The desert is dead and beautiful and still (unlocked)

Joshua Tree through my dumb eyes

Below is a free-form travel essay detailing my trip to Joshua Tree National Park this past weekend, and the stream of consciousness observations I had on life and myself and Worcester along the way. I wrote all of it on the notepad function of my phone and touched it up later with added information on aspects of particular interest. This is a weird one, I know, and it’s sort of an experiment. That’s why I initially made it available only to paid subscribers, who I feel are probably more likely to bite on a piece of writing like this. But then I got a lot of good feedback on it so now I’m saying why not have at it world. If you like what you read please considering giving the button below the old smasheroony thank you much!

Thursday morning

I’m writing this post from an airplane which is currently very high above the part of Pennsylvania where my dad’s side of the family is from. The part in between Philly and Pittsburgh that’s mostly rural save for the old factory towns that cluster around rivers and from this height, you can see it real well how it happens. Humans say oh, here’s a good spot and it’s usually by some body of water and all the other humans around agree and give it a few centuries and bam, you’ve got yourself a city. The last time I was in this part of the country I was on land. In my Pappy’s camper in fact. He took me all around Altoona and he showed me where he grew up and we got hot dogs and we visited his sister who dropped a hard n-word while watching college football. Pap apologized to me for that one privately later though it really didn’t bother me too much if we’re being honest. She’s 80 plus years old in her own home and what am I supposed to do I don’t even know this woman. When I was young, maybe 11 or 12, my Pappy wondered aloud where me and my sister got our musical predilections and talents. Then he confessed to me that his grandfather was a minstrel singer. It doesn’t make it ok he said but it was a different time and people just did that. It doesn’t make it ok but maybe that’s where this whole music thing comes from, he said. Buried deep in the family back from the minstrel singing times. I said pap, what’s a minstrel singer and he explained it and I said ohhhhhh. So that’s the culture I come from. The last time anyone on my dad’s side was a musician it was the racist kind. My Pappy is one of my first male role models and I still look up to him and love him to death and he’s also an avid Trump supporter but what are you going to do, tell an 80 year old woman to not use the n-word in her own home?

I’m on my way to surprise my dear friend Emilio on his 30th birthday. He’ll be at his AirBnB with his girlfriend tomorrow. She knows we’re coming but he doesn’t. It’s going to be a weekend and a half, that’s for sure. But right now I’m up in the air and I’m feeling sentimental in the way that only looking out the window of a moving vehicle can make you. I’m looking down at all the little towns and the flat land around them checkered by farms and the network of roads and rail lines looking like so many little rivers. It’s nice sometimes to feel small as you really are. There are so many people down there and they’re all just living and they’re living for no reason except to continue living and so am I.

Worcester’s not so different from this part of Pennsylvania. Not so different at all. They’re both a part of the Rust Belt. They’re both the sort of working class places that have suffered tremendously for decades at the hands of global capitalism and what it requires. Worcester is a city built by and populated by factory workers and before the phenomenon of suburban sprawl it was indeed surrounded by rural areas and the network of roads and rail lines in and out were more about getting the products in and out than they were about the people and for a time that really worked and the American dream of buying your own triple-decker to put up your whole extended family off your union-protected factory job was a real thing. You could actually do that. Now those jobs don’t exist in any substantial way. Worcester and this part of Pennsylvania are the sort of places where it’s easy to smell the rotting corpse of American empire.

So what’s that look like really? It’s a lot of empty buildings, for one. Like The Bridge. And we need to hold onto The Bridge and I’ll be writing about The Bridge later this week, but for now I sort of want to try this whole travel essay thing out.

Thursday night

Now it’s later in the day, near sunset, and I’m in the rental car driving through the Mojave Desert on the way to Joshua Tree. There are great valleys of cactus plants and rocks and desert shrubs and the setting sun is reflecting red off the mountains in the distance. It’s beautiful and I’m with two of my closest friends and I’m feeling good and content and I’m not chewing on the things that I usually chew on. I feel light and quiet and free. We’re staying in the hotel that Gram Parsons died in tonight. I don’t know what it looks like but I know he died in room 8. It feels weird and morbid that that’s what I’m most excited about, you know going to the place where this old country singer overdosed and died, but here we are. Gram Parsons’ voice and all the beautiful desperation in it hits me like a ton of bricks. We’re listening to “Hot Burrito #1” while crossing the massive tract of Colorado Desert that makes up the southern and western half of the park. 

Gram wanted more out of life than he was ever going to get, than any of us will get, and you can feel that when he sings. He delivers it in a way others can’t. That’s an observation I’ve never made before. I’m just making it now and it might be a bit dramatic but it feels right and it makes sense to me.  

Friday morning

I shotgunned a beer in front of Gram Parsons’ memorial last night. This morning I woke up and spent some time with it. It says “safe at home” and so many people left little knickknacks. There was a zine with an interview with Nate Powell, one of my writing heroes. There was a goodbye note to a dead friend. There was a handwritten journal of desert acid experiences that focused heavily on DJ Khaled for some reason that I’m sure was extremely funny to everyone involved. There were a lot of lighters and a few old violin bows, worn and stripped of their hair, and a white ceramic horse. I left a white lighter and an ace of hearts from my deck of cards. To see the way this man is honored in the weirdo tradition he helped create was really touching. I like it here. I could live here. That kind of energy is what I think I could use. I hope one day I make something beautiful enough that people would want to do the same for me.

Worcester’s the same sort of weird little place where artists and their contributions are remembered and cherished within the context of the community. I mean just look at Dom Mallory. He lives forever in the hearts of people who knew him and knew his work. He deserves a similar memorial.

Today me and my friends Scott and Maddie are surprising our good friend Emilio at his AirBNB on his 30th birthday. That’s the whole point of us being out here and it’s going to be a day full of love and friendship and I feel grateful for things like this and the opportunities I am afforded at this stage in my life as the burning of the world accelerates in unexpected and horrible ways.

I’m in the park now. It’s empty and quiet and it could bring me to tears in the stillness and the expanse. I’ve never seen anything like this.

I’m thinking about the book “Angle of Repose” by Wallace Stegner. How the west was built. What it became. Ripped from the natives and colonized by speculators trading the hardships of desert life for the promise of success vis-à-vis shiny rocks in the ground. And then over the centuries the mines close and places like Joshua Tree become havens for weirdos and artists, a desert counter-cultural outpost for people trying to get away from normal life.

“[The modern age] knows nothing about isolation and nothing about silence. In our quietest and loneliest hour the automatic ice-maker in the refrigerator will cluck and drop an ice cube, the automatic dishwasher will sigh through its changes, a plane will drone over, the nearest freeway will vibrate the air. Red and white lights will pass in the sky, lights will shine along highways and glance off windows. There is always a radio that can be turned to some all-night station, or a television set to turn artificial moonlight into the flickering images of the late show. We can put on a turntable whatever consolation we most respond to, Mozart or Copland or the Grateful Dead.”

This place has a different perception of time. This place is ancient. It doesn’t change. Not like the forest. Not like the yearly death and renewal I grew up with. The desert stays the same.

I could take a million pictures and never capture what it feels like. Rocks like islands in a mammoth green sea of desert trees. Unmoving as Mars.

My mom told me via text Joshua Tree is her favorite place in the world. I think it’s mine too.

Saturday morning

Last night was one of the more surreal party nights I can remember. I’ll save the details but suffice it to say it involved a lot of psychedelics and nudity and the hot tub overflowed into the house. The house itself is a desert coke paradise. Unreal. The master bedroom in the living room. Egyptian theme and tiling. A huge tub in a huge bathroom. An open air porch in the middle of the house with ponchos for wearing. A camper in the back decked out in celestial decorations, fit to be a trip paradise. An archery range in the front yard and quails rustling in the bushes that dot the property.

“As long as the new moon remains in heaven a beautiful bent bow, so shall archery be in the hearts of men”

That’s engraved in the large ranch style wood beam above the archery range on the property. Looks really old. That’s the thing about the desert. Time works differently here and old things last longer than they do in New England. In New England the seasons chew old things and spit them out or else bury them under the forest floor.

Upon arrival I promptly put down a mushroom chocolate that was graciously offered to me and got to work making the dinner that we bought at Kasa Market – pre-marinated chipotle chicken and al pastor pork. Peppers and onions. We made fajitas. Kasa Market deserves a special shout-out. It’s a Mexican-run market with a small produce section and butcher shop and a burrito/taco shop in the back. It’s something you could just as easily see in Worcester, on Pleasant Street or Chandler Street or Grafton Street or you get the idea. I love little markets like that and I try to go to them as much as possible and I was happy to drop $50 on some chipotle marinated chicken thighs and pork al pastor and some ceviche and other accoutrements for fajitas. The burrito, which I enjoyed yesterday in a shady, tucked-away part of Joshua Tree’s Hidden Valley may be the best I’ve had in my life. Fresh, plump tortilla, the cheese perfectly melted and the rice and beans perfectly smushed, nestling thin, juicy cubes of well-seasoned carne asada along with a bit of cilantro and onions for good measure. The burrito came with a choice of hot sauce, red or green. The red was seriously spicy and the smoky chipotle flavor was rich and dark and robust. The green employed crushed red pepper to complement the tanginess of the tomatillos with a nice dry background heat. I applied each liberally. I’ll remember that burrito for a good long while. People from California are wicked annoying about how much better the burritos are over there but it’s true. Too bad their pizza unilaterally sucks ass and you can’t change my mind on this.

In the hot tub Emilio told the story of Canyon Steve which absolutely threw me for a loop, half because of the way he explained it in the hyper-alert and animated way in which he tells stories, and half because I was peaking on a mushroom trip. It goes like this: Canyon Steve was a guy who lived in a literal cave outside Joshua Tree and he had lived there for years and it was rumored that wildlife, even rattlesnakes, would sleep comfortably next to him. He would go on hikes and find crystals and other sorts of rocks and desert ephemera that might be valuable in town and trade them for supplies and food. Emilio lived in Coyote Hole for a while, there are neighborhoods over there where Canyon Steve was just sort of known and people were OK with him sleeping on their porch every once in a while. Emilio met Canyon Steve this way. “Every once in a while you would look out on your porch and see a figure in a denim shirt and a cowboy hat and think it was a specter or it was Canyon Steve and most of the time it was Canyon Steve. Sometimes it was a specter. Joshua Tree is that way.” That’s what Emilio told me. Canyon Steve showed up to a place Emilio was hanging at on nights when it was cold and they had to chop wood to keep a fire in the stove going because there was no heat and Canyon Steve made the room feel warmer.

“Canyon Steve was someone who just didn’t feel the need to be a part of the establishment understanding of what it meant to be a person. He didn’t own property, didn’t pay taxes, didn’t serve anything to anyone else. Canyon Steve lived as he wanted to and he established a cave dwelling for himself where he would just kind of hang out. I admire that deeply. I think that so many people wanted that.”

There’s an element that runs through the desert, Emilio said, of rejection of the state and the expectations of a life in America. Canyon Steve took it to the fullest extent.

Steve started out as a gold miner. He spent years out in the middle of the Mojave looking for gold, drilling for gold with a pick axe. He was bitten by rattlesnakes at least five times. He was bitten by rattlesnakes so many times that he’s in medical textbooks. Or at least that’s what Canyon Steve told Emilio.

Emilio said he once asked Canyon Steve how to survive a rattlesnake attack and Steve told him to “crack a Bud Light and just chill out.” That feels like extremely bad advice but hey what are you going to do in the middle of the Mojave anyway? And hey maybe he’s on to something. If you don’t move a lot the poison circulates more slowly through your body. “Don’t worry about it too much.” There was a local knowledge that Steve knew, passed down from generations of people living in the area, on how to survive off the land and survive in spite of the land and use what the desert offers.

Steve was a counterculture figure doing everything associated with the desert and sexy about it way before it was hip and he respected the land and the traditions and he didn’t have any of the stink of appropriating Native cultures that is so easy to do in the culture and style of the southwest.

Not bad, not bad. An East Coaster’s first wild time in Joshua Tree. Fully taking in the weird that the desert tends to elicit. I feel drawn to this place and its weirdness. Emilio said last night that while he was living here he would often think “Where’s Shaner? Shaner would love this. Where’s Shaner?”

So on Saturday morning after a trip around Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree in which I bought a lot of alien fodder and a poncho and a cool trucker hat from my friend Lindsay, we headed to the Noah Purifoy museum tucked in a neighborhood in the middle of the desert. It was all trash statues and it was fucky and weird and gross and the product of a truly unique, perhaps even a bit deranged mind.

Toilets stacked on toilets. A fake mine shaft filled with wire art. A theater filled with lunch trays stacked together with iron rods. Computer monitors and TVs arranged in weird fake living rooms and three crosses placed behind 15 foot spikes mounted with garbage. It was all so bizarre and I felt peaceful and content to walk around the permanent embodiment of such an interesting mind. The time and care and attention it must have taken this man to slowly and calmly build his palace of trash. It’s beautiful. The thing about the desert that his work captures so well is it just exists, it doesn’t change. It is infinite and unchanging and it’s all a big accident. Nothing in particular caused any of this to look like this, it just is. There’s no regeneration, none of the birth and death of seasons that New England experiences. It exists crystallized, like Purifoy’s art. It doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t have to and you just have to walk around and go huh, interesting. Dada in a pure and unassuming tradition. Later in the trip, I would pick up the latest edition of a publication called the Desert Oracle. It’s a collection of essays about desert life and the occult and the extraterrestrial accompanied by a few relevant and/or weird news clippings. Turns out there was an essay in this edition written by the late Purifoy on why he does what he does. Or rather did what he did. He’s dead now.

“When I was in art school, I ran across an artist named Marcel Duchamp. And he is the originator of what is called As Is. In other words, a lot of things that we find, and that other people make, are really art forms as they are. You don’t have to do anything to them. So, I feel that if I can incorporate a number of pieces in a work, and not destroy the image of any of them, then people can recognize the object and see it in relation to another object, and probably relate to it better if they can recognize it—they feel that they have participated in one way or another. 

A landscape is a copy of nature. That’s an implementation of skill, but not creative. The creative process has to do with making something new, that hasn’t existed before. Art and craft meet somewhere, and blend and belong to each other.”

The idea of art and craft blending and belonging to each other is an interesting and important observation and it’s stuck with me. Purifoy was the son of sharecroppers and his art reflects the destitute life he came from. Making something out of nothing in a hostile land. 

When I first heard about the Joshua trees I was like ok, they’re just trees tho, but really they are that amazing and they do deserve the hype. The Joshua trees dot the otherwise desert landscape like weird alien specters, watching and bending ever slowly toward the hot beating sun as the landscape around them remains crystallized, time eternal. The Joshua trees fall over sometimes when they bend too far to reach the sun. The top hits the ground then a new top grows out of the top, straight toward the heavens. Or else the tree snaps in half and it dies and the dead trunk withers and dries as it’s bleached by the sun for years.

The juniper bushes are in full bloom this time of year. They look like little pines and they’re covered in berries. If you pull off the green twigs and rub them it smells like gin. It smells delightful. I would love to have a juniper bush in my home.

It is insane to be here on a whim, and I’m grateful I’m at a point in my life where I can comfortably make it happen. My mind is most alert and I feel most full when I travel. I tend to fall into depressive ruts and holes and I become bitter and resentful. Not that there aren’t things that require some bitterness, and I wouldn’t be me without it, but in the desert I feel free and clean.

“Living on the road, my friend, was supposed to keep you free and clean, now you wear your skin like iron and your breath’s as hard as kerosene.”

That’s from “Pancho and Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt. I felt myself returning to the line often on the trip. I need my skin to be more like iron. Or rather I want it to be. I am my own man. Only pillar between heaven and ground. I feel content in my loneliness in the desert, like it’s as lonely as I am and we can share that with each other.  

The room last night was so filled with love and friendship and the kind of closeness that makes your friends walking around butt naked while you smoke on the patio seem not weird and actually very cool. I can’t exist around normal people. I need shit like this. I think the desert draws people that need that. Lonely people who need to get weird.  

Saturday night

After we set up camp we went on some sightseeing missions. We saw the Red Lady, an old Indian relic by a rock which perfectly lets in a specific amount of light at the summer solstice. Some real Indiana Jones stuff. Emilio was in his element showing us this stuff, and it was nice to see. An archeologist employed by the federal government to mark and preserve Native American heritage sites, he has a very cool job and he knows what he’s doing and he’s proud of it. Then we went on a little hike past the frame of an old stone house and we went up and scrambled up real high and got a great view of the valley. I could climb up rocks all day. It was extremely fun.

Then we went into town and everyone was dragging a little bit. Tired from the debauchery of the night before. We went to a little craft vendor market and got extremely good tacos that this Mexican family does as a pop up under the name Desert Tacos. I caught up with some friends who used to live in Boston, Lindsay and Nick, and that was nice. Lindsay was totally in her element running her little vintage market. Nick was in outer space and maybe even more than usual. I asked him what he was up to and he said “Just trying to be the biggest space cadet possible” and I could tell he meant it. He’s a desert person if I’ve ever seen one. His friend Justin too. Extremely cool people and if I moved out here I’d like to chill with them and become the biggest space cadet possible.  

Moving out here is something I started saying this weekend as a joke. You know, I just won’t get on the plane. I might come home, I might not.  I’ll just camp till I find an apartment. Stuff like that. But the more I think about it, the more I think I could actually do it. At least for a couple years. I think it would be good for me. The loneliness and the isolation and the stillness of it all. The detachment from everything that makes me who I am in Worcester. I love Worcester so much and I could spend the rest of my life there, but what if I dropped it all for a bit, got a cheap apartment out here, built a little pen in the back yard for my tortoise. I could live well and cheap and simple and I wouldn’t be totally alone, I know people out here. I think it would build a lot of character and I would become a more fully realized version of myself. It would take some major balls tho, that’s for sure. It’s something to think about at least. I think I could make a good life for myself out here and I think I could shed a lot of the things that make me miserable. I would be homesick sure, and I would miss my friends a lot, but they’ll be there, you know. The real ones.

The whole prospect reminds me of this song for some reason.

It’s night now and everyone’s in bed and I’m by myself, sitting in my new poncho on top of my sleeping back and perched against a rock. I’m looking up at the stars and they’re beautiful and full and I wish there weren’t so many people around but hey, that’s car camping at a destination national park. Not so wild, and I’ve been spoiled with my experience in Maine camping so far away from everything. I decide to put in my headphones and listen to a collection of Gram Parsons demos I had saved to my phone. 

“Look at me here. Lord I’m just rooted like a tree here. I’ve got the sit down and cry oh lord I’m going to die blues. Well the sun comes along and it lights up the day. It brings the daytime and it goes on its way. From the east to the west it travels every day. But look at me here. Lord, I’m just rooted like a tree here. I’ve got the sit down and cry oh lord I’m gonna die blues.”

I’ve been big into thinking about UFOs this trip and I would love so badly to see one right now. See some aliens swing by and suck me up and say get in poser this is your life now. I would do that. I would get in the UFO. Moving to Joshua Tree would be a lot like getting in the UFO, or at least the closest thing to it that I’ll really get to do. I could throw my life upside down and move to the desert and there’s no good reason why I couldn’t or shouldn’t. That’s a great position to be in. I’m going to listen to one of the Gram Parsons records I downloaded and I’m going to crank beers and look at the stars till I fall asleep drunk. All my friends are asleep and now I’m really alone and I love it.

Monday Night

We went to a couple bars in San Diego after catching the sunset at a cliff. The sunset was beautiful and it was all couple pictures as it has been the whole weekend and none of that made me jealous of people in relationships. In fact it informed the opposite: I really like being by myself more and more each day. The loneliness is good for me. It keeps me sharp.

We went to an extremely fancy place for oysters on the bay then to a brewery for a light meal downtown in something called North Point? I don’t know. I didn’t learn the city that well. It’s flat and monotonous like all cities in Southern California are. An endless maze of strip malls and highways. New and expansive in a way that East Coast cities could never be. And I think I like the cramped density of East Coast cities better. There’s something more real about it, even though they suck. Worcester should have that type of density but it doesn’t because our leaders have made a series of horrible decisions for political points that have led to a nonexistent urban density downtown. If only I could convince the people at City Hall that density is the source of everything that makes a city a destination, and how every silver bullet project they’ve tried has run counter to the very concept. How they’ve shot themselves in the foot over and over and over by believing the promise that this one private developer will save them. It’s surreal to watch that happen in real time with the WooSox after we’ve been through this so many times. We’ve seen this same tragic story play out with the Galleria and the DCU Center and the Unum building and whatever St. Vincent’s was called before it was called that. Med City? Well before my time. We’ve systematically gutted downtown since the ‘60s and we wonder why we don’t have a real city. Building a tiny isolated village for a fake class of “creative professionals” who want to take the T into Boston won’t help. It will only throw a cheap sheen of lipstick on top of the pig we’ve created. But a neoliberal city government is addicted to the kind of mega projects a career politician can hang their hat on, and so on and on the wheel spins and Worcester continues to play an unnecessary game of Russian roulette with every neighborhood that gets hip enough to receive a modicum of outside attention. The WooSox project will throttle the Canal District, mark my words. If we had left it alone it would have been amazing. Such is life in a small Rust Belt city with an inferiority complex and a crop of politicians like Ed Augustus who desperately want to escape it. Score your points and run.

Tonight Scott pitched the idea of writing a series of pieces cross-reading Worcester history. A sort of People’s History of the City of Worcester. It’s not a bad idea. I could serialize it here and then pitch it as a book to someone. What do you think? Have anything you’d like to see me tackle? Let’s get a discussion going in the thread.

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I think about Worcester a lot because I love this place to death despite its deep, deep flaws. I’m writing this segment from San Diego. I spent the afternoon on the beach with good friends and I had oysters and chicken wings and tied a good drunk on and scored a certain mood elevator at a bar at last call when I had no reason to. Point being, it’s 3 AM and I’m still thinking about Worcester and all its potential and the way we tend to squash it. I often think I should run a stunt campaign for city council to promote the idea that economic development as we understand it is a sham and we should just leave Worcester alone and see what happens. The scary part is that if everyone who subscribes to this newsletter, free and paid, voted for me, I stand a chance of winning a seat. I know the electoral math in this city inside and out. The scarier part is that if I won I know I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything as my platform is far to the left of consensus on that board and I would be chewed up and spit out the same as any left politician besides Tracy Novick has been in this city. Bless her heart, sometimes it feels like she’s our only hope.

So I left some of the dirtbag stuff I did out but I think you get the idea? My philosophy on life is one that leaves limited room for hand-wringing. If you value that, as I do, and find the formality of traditional journalism stiff and limiting, consider getting some other people to subscribe? I’d appreciate that a lot and if you made it this far in this extremely long post I appreciate you a lot.

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I write a lot about how what I do can’t be done in traditional outlets and that’s not just bluster, I spent six years of my life working for corporate-owned media outlets, I know how it goes. If you like how I write about Worcester with a certain crass freedom know it was hard-won and risky and could only be made possible with the help of my paid subscribers who I love dearly.

This travel journal is bizarre and I realize that. And that’s why it’s a post I’ve only made available to my paid subscribers. The people I think are really with me and appreciate my voice. In the future I will continue to do more posts like this because I want to expand my horizons and it can’t be pure vitriol all the time, you know? I am not just a naked hate machine toward City Hall, I experience other emotions too and I think about other things.

If I moved to Joshua Tree and stopped writing about Worcester I would be very sad. This newsletter is something that is keeping me here. I feel like it is in a very small way important. A recognition that the failures of modern journalism can be corrected. That real truth can be spoken to power. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with my writing. It’s 4 AM and I have to be up at 8, I should probably go to bed.

Tuesday afternoon

Now I’m on the plane back home and I’ve got a few hours to go. The little trip tracker says I’m right above flagstaff Arizona. 36,880 feet above it, for what it’s worth. Going at a speed of 537 miles per hour. I’m struck with the same feeling of introspection I felt on the first flight. Something about the motion and the hum of the engines and the eerie quiet of a lot of sleepy, bored people. Something about it gets me in the mood to write. Plus I’m listening to Galaxie 500 to drown everything out and it’s putting me in a meditative sort of place. Repetition. Listening to “Snowstorm” while driving through Joshua Tree was very special.

Galaxie 500 is a very interesting band. They sound like New Order if New Order took all the dance and drive out and you replaced it with weedy shoegaze drone stuff. It’s music to get lost to, and the desert is the place to get lost. I’d like badly to disappear into it. I’m still thinking about it.

I’m worried right now about how I’ll feel about returning to Worcester. I hope I’m not bummed. I hope I don’t fall into a depressive rut. I hope my friends care that I’m back at all. I think Worcester is the sort of place that if you seriously commit to it you need to have at least one moment of doubt about it. Could I live better in Joshua Tree? Probably. Could I leave all I love and all I’ve built here behind in search of that? Dubious to doubtful. 

Well I'm lookin at the snowflakes
And they all look the same
And the clouds are goin by me
They're playin some kind of game
Well you know there's a snowstorm
When the t.v. has gone out
And they got nothin else to think of
And they're letting me go home