As is human nature, we pause at times to reflect on how the Big Gig is going so far. The round numbers work best for this: ten years, twenty-five years, etc. They're only numbers, but they offer a good excuse to kick back and contemplate just what the heck we've achieved in all that time.
If my life was a book, it would be all internal dialogue and incessant navel-gazing, a life trapped inside the skull like a beehive of dementia. "The Story" would make Naked Lunch or Finnegan's Wake seem like the straightest narratives ever written, since Dick and Jane got that goddamned dog...
Run, Spot. Run.
But once in a while, life develops irresistable events and forces the contemplative mind to peek outside...and marvel at beautiful things. And that is what we celebrate here. It was ten years ago: A nice, round number.
September 2, 1997 was the day I began a new job as a designer at a publishing house in Tucson. It was about 10am when my tour of the office led me to the desk of a charming Editor who commanded my full attention from the first handshake.
The attraction was violent and crazy and obsessive, and intellectual as well. That first handshake wrapped a harness of sinew around my ribcage and sealed my fate: I would commence puppy-doggin' after this chick until she either fell for me or filed a restraining order with the Pima County Sheriff's Department.
Luckily, no such order was filed, despite my clearly tentative grasp on reality.
In those first weeks, I babbled at her endlessly about my obsessions, including a scheme to develop a new form of religion: a quantum cult called the AOTA (All Of The Above), where all gods, goddesses, archangels, demons, and nature spirits would be accepted as equals, under the basic understanding that EVERYBODY IS RIGHT. Thus, people would stop arguing over matters of pretentious, theological bullshit and just be civilized humans. Or at least shut the hell up. No pun intended.
She listened to all this muttering, and didn't run away to fetch the can of Mace she should have stashed in her desk. Somehow everything worked out.
Now it's a full decade, to the day, later. We've put down some pretty deliberate roots in DC (a homecoming for me, a new trip for her), and in that time, we've accumulated more stories than can be written or remembered.
To mark the occasion, a mexican restaurant. Of course.
And of course, you can't get decent Mexican out here, after spending nearly a decade in Southern Arizona. Still, Rosa Mexicano on F Street was a fine enough substitute. The margaritas were strong, the guacamole fresh, and the occasion was perfect.
Ten years seems like a long time, and it seems like the briefest moment... I can't decide.