Autumn in California is lonely and unassuming, warm in the sun and chilly in the shadows. I make pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving and no one eats it. I buy a new white dress and spill coffee all over it. I wash it in the bathroom sink. I get the galley copies of my book and stack them in a cupboard until I see the people I want to give them to. I neglect my journals and feel guilty about it later. I go bowling on Thanksgiving. I feel like the only living person in Los Angeles, like I finally understand the song.
December now and it was eighty degrees in Santa Monica yesterday. S and I ate muffins by the water and I walked into work with every step weighing heavier and heavier on my resolve. Working the holidays in retail again reminds me of all the worst things about New York. I remember that city like a distant dream.
The last two weeks have been hard for a multitude of reasons, some more valid than others. Last night I fell asleep thinking of Edinburgh, the biting winds and the incessant rain and the french press in my kitchen and the ritualistic movement every morning from the bed to the couch, where I would sometimes write and sometimes not write. I remembered the grey blanket and the grey sheets. Everything I bought in Scotland was grey.
Now everything in California is white. White sheets, white lingerie, white dresses with faint coffee stains. White coasters and a white bed and a white bedside table. I’m letting my hair grow blonde again. My walls are white and bare. The pages of my journal stay white. The white computer screen where I stare at a blinking cursor for long minutes until finally, with something like defeat, I close the computer and bury myself in white sheets, a white duvet, a white pillow over my head and my eyes squeezed shut and even the black behind my eyelids like white, hot, white.
photographs taken in Venice, California with a Canon 60D.