Kage Baker, though she loved to travel, really loved nothing more than being snug at home.
She would leave her alarm clock turned on even on the weekends, just so she could slap the thing silent and go back to sleep. When we finished a long run – at a Faire, for instance – Kage would spend the first weekend at home happily considering where she was not: running to catch the ass-end of a parade, chasing a late-lingering dance troupe off a stage, trudging to the chemical privies at the end of a long, dusty day.
“A week ago, we’d just be taking the turn from the 580 to the 5,” she would recite happily, content in her arm chair. “And tonight here I am in my jammies, with a cocktail in my hand and a fire on the hearth! And later I will play some Monkey Island.”
And it worked the other direction, too. When we first started a gig, a Faire, a Con: Kage would exhult in not being inured in the daily domestic grind. It was the contrast that gave the special savour.
This time last week, I was … well, I was collapsed in a hotel room with food poisoning. But I was at a Con! I had been on the road, I was travelling! Even when I was seriously considering if it was sufficiently exotic to expire in a rented room in San Jose, I was appreciating the mere fact of being in that rented room. The entire inner courtyard was planted thick with old roses, and as the room darkened into twilight, my room filled with the scent of roses …
Tonight, I am sitting much more comfortably in my living room, and as the day ends, the perfume that fills the room is of fresh-turned earth where Kimberly has been planting native grasses in her floral fountain. (In California these latter years, you plant in the fall, not the spring: plant in the spring, and your plants will fry.) Michael has been trimming the wild golden oats that fill the yard now, and the scent of toasted grain drifts in the windows as well.
My excursion wore me out. I came home Monday, and have basically slept all week. But I am waking up now and beginning to watch my email anxiously. A story acceptance might be coming; I tried a modern over-the-transom approach at the Con, and slipped loaded thumb drives to a few people. Of course, story rejections may also be coming, but why anticipate trouble?
It’s all movement, all proof of life, all resuming my place on the Great Universal People Mover.
And anyway: this time last week, I was miserably sick and now I am not. So there am I happy!
Seize it where you can, kids.