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For some reason, I never really feel right unless I have a trip on the horizon. I think it’s a sickness. Or perhaps, a delightful personality quirk. Let’s go with that.

About a month ago, I was invited to read a short story at a lit journal issue launch party in DC. The invitation came the day after I returned from San Francisco, and Steve was still freaking out about the shootings in the Castro, so despite the fact that flights were cheap and I could have stayed for free on a friend’s couch, I didn’t. Also, we had Steven’s family Thanksgiving at the same time as the reading, so that would have been a sticky issue in itself. And blah, how yucky? I mean, I hardly ever submit anything and then I do and then I get invited to be a reader? How many times does that happen in your life?

Not a lot when you only send out one submission a year.

I am fully aware of how broken that is.

Then something interesting happened. I got another notice from the Barrelhouse editor. There’s going to be another event, this one a week after New Year. In New York City.

Oh the possibilities there! I haven’t been to NYC since my freshman year in college, when I spent my first ever writing earnings on a trip to NYC to take Jane Pratt up on the offer to visit the offices of Sassy and glom onto a reluctant Mike Flaherty, who openly hates fat chicks. Or hated them in 1990, anyway. Maybe his proclivities have changed. Maybe he pines wistfully for the cute young Wendy in his past? Who knows.

I wasn’t going to do this. I really wasn’t. And Steven really wasn’t crazy about my going to New York, since according to him I was practically grazed by flying bullets on Halloween. He actually blames me for it, despite the fact that as soon as we started feeling uncertain about the situation in the Castro, we took off and were well on our way back to the apartment when the first shot was fired. If Joel hadn’t seen it happen, Steven wouldn’t even realize that it happened. I pointed this out to him and he pointed out that his not knowing about it doesn’t make it safer. I think he blames me for traumatizing Joel. Dude, if Joel hadn’t decided to stop for SUSHI rather than meet us at the agreed upon time and location, he wouldn’t have witnessed to Oakland style street theatre either. But that, as Steven likes to remind me, is not the point. It COULD have happened anywhere. I COULD have been shot. In the head. Dead. And I do not take. My safety. Seriously. This is exactly how he says it, as though I myself placed the piece in the gangsta’s hand and then encouraged him to pop a cap in the crowd’s collective ass. I’m not trying to be flip about this, and I appreciate his concern for my well-being but man, I could drop out of the sky in a broken airplane too. I could get hit by a bus in Green Bay or the wiring in my brain could frizzle out while I’m sitting in my annoying but perfectly safe cubicle. I’m certainly not going to sit back and cower just because the world is a scary place.

Wow, did it just get very inspirational in here all of the sudden? Sorry about that.

So I decided fuck it. I’m doing this. I declared the vacation days required and logged into my airline’s site to put a flight on hold because even though I am solid in my decisions, I don’t trust fate and figure that something will come up if I act rashly. Which is another dose of broken, but whatever.

I informed Steven of my decision and he said “Awesome. Have fun. Just be safe, ok?” Which means that I’ll just have to make sure to call him on a regular basis to reassure him that I haven’t been stabbed to death in a gutter. Although really, I was 18-years-old and hanging around a pre-Guiliani Times Square. From what I’ve heard, NYC today is pretty tame and there’s a Gap where the beaver shows used to be. It should be fine.

I mentioned the lit reading to Jake yesterday and then this morning, he is once again the best travel companion ever.

Once upon a time, I was standing on Fifth Avenue and decided that I wanted the kind of life that existed in New York City. And while I may not have hit the mark geographically and I may complain a lot, seriously, I have the greatest life. I never dreamed it would be seventeen years until I went back but I think this return will have been worth the wait.

I am seriously stoked.

So yeah, if you’re going to be in NYC on the evening of January 5th, I’m going to be there too, reading one of my short stories at the KGB bar in the Village. And then apparently breaking into the chorus of Seasons of Love, because how Jonathon Larson is that anyway? E-mail me for details.