Taking a stand at the newsstand.
This morning I happily drove to pick up copies of The New York Times featuring an article about Amandla’s friendship with fellow actor Rowan Blanchard. Ahead of me was a very large man – in height and girth – who purchased half a dozen magazines.
“Would you like a bag with that?” asked the newsstand man.
“No, thanks,” replied the customer.
I placed my five hefty issues of the Sunday Times on the counter and handed him my credit card. He rang up my purchase. Silence. “May I have a bag please?” I asked.
“Sure,” he said, reaching for a white plastic bag behind him and placing the papers inside.
I immediately launched into my default way of being and interacting in the world, a tactic I think I learned, perhaps unconsciously, from my mother. I engaged him.
The fire this time.
This excerpt from Sacred Landscapes of the Soul resonates with me right now.
What brings me comfort right now.
Remembering moments like this one from May of last year. Amandla and I stopped outside of her fabulous loft apartment in Paris' 11th arrondissement to drink in the evening. I arrived from L.A. for a week, having been charged with ferrying Kumo the cat across the Atlantic. One year later I've just finished watching the result of Amandla's six-month rendezvous with Paris—the eight-part Netflix series, The Eddy. It’s a soul-stirring, cinematic marvel, and a poignant deep-dive into the lives of some riveting characters, including troubled Julie, played by Amandla. She is "scintillating" in the role, possesses an "arresting presence," and delivers a "scene-stealing performance," reviewers say. Plus there's this appreciation by Amy Taupin in Artforum and this gorgeous Emmy magazine cover. I may just have to stream it again.
Crown of death.
I now know how my cousin died. Eric. 38. Husband. Father. NYPD Blue.
He died in agony.
Shelter in the storm.
"There goes summer!"
My brother sent this text to me and our two siblings when it was announced a few days ago that Los Angeles would be sheltering in place through July. Or maybe it's August. Since then, the city or perhaps the Los Angeles Times—has walked back this declaration. It's hard to keep track.
As for me, summer was cancelled, or rather, became a non-starter, when the following email arrived in my in-box late yesterday afternoon.
I like to make stuff...and think about stuff.