I’m keeping my butt firmly planted at home today. Yesterday I took a day for self-care. I drove to Glenwood Springs and sat around in my favorite hotsprings for a few hours. I visited with all sorts of interesting people, had conversations, and got my peopling in for the week.
Where I live is a little isolated. I don’t get out of the house much sometimes, since I’m usually working or the weather sucks, so yesterday I fought my escalating agoraphobia and left my dog with my folks for the day. She’s in heat and doesn’t want to be stuck in a car all day. I thought I might just deal with that kind of thing twice a year, but it hasn’t been that great for her, so I’ll probably be getting her fixed.
Hot springs are often some of those places I go when I need some sort of spiritual reset. I was in need of one this week. My drive back home was long and probably undid a lot of the relaxation I accomplished visiting with Polish tourists, Long Island university employees, Columbia grads, newly hatched flight attendants, musicians, and various sundry other people I encountered. I went to bed with a splitting headache, probably from sinuses or dehydration or eye strain or something.
On the drive, I sang with the playlists, I enjoyed the winding mountain roads. I thought of the other times I had taken that drive. Unfortunately when I got to Glenwood, I went into a panic attack. I know this might sound stupid to people, but when I get them, it’s not some dramatic thing. For me, it just means that my mind wandered and set off some weird irregular heartbeat thing that lasts for about twenty minutes. My extremities go numb, fingers get tingly, I have chest pains sometimes, and I have to just get through it. Sometimes I don’t even know what causes them. So, when people tell you they have these things, try to show a little compassion. They suck and if someone is really getting them, they don’t want them, they aren’t going to use them for attention. They just want them to stop.
Today, I plan on working on the book. These long drives might seem nutty to those unfamiliar with the creative process, but sometimes you just need to step out of your environment and receive some external stimuli. Yesterday, I saw familiar places that are almost like save points in my life. They remind me of where my mind was at other times and they help me to feel more grounded. I had some good memories to think about yesterday.
Nearly two years ago, I took my girlfriend at the time to the same hot springs for her birthday on a romantic weekend. It was just before the pandemic started. Good memories, but hard to imagine that it was one of the last times I would see her in person. It was early March and spring had come to the western slope. One of my favorite memories of her was when we got coffee downtown in the morning and a bee had gotten trapped inside the shop. It was hitting the glass, trying to get outside, but it couldn’t figure it out. It looked exhausted.
She asked for a little bit of honey from the barista and lured the bee onto a stirring stick. As it ate the honey, she took it outside and set it down in a planter full of dead flowers from the summer before. The bee finished the honey and we watched it fly away.
Yesterday, I stopped by the perogi truck not far from there, and when I couldn’t decide what to order, I just asked for some of everything. They upsold me on the sour cream and fried onions and bacon too. There were beef, potato, cheese, and mushroom perogis. What might have been two pounds of delicious, stuffed, dumpling-y goodness was quickly devoured. Mama’s Perogis. I regret nothing.