By Scarlette Quille
First, I’d like to address the rumor that this column is not running any more; obviously, that is a rumor, as you are reading the column.
I’ve written this column for over 10 years, and occasionally I need a break. Try not to take it personally. It’s me, not you. I apologize for any confusion that my short absence may have caused for my awesome editors at the Reader and my dedicated fans. As abrupt as it was, the break was necessary, as I tend to have a difficult time writing a humorous column when I am feeling out of sorts.
The end of summer always brings up feelings of regret. Regret about spending too much time focusing on things I couldn’t change like birthdays, the ridiculous political climate and not enough time skinny dipping. It was time for me to go on a spiritual journey, and prepare myself because as much as I’d like to ignore it… Winter is coming.
As spiritual journeys go, mine was fairly text book. I experienced significant loss, which lead to grief and finally a spiritual awakening. There comes a time when you have to stop crying over the things you can’t change and focusing on the present. For me, this was in early September when I had to pull myself together in order to attend a Guns N’ Roses concert at the Gorge with my family. This once in a life time experience was a Christmas gift from my brother and despite my personal sadness, I needed to pull my shit together and at least go through the motions of having fun for the sake of my mother who considered this event to be a deeply religious experience.
It was at the Gorge while “You Could Be Mine” was blasting through the smoke-filled sky, when I experienced a shift in my attitude. Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the music, or maybe it was being engulfed by the legal marijuana-scented amphitheater. I do not know. What I do know, is that I was able to come to the conclusion that if Axl Rose can get his shit together and make up with his band, and his bandmates could find it in their hearts to forgive him, I too had a chance at being forgiven. Perhaps I would be able to make beautiful music again. Not literal music (my singing voice is similar to a screeching ferret, and my instrumental skills are even worse). This gave me hope, and I was able to make a call, and mend a fence, and return to the experience in progress with hope and the ability to focus on the present.
I spent the rest of the concert surrounded by family and friends singing at the top of our lungs, until we had no voice left. Seriously, the concert was three-plus hours long. I may still have vocal damage a month later. My circumstances had changed for the better. I was healing and not walking through the campgrounds singing “Patience” alone. I have no judgment for those whose experience went that direction. Everyone’s spiritual path is different.
My time at Guns N’ Roses, gave me a new focus. I was able to go in a sweatlodge shortly after, and now feel like I am ready to face the winter head-on, with a better, healthier attitude. However, I still have some amends to make with y’all.
First, I’d like to apologize personally to my number-one fan, the man who works at the liquor store. I haven’t been in there in a couple of weeks, and I don’t want him to feel abandoned. I promise that if I decide to quit writing this column I will give my fans, especially him, appropriate closure. It’s the right thing to do when you have shared as much together as we have.
On a side note, the liquor store in Ponderay has the best customer service in town. I always feel happy after going in there, and it’s not just because I have a full bottle of booze (though that is always a bonus). The staff is amazing, fast and courteous. I have personally watched them get several lost tourists headed back to Sandpoint with clear, concise directions and awesome recommendations. This is a task that is difficult to do with a smile, and a line of thirsty people standing in line, eagerly tapping their feet. Personally, I am in no rush to leave the store, as my number-one fan works there, and I value his opinions on my latest columns. It’s always nice to hear that people enjoy your work, and I am grateful for his kind words.
I’d also like to thank the individuals who send fan mail to the Reader for me. I save every hand-written letter I receive. The last letter was particularly kind, as it included an offer for me to bring my cats over for a play date to this individual’s home and maybe start a cat army or something like that. I appreciate the kind offer, but the kittens have all found amazing homes, and Maple isn’t the type of cat who likes to share anything, especially the spotlight. I love receiving mail, and I am always honored whenever I receive a handwritten letter.
Lastly, I’d like to thank the Reader, for bearing with me for my month of self- discovery, and being open to publishing a column that is a bit racy for our small town. Thank you.
Editor’s Note: We love you, Scarlette!