After a week of stress inducing packing and other move-related activities, I have arrived in my new home in Encinitas, sans most of my possessions, which will take another two weeks before being delivered.. Although situated physically, my mind has not yet accepted my new residence, and somewhere in its recesses believes my Northern Viginia apartment exists, beckoning with its comfortable couch and big screen TV. Naturally my new apartment is all but bare -- were it not for the generosity of my brother, I would not even have an air mattress on which to sleep.
I'm reminded of my college days, where both my physical dorm and intangible mindset were blank slates, to be filled with Target purchases and new habits respectively. In time, my Northern Virginia baggage will arrive, but it will be made to adorn my new environment, and not vice-versa.
Here are a couple shots of my place, for your benefit and mine, as routinely telling myself "I live by the beach" has proven insufficient to convince my mind.
Meager beach view from my bathroom.
Just outside my place
Not within 2 hours of landing was I reminded how cigarettes are so reviled here in Encinitas. Bereft of my beloved entertainment system, my brother and I went to the local bar shortly after I unlocked my apartment. While enjoying some "fresh air" outside amongst the other nicotine castaways, an attractive girl asked to have a cigarette. We started talking, the "I moved here two hours ago" line being an effective if fleeting conversational gambit. Sandy, a schoolteacher whose name I've changed to protect her reputation amongst her 5th grade students, advised me that a single male best not find himself amongst the maligned Encinitas smokers, as he'd have little hope of igniting romance with the tips of his Parliament Lites. Many residents regarded the habit with disdain, she related. Bikers would often scowl at someone with a cigarette -- funny that it took me a second for me to realize she was referring to bicyclists and not the cigar-chomping, tattoo-adorned, denim wearing gearheads that the image first conjured for me.
I suppose its ironic her admonishment could have only occurred had she asked me for a cigarette, and that she herself should think the habit so disgusting when she was smoking (although she's one of those folks who only lights up when drinking). I came to the conclusion that its probably better to be a hypocritical health-nut than a principled smoker.
Cigarettes, of course, came with me, an entire carton given premium space in my luggage. The addiction which ties me to them suffers no jet lag and is remarkably portable. The routine and habit which regulated their use, like the post-urination ceremony or the celebratory smoke after completing a PS3 game, are in flux. As I've done with my furniture and accumulated junk, it has become time to decide what of my East Coast life will my West Coast environment be made to accomodate.