen to you talk). Seems legit.

Anyway, the preparations have now begun outside of just my head and simply researching. I have 108 days left before I become voluntarily homeless, traveling the country and living out of my car. Just over 15 weeks - that's it: Three months and two weeks.

This is happening. It's happening, it's happening. And now I have my vaga-house and my vaga-bed. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Vagabond

What about to tell you makes it real. Not that I haven’t been thinking about and talking about it and figuring it out for months, but this, in writing, is oh-so-real. As I mentioned in the last post, my Seattle girlfriend is baking an unexpected bun (because life is minxy like that) and has since moved back to the east coast to be closer to family (i.e. a necessary support system). So when I went to Phoenix and I really liked it and eating ice cream outside in 70 degree weather in February, I thought “THIS IS AMAZING. I could totally live here.”

Phoenix was an attractive place to live before Walter. And then I assumed Walter (who offered to help me move – huge for a girl looking out for any signs from the universe) was a sign and BOOP! decided Arizona was it. And then Walter ghosted and burned, so I was really distraught. I was distraught not only that this guy I was interested in disappeared, but, moreso, (I realized as time when on) I was distraught that I had this total sense of direction again after abandoning Seattle – and that was suddenly ripped from me too.

And thus, again, I was directionless; (new) homeless. And frustrated. For years I’ve wanted to move, but I’ve stayed here, unsure of where to go. And it is best, I thought: if you haven’t a place to go, stay just where you are. But I’m done staying; the time is up and I don’t want to live here anymore, despite lacking any solid direction of where to go. Which brings me to my latest plan - the one I'm making real. My new plan starts with a sabbatical. (Or freelancing for work, if they allow me.) It’s foolish and financially irresponsible and tricky and terrifying and awesome, but I’m going to travel around the country shopping for my new home. I'm going to become a vagabond, to shop for the city I've been hoping to have found by now.

Now, you might say: Well why not just continue with your plan to move to Seattle? And, as a girl with such an inclination to pay attention to “signs,” everything in the past nine months has motioned to me and waved me away from it. Starting with the Turk. Plus, my Seattle gal – once discovered she was moving back east – admitted to me after I regaled her with my Phoenix tale, “I don’t think Seattle is sunny enough for you.”

In my months of mental planning, since I made this sort-of ridiculous decision, I have figured out the very small logistics of how and what. I will pack up all of my things and store them at my parents’ house. I will have a limited number of necessary items in my car, which will also serve as my bed part time. (Thank you Wal-Mart parking lots and KOAs.) I want to keep an open itinerary, but drive all around the country. I’m hoping facebook and connections will earn me free places to stay and lots of advice. While I am on my country-wide city walkabout, if I like a city, I will stay there for a couple of days, applying for jobs (and maybe even interviewing) before I move on to the next city.

The choice to do this – thankfully, is supported by my mother. I feel like that is very important, because I’m entirely nervous to make this step. It’s an incredibly calculated risk. But I realize I have only one life and it has been a decade long dream of mine to be a vagabond, so what better time and way to discover a new home, than to become a homeless vaga to do it? (I hope.) That support gives me courage.

Friends and strangers have also begun to come forward and give me the courage to do this. When people ask if, when, and where I’m moving, I tell them my new plan and they give me high-fives. Internet strangers have commended me for my "bravery." Real life strangers have also given me votes of confidence. For, for example, I was in a restaurant of the airport two weeks ago in Atlanta (on the way back from Mexico) when I was telling the stranger next to me my plan. A man sitting at the bar, turned around and mentioned that when he was 30, he quit his job and spent six months traveling the world and it was the best thing he ever did. Thirty minutes later, we boarded (that same guy happened to be on the flight) and while we loaded in I came upon this article. We were flying back from Cozumel where I never wanted to leave. (That’s the first time I’d been to a place and understood the sentiment of “I want to retire here.”) Mid-air I read and realized I was reading about myself. (I’m pretty sure she and I could be best friends.)

I want a life more fulfilling like the girl in the article. I am completely uncertain what that means or where it is, but that piece, and the man at the bar, and the encouragement of friends and strangers, and support of family, it makes me realize that sometimes you have to drop everything and put your faith into the things unknown. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m on a quest to ensure my life is entirely fulfilling, and while I’m not sure what it means, I am ready and determined to do my damnedest to find out. And calm my fears with excitement.

Finally, I'm leaving. It's time to say "Fuck it." I'm going to live.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Walter

I returned from Arizona, confident in something but I wasn't really sure what. As far as I knew, the single dad was over and I had a sort of direction again. (My plan for Seattle had recently been set ascew by an unexpected turn of events in the life of my girlfriend whom I was going to stay with there while I got settled, which sent her back to the east coast.)  I thought: I could live in Arizona.

I know, I'm just oozing sex appeal.
Five days later, it was Valentine's day. I was single - oh, so single - but I didn't mind. I enjoyed a "galentine's" celebration of junk food and wine with my cousin and her friends that she had set up. While lying on the couch in my pink zebra onsie with the other girls, wine, some potato chips, and a dog, I hopped back on Tinder - which I had been avoiding for months - passing the time during an on-coming snowstorm, while half-listening to 20-somethings lement about life and failed love.

On Tinder, a man showed up with a beard, green eyes and 6'. I swiped right, naturally, after checking to make sure he was local. I had turned my Tinder on for about 30 seconds while in Phoenix to show my host my profile, curious if he approved. I doubted anyone swiped me in that 30 seconds, but wanted to make sure. This was was 23 miles away, so it was a go.

The following day, the guy messaged me. I checked again to make sure he was local: 23 miles. I messaged back. He had the same name as my dad, so I renamed him: Walter. Almost immediately, and without reason, I began to refer to him as my 'husband' to my cousin and housemates. They laughed, but I just kept calling him that, unsure if I would ever speak to him after that day. Although, after an hour of conversation, I learned that Walter was from here originally and had moved to Arizone two yers ago. He offered to help me move across the country - since his family was still here, he would be back in May.

He was my sign from the universe!, I told him, surprised he didn't flinch in response. So perhaps then, that was my reason. But still, it was silly, yet the closest I'd ever come to the kind of thing when someone says, "when you know, you know." I knew. (Or so I thought. I think when people say this, what they really mean is "I hoped really hard s/he was it.")

For three weeks we talked every day. We facetimed. We exchanged a million photos and selfies. We had our first "date" watching "Theory of Everything" together via chat. We planned to meet the the second week in March when he was in town for work. He was complimentary and curious about me. He was funny and clever and I didn't have to explain Internet jokes. He had a job and a degree and seemed to fill of of the things on my "List". I was infatuated. I gushed in my head and aloud said almost nothing, but probably more than I thought. Fuck, was I interested. I went home for a weekend and told my mom and sister when they asked who I was texting, even though earlier that week he'd begun to text less.

I had asked him what was up with texting less and he said he was busy with work and this charity case kid that lived with him. I told him I didn't want to add to his stress, so I could leave him be. He told me "You're not. At all!" and carried on more with a conversation. Everything was copasetic. In a conversation after that, I told him I remember lots of dreams after he said he didn't. He told me to dream of him and said I'd see what I could do.

Days later, on March 4, the last snowstorm of the winter hit. That night I had a dream. He was in it. I woke up and wrote it down so I could tell him what it was: I was sitting down at a desk in front of a PC. An old photo came up of some weird outfit (can remember the outfit or its reason). You were standing in the room while I was pissing about on facebook and you saw a picture of me and made fun. I said, "If you think that one's bad, you should have seen yesterday's." So you walked towards me and came up behind me - I presumed to click through to find the picture - and I was smug because I knew the photos were only on my phone and not the computer, so I was just going to let you fruitlessly search. Only when  you came up behind me, instead of grabbing the mouse, you put your head around/above mine and kissed me so well that I forgot what words were.

He texted me later that afternoon. "I had a dream about you," I said.

He sent back a selfie with a surprised face, "Omgah. Lay it on me!" Then followed up with a picture I had requested the night before of him in a suit.

"So young!" I responded.

"haha. that was like...4 years ago? 5 maybe." And then that's the last thing he said to me. Without reason, Walter, this perfect man who the idea of I was falling for, disappeared. It made no sense. Just days earlier I told him I'd go away to not add to his stress. I didn't say anything wrong. I never even got to tell him my dream. The only sensical conclusion, after he had offered me to stay in his house and made plans on where to put my dream piece of furniture (a chaise and a half), was that something bad had happened. I was in a sort of terrified panic because of this near stranger.

He didn't respond when I texted three days later, "Getting worried over here. Please let me know you're alright." He didn't pick up his phone when I called once two days after that. Or when my friend called trying to help me stop wondering if I was the only one who knew he'd disappeared. (I didn't ask her to.) I began to call hopitals. I inquired to my mother and friends as to what to do. My mother said to contact his family - not that I really knew who his family was - but, even for me, that seemed too far. I am a hopeless romantic, yes, but I am also a realist cynic. I couldn't call the police or anything beyond something not traceable because I'm not quite that crazy. And I didn't know this guy. Maybe he was just playing games. Maybe he had a girlfriend that came back and he just ditched me because his balls got lost somewhere in his 20s.

So I just continued to check his reddit handle here and there. I had randomly - with little reason - asked what it was three weeks prior. Twelve days after he disappeared, after I had spent time searching news reports for accidents and obits for deaths and hospitals for his occupancy, I saw thislittle turd post something about Keanu Reeves shoes on reddit. That little fucking prick ghosted on me. I wrote this:


That felt good to write. It felt good to know he was not dead. I was so fucking releived and also pretty pissed he let me get involved. I was livid with him, ready to mail off a glitter bomb to the address my friend creepily PI found when I was like HE MIGHT BE DEAD BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT DO I DO, but as time passed, I cooled down (sans glitter bomb, even though it amused the hell out of my mom) and was more upset that I let myself get that involved and affected by someone I'd yet to meet. It was completely unexpected. And my own reaction to it all surprised even me. After the relvery of relief, I became disinfranchinsed with the whole single, dating, love, blah blah thing.

For a few days, I mulled over the idea that I had become so stupidly invested in someone I barely knew. In the idea that this guy could be my husband. I lost my hope in those 12 days of mysterious vanish. I thought the universe had put all of those things together, to lead me to something I lost before I had it. It was less about him and more about this arduous journey leading to nothing. It was a slow build up and sudden downpour of realization after that text, that I knew what I needed to do: I needed to stop focusing on this search for love or partnership or whatever it is I have come to beleive SHOULD be my next step. It was fucking stupid. Foolish. Stupid. Pointless. And a little weird. He pulled an incredibly dick move (guys, seriously, grow the fuck up), but really, when the dust settled, I was the only one left to blame. I can only control my actions: I beleived too much, too soon, with blind faith, hope and this idea of what I thought I wanted to happen next would happen (perhaps, or only because, I wanted it to), but life isn't like that.

Since then, there has been a paradigm shift. My focus now lies primarily on me. Love outside of myself isn't much of a consideration; more of a peripheral concern for future me. My hope is not lost, simply re-adjusted. I have been focusing on all of the wrong things; things not under my control; things that should matter far less than the clout I had mistakenly afforded to them. I need to focus and rely more on myself. It took some silly prick, but I learned that lesson and with good timing too...

Because I have a new plan now and it's tricky and terrifying and awesome - now that Seattle is a wash - though I need to take a moment to fill you in on that too...  (I apologize for my long absence. I have much more to catch up on now. I'll be back much sooner than later.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dragon

in life, we all do things to keep us afloat. some might go to therapy, or take medicine, or meditate. and some might, say, write a blog, documenting the absurdity of it all because they were once told that "the worst moments make the best stories" and it's the only thing keeping them sane through their twenties or hope alive in their thirties. the idea that one day all of these mean moments and painful stories will lead to some sort of destiny and some kind of crazy, beautiful happiness that ultimately makes the bumpy, thorn-filled ride worth it. but today, today i want off the boat. today, my hope is an elusive dragon whose tail i feel i may have been fruitlessly chasing for far too long and all that exists within it now is a breath of fire - scarring my once indelible spirit.



[explanation to follow]

Monday, February 9, 2015

30 Thousand Feet, Heading East

[written on the pages of an in-flight magazine, 10ish PM EST 2/9/15, posted retroactively]




I hope we see everything we deserve. I hope we fight for those things we see. I hope. I hope. I hope. We're scared and shell shocked because we've tried. Part of a generation wondering when is it "my turn". Next. I hope it's next. I hope we can embrace the idea that it's okay to "want to be loved the way [we] need," so read the letter I had found in his room to a girl that broke his heart. 

Three days before we'd spent together, day tripping to the Grand Canyon. Making out in a car, my hand in his, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect place to be, driving through the desert; a typically ferocious anxiety dulled to zero. And then, after 36 hours together, we came to his house: A disaster. What might have been my hope for my golden unicorn: A slob. Who knew that fell in my list of values? But history is a cruel and proper dictator. My reaction shifted everything from something near perfect. And so too his mood towards me. So when Monday rolled around and he left me alone in his house for a doctor's appointment, followed by work, I cleaned and organized his room. I thought it would be a nice gesture, and help with his brooding I noticed on and off throughout the time together. He had some things life had thrown at him. We all had. His bubbled just beneath the surface, I think.

It took me two hours to ready his room; take footballs and empty beer jugs, the entire contents of a dresser drawer, repurpose and replace them. Just as I was finishing up, he unexpectedly walked back into his house - I stood, anticipating his footsteps down the stairs. I waited to see his face again before I spoke: "I did a thing," I admitted, nervously, to his approach, unsure how he would react. 

"I can see that!" he said as I paused, waiting for either a positive approval or personal insult I had gone through and touched all of his things. (Because clearly they had ALL been in the wrong place.) "It looks great! Thank you!" he continued as he entered the room. 

A mild bit of relief transitioned into excitability of showing him his new clean, clam adult person room, with places for things and a hamper and no clothes lying on the floor. But in the back of my mind, I found it hard to shake the letter I had come across. And the journal I'd stumbled upon, yet resisted reading, as I had already felt I had perhaps invaded his privacy by reading a letter written to a girl, but never sent. A girl who clearly broke his heart. I'd only seen a speck, a tiny microscopic glimpse of the shattered romantic who wrote that letter in the three days prior we had spent together. And even in a note to no one, written for himself he wrote "BITCH FEST" after three pages of tenderness, continuing with just one more line and ending the cathartic personal excavation like it was weak of him to just feel. 

"My heart has hurt like that too!" I wanted to yell in a certain kind of emotional entanglement, instead of showing him how his beer jug was now a coin receptacle. But, I said nothing, fearing he would feel his privacy invaded. A guess, at best, I could only make that this girl was the one he had told me about (who had cheated) over our first dinner together four days prior. I wanted to admit that HOLY SHIT I DO THAT TOO - write the letters we never send to the people that hurt our hearts. And also don't stop yourself: A broken heart isn't a bitch fest, it just means you tried for something; it just means you have a chance to fall in love again. Instead, I could say nothing; I couldn't explain how the depth of his character had grown in his absence without admitting what I had done. And that those tiny moments when I saw who he wanted to be again (romantically) in those first 36 hours, then morphing into a sort of walled off apathy, that those moment are okay. Fight for those fucking moments! Fear will leave you alone and frustrated and placing blame.


We said all weekend, it was weird how similar we are. And it's in this moment, 30,000 feet in the sky at 10:35 EST, somewhere over the US that I realize I'm also speaking to myself. I WANT those moments and I will fight tooth and nail to have them again.

After evaluating his room, he stayed a few more minutes and then kissed my goodbye on his way to work. And again. His phone rang as I now stood in the kitchen, doing my due dilegance in washing the dishes for a house that let me squat for the weekend. He gave me a peck then ambled towards the the door to forever gone. "The worst!" I yelled, suddenly embarrassed, as he greeted his caller and I realized I'd been heard. And yet still bothered I was so flippantly leave-able. I cowarded as he walked away; a moment of goodbye not even just for us. The worst.

Passively, I left a post-it note, a nod to our broken hearts club he didn't know he belonged to. I left it slightly hidden behind a book on his nightstand, inscribed with one of my very favorite quotes that helps me through the hurt sometimes: "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind". Then I hoped he wouldn't take it the wrong way, packed my bags, and left.

You deserve the love you feel you needed. We all do. Goodbye to someone else's unicorn. One day it will be our turns. One day. I hope. I hope. I hope.


{Then I ripped out the pages and thought to myself: 'Well, he wasn't it' and turned to my whiskey & ginger.}

Thursday, February 5, 2015

40 Thousand Feet, Heading West

[posted retroactively]

2/5/15, 5:12pm EST

I started writing this on a barf bag, but it didn’t work. The first page I opened to was this [Phoenix/Scottsdale page in the airplane magazine, right]. What I was saying was that a barf bag seemed to be a fitting place to write prophecies of hope. Although at this point, any of it is hardly a prophecy.

I’m on a flight to Phoenix. I’m going to stay with a man I met 18 months ago in a bar in DC. For no particular reason aside from he offered [when I was looking for an escape post-Turk]. The lack and perhaps hope of prophecy stemming from psychics years back. As far back as 2010, they said 2013 I’d meet “the one”. One said August 2013. Then 2013 came and went and I remained alone. It wasn’t until last month when I wrote a blog referencing this random trip that I realized I met him in 2013 – August of 2013 to be exact. I began to read back on readings that he sounded like; what they all said. I became a bit more curious, hopeful, even.  But I’ve been tricked by the fallacy of their readings ‘fitting’ before (HG, The Turk). And yet I’m strangely hopeful – or had been. Then a touch nervous – what have I gotten myself into. Now nearly apathetic, but also wondering how to traverse this awkward (even for me) situation I am two hours away from walking into. And still, I hope.

He’s all the things on my list – tall, blue eyes, brown hair – as I told my mom yesterday (when she asked for his address half fearful for stranger danger and half still “I trust your judgement”).

“He is proof that those unicorns still exist!” I told her, garnering a positive out of the strange unknown. And then I thought: but maybe he’s not single, or perhaps terribly annoying; maybe he snores or whistles through his nose when he breathes! I don’t know. I’ve been anticipating this since I realized he fit the prophecy, but now it makes me nervous; after this - if it fails - what have I to look forward to? What have all the strange events of the last year leading to? Where is it? WHAT is it? I’m excited for things to come but anxious that if nothing comes of this, my hope again sits still – dead in the proverbial water.

We’ll see. It’s not like I can change my mind. I’m mid-air at 40,000 feet, hoping for any kind of fucking direction on where to go next; where to live, move, work! – vodka in hand. It’s good. This is good, right?! Right?! 

But seriously --- WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING? ::laughs to self so no one takes away her vodka tonic::

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Perfectly Timed Moratorium

The single dad wrote his own dating obit last night. Interestingly, I thought his three strikes would be attributed to this thing he did where he got drunk and then aired his grievances. The first time I was "too aggressive" a time or two in Pittsburgh. The next time I had made a joke that I was going to Tinder around the country to go to all of the Escape Rooms for free. And "he knew what that meant" and "it really changed how I think about you". He knew what I meant? WHAT DID I MEAN?!

I was so caught off-guard and offended and (my Achilles heel of being) misunderstood, that I was up until 5am writing words down to try to get it out since he'd since fall asleep after the textual attack. Words like this:

I don't want to spend my time on someone who is just waiting for me to fuck up and then scrutinizing me when I do. I could let things you've said change my opinion about you, but I realize that one thing - or a few - you've said does not define who you are to me. The only suspicion I have is a person who says the perfect thing 100% of the time. Perfection is a fallacy. I am real and thus imperfect. I don't want to spend time with people who, not only do not forgive my imperfections - my shit moments - but holds them against me. I don't want to be with someone who makes me cry alone, in my room with little reason and no opportunity for defense, for simply being human. There is an undeniable beauty in the fault of others - a shadow of someone else's self doubt that reminds us that we are not alone in sometimes failing.  
We are not solely baring the angst of doubt and regret and things wrongly said and misunderstanding and judgement and history and turmoil and fear and everything that comes simply with existing. But that beauty fades, it backfires when we are judged for our foibles - mistaken for a villain only by opinion and error. I am far from perfect and I don't pretend to be anything but, and thus, I do not hold others' imperfections against them. Instead, I try to understand them. We are all revisions of our former selves; shaped by history and experiences and family and friends and good times and bad. And I can't endure the accusatory misconception that just because you didn't like something I said, that I am less worthy of adoration. Or that your feelings hurt mean mine matter less. We are all fighting the same damn fight, and you are either with me - helping me to stand and understand - or you are against me - your bayonet of words held tight against my throat. 
There is no middle in this war. We all bear the weight of a patchwork heart. And we all must pick a side.

The next morning he was "oh it was just a misunderstanding." WAS IT?! To who? And fuck you! But I let it go - eventually. And he apologized - eventually. The week following all of this being ironed out began the first in a string of him cancelling on me. The first was January 22. Having not seen him for a week, he was going to come over, but instead went to a friend's farewell dinner. (His friend was moving to Texas.) Which, normally, is fine. But 1. I only found out he cancelled because I ASKED, 2. He didn't even play the "Do you mind if I cancel, because..." card (of course I'd have obliged) and 3. He didn't apologize for cancelling. The following week, I was suppose to see him on one of the off days from his kid and the weekend, then he ex went out of town for work and the Single Dad seems to not have a sitter. And there was yesterday. This cancellation was my favorite. By this point I began to say to people "I'm suppose to see him" instead of "I'm going to see him" when it came to explaining my plans. And I had been frustrated - and calmly, with understanding, yet voicing it - for over a week. He texted daily, but we never saw each other. And my feeling - while polling other parents - that if you put yourself out there to date, that you should make sure you have the time to date, was growing. Gaining momentum. So this was the microscopic straw that broke the proverbial camel's back:



I have yet to respond. The most ridiculous part of this situation is that he seems to want me to feel sorry that he's sad for a situation of his own making. Like I'm suppose to coddle a man who has disappointed me yet again. Your fucking tummy hurts? Oh and you have paper work to do? - he adds as though his first excuse wasn't quite enough. And somehow I'm suppose to feel bad for him? SOMEONE CALL THE WAHBULANCE! This got laughable fast. And normally I would feel bad he was sick, but being the third (fourth, fifth?!) time in a month he had cancelled left my empathy to reside somewhere in the Valley of No Fucks to Give.

via
So while I tried the single dad dating thing, I'm not sure I can give an entirely accurate depiction of what it's like. I think this guy might be slightly more unaware of anyone else than most men. (Which is saying a lot! Seriously, you guys - other people exist and women are not here to kiss your balls at your beck and call, mk.) However, it did manage to neon-flashing-sign highlight the pot holes and warning whistles when it comes to single parents dating. So then perhaps he was the perfect person to try out and pass on the information. I would say the first thing to ask when trying to date a single parent (whether you yourself have kids or not) is: Do you have the time do date? Have you carved out space in your life for just you? If the answer is no, move on until the answer is yes. And consider it - at the least - a moratorium until the answer becomes yes.

And otherwise simply a dating obituary: Single Dad Cancels Three Times, Tryst Dead in the Water 

This particular moratorium, however, is quite perfectly timed. I am actually rather thankful for it - as much as I am annoyed by it. (I'm fucking cute didn't you notice?! MAKE the time.)  Because tomorrow I'm taking off to Arizona and I was feeling sort of weird about going to stay the weekend at some guy's house while I was sort of dating someone. The weirder part for everyone else seems to be the fact that I'm going to fly across the country and stay with some guy that I met in a bar for 30 minutes 18 months ago. But Arizona is warm and he said it's free and I was looking for somewhere to go back in October and he asked. (I'm a simple creature, really.) My friends seem to think it's crazy and "what if he's a psycho". My mom, however said "I trust your judgement," but send me his address. She's used to these (simple) things I do by now. : )