Johnny Mañana's pt. 1

I felt at home and lazy eating a burrito at Johnny Mañana's this weekend, laughing with Matthew about the night out before and planning to see Drive at the movie theater across the street later that evening. It was sunny and warm and relaxing on the patio until an idiot kid drove by and threw a M-80 firecracker into a stroller on the sidewalk. The baby who belonged to the stroller was being held at the table next to ours when it exploded. Our waitress investigated and laughed. The father inspected and came back calmly. I felt jumpier than everyone else at lunch was acting; maybe I'm not as relaxed as I thought.

I've been ON for months so coming home and unwinding is easier said than done. I want to calm down deeply. I don't want to portray calm so as to project an image and encourage those around me to feel confident, I want to feel it in my own motherfucking marrow but it takes time.

I got a massage in Manila. A tiny woman straddled my back and chopped up my butt cheeks like she was mincing vegetables. She wound my legs around sockets I wasn't aware of, stroked my scalp, and paid so much attention to each knuckle on my fingers, I could have kissed her. Instead, I tipped her big. I slept eight hours on the 13 hour flight home, drank wine like water, and saw everyone safely on their way. This would be my cue to take a deep breath.

Matthew: "Hey! I'm not an American Idol! You don't have to fight me!"

Me: "What? Oh."

Matthew: "This is a discussion, not a battle."

Me: "I'm sorry, you lost me."

One of the Idols was cracking me up, telling me that she's going to have PTSD, Post Traumatic Signing Disorder. She's caught herself smiling for cameras as she's falling asleep in that half-in/half-out state, alone in bed in the dark, flashing her teeth and cocking her head to the side. Another found herself murmuring to herself in her sleep, "Thank you, thank you so much for coming to the show..." We are all of us firmly anchored to what was required over the summer and now it's time to lift that. (It's heavy).

Have I mentioned that I'm grateful? I am. It was a great group to work with for many reasons. Part of the reason that it's harder to settle down right away is that I'm jumping quickly onto another project. It's smaller and more sporadic but still enough work to keep me from cartwheeling down the beach in my free time. Make that "free time". I'm grateful for this new work too, it's just hard because it feels like I'm losing the balance war.

Do you remember the time I asked Geoff, my old boss, how you balance home and work?

His answer was swift.

"You don't."

I found that depressing. I've never ever thought that work was worth destroying personal life and I still don't. Yes, we make sacrifices in the short term but - for us, until now - it's been okay because overall we've come out ahead. The minute that reverses itself is when I start reevaluating everything. Until then, each walk in the park is a gift.

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