About to be on the road

slimeface-stairway-to-heavenI’m going to spend July 2-23 driving around this great nation of ours, attending weddings in Detroit and the SF Bay Area and seeing friends in Great Falls, MT and Tillamook, OR. So that’s going to happen. I am both enthused and unenthused about spending so much time away from home. Enthused because I love to drive. I feel as though I understand myself and the world so much more when I am putting miles behind me. Also, I find driving to be so much more fun than flying. I’d rather drive for two days than fly for two hours (which, with regards to me flying to Detroit, is pretty much the choice that I made).

But I am sad to be leaving New Orleans so soon after I arrived. I chose to come here in June even though I knew that I’d be gone for much of July just because I did want to get started on being here and building a life here. And there is something exciting about that, and I’m not particularly happy to be putting it on hold.

My emotions have been all over the place lately. It’s actually something that happens to me at the onset of every summer, I’ve realized. I call them the summertime doldrums. I don’t know what it is. I think it’s partly natural biological rhythm and partly just the realization that summer has arrived and now the year will slowly wane. By the end of July, my mood is usually much better, and then from August to January, it’ll steadily improve. Not sure how the different weather patterns in New Orleans will affect that, but we’ll see.

Anyway, today I realized that part of the problem is that I just feel really cooped up in the house where I’m staying, so I made an effort to spend 20-30 minutes walking around outside (even though it was devilishly hot) and then I felt much, much better. I realized this earlier in the spring, when I was in my Baltimore house. At some point it finally got warm enough for me to throw open my windows and let the wind and the street noises flow through, and my mood immediately cleared. There’s something about natural ambient noise that’s generated from vibrant and disperse activity (what my friend George would call ‘high-quality noise’) and the smells and feelings engendered by an outside environment. And I’m not talking about Yellowstone here, I’m just talking about the street. There’s something about the street that makes me feel better than the sterile, air-conditioned inside of a room.

Unfortunately, there’s also something about the street that makes me feel much worse: the heat, humidity, and the insects.

But still, getting in a little bit of street is worthwhile.

Also, I’ve been exercising three again. It pains me to say this, but all the yuppies are right: exercise is a drug. The effect of exercise on my mood feels so intense and artificial (i.e. it occurs suddenly and doesn’t feel organic to my situation) that it’s a bit absurd.