Anna and Melanie beneath a mermaid pinata.

It is a world of wonder.  The day opens thus:  the clouds have cleared over Los Angeles.  The sun is bright and the air is clean.  The birds are singing.  The squirrels are playing in the palm trees within feet of my window.

Everyday I wake up is a new day to think about what life has to offer and I am all at once terrified and enchanted.

I frantically tidied the house, put all the clothes that were stacked in my room in their correct places.  I remembered to fold my teeshirts and not put things in draws that were inside out.

I have to move the car at 9am so I don’t get a parking ticket.  The little dog is looking at me expectantly.  We need to walk, we need to take the trash to the building dumpster.  We need to go to yet another 12-step meeting and rip my heart open again and again.

I want to smoke cigarettes.  I want to lay in bed and not feel.  Please.

Right here, right now.  That’s what John A says.  Reminding me to stay right here right now.   Not yesterday or tomorrow.   Right here, right now.

Everything happens for a reason.  Collating the artwork made me take an essential inventory.  It seems that there is more value in what I own than I first suspected.  The choices I made for 20 years have been good ones.

Everything happens for a reason.  That’s what they say.  That’s what they tell me.  That’s what I have come to believe.  The plan is set, the dye is cast.

I felt sickly last night, too sickly to leave the house then spontaneously decided to visit my friends Anna and Melanie.  Driving through the heavy rain the little dog and I arrived in Silverlake and ate slow roasted pork, black beans, plantains and lemon sorbet.   Chatted to my arty filmmaker friends and loved every minute.  Drove home, lay in bed waiting for the anticipated thunder but none came.

Silverlake, Los Felis, Arcadia, La Canada, Flitridge, Brentwood, Malibu, Santa Monica, Pasadena, the map of LA unfolding like an old linen backed map in my head.  The freeways, the concrete LA river, the Pacific Ocean all wrote in Indian ink.

I once owned a 17th century map of Venice that I found in a library in Dorset when I was a boy.   It was folded into a marbled envelope and each painstakingly hand drawn section of that map remains engraved in my memory.

Venice stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy.

For a moment this morning I remembered that map and wished to be magically transported to the saltwater lagoons that stretch lazily along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers.

When I die the various maps of many cities will be lost.  I think often of that.  The many and various maps of  all the cities I explored that will be lost along with the smell of fresh snow, the taste of my lovers mouth, the unmistakable sound of my own childish footsteps running down warm unusual, sunlit corridors.