Got to Portland. Fantastic food choices in the airport and I’m excited for and dreading my return flight. It’s dark so I haven’t seen a lot of the city yet. Can’t wait. Nice hotel room with a full on kitchen. I have an immediate thought that what a healthy, sane, good person would do is go to a grocery store and stock up on fruits and veggies and various types of earth grown things for the four days he’s in Portland. The thought enrages me but I remember this stupid day long blog project I’ve started that probably no one is really aware of, the scope of it I mean, except for me. It would be funny, I imagine, to end the day with a punchline: a large pizza and/or three hamburgers. But it would also just be so sad. So I go to Whole Foods. Along the way I pass tons of restaurants and food stands and I want to eat pizza and sausage and cheese and salt. I just want to eat fried doughy salt. I’m alone. No one knows me here. I can be a monster in the shelter of my hotel room. But I walk to Whole Foods. And, as is my usual on a business trip, I wander the aisles aimlessly. I look at the fruits and green things. They look dumb and pretentious to me. I get annoyed that I’m even in Whole Foods. I start to resent all of the people there in their jeans and flannels and beards and beanies and glasses. I remember that this is exactly how I’m dressed. I want twelve of those Taco Bell Doritos Tacos. In high school I ate Taco Bell tacos twelve at a time and I miss those days dreadfully. I look at chips. I look at dips. I look at giant blocks of cheese that I want to eat whole like George Costanza celebrating his gluttony and independence. A steak sounds good. With melty buttery stuff on top of it. Fried things sound good. I get a container of smoked mozzarella pasta salad and a thing of spiced kale and quinoa. Quinoa. I’m in Portland buying quinoa. My friend and director, Brandon Woolley, texts to tell me we’re going to lunch tomorrow. My fingers are crossed that he will be my enabler, my stumbling block, my tempter. I’ll shake it off and say “when in Rome.” I stop for some diet Coke on my way back to the hotel because I can’t bring myself to buy any of those weird sodas that Whole Foods sells.
Now I’m in my room. With nothing required of me except to be good to myself. To write if I choose. To watch Sportscenter. To look forward to rehearsal. To sleep.
I think of my son. He’s seven. He’s amazing and a bit high strung. Lots of energy. Doesn’t know how to shut down, calm down, relax, turn the brain off… and not just in that seven year old way. He’s my son. He lays down every night for five minutes before coming to the living room to say he can’t sleep. I’m afraid to even try and sleep, no matter how tired I am. Afraid because I know that it will not come easy. I had a root canal a few days ago. It only hurts when I bite down on the tooth and last night I noticed that every time I began to doze off I was awoken with a sharp pain. Apparently I was biting down. Or something in me was. My boy does the same thing with his thoughts. His brain finds a way to fend off unconsciousness. He’s my son. He’s in Minneapolis, no doubt still awake at 11:30 PM his time. I’m in Portland, in the same boat.