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DIARY OF A CALIFORNICATOR III

I drove cross country this Summer, bringing my lover out to live with me. We went from the East Coast to the South to California and ran ahead of a tropical storm for most of the time. I began to feel the truth behind manifest destiny. Behind making crucial changes in your life and following through.

by Kimberly Nichols

COPYRIGHT © 2001, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


I am listening to KCRW. It is a non-profit radio station dedicated to playing the songs I love by artists like Ani DeFranco. It is the kind of radio station that plays melancholy versions of the psyche as well as funky tribal rhythms. They are the kinds of songs that make me long to talk to friends on long afternoons. I spend July days calling one of my best friends.

My friend is someone I met a few years back at a poetry reading. He wore black eyeliner and dated his poems with dots between the month, day and year like Henry Rollins. He was the most beautiful black-haired boy I ever met. We spent many nights with wine and words and I knew he was the kind of boy who, if only I had known ten years earlier, would have been smoking with me in the tiled bathrooms of my high school youth with Depeche Mode as soundtrack. We spend the Summer afternoon indoors watching Catch-22 or talking books in the nice air conditioning.

What did you do on your Summer vacation? Summer vacation is filled with heat and doing nothing in the laziest of ways. It is when we seek water and a slowing down of everything prior.

I drove cross country this Summer, bringing my lover out to live with me. We went from the East Coast to the South to California and ran ahead of a tropical storm for most of the time. I began to feel the truth behind manifest destiny. Behind making crucial changes in your life and following through. Texas smelled like testosterone but that's no big surprise. Their billboards touted guns. The crystal pools in Austin provided the only relief. I got into trouble at a strip club in New Orleans which is exactly the kind of city you would go temporarily bad in. I danced a lot in various places where dance floor bodies turn into one breathing organism.

The Summer is winding down. There are about three million flies in town. A few months ago it was caterpillars. Acid green caterpillars that would inch across intersections in a lime colored wash unaware of the death wheels bearing down towards them. Now it's flies and I can barely take a sip of my iced coffee at this outside table downtown without having to swat groups of the little buggers at a time from my heated flesh. The flies here seem attracted to extremes. Filth. Decadence. Sugar coated decay. Indulgence.

So now it's time for Fall and the crisp, cool clarity that breeds.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Nichols is a freelance writer splitting residence between the southern California Desert where the air is clear and the mountains are magical and Boston for her much needed fix of urbanity. She is a featured freelancer for the local alternative weekly, The Desert Post Weekly. She is also a society columnist for The Desert Sun newspaper. Her non-fiction specialties are women's issues, psychology, philosophy, sex, and art, book, culture and music reviews. Her fiction and poetry has appeared in Feminista, Alternative Arts and Literature and 3am Magazine. She also works as a publicist for various bands and artists. In her spare time, Kimberly can be found in the yoga studio, on the dance floor, at the beach or in Greek and Indian restaurants. She is currently at work on a book of poetry and a series of fine art collage entitled Girls of the Hundred Proof Bordello Define Desire.






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