Jonyx the Wanderer

Man on rock against landscape at sunrise.

Hey you…

Been a while.  I know.

The last month has been a blur of significant change and transition within my life. 

Military life is moving me from the comfort of my Washington life into the great unknown of the island life of Guam.  I’m grateful to at least have some time to settle various affairs here in the states.

The open-mic poetry I founded near my home has been handed to an amazing and capable colleague.  My house is to be rented out and managed by one of my closest friends.  My goods have been shipped to the great sea, where they will likely remain out of my hands until February or March (the way things are going with shipments lately…).  I have said goodbye to many friends… May we meet again.

Money has been pretty tight, between transitional housing fees, reservations, and some unforeseen tenant issues and infestations of other rental properties I own.  To curb these costs, I hit the open road from Seattle to Sante Fe (1500 miles) to visit my daughters for my oldest’s birthday and as the last trip I’ll be able to make for some period of time.

Things I’ve learned about myself

1.  I still don’t like snow…

               I hate driving in snow; I hate walking in snow; I hate being behind trucks that cover my car In salt; I hate it when my windshield wiper fluid freezes, making it so that between the salt on my windshield and the sun, I can only hope not to drive right off the mountain roads.

2.  I can’t keep being as reckless with my money as I’ve grown so comfortably to be.

               I’ve always been really great at existing at the edge of complete financial destruction.  I’m just being honest with you.  I make a lot of money, but enjoy not cooking, ignoring subscription fees, and buying rounds at the bar for my friends.  I’ve lived this way for years, and it has only been from hitting a few speed bumps recently that I’ve really been forced to face my addictions.  I’m really lucky… I make enough money to recover from this, but being forced to sleep in my car in 20 degree weather will really make you wonder what the actual heck you’re doing.

3.  The life of an overlander is intriguing, but an exhausting initial experience.

               Speaking of sleeping in your car, a 23 hour drive gives you time to listen to a LOT of podcasts and videos on Youtube.  I took a several hour crash course on “Overlanding” (A word I’d never heard before) to become a quick master of living life on the road amidst the great wilderness of modern Earth.  Yes, I was trying to romanticize my situation by “exploring” an alternative lifestyle.  Another strange experience for the books! 

               Let me tell you though, there’s a reason these people leave when it’s too hot and when it’s too cold.  Aside from owning a car whose backseats only have a small emergency access square to the trunk (making tossing or turning while sleeping a challenge), If you can’t keep your feet warm, you’re in for a pretty restless night…   I already struggle desperately to sleep decently through the night, but this was something. 

               Four nights of this until my very sweet and caring girlfriend figured out the mysterious nature of my, “hotel” and all was revealed, in a very vulnerable and shameful explanation of my situation.  I’ve always been a giver, and for once in my life, someone helped me…  It was uncomfortable and hurt me right in the conventional gender roles of society, but I was so grateful for her forced assistance. 

               Will I ever try to hit the open road and live out of my car again?  Yeah, probably.  The crash course in cold weather matured me in a lot of ways that I think I might take a road trip again someday, and reexplore my life as an overlander.  Not today though.

               I guess, at the end of the day, my poetry would be pretty shitty if I hadn’t lived through some interesting experiences. For that, I’m grateful to myself, for being so incredibly flawed and mortal.

4.  Daughters grow too quickly, and often say all the things I said as a kid.

               My oldest daughter loves to say, “I just want to be grown up now.”  My sweet child, I was exactly the same way when I was your age, and how at times, I so wish to be young again.  I tell her to enjoy her time as a kid; to play and to explore.  As I put her to bed one night, she said to me, “It’s not fair that we have to go to bed, but you don’t.”  To which I offered the quick reply of, “How I wiissshhh I could just go to bed right now and sleep until the sun comes up.  You’re lucky kid.  Get all the sleep you can before life demands of you as it demands of me.”  I don’t think she really understood haha.

               My daughters are so interesting to me.  I can see in my oldest, the wildness of my own emotional experience, untamed and difficult to manage.  I guess she does have the trauma of being old enough to remember our family before the divorce, and that kind of change can definitely affect your perspective of the world.  She is easily impacted emotionally by the events around her, introverted, and cares very much for how others think and see her.  I took her to the mall and was dancing to some music I heard as we were walking, and she said to me, “Why are you doing that in public?”.  My reply?  “Dad doesn’t give a flip what people think about him.”  She thought this was pretty funny.

               My youngest is wild, and highly independent in comparison to her sister.  She is fun loving, extroverted, loves to sing, and doesn’t seem to care much about anything except having fun.  She will be as loud as she likes no matter the audience.  On this visit, she told me that she loves me, which is the first time either daughter has said that in several years.  I’m not mad at them for being guarded to me, but this was nice.  She was so small when the family divided, that I think it is a little easier for her to accept how things are now. 

               I can tell, that in the future, my oldest and I will have long conversations about emotional experiences and what’s happening in her life; whereas my youngest and I will make a lot of silly jokes and drink together from time to time.

               While I see so much of myself in each of them, they are both so uniquely themselves… What a magic…  I’m adopted, and I used to wonder which pieces of myself were my mother’s and which pieces were my father’s.  It took a long time for me to come to terms with that fact that I am who I choose to be, and I know my daughters will learn this someday as well.

In any case, a quick blog post.  I so desperately want to have more time for writing poetry (BIG THINGS COMING!), and I know I will, once I finally arrive in Guam, and the busyness of my life settles… 

With a memory as unreliable as mine, it is nice to record these moments in time… Not just for myself, but for anyone who might want to understand me someday.  Isn’t that what we all want?  To be understood?  To be heard?  To be seen?…  Yeah, that sounds nice…

Today I hit the open road back to Washington to catch my 16 hour series of lights to Guam.  Wish me luck, loves.  

Be sure to follow me using the links below.  Stay safe this holiday season, and be patient with your love.

Published by John Onyx

A poet of the lost, the found, and the in-between. I’m interested in collaborating with photographers, musicians, and videographers on larger projects. Feel free to email me at me@johnonyx.com if interested!

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