Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Everything You Need and More

You will see crazy things there, my friend said. I said that that sounded like fun. I would like to see some crazy things. It was late Tuesday morning, and I only had a couple hours to kill before I needed to start driving north towards San Francisco.

If you read the Wikipedia description for Venice Beach, you might think it sounds like the kind of beach/boardwalk area that only exists in '80s movies with bitchin' soundtracks: "Venice Beach includes the beach, the promenade that runs parallel to the beach ('Ocean Front Walk' or just 'the boardwalk'), Muscle Beach, the handball courts, the paddle tennis courts, Skate Dancing plaza, the numerous beach volleyball courts, the bike trail and the businesses." Skate Dancing? Muscle Beach? Someone hand me my funky neon Ocean Pacific shorts, because I am all over this shit like a Flock of Seagulls.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

This is my friend JJ, who I stayed with while I was in Phoenix. JJ is one of those people with whom, due to circumstances beyond our control, such as geography, I have spent very little time, but no matter how far apart we live or how infrequently we see one another, I still count as one of my closest friends. And I have always suspected that this says more about the quality of person that JJ is than it says about me. My most recent trip to see him only confirmed that point-of-view.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Other Pages

Whenever I am away on one of these Big Corporate Events, I feel like I have been plucked out of the pages of some book, a book whose characters and landscapes are familiar to me, and dropped into the pages of a completely different book. In this other book I play a character similar to myself, but different in some indefinable way. Sometimes I wonder what the characters from the first book would think of me if they saw the me from this second, unusual book. But I have never feared that kind of collision, because these two books will never intersect. They are kept on shelves away from one another, on separate floors of the library.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The First Morning

Although I had set my alarm for 3:15 a.m., I awoke before it rang. I stood in my undershorts and shivered, blinking at my unmade bed in the dark. The tangle of pillows and blankets was a gray cloud, inviting me to climb back in and drift off. I pressed the palm of my hand into the mattress, then pulled it away, the last comfort I would have from my own bed for two weeks.