here comes the fall

after spending the day at the studio, i had to run home to change before going out last night. this isn’t because i was covered in paint (i was, but i don’t tend to care about stuff like that)—but rather it was too cold to wear shorts. it’s the first time in months that i’ve worn pants anywhere in los angeles. absolute bliss.

i always love the fall. i get to wear cardigans and watch everything die. the last flowers try to hold their color and composure among their crumpled, wilting comrades. browned leaves join the cigarette butts and consumer debris in the gutters. the palm trees feel even more out of place, gathering their energy to stand tall against another winter. the miserable vengeance of nature is palpable.

there is a certain bludgeoning loneliness that comes with the season—plenty of people are preparing to hunker down together for another winter, while i can just be grateful that, though alone, at least i won’t have to deal with the deathly cold of new england come december. (then i realize i’m spending at least six hours a day painting, and the rest are usually at home making or out listening to music. it’s hard to imagine how another person could fit in there—but that doesn’t ease what it is to be lonely in a city like this.)

the most depressing thing is that i have a new neighbor who complained about the plants around the building touching the doorways and the people who cut the hedges hacked up the cactus in front of my apartment where the hummingbirds flock to this time of year. now i don’t know if the flowers will bloom, and therefore if the birds will visit on the daily. i guess these things happen, but to gain a shitty neighbor while losing hummingbirds is a pretty deep hit to start the season with.

if i had wings

the coen brothers have made some phenomenal movies, but even though their masterpiece is considered no country for old men, i think inside llewyn davis is a slept-on 10/10. stunning performances, wonderful soundtrack, emotionally devastating, still finds levity. plus, a cat as a co-star. maybe i can just relate.


having cats can sometimes be like an on-again, off-again relationship—at least when it comes to going on vacation. cats show absolutely no affection upon returning from a trip. theirs is the attitude of, well you’re the asshole who left us, why should we be excited you’re back?

it’s really only after some time well-spent, and perhaps a fresh bowl of food, that they come around and things are all good again.

a letter


the silverado in front of me on the mass pike has two stickers in its rear window: one saying, hi, neighbor! and the other a ‘blue lives matter’ american flag. i wonder if the driver realizes the irony. probably not—massachusetts does love its police.

somehow that’s one of the least annoying things about driving here, a state that has apparently abandoned the idea of being mindful of other drivers (much less concepts like turn signals or passing lanes). it makes me miss drivers in los angeles—a thought i never imagined having. the september air is the type of humid that makes the skin feel thick. i grew up primarily in new england but i certainly don’t miss this feeling. i don’t miss much at all; but i did miss out on a lot.

happy birthday, sean

my oldest friend turned 40 today and so we played uno with his kids after they blew out the candles on a platter of homemade cupcakes. he’s one of a few people i’ve seen in my return trip east who have spent the last decades building a life full of long-term relationships, stable career paths, and photos decorating the walls of a family home. at this point, the thai food we shared tonight is about the extent of all we have in common anymore.

that’s the thing about navigating traffic, though—everyone has their way of moving forward. boston drivers may be irritating on the mass pike, but in real life, i’m the one careening through lanes without using turn signals, doing anything i can to not get caught up in the regular motion of things. instead of having a room of lego sets and baby pictures, i have passport stamps and matchbooks from italian wine bars. they’re all just choices on how to maneuver through time. how to deal with the traffic of everyone and everything.

it does make me wonder, though. cut through the traffic long enough, find a way to leave it all behind, and suddenly it is—now there’s no turn-offs from this road. no exit signs waiting for me. the people i’ve known may have gone along with the stop-and-go while i was making my way around it, but now they’re the ones with a home to head toward. i never doubted the routes i took before, and i can’t change them anyway. but all of this does give me some pause now, more than i’d like.