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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Please to Forgive

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California Stars

I'm saying goodbye to Vancouver.

Michael David Crawford, Consulting Software Engineer
mdcrawford@gmail.com

June 27, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

In April of 2004 Bonita and I were living in a rented house on Arthur Street in Truro, Nova Scotia. We had moved there a few months before from Owl's Head, Maine. I wrote:

I never thought I'd get homesick, not while I was with Bonita. The main reason we moved to Canada was that she was homesick. I like Canada just fine, so I figured I'd never get homesick living here.

But just now I was listening to Radio Paradise - which is located in Paradise, California, a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains - and they played a song called California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco.

I found my eyes filled with tears. I miss California so much. The song reminds me so much of Santa Cruz. I lived there for fifteen years. I never thought I'd leave.

I am so far from home.

I am going home.


Two weeks ago I flew to California's Silicon Valley to interview for some jobs. I spent the weekend with a dear old friend in Santa Cruz. It had been my home for fifteen years, and I studied for my degree at the University there, but it was the first time in six years I had been back. Things were always too hard for us to afford a ticket.

It was quite the trip down memory lane.

California Stars
Lyrics by Woody Guthrie
Music by Jay Bennet and Jeff Tweedy
From Billy Bragg & Wilco's Mermaid Avenue

I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight
On a bed of California stars
I'd like to lay my weary bones tonight
On a bed of California stars

I'd love to feel your hand touching mine
And tell me why I must keep working on
Yes, I'd give my life to lay my head tonight
On a bed of California stars

I'd like to dream my troubles all away
On a bed of California stars
Jump up from my starbed and make another day
Underneath my California Stars

They hang like grapes on vines that shine
And warm the lovers glass like friendly wine
So, I'd give this world
just to dream with you
On our bed of California stars

I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight
On a bed of California stars
I'd like to lay my weary bones tonight
On a bed of California stars

I'd want to feel your hand touching mine
And tell me why I must keep working on
Yes, I'd give my life to lay my head tonight
On a bed of California stars

I'd like to dream my troubles all away
On a bed of California stars
Jump up from my starbed and make another day
Underneath my California Stars

They hang like grapes on vines that shine
And warm the lovers glass like friendly wine
So, I'd give this world
just to dream with you
On our bed of California stars

And What Of Bonita?

We thought when I first moved to Vancouver that she would be done with art school by now. But it turns out she has yet another year to go. We're not sure what will happen when she graduates - whether she will move to California too, or I will move back to Canada.

And What Of The Bill Collectors?

I wrote in A Time-Honored Technique that I have managed to avoid repaying my considerable debts by fleeing to Canada. Most of our debts are in the US. I have no doubt that there are ways my creditors could still collect, but they haven't managed to do so yet.

My new job is offerring me a considerable raise from what I have earned in Vancouver; it will, for the first time, present a real opportunity to pay my creditors back.

Tomorrow I will call an attorney I know in Santa Cruz to ask her to negotiate settlements with all my creditors. The main challenge will be to convince them all to wait until I have the money to pay each of them.

All told, I owe about seventy-five grand.

One creditor I won't pay: the State of Maine has somehow got the idea that we lived in Maine during 2000. We lived in Newfoundland then - we were wed in St. John's in July of that year, so we don't owe Maine anything for it, but they keep sending me invoices for twenty-five grand.

Fuck 'em.

Do You Live In The Valley?

Let's meet for coffee or a beer after I get down there, which I expect will be in about a week and a half. Drop me a line at mdcrawford@gmail.com

Do You Live In Vancouver?

Then let's meet up so I can say goodbye. Vancouver has been a good home to me; I will miss it. Of that I'm certain.

I'd like to dream my troubles all away On a bed of California stars.

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