Day 86 / 366
We had dinner with some friends the other night, a couple we hadn’t seen for more than a decade. They’re two of my favorite people in the world, and if I knew their delightful, hilarious daughter a bit better, she’d join those ranks as well. They came down to visit Disneyland, so the five of us got together for an overpriced meal of bland food in Downtown Disney.
Our friends have lived for nearly 20 years in the same house in a smallish city in southern Oregon. They’re happy with their life, and I’m thrilled for them. But while I sometimes envy people who put down roots, I’ve never chosen that kind of life. Dani and I have moved seven times in our 15 years of marriage, and we now live in an artist colony in the middle of Los Angeles. Dani’s studio and some storage take up most of the place, leaving us with 400 square feet to live in. That seemed awfully small to our friends.
It’s big enough for us, we told them, and the place is really interesting. Some of our neighbors made a gigantic caterpillar for Burning Man last year, and if you drive by this one studio at the right time, you’ll see the students in the stage-fighting class outside, practicing sword duels in slow motion. That all seemed a little strange to our dinner companions.
If you live around a bunch of artists, they asked, doesn’t it get loud? No, because we’re right next to the freeway, so the hum blocks out a lot of our neighbors’ noise. Oh sure, frequent booms that sound like explosions come from the rail yard over the south fence, but you get used to that, we told them. (I forgot to mention the police helicopters that circle the area a few times a week.)
They seemed skeptical. By the time we were finished talking about ourselves, our friends looked as though we’d just described the Martian colony where we’d made our home. It’s funny - if you see it through the eyes of others, our situation does look odd. But to us, it’s just our life.
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