Land of Enchantment

A tall Joshua Tree in the filmy, golden light and cold gray shadow of a California desert morning
image courtesy of the author

If it was a selling point on the campus tour, which I guess it was, the fact that a person could go from my college campus to 1) the beach and 2) the mountains in the same day mostly registered to me as a factoid, or whatever unit of knowledge represents a lower denomination than that. It was something I would occasionally think to myself as a freshman while hitting the Dejected Charlie Brown Walk on a solo mission to go get some inexplicably cold donut holes at the Yum Yum Donuts on Arrow Highway. A person, who in this instance both has a car and is in a number of other crucial ways not me, could do both of the two big California things in one day

That would take some planning, of course. You would probably want to set an alarm and get up early. You would also have to want to go to either of those places, and I did not want to do any of those things, at that moment, starting with the alarm. I was from one moment to the next incapable of any of them, though it was the nature of my emerging suite of issues—this would later become, for want of a better term, my personality—that the lack of capacity or desire felt as objective and as absolute as my much more literal lack of car. I wanted agency, but I didn’t really know what that was yet; mostly it manifested as me listening to Dr. Octagon a lot, dour and sober in my dorm room. That was a thing I could do. 

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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