Tomorrow I leave for Minnesota, for a long weekend in the heartland. There will be a trip to the State Fair. And an early celebration of an upcoming birthday (mine). And an airline on strike. And a rental car. And quaint accents.
I like my trips back to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as their cousin city Rochester. The familiar streets comfort my shaky shoulders. The green fields and thick trees soothe my ocean-kissed/smog-shrouded pysche. I entertain thoughts of moving back. This especially happens during visits that don't coincide with that crazy winter thing. September is especially beautiful (the early fall colors on the trees high above the Mississippi, the cool breezes, the threat of frost, the Vikings and my early season hope). I feel almost giddy writing about it.
Then, inevitably, on the flight back to LAX, somewhere between Las Vegas and Fontana, it hits me. I'm glad to be back home. I look out on the massive infrastructure of Los Angeles and say "yo, this is it."
Then, invariably, the next morning, as I lurch toward downtown L.A. on the 10 freeway, I long for something smaller.
I'm never satisfied.
Book update: I gave up on William Vollman's Europe Central. Maybe next year. I'm amused by Saul Bellow, but I'm procrastinating. I like Wesley Stace's Misfortune but I'm not feeling Victorian these days. So I'm on to Salvador Plascencia's The People of Paper and that's what makes me happy.