bunt sign

Sunday, July 20, 2003

The decision was hard. The decision was easy. I really don't know for sure why I'm home tonight, one day earlier than planned. I had a wonderful few days at Shasta Lake, although at times I was uncomfortable and sometimes I felt like the oldest, grumpiest person in the world. I couldn't honestly tell you if it was more a physical or an emotional decision, or exactly when I made it.

What I do know is that when I went to bed last night I was determined to leave the lake today. And as I lay on top of my sleeping bag cracking jokes with David and Tammy and saying good night to the kids on the other houseboat across the way, I began to work on myself. I tried to talk myself into believing that I should stay over one more night.

As anyone with sense could tell you, any decision that has to be agonized over that much is probably one I'd regret no matter which way I went. I fell asleep thinking I'd be there until Monday, but I woke up, over and over again. Mostly I woke myself up, snorting from sinus drainage caused by the hot wind blowing over me. And then I'd stay awake thinking through the various factors that would go into the decision. Again and again.

By the time I crawled out of the bag at about seven this morning, I'd gone back the other way. I decided that if I could get a ride to the marina today, I'd pack up everything and roll on home. I knew Mike and Debbie were leaving today, so it wouldn't be a hardship to haul my stuff on the same boat trip.

I was uncomfortable the last couple of days, from the heat, the wind, the noise, the press of people. I'm just not used to being around that many people in close quarters. I won't ever admit that that was a major reason I left, and I'd never say it was any one person who made me want to leave. That's ridiculous. I love everyone who was there, and if anything could have convinced me to stay, it would have been the chance to spend another day with them.

But I wasn't enjoying the feelings I was having, and I don't think anyone else could have been enjoying my moods. The first four days were perfect, and the last two weren't all that bad. But I'm home now, and I'm not sorry. I definitely miss them all, though. I told Alexa I was leaving today, and she asked me why. Her nine-year-old eyes looked sad, and I knew I'd miss her and the other girls like crazy.

Not wanting to go through all the emotions inside me (and not actually capable of it anyway), I told her I had to get back to work. "Are you coming back?" she asked me. I had to explain that I'd have to work all week, and she'd be leaving at the end of the week. If I could have come back and seen her one more time, I might have given in, but it's not going to work out that way.

Shasta Lake 2003

Alexa on a raft.

Life is complicated. And life with other people is more complicated than anything. I wasn't the only person going through an emotional rollercoaster ride this week. I wasn't the only one not feeling quite up to par physically. But I might have been the only one who is so unused to being with people that I felt a tiny sense of relief when I walked into my empty house this afternoon. And then immediately wished I was back at the lake, in the heat and the wind and the noise and the press of so many bodies in a small space. What's up with that?

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