Monday, January 25, 2010

Walking Out the Door

The good bye party was painfully joyful, drawn out, and chaotic. From six until ten I found myself receiving dancing advice from ten year olds who couldn’t hold it back while they watched me dance, listening to a song that a group of guests had rehearsed about friendship, crying in my room, and standing in the center of a fifty-person group hug that swayed back and forth over the sala floor. I left Annunciation House at six am the next day with my three sisters and my three trash bags packed in Jet, my toyota. We traveled east on 10, heading towards the rising sun.

The sun came up in front of us and went down behind us. We were in big old Texas for all of it. I was surprised that no heavy emotions or separation anxiety came over me. I was just driving, and not thinking about much else. Transitions always seem to be less dramatic than I envision.

At three in the morning, excluding gas fills, we hadn’t stopped driving. A caffeine high sister decided that we would pull off and find a Tennessee state park, sleep for a few hours, and then continue. As we entered the heavily coniferous state park, and drove past signs for “rustic cabins,” we had delusions that we could find them, peacefully enter, and borrow the beds for a night. Instead we pulled off a dirt road and tried to sleep. One sister accidentally opened a window a crack and the clamor of her chattering teeth became background music to the rest of us. The other two tried balancing their heads against each other as they tried to find comfort among the steering wheel, center console, and all the other impediments of the front seats. After two hours of futile fake sleep, I hopped in the drivers wheel, and took us to Nashville. Weary eyed, we entered a starbucks, brushed our teeths, deoderized, face-washed, and rested a bit until we made the final push to Ashville, North Carolina.

We arrived in Ashville at four thirty which put an end to our epic thirty four hour (look at “four” and “hour” next to must be easy learning to pronounce english words) drive. Next day’s destination was Reston, Virginia where we spent the night, and then continued to New Hampshire the following snowy morning. It snowed all day, and at some point Jet decided to test my skill. The windshield wiper fluid pump ceased to work, which left me periodically rolling down the window, and reaching around to pour fluid on the windshield, as I steered with my other hand. This seemed to do the trick. Jet didn’t succeed in killing me.

Before I knew it, I was back home. After five months on the border I was back to my parallel universe, feeling funny about how easy it was to jump from one reality to the other. I found myself patiently waiting for something to hit me. Now that it has, I wish I had been more patient.

Annunciation House has left me with some things that I won’t be able to get rid off. A knowledge that the more I have the less others have. A knowledge that my lifestyle has the potential to send others into poverty. A realization that there are things more important than my anal antics. A heavy heart that can’t shake off the tears of humans. A view of the dark world that also exists.

It is a swift farewell to the things little Danny dreamed of and worked towards. Good bye to the ambitions of power, a big house, cars, success, approval, and affirmations. So now, I am back to the world in which those goals ruled my life, but I am left without those goals. I am drunkenly stumbling to splice these parallel worlds together, and really, it is really hard.

Exactly at the same moment everything seems to really matter while nothing seems to matter at all. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way.
I was always good at limbo growing up. But I can’t get under the bar this time.

I’ll start school in about a week, and I hope and fear equally for distraction.


Michael Seifert said...

Dear Danny, This is Mike, who knew you for about 1 hour--I was in and out of Annunciation House just as you had arrived. Thanks for the blog note and blessings to you as you go on your way. I "ruined" my life once upon a time by taking a year off to teach English in Vanuatu, in the midst of deprivation and human warmth that I couldn't have dreamed of.

It was the absolute best thing that I had ever done--and I have never been the same.

Keep in touch with those who journey with little (they make their way to Vermont (check here: for stories on migrants); share the word who don't know about the blessedness and horror of life on the margins.

God bless!!

Mike Seifert

katyrose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katyrose said...

that was beautiful.

i love you so much. i'm so glad our worlds connected in these borderlands.

TayTayTay said...

hey danny...

I just finally read this. agreed it was beautiful, and I love you so much, and am so so so happy we got to spend those five months together here en las casa....

cuidate muchisimo!