Goodbye, Houston

take care of them for me.

I think it’s safe to say the sad days at Squishy have officially begun. The next couple of weeks will probably be both sporadic and depressing. Deal with me, okay?

I’ve lost my voice. It was coming from this weekend, after a dueling Axl Rose session with both Matts (don’t ask), but I lost it big time last night.

That happens when I cry. When I cry for a long time. I tend to lose my voice.

I said goodbye to my family last night. And sometime during the drive home, when I realized I wasn’t going to be making that Houston to Austin drive anymore, that drive that I’ve taken hundreds of times over the past seven years, I got very very sad.

I hate Houston. I really hate that city. I never felt comfortable there, and I really didn’t like the people very much. The only thing that was nice about that place was my family lives there. Whenever I go home, I pretty much stay with my family the entire time. I don’t have any old friends there. I can’t go back to my high school. The last time I tried, they wouldn’t let me past security because I wasn’t carrying an ID.

But last night I just wanted to make the entire day in Houston last longer. I wanted to take back the times I got exhausted from the family arguments. I wanted the four of us sitting on the porch talking and joking to last for hours. I wanted to have been there for days already.

Seeing my mother wave goodbye from the front door for the last time. It was all too much, really. We all knew that I was getting ready to leave, but it wasn’t until I stood in that living room last night and said I needed to go that I realized that I was losing a very comforting part of being in Austin. My parents were just a short drive away. A couple of hours. I came home for birthdays, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas… I really did it without any sort of planning. They could come up to see shows. I could come down for dinners. And now I have to book flights to see them. I just saw how expensive it’s going to be to come home for Thanksgiving, and I’m not sure if I can do that and afford to come home for Christmas. Not if I also want to buy any gifts for anyone. Not if I am actually moving to Los Angeles. Not if it takes me a little while to find a job.

I hadn’t really factored all of that in. The family thing. They’ve just always been a drive away. When I left for college, even though I was sad and homesick, I could come home every weekend if I wanted to. And for a while I did just that. Me and Club Pro drove I-10 so much that I don’t even have to think about that drive. I just put on some music, sing a little while, and then I’m home. I’d drive with friends, by myself, think, write, talk on the phone– I know the mile markers and know that it’s exactly 134 miles from my front door to my parents. Now it’s going to be much farther than that.

I know most people went through this a long time ago. They’re used to having to pick which holidays to come home for. They’re used to booking flights and phone calls and letters and care packages. I’m used to being able to just drive home. I’ve never been away from them on holidays. It seems like I’m almost starting this too late in life. Like, I should have had some practice in college or something. But here I am just now leaving my college town for the first time.

Eric is out selling some of our books. We’re consolidating. I’m starting to get this “I don’t care” attitude about my belongings. It felt good to see Becca and Michelle take some of my things. I’m not just dropping them off somewhere– I’m leaving them with people I care about. A part of my house is now in theirs. I like that.

This weekend will be the tricky part. I think we’re spending like, all the time there is at the Bad Dog. My friend Laura House (who is hysterical and if you can go, you should see her perform) is performing all weekend. There’s a roast for me and Eric that we don’t know about. (hee) And I think we’re just having people at the club for a party on Saturday night. I have a friend’s party there Wednesday night as well. It’s going to be a pretty crazy-hectic couple of weeks. The movers arrive in one week.

One week.

I’m moving to Los Angeles, people. When did that happen?

The cats go to the vet tomorrow. I have to go buy them carriers for the flight.

I’m filling out bills and changing my address to the “LA, CA” address. I’m having to fill out change of address forms. I’m going to have to do the early voting. I’m having to finish up all sorts of freelance work early so that next week I don’t have to worry about anything. I don’t know how quickly I’ll be back online after Monday. Certainly there won’t be time to write the two days on the road, and all of my belongings might take up to ten days to arrive at the new place.

I have to find a job soon, as I don’t have insurance soon.

I’m throwing a big party in LA when I get there. To remind me how many friends I have. Because this whole family thing is hurting me. Last night, on my drive home, I got three phone calls. Three of the most important people in my life were there while I was driving, singing and crying. It was more than comforting to know that there are people thinking about me on a Sunday night, wondering if I’m okay, worried that I might be too upset to drive in the rain. My mom would be very happy to know that there are people that care for my safety and health like she does. And the fact that all of them will be there with me in LA should make her feel a bit better. Because I think my family thinks LA is full of crazy people that want to make me “turn into a weirdo.”

Ugh. See? The sadness. It’s setting in. Man, this year. My poor heart.

I’d much rather just tell the giant dirty story about The Donkey Question, which I might do later this week just to cheer myself up. For those of you involved in The Donkey Question, all names will be changed to protect the perverted.

Okay, I’ve got work to do around here. I should get to it. It’s raining out, and I’m worried we might lose power.

Right now my parents are at work, two hours away. I wish I could just get back in the car and go see them for longer. I wish I had more time. I feel like it’s running out very quickly. How am I going to have enough time for everyone before I leave? I won’t. I can’t. I can’t spend as much time as I want to with all of these people before I have to just lock the front door, turn in my key and drive across the country.

About an hour or two every single day I don’t want to move anymore. I just want to change my mind and stay where I am. Then I remember that I don’t really have a choice at this point, since so many actions to move forward have already been taken. I’m moving. I’m supposed to do this. At this age, at this time, I’m supposed to make that trip out to see what happens. Strange, I’m not moving because I’ve always loved the city and want to spend the rest of my life there. I’m moving to see if the city likes me and if it wants me there. How often do you move and say, “Well, I can always come back if I hate it?” When I was a kid and we moved all of the time, it wasn’t a question about whether or not the new city was going to like us. It was just “That’s where we have to live now because that’s where the work is.” It’s so backwards from when I was younger. Moving was something that happened to us, not something we chose to do to fulfill some sort of career desire. And it almost seems shallow to be moving from some sort of career goal. It’s not even really noble. It’s kinda selfish. We’re moving to see if we can get more work, or better paying work. We talk all of the time about how we want a good quality of life and just want to enjoy where we live and enjoy the people in our lives. We have that here. We had that here. But here we are, planning on moving, just to see if we can do it again, or do it even better. And even though everyone tells us we’ll be fine, and that we will enjoy living there, I can’t help but remember how I was instantly in love with Austin before I even moved here. I never struggled with liking this place. The heat, yes. The heat is hard. But I’m moving to another hot city. Without the blessed Texas religion of Air Conditioning.

I’m babbling my fears and sadness now. I should just go to work. But I didn’t realize how hard that last drive from Houston was going to be.

It’s all starting to hit me. And I think somehow my voice is gone because I don’t know what to say about all of it.

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