mosaic dreams

15 Mar 01 8:24pm
Boise, Idaho

This is probably going to be disjointed and, like so many things, pointless. But I’ll try to keep it short.

One year ago today – almost to the minute – I rolled into Boise, thinking it was just a pit stop on my way somewhere else; greener pastures in Oregon. Within an hour I was introduced to a woman who kept drawing me back to Boise, and last August, I signed a lease and got my own little house here in the Gem State, the first place ever with all my own walls. I thought I’d take a break from LA, six months maybe if not longer, and do some writing. It’s been more than six months since the official move and a year since I ran out of town, for the first time ever not towards somewhere specific but away from Los Angeles.

I’m still in a desert of sorts; I’m still living on an urbanized valley floor. The ocean is gone, as are about fifteen million people, lots of culture, arts, movies, music, places I love to eat. This is not to say I dislike Boise; I love it, in fact. I miss those things (perhaps not the fifteen million people) but I love the feel of the air here, the larger sky, the larger mountains, the real weather, my historic neighborhood (full of Victorians), the way downtown looks, the people. I’ve made some great friends here, and in nearly every way Los Angeles didn’t feel like a home to me (not anymore at least), Boise does. But in nearly every way Los Angeles did feel like a home to me, Boise doesn’t.

It appears I’m done shooting concerts here; the market is small, the local promoters a monopoly, and when push came to shove, it’s their deck of cards. I up and sent my portfolio to Rolling Stone, but even if they love it, what could I do for them here in Boise? I’m not ready to leave yet, but I don’t want to be a part-timer at the library forever.

What about that writing I said I was going to do? Well, I’m finally starting to do some of it, but fitfully, painfully; perhaps I’m not ready yet. Tonight, I went back and read all the posts I’ve got here, made some edits for clarity, fixed some typos, nothing major. I was going to remove certain bits of my life I’m not completely sure I want in the public eye but this time, at least, I said screw it. I’m here to find a little truth, and the deletions I was considering would have been somehow dishonest. I still want to go back and do a little more editing, revising, expanding; attempt to tell the stories I was trying to tell but in my view, usually failing at. But that piles up with the rest of the writing I want to do, and the mangled photography hopes, everything. A friend here finally read my last screenplay, and I’m not sure what to do with the comments. That project, that form, that whole life of mine seems terribly remote right now. I did piece together one thing that’s blocked me this past year: the parts of my last script that mean the most to me, the parts that are really me, not my fictional counterpart, are the parts that got the most trashed by my Hollywood contacts. I think the fact that I’d let pieces of me out, only to watch them beaten and battered, hurt me more than I’d realized. I get cries of “why don’t you write about you?” and “if you’re writing a novel, it’s gotta be about you” and all this stuff that swells my ego enough it bumps its head on the bruises of rejection that script brought me. How do I get ready again to write, with all this? Is it rejecting those who rejected me? Is it not writing about me? Is it not caring what they said? I still remember taunting I got on the school bus in the third grade. How can I forget pain from just a year ago?

Then there’s that whole perpetual dad-missing I’ve got going on, wondering why the hell I can’t talk to him, visit him, show him what I’m doing. Some days I feel like I’m no longer someone’s son, and that’s worse than the earthquake I thought was gonna kill me, worse than rolling over the car and landing in far more pieces than I started in.

All this crap is going on; all the crap from the last entry here is going on; I’m still exhausted all the time.


U2 is going on tour. Very soon. I followed them halfway around the planet in 1997, and my own regrets are not having followed them the rest of the way around the planet. I’m without the woman I travelled with last time, and for whatever problems she and I had, she was a hell of a travel companion. So if I go, I’m going alone.

Am I thinking of going? Duh. I think the real question is, am I capable of thinking of NOT going? What compels me to follow a band around, especially when I’m so broke? So here I am, a plane ticket to Miami for the tour opener next week, tentative deals set up for tickets for both sold-out shows in Florida. I’ve worked out a west coast show-following trip for April covering six or so thousand miles. In June I’m planning to hit all of the New England and Mid-Atlantic shows. Twenty-five in total. It’ll never work; I don’t have the money, I can’t get the tickets. I like my little house too much to give it up for this tour, and even then, the money saved on rent might not do the trick. I tried to get a job with the tour as a photographer. They said thanks, you shoot great stuff, but we don’t need a photographer. I asked to be a roadie, and was ignored. I sent my portfolio to Rolling Stone and sorta mentioned in the letter what I was trying, but they haven’t called saying gosh, what a great story, we’ll help you. Like that was likely.

I think I can get into the concerts, at least Florida and the west coast, but I’m not sure I can get to photograph them. I shouldn’t take it personally — if they didn’t get a tour photographer, then NOBODY IN THE WORLD will get to photograph everything I want to. I probably can’t swing the New England shows at all, but I shouldn’t take it personally — I’ve got excellent tickets for 11 or 12 shows now, probably more than anyone else will get to see.

Except for the crew, of course. Which I wanted to be on.

I can put off my writing, my local photography, my day job, my feelings that this place or that is or isn’t home, my search for my place, whatever. But I cannot put off following their tour, because they are going on tour if I go or not. I like to think time stopped when my dad died, but that’s a lazy fantasy. The world is going on, and I can sit here in a dead-end job and stagnate, or I can sweep up the broken pieces of what I wanted and hoped for believed in, and glue them back together, perhaps in new patterns; a mosaic of the dreams that once drove me on. Next Wednesday I may be sleeping in a rental car in Miami, the picture I’ve created or recreated still not clear.

But I’ll be moving again, in a direction that just might be forward.


This was published on 15 Mar 2001.
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