Into the Concrete Wild

After spending a relaxing week in Hawaii being close to the ocean and feeling all the negative ions from the crashing surf wash my anxieties and worries away, I took off again over the weekend for camping with the Michigan crew.

We went to Lake Perris which is about an hour and a half east of LA, close to Riverside. We were promised swimming, hiking, fishing, etc., but as it is with us, inevitably it turned into mostly eating and drinking.

I carpooled with Rebecca but we ran late because I did such things as leave my pillows, towels, wallet and blackberry-flavored joint at home. The drive over was fun, because it gave Rebecca and I time to bond. As Saturn moves through my 1st house and I discover what it’s like to be fearless in an Aries kind of way, I’ve found that I’ve been spending time with a lot of Aries, getting to know their outlook on life. Rebecca is a quintessential Aries–strong, open, friendly with a very clean, straightforward no-bullshit energy. We mostly talked about dating, since our exes seemed to have bonded together in creating some kind of bitter wallowing superforce, so it’s only natural that we bond together as a we’re-the-bigger-people-and-don’t-give-a-shit superforce. I found it interesting that she has things she needs to return to her ex, and he asked her to call my ex to coordinate. It just seems weird.

She said she read some study that said that a girl should go through at least 12 relationships before settling down, because that way a woman really knows what she wants in a partner, and has enough experience to better navigate the obstacles. She’s had 18 relationships. I’ve had 10 (I counted ones that weren’t really long-term committed relationships per se, but were deep connections where I learned a lot about the other person and myself). I guess I have two more to go, huh? I hate break ups.

We got to Lake Perris and it’s this huge lake set within a desert mountain range. The campsite wasn’t really a roughing-it site as the driveways were concrete, the bathrooms featured flush toilets and you could drive 5 minutes to a Target Superstore to get anything you may have forgotten. But if you looked at it from a different angle, it kinda looked like the African bush. Kinda.

We set up our tents, trying to avoid the fire ant hills, and Josh set up a hammock between two trees that looked like a human slingshot:

Sareet brought her child (aka dog) who was miserable:

We ate:

And drank:

And ate:

And drank:

And we learned that we love Maker’s Mark and hot dogs:

Mostly we told funny stories about people who weren’t there to defend themselves:

At night, the full moon over the mountains and water was incredible, and I stood there staring at it for a while trying to feel the energy of the night. I’m convinced that the energy at night is different from the energy of the day in a way you can physically feel. I recognize that if I give into it, I’m a different person at night than in the day. I’m more open, more myself.

Sitting around the campfire, I tried to watch people and feel out who they are, what things are special about them. Kind of an exercise in appreciation, trying to notice something that I may not have noticed before. Max is an incredible story teller. He’s passionate about his ideas, and he’s riveting. He told us how he used to work for a VH1 pop-up show, and how his company told them it was okay to make stuff up. So they were doing a segment on how Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul & Mary was arrested for basically coming on to a 14 year-old girl. He served time in prison, so Max threw in a “fact” that he was raped 17 times in prison. Somehow, this fact got through the people at his company, and got through VH1 even, before the whole segment was scrapped because Peter Yarrow didn’t want them to air that bit about his life. He did say that one of his made-up facts did air. They did a segment about James Brown running from the cops (his famous incident was a high-speed car chase that ended in his car upside down in the desert and him standing next to it, high on coke and alcohol, and saying, “Is there a problem, officer?”). Max slipped in a “fact” that James Brown has previously led the police on 5 other chases.

Max is lucky because he’s very cerebral and spends a lot of time inside his head, but Sareet takes really good care of him. She’s responsible and very nurturing so it’s sweet to see how she looks out for him and people in general. She reminds me of a benevolent den mom. She’ll make a good soccer mom one day. Not those catty ones that are crazy bitchy competitive, but the kind that always has antiseptic and band-aids, tells even the fat kid that he played really well and really means it, and brings orange slices instead of Ho Ho’s because it’s better for the kids. She saved my life this weekend with aloe gel.

Amol has a good heart and is really responsible. I think he’s privately dealing with feeling like a second-class citize
n in his household, because his parents expect that he’s a male so he should be able to take care of himself, while his sister gets spoiled. While intellectually, you can say, well, it’s because of the culture bias or they expect more out of him, but I think this slight still makes him angry deep down that his parents don’t give him an equal amount of support, or that in a way, it means they don’t love/protect him as much as another member of the family. He’s brought up this disparity a lot. I think a lot of men will rant about things, but they’ll cut off their emotional lives because delving too deeply would mean they have to confront things that make them feel sad, hurt, angry, inadequate, etc. and it can feel overwhelming.

There is something eating at Rebecca. Her eyes are somewhere else sometimes. I think it’s the uncertainty of her life right now, particularly in terms of career. Mentally, she has most things planned out and she trusts her courage and strength to land her on her feet. I feel like she’s resolute not to give the worry and fear any weight, but you can see it in there and it’s wrestling with her self-esteem, but she’s trying to tackle it head-on. I hope everything works out, and I’ll miss her when she moves back to Michigan.

Josh has a really gruff, abrasive exterior to mask that he’s a little soft inside, and that softness is a good thing. It’s like a glimpse of something tender. He’s more considerate than he’s willing to admit. I think his emotional meanness allows him to control how close people get to him. We had some good conversations this weekend, and he revealed that he’s afraid of zombies, sharks and change, with the last being the most dominant fear. And that in his dreams, he can breathe underwater as long as he covers his nose and mouth with a washcloth.

Kate and JR have an interesting, sweet relationship. JR is very intelligent, accomodating and helpful, but he’s very sensitive. Kate has the sensitivity to acknowledge when JR wants some reassurance and she gives it to him, and in turn, he does the little things to make her more comfortable and to take care of her. I don’t know the ins and outs or day to day details of their relationship, but I feel it’s a delicate emotional balance, but both of them are very sensitive and careful about navigating the inner worlds of the other.

We went to bed early and got up early on Sunday morning. Josh made coffee and I scrambled some eggs with cheese and veggies that came out really well for having been cooked over a firepit. Some people went swimming, but since I had gone swimming the day before and discovered the lake floor to be squishy, I decided to nap instead. It was really relaxing, to be outside and to do nothing.

We all left as the sun was setting, and on the way home, Rebecca and I talked about deep connections and if maybe sometimes deep connections don’t last because the energy is too volatile, so whoever you spend your “daytime” self with, the person that you have a more human partnership with and build the rest of your life with (kids, marriage, day-to-day living and rapport),etc. may not necessarily be someone that you have a deep connection with. Like you can have a great partnership with your life partner, but it won’t be the same level of those deep karmic connections because these inherently are too volatile and you can’t build a strong house on this volatile connection. We talked about secret lives and how people have a public face and a private face. I told her that I totally think I’m going to be one of those people who has a secret life, where I have a house or apartment somewhere that no one knows about, and just periods of time where only I know what I’m doing or where I am. For some reason, privacy/secrecy is really important to me, because I feel like without it, someone can control me, or “catch” me. I admitted to her that I think there’s only one person I’m ultimately looking for. That there may be many people who can fill this role for me out there, but at the end of the day, there is only one seat next to me, and whoever sits here will be the one I show my whole self to. I feel like many people have seen various parts of me, many people have seen enough of me to have a good idea of who I am, but there are parts of me that are very contradictory that no one has seen. Many have seen a lot, no one has seen all. And I have never given my heart away, because I don’t know how to put down my defenses. As Colin says, I don’t have a wall in front of me, I have a maze. And that maze has a way of leading people into dead-ends, so whoever someday finds me had better be smart and be able to see larger pictures. I think of it like Excalibur…I hope someday to meet someone with enough courage to be able to pull that sword out of the stone and open up my heart. And in turn, I will give that person unquestioning devotion. I really hope that person is a good person, but I feel like deep down, I’ll know.

When Rebecca dropped me off, I said to her, “Enjoy your shower.” As it came out of my mouth, I realized it was a strange thing to say to another woman, but for being as dirty and dusty as we all were, I felt like showering was going to be an amazing experience.