The trip to visit Defiant Muse and her Monkey was incredibly fun, exhausting, and amazing. Northern California feels like a good novel does to me. There's an eye catching cover, lots of drama and beautiful imagery, characters you love, and a story you never want to end. I could spend hours on the coast line just day dreaming or writing.
Yes, DM and I did do some rabble rousing. You can read about that over on DM's site because, frankly, I don't remember much. I have some faded impressions of dancing, lights, asking lots of inappropriate questions, and posing on a mattress. Oy. Let's just say it's a damn good thing the tattoo parlors in DM's town are closed at 1am. Otherwise, I'd have the cliche of all tattooed cliches on my ass.
But the best part of the trip was having a chance to connect with my cousin. DM and I haven't spent much time together as adults without a crowd of a thousand around. Our family is loud, obnoxious, drunk, and overwhelming. It's hard to have a serious conversation about anything around them.
On the surface, DM and I have always been very different. I followed the good girl path to adulthood. She followed the road less traveled and found herself through a more literal journey. Underneath, however, I think we've both known how similar we are. It's not just genetics that binds us, but politics, personality, a quest for beauty and truth, and a desperate need to make a difference in the world.
The eight years between us no longer mean much. Particularly since we've both come to realize that all people are more similar than different. In becoming a mother, and in sharing that experience, it becomes obvious. The human experience repeats itself over and over, generation after generation, passing down to us the best and worst of human nature. It makes it difficult to understand how human beings can treat each other so badly. (Now I'd better get myself back on track before I start ranting about war, murder, and all the other atrocities of the world.)
This was also the first chance I've had to meet Monkey. She's a gorgeous, obsidian eyed beauty, with a romantically flowing name, her father's hair, her mother's mouth, and her grandfather's ears. She made me work for her smiles, like any serious girl should, but those upturned lips, tiny dimple, and sparkling eyes were certainly worth the effort. Monkey is a perfect combination of darkness and light. Watching her over the last week, as her eyes followed my every move and she wobbled cautiously across the room, I saw my cousin as a baby once more.
DM and her Monkey will be coming to visit us this Summer and we can't wait. We can't offer a dramatic coastline, just a boring old flat beach, but we do have some kick ass crabs and there's always beer in the fridge. After looking at all the photos, Big H is incredibly excited to meet his new cousin and Little H keeps asking me where Monkey is.
It won't be long boys.