The Way Station

Photo by Stephen Scahfer
Photo by Stephen Scahfer

1. We live in a Motel 6 in Ventura, California, which is a little over an hour north of Los Angeles.
2. The building sits on the edge of Ventura and the neighboring town of Oxnard.
3. Across the street is a gym. This seemed like kismet, especially when a day after my brother left, there was a special which waived the joining fee.
4. The Ventura Community Park has a 1.25. mile track that my brother and I discovered one day by accident. We ran, him way a head of me, every other day while he was here. Now I run alone (limp, walk/shuffle).

5. Ventura is officially called the City of San Buenaventura.
6. For the month of June, most of southern and coastal California have consistent mornings of cloud coverage called “June Gloom.” Otherwise, it is sunny all day long.
7. The Conejo Grande, part of highway 101, is a stretch of road through a mountain with a 7% grade that kept most settlers out of the Oxnard plains. Going south, I look forward to this part of the drive.
8. The gym is always crowded. It was immediately clear to me that Californians care about being healthy and fit. It was also clear to me when I put on my old bathing suit that I should care more.
9. Whenever I tell people that we are moving to Portland, invariably they have an opinion. Whether I asked for it or not. I never ask.
10. The beach is about three miles away from the Motel 6. I am very tan.
11. I understand the appeal of the coast of California: the sun, the green and blue ocean, the salty breeze.
12. Living in one room with another person, is a test. Always a test. Or maybe living with me is a test.
13. Unemployment has taught me I am not very good at being unemployed. I thought with all this time I would be writing and reading, but I have found time to do every thing but that.
14. There was a prostitution sting today at the Motel 6. It was awesome. Undercover cops scare me less than uniformed cops, because they just seem so damn cool. There was a lady cop and she looked like she could kick TJ’s ass, which is how I gauge the toughness of other people.
15. I come to the same Starbucks and sit in the same corner every time. Around 3pm, without fail, there is a rush of people for about thirty minutes.
16. Strange that I would be in a place where my Arizona license doesn’t make eyebrows raise.
17. My friend sent me a link to an online poetry workshop that starts tomorrow. The Universe has me all figured out.

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