October 23, 2016

Dear Wigleaf,

When the plane landed yesterday at 3:54 pm the flight attendant welcomed all aboard to the City of Angels and announced the local time. I traveled halfway across the map to hear Patti Smith perform at the Hollywood Bowl. This flawless getaway, I orchestrated months ago with remarkable intuition.

My temporary bedroom overlooks Los Flores canyon, a russet terrain quilted with sage bush and violet chaparral. A week before yesterday’s flight, I sobbed on my mattress, a pulp of a person doomed to Roman ruin. My ambitions sounded like 10-cent hoaxes, pipe dreams. From atop the canyon, the same goals appear achievable, absent of clown talk.

In the vein of honesty, I should mention that once in New York I had a conversation with Patti Smith. We exchanged a few disappointing words while she signed my copy of Just Kids. Tonight, however, was otherworldly. At the concert, she encouraged all 17,500 people in attendance to lift our collective hands and feel our freedom. Giant raindrops clung to her white hair, shrouding her in medieval sorcery. I lifted my hands to find an invisible current, a liquid tightrope, traversing the air. I’m still touching it—


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