Saturday, April 25, 2009

mendo - little late

It has taken me awhile to get a blog written after the trip to my old home town. I have been back for almost two weeks already and I am just now sitting down to write this. Maybe I needed to process it?

Me and James planned a trip from our trip, up to the sleepy town of Mendocino. We were going to stay with the lovely Freda-n-Tim (somehow that just reminded me of fish-n-chips for some reason?) and I was told that someone I had gone to school with had bought the Mac House in downtown mendo. So I called and got a good rate on a sweet little room for James and I. We got into town around 2pm on Saturday. I drove in the long way, around the headlands. I had butterflies in my belly.

*A little back history on mendo for me: The last time I lived in mendo, it was 92...right after I turned 18. I was really messed up on meth, and I needed to get out of there. I was not happy, and I was causing more chaos than good. I left with a sour taste in my mouth. And went north.*

So coming back was always a little weird for me. I had never really resolved the feelings, I felt when I left. It's a small town...maybe 2000 people/animals. maybe. I had finished high school there barely. I had a ton of people I had lied to, ripped off, and pissed off. I did not have a lot of people who were friends. And I was a shit person. So when we pulled into town, I still half expected a bunch of drunk guys in pick-up trucks to start throwing rotten eggs at me, and yelling obscenities. That did not happen. When we passed the flats the usual crowd (maybe not the same people, but the same flannel/truck/dog combo was down there) and it brought back all the memories...spending my life chasing a high, because I was bored. And let me tell you this town in one of the most beautiful places I have lived. You forget that when your so busy getting a buzz to make life- livable. Me and James checked into our room, and went to the bakery to get some pretty good coffee (thanksgiving coffee is putting out some good stuff) and a cinnamon twist. (for bean) We then walked up to Mendoza's (which was bought by Harvest market) and got some snacks. Its weird to walk the same streets you feel you know, but it's like a different land now. I saw Big Al. He looks pretty good. Some things never change.

We then went to the headland, straight down Lansing St. There is this big cement slab that we use to sit and drink beer on. The last time I was in Mendo, the headlands had all been cut back to kick out the bums, and to make it easier to catch the underage kids drinking. They have all grown back now, and it's like it use to be...lots of blackberry's, big bushes, and bums "camping" out. The path was rough and muddy. Lots of memories. We passed kids drinking beer (whatever was on sale that day :)) and that same vacant look in their eyes. Dirty hoodies and Ben Davis that looked like they had never been washed. We were taking photos, and looking like tourists. People said hi.

Down on the beach. People drinking (the same sale beer) and making food on the fire pit. The sun was setting and I think I could feel why my mom had decided to move here in the first place. Its pretty amazing. Freda and Tim came to the room, and we all went to the bench at Portuguese Beach and sat and talked. It got cold. We went to the Mendo Cafe for burritos. The prices have gone up and they took all the good stuff off the menu. oh well.It was fun. And F&T are great to talk with. After me and James went into the hot tub - a first for him- and it was HOT. We then snuggled up in the yummy bed and went to bed.

Easter Sunday. I decided I could not stay in bed any longer and went up to the Bakery to get us some coffees. This was the town I remembered...there was only a couple locals out, but otherwise it was ghost town. I walked past Corners of the Mouth. I walked up the steps at the bank and had to sit there for a couple of minutes. I had so much unresolved history in the small quaint village. It was time to make my amends. I said I was sorry for all the things I had done to the town and the people who lived in it. I said I was done feeling like I owed this town something. I no longer wanted my stomach to turn when I made the left hand turn into the town I once knew. I wanted to walk away this time with the feeling that I had left the old Kai behind. And was able to see the beauty and stare out at the bay and feel like this place that had once brought so much joy and pain...was now just Mendocino. An amazing place where I had grown up.

We had reservations at the Mac House and had a yummy breakfast that was included in the price of the room. It was really nice. Then went north to Fort Bragg. Not the town I remember. I guess a ton of people have moved here and the vibe is much more hippy than redneck. We went and saw Madame Chinchilla at Triangle Tattoo. She gave us a rad tour and took our photos. Its a great museum of all things tattoo. Lots and lots of history.

Then onto Fred's in Cleone to say our last goodbyes to Freda and Tim and see Fred. Its been a long time. This was a place I spent a ton of time at. Lots of great parties. It felt like home.

Then more north to Leggett...but this is good left for another blog at some point.