August 08, 2011
Filed in: Hawaii, Kansas, The Home Front
Along about January or February or possibly as late as March, when it became clear that the 50th State project was pretty much dead in the water and T wasn’t going to get a job before the severance ran out and the health care self-pay wasn’t going to drop below $800 per month, I penciled out this week—the week of August 8, 2011—on the family calendar and wrote “Hawaii??” in the margin.
Optimist that I am—and I say that with shame, because I am an optimist untethered by reason—I still had a narrative in my head that something, some event, would happen at the last second that would both get me to my 50 states before my 50th birthday and provide a wonderfully thrilling ending to my book. Like, she got to Hawaii at the second-to-last-possible second, when a secret blog-reading billionaire donated the money after reading her sad, sad tale. Or either one of us got a job so kick-ass that it came with a massive signing bonus, even though I have never heard of a single writer-editor-content-farm-animal receiving a signing bonus of any kind, outside of maybe Tina Brown or one of those Esquire editors who used to be famous in the ‘60s.
No matter, something would happen, and we’d use this week—prudently kept free by my amazing foresight—to jet off to Hawaii at the last moment, saving my actual birthday for a solo trip to Kansas, the better to end the book with.
Of course, something didn’t happen, even though last week, portentously (is that a word?), I got email from both the Kansas Tourism Bureau, reminding me to Come Visit Soon, and Expedia, alerting me to last-minute deals to Hawaii (that one, pathetically, I actually clicked through on—the deal was $4,000 per person, not including airfare. Oh.)
Meanwhile, like an empty lot in the city awaiting development that begins to fill up with weeds and litter and small critters reclaiming their turf, over the intervening months this week that I kept so open has become filled with small duties and responsibilities and I-guess-we-can commitments. So yes, you may run into me in the orthodontist’s office in the next few days, but remember, my head is on the Big Island.