The layering of these behaviors was something to unravel when it came time to quit. Because the neural networks in his head, whatever wiring existed there, were largely drawn and defined by alcohol. The pathways to pleasure were like motorways on a map. Either he had to stop visiting those towns or find a new route.
Field notes from the Pacific Coast
A few years ago I did a 30-day challenge to write 50K words, inspired by an outing to the Washington coast and in part, the singer Chris Cornell’s tragic death. Cornell sang for the band Soundgarden, one of the primary… Read More ›
The cosmic distance ladder
Morning time in the old German village where we once lived. The narrow stone roads that feel like a labyrinth, more for pedestrians than cars. The sound of tire tread when cars pass slow. Everyone smoking. Past the Italian bakery… Read More ›
That last Christmas in Cork
We’d sit out there in the late afternoons as dusk came on and the thin windows beaded up with condensation, forming jeweled patterns in the corners. With the glow of the lights and the heater it felt cozy, like looking out from the inside of a gingerbread house.
Far country falls
On that gray November day we settled into a small town on the west coast of Scotland. Most of the leaves were down and the colors resigned to brown, the red on the roadside you’d mistake for leaves was really… Read More ›
Maps and legends
We’d drive the twisted road down from France across the border and into the crowded dusty parking lot in Spain then return home with cases of wine and if they had it, the Bols oude genever.
Slow fade, side two
Pink on the mountains as the sun falls behind the ridge and casts a shadow with a line inching upwards in gray as it sets. I climbed that peak and could picture myself on the top in a picture I… Read More ›
Weird scenes inside the gold mines
The Jupiter’s Beard is the last to bloom, pale pink with bees picking pollen from its bush. The garden out front is on its last legs, the lavender deep purple. On the hillsides back in Germany they’d be out with… Read More ›
You can never quarantine the past
Labor Day came and went, hot easterly winds. The tell-tale crunch of leaves. In mid September we drove to that strange town in the French mountains, Saint-Pierre des Champs. We rented a Eurovan and I was the only one who… Read More ›
Small towns, long looks, late summer one Saturday
When a car comes down the road we all look up. It’s like the looks we used to get from the locals pulling into that small French town. Morning clouds, afternoon sun. Saturdays sleeping in. Just the sound of the… Read More ›