Hey. So I did a reading in San Francisco for the RADAR reading series. It went pretty well! I don’t think it was really “my crowd,” in the sense that what I was reading was a little different than what the other performers were reading, but I got some good reactions. The other performers were uniformly amazing, by the way, especially Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha whose memoir Dirty River I’ve been enjoying the past couple of days. And hey, I got paid, which was awesome.
In San Francisco I hung off the edge of a cable car and held tight to my luggage which ended up slapping some cars and people on the street nonetheless. I stayed in a hostel on Fisherman’s Wharf and watched the bridge while I had my coffee each morning. From there I rented a car and drove across California. I bathed in a hot springs in Mammoth, CA, then hiked the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where I presumably saw the oldest living tree in the world. Then I saw swirling, Martian-like red rocks in Nevada and some epic, Biblical shit at Zion National Park in Utah. Then the Grand Canyon, which was a little incomprehensible to my puny human mind. Driving out of the Grand Canyon National Park, I pulled off on a scenic byway and walked down a dirt road to see a gaping chasm in the earth – the edge of the canyon. It was twilight. I shouted into it and got the most perfect echo. It was a dreamscape. I felt like I was looking into oblivion, the abyss. I spent two nights in Monument Valley, that iconic Western landscape, where I watched “The Searchers” and ruminated on The West, distance, and loneliness. A couple nights at a commune in New Mexico then back to Pittsburgh. It was all very eye-opening. There’s nothing like that part of the country, or the world for that matter. I seen things I ain’t never seen before.