I used to know them. Possibly all of them. Sometime after moving to HelLA, when Google Earth was still a new product, I made a flythrough of all the places I’d lived. A few were approximate, and I’m sure I started only notionally in HelLA before the litany of addresses in the Bay and UK – Unit 1, women’s co-op, Dwight, funny summer sublet that the dead guy from Sublime had rented, Piedmont/Oakland, MLK couch, the Mission, Ward, Warehouse, Fyfield, Iffley, North Oxford, (redacted), Goldhawk Rd, West Ken, LES, UWS, West Village, East Village, Brooklyn, aaaand back to WeHo. And then the list continued – midcity, Silverlake, Echo Park. And now, my ultimate fear, back to the suburbs. As if all the in between places didn’t happen. (Apparently, I do in fact know them all still. But that’s not my point.)

Which of course isn’t true. This isn’t the leaving of Ox, or even the leaving London despair of present and future purpose (though return still looks slim). This is a move cross-town to save time, lots and lots of time, for people large and (more importantly) small.

The tangible scars of my past can live again. Not the burns or pierces or tattoos – the BOOKS. No longer in boxes in the basement, the selves that rose and fall, lived and died, and folded tens of thousands of pages over to varying depths. Who failed to read, and failed to fold, chastened, even humbled, by the staggering expanse of unread pages. On bookshelves, freshly ordered for delivery in 10 days.

A walk up in the wet from a bar I’m fond of, but never lived at. A last hike tomorrow, I think, more meaningful, a thousand loops later. Likely without the 35 pounds, though. Toddlers don’t experience nostalgia, I don’t think, in the ways I do.

Though, I think we’ll come back to look at the mustard flowers.

Friday March 09th 2018, 12:34 pm
Filed under: exit,family,HelLA,himself,leaving,nextish Tags:

A new bed, assembled. Small, really, but large. A blue crib disassembled. The days spent sanding and priming and lovingly painting two coats of that saturated blue, not really knowing the person it would be for. A long weekend spent doing the room, while YCT and the dogs were in Santa Monica. Music loud, paint stained jeans, the familiar rhythms of blue tape and cutting in and rolling out. Labor of lifetimes ago, foundational and fundamental competencies in self-righteous opposition to paternal incompetence, to a self that inhabited the life of the mind easily, the world less so. Years of painting walls and caulking bathrooms, of repairing things and building things.

And now, building a small bed, with small hands helping. He’ll never stay in it, of course, so new exhaustions await. And I doubt a week is enough to help him settle in to it before the Big Move happens. A move to the suburbs, really, something too close to the places you will be from. And he won’t remember, not really, the lake and the ducks and the hike. Hundreds of hikes. We’ll shape a different life, of course, and anything that involves 8 more hours a week of living, not driving, can only be a good choice. Inhabit the space differently. Push the angles and round the curves differently. Discover the small sites of possibility. Ignore the dread.

Dread, though, leavened with the small voice of himself, “thaaaaank you, daddy,” tucked up in his new spot, blankets and animals overflowing, blue eyes bright and improbable hair flopped to one side. Anything.


[Update: the last real comments to this ridiculously indulgent nonsense-filled endeavor of mine, were to the post “20 weeks” in August 2014, the weekend I painted the room and the crib. And Helen, saying “congratulations.” Just yesterday I packed the Chagall book you gave me when I left Oxford, following a farewell party at that funny flat. It was your father’s, you said. I had forgotten the inscription, saying I would be missed. Now you are missed, rainbow friend.]

Monday March 05th 2018, 11:03 am
Filed under: Miscellaneous, Truly Tags:

And moving. Fuck it all.

Short month, long day
Wednesday February 07th 2018, 2:27 pm
Filed under: blah,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock Tags:

One more candidate. One more dinner. 3 weeks of Thursdays I’d rather not.

Slog. Whinge. Trudge.

Most preciously
Sunday January 21st 2018, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized Tags:

The comment from Helen, congratulating us on 20 weeks, is still one of the most recent comments, following the migration. That makes me happy and sad. I’m sorry she didn’t get to meet Miles.

Sunday January 21st 2018, 7:52 pm
Filed under: copy-and-paste Tags:

I’m not sure about the .htaccess file redirect. But I think I’ve dragged everything over from the old domain host/DNS registrar to the new hosting system and new DNS registrar.


Did I mention I’m a literature person? Why do I know how to do this shit? Why did I just spend this much time doing it?

Friday January 12th 2018, 10:59 pm
Filed under: exit,grief,obits Tags:

It’s too soon for words. I don’t have them, just a hole in my heart and an impossibly tangible sense of the absence of a body in my life, and a toddler who is very unsure about what we’re trying to say and to not say. Farewell, inherited poodle. You are loved.

The greatest city in the world (or, empty fridge)
Wednesday December 13th 2017, 5:43 am
Filed under: New York,nostalgia Tags:

There’s nothing in the fridge. Nothing in the cupboards. At first I was annoyed, but then I thought about living here, and I can safely say I don’t think I ever had all that much in the fridge, either. Why would you? It’s ALL there. Right Fucking There.

I fucking love this town. It speaks to me in a way no other city, not even my beloved London, ever has. I can’t afford it (and never could), and it occurs to me that I’ve never managed to live in a city I wanted with a job I wanted, but fuck it. One out of two isn’t bad. And this isn’t a kvetch. Despite being ass cold outside (or, more accurately, quite chilly combined with insufficiently warm clothes, as I just don’t own that shit any more), I found a 1) cozy pub with no TV happily thrumming along for 9 pm dinner and a few pints of Guinness and 2) a specialty market beyond your wildest imaginings open until midnight. Not only that, but I walked less than half a block each way.

The cold air seeps in through windows, as I drink my mud coffee (packaged nostalgia. perfect). The noise also seeps, but that’s what I get for not knowing the place was _on_ 14th st until after I booked it. Fucking AirBnB.

The only spot free at the bar was a big table surrounded by couches. I had it comfortably to myself for an hour or so, quietly reading quite a good book over pints, before a group of three colonized the other side/corner. Fair enough. Then a woman who worked at the bar came out – trans, fabulous – to be greeted by hugs from two of the three and an introduction to the third. She then turned to me and took my hand warmly, expectantly. “I’m just the guy in the corner,” I said, “I’m not with them.” “Darling,” she said, “you’re with me,” giving my hand a squeeze. She stayed, chatted for a bit, and then said her goodbyes. As she was leaving, I looked up from my book, “Don’t I get a goodbye, too?” She leaned down to give me a hug, “Always.”

I fucking love this town. Off to look at some books (after I buy a hat).

Database paths
Wednesday November 29th 2017, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous, Truly,Rubbish Tags:

Really? That’s what I have to spend my time on? When GoDaddy changes (without any warning) the path to the database? Glad I finished reading other people’s job applications (there but for the grace of god, etc.) before I spent time fiddling with that.

Old dogs, dead dogs, farting dogs. And a comment from a dead friend celebrating 20 weeks of pregnancy. Literally and figuratively lifetimes ago.

Monday November 20th 2017, 11:44 am
Filed under: can't make that shit up,HelLA,holidays,nextish Tags:

Well, I missed a month again. I suppose, in my defense, I’m busier than I ever imagined busy being. But there have been a few times I’ve wondered about coming here. Just back from a final spin class – they’re closing. Moderate sadness over corporate failure – there was, in fact, a community, and even rarer for HelLA, an unprecious atmosphere of real people doing real exercise, the lumpy alongside the glossy, and, for the most part, a sense of collective encouragement.

Thæs ofereode, thisses swa mæg.

Speaking of which, the disturbed young woman who has been stalking me off and on since accusing me (falsely) of all kinds of shit re-appeared, first by email a few weeks ago, and then in my office on Thursday. Fun for the whole family. Oh wait. Even my cop-loathing self got the cops involved (who, true to form, managed to insult by asking, meaningfully, “does your wife know”?).

Time flying; deadlines blown; things passing around again; holidays and 90 degree heat projected for Thanksgiving. Just the season to leave the oven on all day. Sigh.