Friday, May 30, 2014


My mother found this photo and I think it captures  my relationship with Sancha  (as well as our exciting exciting lifestyle) pretty perfectly. Who is leaning on who? (Update: scroll down, the post was originally just this note and the picture, but I came back and got Proustian)

I had assumed this was in my mother's bedroom in Los Angeles, but my crack reading public of one has identified this photo as one I sent her titled "Alabama." Now it is all coming back to me: this was from the road trip I took with my mom moving from New York to New Orleans. I have always loved cheap, anonymous, middle-of-nowhere, truckstop motels (I was into them before Foucault)--, and when I was 12 and we moved from Arkansas to LA, stopping in Washington DC and New York for the summer, after what had been an unremittingly awful year that culminated in my mother trading in our beloved car Eleanor without telling me the day of the trip (a sweet, loyal, gentle, little old white sensing a pattern here), my only solace was the prospect of a week of anonymous hotels with cable TV. Until I was betrayed again by 6 out of 7 nights being spent at my mother's friends' houses along the way. (The one night we stayed at a hotel featured one of my favorite memories of my mom and one of the stories I make her tell me over and over, but I will set that aside for another paragraph, as this one is one anecdote away from derailing entirely). I hold grudges. So in early 2012 I flew from NY to LA for less than 24 hours to attend my stepfather's surprise birthday--I couldn't come early because it was a surprise and I couldn't stay because my mom and stepfather were heading off for a romantic getaway. I demanded in return (no such thing as a free surprise birthday attendance) help in moving to New Orleans and a commitment to spending each night on the road in the no-starriest, truck-stoppiest of motels, watching at least one full episode of a law/forensics/cop show per evening.

So this is from a roadside motel in Alabama, probably between a Chevron, a fireworks store, and a 100% transfat buffet, probably after hours of watching Forensic Files and The First 48. Sancha was the most adaptable dog ever. I will eventually post about her trip to Spain, in which she did to adaptability what Ripken did to consecutive games, but it really didn't matter where I sent her or how we got there: as long as she found something soft to lie on, she was set. I wish I could say this was another thing we had in common, but in this case it was something I admired because it is a quality I lack entirely. We are (fuck. were) both creatures of routine, but she could recreate her routines in the midst of a chaos of change, whereas I demand exact repetition, stability, and monotony in order to feel at ease.

Of course the problem now is that Sancha was one of the essential elements to my routine. My stuffed raccoon is a good backrest. But he's crap to take on walks.


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