When I was younger, I prided myself on not being very “girly,” despising most of the frou frou things that girls were supposed to like (shopping, giggling, drinking cosmos) and keeping mostly male friends. While this led to many wonderful things (learning to like whiskey, saving lots of money), as I got older I surprisingly found myself feeling like something was missing, not unlike some phantom limb that was, surprisingly, soft-skinned, sweet-perfumed, and pink.
This past November, I went on a solo road trip throughout the desert in Southern California. I camped most nights, and since it was winter and got dark early, I had lots of time to contemplate the desert at night. One of those nights I stayed at a near-deserted campground in Mojave National Preserve, where I met Craig and Bonny.
Right after I finished grad school, I worked on a research project that studied how New Orleans was recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Though I spent most of the summer working from my home in San Francisco, I did get to spent two weeks that August in New Orleans, enough time to do some exploring and get a sort of sense for the city.
When I was twenty three, I moved into a post-1906 earthquake building in the Cow Hollow neighborhood in San Francisco. The flat was a funny mixture of old and not-so-old, as old rental buildings tend to be. While the built-in cabinets in the living room had been covered in 1970’s-era faux wood paneling, an unfortunate consequence of a misguided attempt at “modernizing,” no one had ever bothered to improve upon the insulation in the walls. […]
California in winter is a strange mix of endless rain and fog with bright, piercing cold days when the light is crisp and crystalline. After the storms right before the holidays, we’ve been given a jeweled handful of these sunny days, and they’ve interjected some optimistic energy into my footsteps, a harbinger of a bright and clear year to come.