Time Travel and a Geek-Out

I've been home from Arizona for three days. It feels like I had to travel six hours and eleven years to get back.

Last weekend could have happened just as easily eleven years ago as it did less than a week ago. Fully transitioning back to real time hasn't happened all the way yet.

And fully transitioning back to reality hasn't happened either. Part of it certainly has to do with the shock to my system that was losing Dan. My world isn't quite right yet. It won't be right the same way it was fourteen days ago. Or even before this great transition back to grad school life in a foreign land.

I got to Arizona on Friday afternoon, and I left on Monday morning. In the meantime, I got approximately eight hours of sleep. There wasn't enough time for all of the catching up. And my sleep was still very interrupted by the events of the week prior.

A brief recap:
Friday -
- Dinner with friends at Oregano's where I heard the "Oh, BrieAnn" story for the first time. With that story came mortification and flattery, quickly followed by laughter and tears all at the same time.

Saturday -
- Dan's "Celebration of Life." His sisters, Kim and Colleen spoke. The stories they told kept the mood light and very Dan. They did a beautiful job making Dan feel present and putting our hearts at ease with their words. I hope our collective presence did the same for them.
- Old band and choir videos at Sarah Keller's mom's house. Lots of good reminiscing and many a photo share.
- The get together at Travis's house. It was fun and loud. I enjoyed yoga with Kristin and the quiet one-on-one conversations I was able to have. Despite all the talking, the yoga, and the laughter, I still found myself alone in the loft scribbling notes about an irretrievable friend, and with a handkerchief that wasn't big enough for all the tears.  

Sunday -
- Brunch at The Coffee Shop at Agritopia. I had Tofu Benedict, and Emily and I split a cupcake as an appetizer.
- Church at the Ironwood Ward with my aunt and uncle. It's always nice to see the familiar faces there.
- A visit with Don and Verda. I pretended like their love seat was a couch in a therapist's office. It was good to get some things off my chest.
- A trip to the Coleman's to see the progress in their kitchen makeover.
(In-between was a failed attempt at seeing my friend Monika and her new baby.)
- Dinner at Chipotle on our way out to Scottsdale to Bryan and Matt's mom's house. There I enjoyed some FaceTime with my family (I got some in on Saturday, too), Muppet Treasure Island, and some fantastic hairstyles courtesy of Bryan's seven-year-old daughter Bailey. [She felt like home to me.]
Sunday into Monday -
- An entire night under the stars I've missed, against the silhouette of the mountain I love, and a conversation that didn't give out until the stars faded away into the sunrise. Yes. I stayed up to watch the sunrise. I needed to be present for that transition.
- I dropped Nathaniel off at the airport bright and early (which didn't feel quite so bright and early because of the lack of sleep), and headed further west to Sarah Keller's for a little nap. A little nap that was interrupted by over a hundred texts in a group message about this picture:

And later this one:

Oh the Selfie Stick.

- I hit the road at 10:30 and got home at 4:30.
- I think I was asleep somewhere between 8:30 and 9, after watching my first episode of Derek. (I love everything about it except for "Kev." He's too much.)  

Every night I slept, I fell asleep talking to Sarah Keller. At her mom's. On the new sectional. The first night, we had to make sure our heads were close to one another. The second night it didn't matter as much because it was 4 AM. Her mom made me Snickers Salad, and her famous sweet spaghetti sauce, which I shared at Travis's house.

Old Times is exactly what it felt like. But it wasn't our only reality, it was an alternate reality, and we all had our real lives waiting for us to go back to. The circumstances that brought us together were difficult, but being together helped ease the grief for a while (even if there were solo intermittent bawling-my-eyes-out sessions involved).

While there, I revisited old dreams, and felt things I was surprised to feel. Things that have made the transition back to real life and real time a little hazy. The patterns of my real life here aren't very well established yet, so I think that's making it even more difficult than it might be otherwise. (maybe?) In some ways I am rattled. And in other ways I am resolved. Or trying to be. Or wish I was. I'm still processing. I'm still transitioning. I'm still trying to figure out what just happened.

I'm not always sure what day of the week it is, and I currently seem to be confused by what year it is, but I know there is a fluidity to time. And there are occasions when it folds back on itself and you can reach through and find yesterday or peek into tomorrow. It feels the same as when I first heard about Dan, and was sure I could reach through and grab his hand to pull him into the present. Back into existence. I still like to think about N. Scott Momaday's interpretation of time - rather than time passing us by, we are passing through it. Either way, there is movement.

Finally, I need to share a random Geek-Out. I haven't done so since writing about Barry, our mailman, and it was a really normal feeling part of today. A few weeks ago, we were driving through a lovely neighborhood here in Los Angeles. When we got home, I looked up Cheviot Hills and discovered that one of its most famous residents was Ray Bradbury, and he'd lived there for over fifty years until his death in 2012. He authored one of my all-time favorite books, Dandelion Wine. {I think it's interesting to see how many times I've mentioned something on my blog. Dandelion Wine shows up in six posts. You can find them here.} Today, before the La Brea Tar Pits and the Farmer's Market, I was at the corner of Cheviot and Queensbury (a short drive from my home, mind you) doing this:

I can't help but feel a certain connection between this yellow house and another very particular yellow house that is dearest to my heart. If I had the 1.7 million dollars Bradbury's home sold for in June, you'd better believe I'd happily spend my time loving it back to life. Perhaps I can convince its new owner (though it doesn't seem occupied, and certainly needs a lot of work) that they should donate it to me to live in during Jake's time in grad school, and when it was time to change hands, they'd have a perfectly perfect home to move into. I hate scraping wallpaper, but the tile is perfect. You can see interior pictures here. Oh, how I hope they don't tear it down.


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