‘Da(w)n in Real Life’

If there were an Internet connection here at La Madeline, this would be a blog entry. But as there isn’t, oh well. (Hello, free Wi-Fi/ Since a girl had to disconnect hers at home per Comcast and now it won’t hook back up because there’s no love for Mac people in a Windows-based router world?)

I’ve been having trouble with the morons at my apartment rental office. I mean, I want to light the office on fire and probably would if it wouldn’t get me arrested. And that just wouldn’t agree with me too much — I think the reason why I stay as calm and serene as possible is that I just wouldn’t be able to survive in prison without all my girly products.

And besides, what’s the point of losing one’s cool if her single-lifetime meltdown moment ends up on the nightly news? I would surely hate to wait all this time for my 15 minutes of fame and it would find me doused in gasoline and touting a .38-caliber. (Although, the peaceful, accomplished grin on my face would be epic)

Anyway, the rental office somehow managed to hire someone competent and, dare I say, the only non-native English-speaker is the most-articulate of the bunch. (Shocker!) In fact, we talked for a good two hours about his travels. (Born in Mozambique, lived in many places, last seen in Santa Monica, planning a two-month journey to South Africa, Barcelona and Paris, etc.)

I was mystified as to how a management-office money could afford that, but he said he only works when he feels like it — just one or two days a week. He’s got all kinds of enterprises going and says that one good commission can pay for him to live/travel for a year. Damn.

I needed to run into him when I did. I wanted to hear all about a world other than workweeks and familial obligations and no time for oneself. I mean, this dude looked like the corners of his mouth were permanently upturned — he’s one of those people who “works to live’ (and not the other way around like the rest of us). And damn it, I want to be him when I grow up.

He says he’s quitting this job in May to start his travels, and he’ll come back when it darn well pleases him — not to the job, but to America. I was enthralled with tales of the friends he’s made around the world, and how there are so many more journeys to be experienced that one simply cannot know about when one is imprisoned in one’s circumstances.

Blah blah, if you can dream it do it cakes.

He asked what I was doing this afternoon, and I said I was inspired to go find some travel literature and get my passport. He said to get that passport ASAP and to go buy maps and books and rent movies on France. (I told him about naming my savings account “Paris.”) So I found myself driving to Le Madeline for some cawfee (er, café) and some stinky-cheese dish. (The latter wasn’t such a hot idea, but le café est magnifique.)

We exchanged e-mail addresses with a promise to meet for cocktails before he leaves and for him to keep me motivated to keep my travel/escape dreams alive.

Hmm, that’s ponderous, what I just typed. I dream of escape these days, not travel. I’ve sort of fallen into a “can’t make it happen now — best not to dream about it at this time” mode. I think that sentiment could apply on a grander scale, too, truth be told. I can do it all “someday,” right?

He told me to not only get that passport, but frame that thing and stick it in the living room. To remember that every day that goes by without me using it is time that I am missing out on experiences that I’m destined to have.

I always, always say that people are placed in our path for a reason. I admit I thought he was put on this earth to annoy me (as it seems damn near everyone else was) because he works for Miss Management (oh, I hate the woman who runs that office). But he could care less about the dumb games they or anyone plays, because he has his own thing goin’ on.

In fact, he’s going to be doing volunteer work in every city he’s traveling to. He set his own agenda and seems like he shows up and introduces himself to helping organizations and gets put to work wherever. And he picks his hotels and destinations based on how much of his tourism dollars will go to the poorest people in those cities.

I would never have thought to do that. Of course, I’m not doing a lot in the way of crafting creative solutions to anything because I’m having enough of a challenge just keeping up with the bare minimum that I’ve committed myself to.

Anywhoo, I’m going to go find myself a bookstore or something. I don’t want to lose out on this rare inspired feeling — lord only knows, if I don’t hang on to it this time, when I’ll come across it again. …

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