You Can't Go Home Again
2005-07-19 - 7:08 p.m.

I finished book # 24 last night. The Loss of Leon Mead by Josh Emmons. I bought this book because it is set in Eureka, CA, where I went to college (well, technically, I went to college in the next town over, but close enough). This was definitely written by someone who used to live there, the author remembers the place fondly, but has absolutely no desire to live there again. That is Eureka in a perfect nutshell. Ironically, the story is about a group of people who do decide to stay in Eureka for most, if not all, of their lives. It is a really good story about a group of people in this small, rather economically depressed city who keep seeing this man who has gone missing. He just randomly appears and disappears in different places in Humboldt County and the same 8 or so people keep seeing him over and over. Itís a story which is at the same time about Leon and about how seeing someone randomly appear and disappear affects these other people, some think he is a religious vision, others think they are going crazy and another thinks heís a burglar who keeps breaking into her house, then also how, in such a small community, these peopleís lives keep intercepting. I highly recommend. It was a really neat study in human perception. The only problem I had was that as I was reading he would mention some landmark or shop and I would say, hey! I know where that is, I can see that exact stretch of road in my head. It would distract me from what was going on, but in a really good way, at least for me.

I find myself missing Arcata and Eureka right now. I think itís because I miss being in school. I donít know if I want to go back to school, itís more of a nostalgia thing. When I was in Arcata it was probably the most selfish time in my entire life, in a good way. My only responsibility the entire time I lived there was to improve myself and educate myself so that I would be prepared for the future and get my degree. Seriously, what is more selfish than that? Again, I think it is in a good way and what I really miss is that sense of purpose coupled with the lack of responsibility. I did work while I was up there, but I had managed to wrangle a job basically doing my school work, so it didnít feel like a separate responsibility, also I knew if it started taking too much time and my grades were slipping my parents would have told me to quit and focus on class. I hadnít been able to do that before, I had to work a crappy job while I was in Junior college, and it was so nice and liberating to just focus on one thing and for that one thing to ultimately be to better myself, thatís what I miss.

It is also so stunningly beautiful up there is such a homey way. I donít know how else to explain it. The Redwood forests, while breathtaking and HUGE with these enormous, ancient trees feel, at the same time, so cozy and simple. That place is full of contradictions. I would never be able to live there, though. It is SO economically sad. Arcata is a little better than Eureka, but it feels sometimes like Eureka is just sort of waiting for the hammer to drop, then poof! Bye bye. I donít really know the facts of the GNP of the city, I could be wrong about where it is financially, but that is sort of how it starts to feel when youíve been there for a while. I do know you have this huge disparity between income classes and education levels there. Also, with the University right there you have this glut of highly educated people trying to find work so the unemployment rate is kind of crazy amongst the graduates trying to stay up there and competition even for jobs at the mall is nuts. The area developed out of fishing and lumber, but that is petering out, leaving the blue collar class screwed because there isnít any factory work or anything else to take itís place. Later it became a place hippies and loners went to get away from the ďmanĒ and live however they wanted to. Well, a small town really can only handle so many hemp stores and Co-Ops (thought Spoons at the Arcata Co-op is damn good) so there is a limit to the number of jobs available to that contingent, and the University can really only hire so many people, so after that everyone else is SOL. It is kind of depressing sometimes. When school isnít in session the population of Arcata drops by half.

Anyway, this isnít really meant to be a civics lesson. I liked the book, and you canít go home again, that was the point.

So, I have a friend who I got into a little tiff with not to long ago. Not a big deal, at least not the once we talked it out and I thought everything was fine. Now he has just stopped returning my phone calls. I donít know if heís just busy or if he is ignoring me. Right now Iím assuming busy, lord know it takes me a while to get back to people on occasion. But itís heading up on a month now and that is highly irregular behavior. Hmmm. Well, if heís busy thatís fine. If heís ignoring me, well, he is an immature jackass, so fuck Ďim.

I donít even know why I am really commenting on this right now, it just sort of wandered into my brain and wandered out onto the screen, so there you go. Basically Iím stalling a bit which is silly because I am still at work and want to go home, but my eyes are also crossed from staring at the lovely DOS screen of mental anguish so Iím giving myself a bit of a break and adding a few sentences to this entry I started earlier today.

At this point I can almost go home. I just need to do some cleaning up and make it look like I have a system of organization around here then I get to leave. When I get home I get to work on my rendering. As promised, I got a picture on paper by Sunday night, but frankly, itís crap so I need to do a lot to pretty it up and fix my perspective. I learned perspective drawing in fourth grade. You would think I would be able to do it blindfolded by now, but apparently not. Actually, itís close, but there are a few angles which are very wrong and they are making everything else which is correct look wrong. Anyway, now I really am stalling because I spend a good portion of today moving furniture around the office and cleaning things up and I just donít want to do it anymore. {Pout.}

when we last left our herosÖ - in our next exciting installmentÖ