Late last night my husband and I drove across downtown Los Angeles. It was dark and sparkly, the freeways were nearly empty (near midnight on a Sunday). Tiny lights dotting large expanses of glossy black: roads, palm trunks, shoreline.
As wastelanders, that (even temporary) sense of urban desolation feels comfy and familiar. People ask if we’re glad we moved out here. We can’t imagine having made a different decision. But one part still feels sharp and sticky. A splinter, a burr. Leaving our tight-knit community behind (geographically at least) at best makes us maudlin, at the worst moments, miserably heartsick. One of my brothers has an unparalleled pied-piper quality to his personality. He moves and crowds move with him, quite literally.
I am invoking that (hopefully genetic) trait when I ask my female cohort to come to Cali early next year: life(dot)next III: desert directive
That’s all. Just come. Permanently or otherwise.