To my credit, I have been busy. For a good chunk of the last few months, I have been engaged in the application process for the Creative Writing PhD program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. This was a battlefield of deadlines, essays, and lost transcripts, but with the help of those on staff in LA, and the support of my friends and family at home, I got the letter. Well, I received a phone call first, telling me I'd been accepted, but I don't think I fully let myself celebrate until the letter came in the mail. Official Letterhead and all. And riding shotgun with the letter was the terrifying notion of leaving this city behind. Portland, the place I call home.
I came to this city almost a decade ago, with little more than a backpack full of cigarettes and paint pens. And the youthful lust that urges a twenty-year-old boy to leave everything in Southern California behind after a chance encounter. That tryst lasted, as you can assume, the appropriate three week period and I was left, by myself, in the City of Roses. I've lived in every neighborhood, drank in every bar. I've lost almost as many friends as I've made. This city helped me find the love of my life. Paige, my partner, a woman without whom I would never be the man I am today. And here I discovered who I want to be. Not the guy I pretended to be, not the badass I thought I was, but who I am. I'm a writer.
We've got two months. Eight weeks to figure out the move, to pack our books and spatulas. To fill out change of address cards and say our goodbyes. But I'm not ready. Not yet. We've got the summer to hash out the details. And to spend as much time as we can on the river, around the bbq, at the old haunts. And I plan to savor every last second.
So, where does that leave me right now? Well, the clock is creeping up on 10am and my dog is stretched out on the hardwood like a rug, panting. Candyman, the criminally underrated horror masterpiece, is chugging and burning on the TV just beyond the glow of my laptop. Paige is plugging away at her work in the other room, finishing her last week of undergrad. And I couldn't be more proud. In a little more than a week, I'll lose myself in the clapping, the cheering, the shimmer and sway of her gown and she walks across the stage and receives her degree.
And then we are off, off to the land of crawfish and glittery beads. To Southern hospitality and thunderstorms. To make new friends, and to encourage the old ones to visit. I cannot wait to see what life will bring next.