first of all, today is ezrael’s natal day, and there was a wonderful party in his comments.
for me, this makes seventeen years i’ve been in ventura. it wasn’t your ordinary traditional kind of ‘oh, i’m going to move to ventura’ moves — it was rather a spur of the moment decision.
i was living in phoenix with the husband. we’d been drinking the night before, and slept through the alarm, which he then accused me of forgetting to set. and i remember setting it, i do. in any case, that was cause for an ass-whupping, as many things were. this one was different – amanda, age (almost) three, got hit by a stray belt, and i rather freaked at that point. and the cops came, and out the bathroom window he went. less than an hour later they returned to tell me he was in custody, and by then i had made the sobbing collect call to the parents (who in the time i’d been away from home, had moved from the bay area to ventura and acquired an unlisted address, without which i could not have inflicted myself and my vengeful spouse on them). they prepaid a plane ticket, and i packed everything i had into a suitcase and a military duffel bag. feeling sad for him getting out of jail and being broke, i left five of our last seven dollars behind in the nightstand drawer. why? well, that was rather typical of my behavior at the time.
in fact by the time it was time to get the bus to the airport, i was already regretting calling my parents. afterall, hitting the kid was an accident, he was mad for good reason! he was late to work! actual work! things were getting better and he was sorry! he was always really sorry.
but the fact my parents had prepaid the plane tickets obligated me to go, and so i went. missed the first plane, called, rescheduled — three hours later. three hours in an airport with two dollars and seventy pounds of luggage and a three year old. she wouldn’t get on the escalator, so i had to carry her *and* the luggage. luckily i was young and strong, eh? she sensed that i was quite hindered by the luggage, and that this meant better mischief. twice, she ran into the mens’ room, and i had to flag down airport employees to go get her (why i didn’t just barge into the mens’ room myself, i don’t know. i’d do that now, but then? i was … shy? scared of everything? something.)
flew into burbank and all piled into the parents truck (not sure how all four of us fit, probably illegal use of seatbelts and things. we made do. it was a time of making do.) drove up the 5 to the 118, through the farm country and the sunshine, the whole time regretting everything about what turned out to be one of the best spur of the moment decisions i’ve ever made. after all the times i’d left, which had backfired, and i’d almost learned not to leave, i left. almost by accident, i left. and this time, it worked.
and the next day, it snowed in phoenix.