Spent the day at work, but thinking about cookies. And once I got home, I started making cookies. Then I ate a few cookies. They are so damn good! I capped off the night watching Young Victoria with my parents at the GardenWalk in Anaheim. Very good movie, but that's not what ended up stuck in my head on the way back home. Because I had looked up at the clouds and smattering of weak stars in the sky, and thought, with surprising clarity:
"I just want to see the stars again."
The last time I had a decent view of the air right above our heads was at my granddad's home in Arizona. I haven't been out to Arizona for so long, I sometimes forget that we have constellations of stars. Just surrounding us. An entire ocean of distant light enveloping us, dancing across our horizons. Each point of light could be the last remnants of worlds gone before we knew they could exist.
My granddad lived in Arizona from when I was 12 all the way into my 20's. He was an odd man that could go from warm and welcoming to cold and distant in a blink of an eye, and my mom felt ambivalent towards him at times. She loved him, as did her brothers, but they had bad history with him as well as good. Like any family, right? Despite all this, I loved to visit. He had this little piece of property that stretched out for miles in nearly every direction, which was an entirely different friggin' reality for a kid that lived in Anaheim. You can't spit without hitting another person, and then they start chasing you and that's a whole different story.
But when I was at granddad's, it felt like Arizona was mine. Like, it was my own personal property that I could explore and chart and battle forgotten foes of my imagination in. I had a BB Gun, a bike, an oversized army jacket, and a burning desire find lizards and hidden treasure. And I'd be damned before I'd ever fail in my mission.
Quick List of Firsts @ Granddad's: First BB Gun shot. First handgun shot. First rifle shot. First time to ever see a rattlesnake. First time to see a rattlesnake eat a toad. First army jeep ride. First abandoned car to destroy as I see fit. First dune buggy ride. First mysteriously abandoned house. First boarded up mine shaft. First satellite dish. First coyote that looked right at me. First real life roadrunner. First sleep under the stars.
When I slept under the stars, it was on a deck that my granddad and my uncles had built that was at the same height as the garage roof. This was the safest place to sleep outside because you didn't want to wake up to scorpions, rattlesnakes, or coyotes on you. It was pretty high up, and the nights in Arizona can get really, really cold. But the stars, man...
The stars were amazing.
It was almost absurd how the sky was almost as bright at night as it was during the day, the moon was full and brilliant. I couldn't stop staring up. I was on my back, nestled inside a sleeping bag, looking up at infinity. It was everything. The entire galaxy was on display, and I thought to myself how I would gladly give up my BB Gun, my bike, my oversized army jacket, and any lizard or treasure I found for just one chance to dive into the stars.
I still feel that way.