For Father’s Day I gave my dad a modified birthday card with a photo of a cat lounging in a very human-like position on a couch. On the outside it said, “You think, ‘I’d just love a tuna sandwich’ and someone brings you a tuna sandwich.” Inside it said, “Have that kind of
birthday Father’s Day.”
The card was a hit because it was sort of dryly funny (thank you, Fresh Ink, for somewhat redeeming the greeting card industry) and because we used to have a cat who really liked tuna sandwiches. Specifically, on toast.
The card was also not a hit because it’s an unspoken rule that we give handmade cards in my family.
But my point is the cat’s sentiment: Is that what they call magical thinking? I keep hearing about magical thinking, sometimes as a good thing, sometimes as a bad thing, but I don’t really know what it is. Is it like The Secret or is it like Gabriel García Márquez?
2. love in the time of apocalypse
Friday night brought examples of both: After lea
We’d been once since it was remodeled, but somehow we’d missed the big new section—at the time I think I remarked, “It looks like they just put in a couple of new railings.” This time we lea
The historical reminders blended with the wind—eerie and wildfire-hot—to remind me of everything I like about
I’ve been having a lot of apocalyptic thoughts lately. They involve the same ingredients as everyone else’s apocalyptic thoughts: war, climate change, gas that costs as much per gallon as a My Little Pony but brings me far less joy. I have a vague but distinct sense that
When these thoughts are only made of headlines, they make me sad. But standing on top of a mountain, staring into a valley of dark trees and, further away, at the city’s Lite-Brite-on-acid semi-grid, I just felt like I was part of history. Like we would all endure whatever came next, just because it was what came next.
The smog hung dense and low and pink at sunset. Later, after the observatory closed, a lone TV reporter talked to a camera in front of a news van, the wind carrying his words away so quickly that all of us gawkers quickly lost interest. We walked in our flip-flops down the hill, feeling magical.
3. speak of the coyote
That was the Gabriel García Márquez magic. The Secret brand came a few minutes later, when we were talking about coyotes and where we’d seen them: freeway off ramps, moseying around mansions in the Hollywood Hills. Jody had been having eye problems and was wearing only one contact lens, and we joked about how, if he saw a coyote right now, it would seem extra close due to his lack of depth perception.
And then, right on cue, there was a coyote, silhouetted against the insufficient street light. He was smaller than an
“That’s weird that he’s all alone,” said Jody. “Usually that means they’ve been exiled from their pack for some reason.”
We scanned the trees on either side of us, thinking, What if he’s not alone? We listened for howls but didn’t hear any.
“Maybe it’s wolves who only travel alone if they’re exiled,” said Jody.
Everyone else had cleared out of the park, and the street was distressingly dark. We walked as fast as we could, Jody being extra careful of the curb that could have been two feet away from him or ten.
Then AK’s car beeped its hello, flashed its lights, and within a handful of minutes we were in Los Feliz eating French fries on a sidewalk packed with people. It was disconcerting and miraculous.