First I am going to steal someone else’s old story and then tell it poorly.
In high school, my boyfriend and another friend worked at a fast food restaurant. One of their coworkers was a bit of a space case, but I don’t remember exactly why. (Maybe because I’m also a space cadet? …Oh.)
One day one of my friends had some reason to tell this guy, “Dude, you’re toast.” As in: you’re gone, out of it, fried, etc.
In all seriousness, he protested, “I’m not toast. I’m a….crouton.” Which cracked them up.
Hours later, he came back and clarified to one of them, “Not just one crouton. A whole bag of croutons.” Like he’d been pondering the matter over the frozen meat patties for the last couple of hours until he came up with this satisfactory analogy. They used that line many times after, which is why I remember this.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a whole bag of croutons. I may be a whole case of croutons. My brain has shut down. The paper has been put on vacation hold, the windows are shuttered, and the heat is turned way, way down.
A couple of weeks ago, all I wanted to do was to go to New York, where I could walk everywhere (and where there are tons of places to walk to) and attend every single performance of Alvin Ailey since their NY season is going on until the end of the year.
I didn’t go, and instead I went on a short road trip to Texas. We got back from that late Monday night, and this weekend I’m going out of town again, to another place where I’ll spend too damn much time in a car. Although I’m going to visit my mother and am looking forward to seeing her, I know this trip is not going to remedy this inner fatigue.
That fatigue hit me in a wall tonight when I put the photos from the Texas trip into a lackluster Flickr set. Through the whole trip, I was seeing tons of photographs I wanted to take, but there usually wasn’t any time to stop to do so, and they weren’t ones I could take from a car continually going 40-70 mph. Early on, I had to just let go, knowing that it wasn’t going to be the kind of trip that would lend itself to stopping for photographs. But that’s all I kept thinking about doing.
Well, that and taking a monster genuine road trip, which I’ve never really done. I want to go back to Texas and just roam, stopping every two miles to take photographs, if that’s what I feel like doing. I don’t want to have to be anywhere specific at any given time. I don’t even want to go to this or that cool city to see all the specific things and places I’d usually want to see. I want to go somewhere different and warm to just read and write and lounge and photograph and gaze at the water (so there has to be water) and wander.
I want, I want, I want–this is the kind of time when I start breaking down and fantasize about unplugging everything in my current life to run off to work in a call center in an Indian city or do a year in London studying something completely fun (yet likely somewhat impractical) like “Photography and Urban Cultures” or “Culture, Globalisation and the City.”
But instead of upending my life, I might just need to go to San Diego for a long weekend. I might just need a vacation.
Not just a case of croutons….I am a whole truckload of croutons in a semi barreling down I-35. I am that many croutons and bacon cooked so long it crumbles to ash and the charred remains of the giant Swedish straw goat.