Snow That Traps and Beckons

I still remember sitting in that YMCA conference room last March, my third day of training for this new job and just my fourth day living in Asheville. I stared out the giant bay windows, mesmerized by flaky snow drifting downward from a vast gray expanse. This city I’d only ever known for summer camps and tanktops now threw me a new, wintry contrast. Last year’s snowfall only produced a thin dusting, and it wouldn’t snow the rest of the year. Wouldn’t […]

And to All a Good Riddance

As the grotesque mass of space garbage we call 2016 hurtles toward oblivion, people everywhere are cheering the prospect of a new year. Myself included. We’ve proclaimed this the worst year ever, what with a most bizarre election cycle, the deaths of numerous beloved celebrities, raging wildfires and natural disasters, and the opening of the first seal of the Apocalypse. 2016 wasn’t that great a year for me personally, either. I lost my first car. I lost my second car. […]

I Watched Gilmore Girls and Now I’m Thinking Too Much

I watched the Gilmore Girls revival over the weekend. There. I said it. Laugh at me. Deride me. Label me with your sharpest effeminate nicknames. It’s not like I have masculine issues or anything. I grew up with a little sister who loved Gilmore Girls, and as such, I saw more than a few episodes. I was the older brother “doing homework” in the living room while Gilmore Girls was on, but truthfully I was watching along with the family as Lorelai […]

Shackles and Freedom and the Space In-Between

Your bike chain breaks. The rains pour down. But still you soldier forward into the crosswalk and down the sidewalk. Because inside your wallet is a coffee shop punchcard with 16 holes, the magic number, the promised land, and you’re power-walking toward the place wiping raindrops from your brow. You step inside and reveal the punchcard with an irreplaceable smile. You hand it over, and within minutes you’re sipping a free mocha milkshake. It’s the little things. Since surrendering my second car […]

I Don’t Want to Do This

I don’t want to do this. But here I am. Blogging. Tonight. Late. After 10pm. Hardly an hour or two to spare until midnight. Just in time for Day 20. Today’s a great example of doing something I don’t want to do after an entire day of doing what I live for. This morning, I ventured out to the Smokies, a two-hour jaunt from her close cousin, the Blue Ridge. There I reunited with a Californian friend I’d not seen […]

Hello, Mr. Moose Head with the Hookah: or, Escaping the Staleness

Tonight I hopped on my bike not knowing where I’d be riding it. The further away I rode from my house, the more the pieces fell into place. A street here. An uphill climb there. A brand new coffee shop where I’d yet to sit and sip and ruminate. This place I found downtown is part-bookstore, part-bar, part-coffee shop: a two-story mixed breed of the coffee shop species. Turquoise pipes line the ceiling, and a man plays guitar down below. […]

You and I Will Be Okay

Earlier this year, I lost my beloved Mitsy to old age and a fuming engine on I-81S. I cried over her (wept, really), I memorialized her, and I spent the next two months of my life walking around Asheville until my sister’s old car became my new car — Des. She’s a 1998 Toyota Corolla, and her full name is Desdemona — a name I wasn’t wild about. Rather than christen her with a new name and inflict her with […]

What to do when you’re lost and lonely and sad

One of the perks of living in Asheville — a big one, really — is the opportunity to escape to the mountains anytime I please. Growing up in eastern Pennsylvania and then eastern Georgia, I never knew about daily life with mountains. My vision and expectations always encompassed a flat horizon preceded by fields and trees. When I moved to California, I might as well have switched from black-and-white to HD color. I didn’t know people could live next to […]