A tiny little bit of "Our Story"...
Brian all by his happy lonesome wandering the California Coast - Big Sur, 1997
See that young man right there? Yeah, that's me...blissfully walking the length of Big Sur back in 1997. I was every bit of the dirtbag you see there. See that hole in my shirt? Yup, I earned that climbing a tree to get a better gander at the ocean. I loved that hole...and those jeans, yeah, they hardly fit me by the time I got to the end of those 115 km of coastline. I had my hands in my pockets to help hold them up in this shot. I'd reached the last notch in my belt and did a lot of walking with my hands in my pockets. I took my time, I wandered, explored, talked to old hippies hiding away, drank butt loads of wine, ate a lot of Snickers bars...smelled badly. Enjoyed myself thoroughly. Oh yeah, got stuck in a nasty, nasty storm too...stuck in my tent for 48 hours, nearly went bonkers...pee'd in a water bottle, gagged at the smell of sweaty, stinky myself as I tried to hide away inside my sleeping bag from the crashing lightning and whipping wind. Gave my Mom a heart attack. She was calling the California Highway Patrol, and National Park Service looking for me. I was okay. Stumbled into a San Luis Obispo winery in the rain and dried off while getting warm and half drunk on freebies. I stilled smelled badly but no one complained. Everyone was very nice, in fact.
That was a good trip. It seems like I've spent half of my life in the oddest of Californian places, with the oddest of Californian stories, and now there are so many of those places that feel like home. Sadly, immigration laws and my relative poverty don't allow me to drag my eager family back there.
It was California that reminded me that June might be something more than a friend. While I rotted away in the desert in Joshua Tree, hitching rides into Twenty-nine Palms to pick up packages from Japan, it struck me that the minute I got home I would have to let her know what I'd felt from one side of the planet to the other. Up until that point we'd been just good friends, and there were a million reasons why we shouldn't have been anything else, except the universe in it's infinite wisdom had significantly other plans for us...like Zedder. A full eleven years later came Zoey Sakura DeWagner. The very idea of her was born in California...in the bright San Clemente sunshine. June and I were even engaged in San Francisco. Ours is a story with California woven all throughout.
We met at camp, but the idea of 'us' didn't occur until that stinky young guy you see standing on a cliff near Bixby Bridge in the photo above, and that beautiful (very unstinky) young woman who was living comfortably in the midst of civilization and family in Sendai, Japan, decided that we were at least right for each other, whether or not time and destiny would agree or not, the 12, 725 km distance between us made us realize that we missed each other more than we expected.
June with her Baachan & Jiichan - Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, 1997
It's a story to tell Zoey someday, for sure...about how her parents met at summer camp, said their goodbyes and wandered away in their own directions and then, fairly fortuitously, found their way back again. It's a fun story to tell, and I think she'll like it. It's certainly not your average love story. We needed time and distance and then more time to remind us of what we discovered there on the edge of sea and sky in both California and Japan, but in the end we got it all figured out. It just took as awhile to define it. California and stinky sleeping bags did it for me. You'd have to ask June what convinced her 'cause I'm guessing that it wasn't the same thing.