Songs to the Moon – I don’t know if I just romanticize too much, if my mind makes most things more significant than they ever were, or if everyone has these pieces of their lives that exist as images, memories that feel so powerful – like no one else has ever loved as hard or felt anything as deeply. Of course, I know that’s not true. Or I hope it isn’t. I hope everyone loves so hard, and feels so much, and that certain moments never go away. One of my best friends died when he was 22 years old after a skateboarding accident. So much of my heart and my California past still lives boxed together in memories with him. We’d go to the desert with our friends, and he’d climb to the top of rock piles faster than anyone. We’d go to beaches and mountains, and we’d eat hashbrowns and sing songs to the moon. Maybe we sang songs to a UFO one time. Four of us stayed in Gram Parsons’ motel room together and drank Tampico and Popov vodka, and I think it was tequila that someone else had left behind in the drawer by the bed. We thought that was probably a gift from Gram’s ghost. The next night we camped in Joshua Tree, and everyone made fun of me for sleeping in the car because I didn’t want to share a tent with three teenage boys. The desert will always be special, but no one place is tied to Mike. I see his face in most of the little California holes in the wall I’ve ever been to, even ones I know he never entered. And I don’t know what kind of love that is, but it’s a long time later, and he’s still in almost every abandoned-looking-but-still-serving diner, dive bar, neon sign along every highway or every suburban main road. | 2020 |