In Between Days (Or, “Daysleeper”)

It’s a pre-flight ritual: LAX’s Expedia Lounge, washing down a Xanax with a tall Sam Adams and a sandwich, writing home.

I just got off the phone with Abbi, who I called back after a terse, vacant call from the Hertz shuttle bus.

“In the event this is our last conversation,” I said, “I want to be sure you remember me as enthusiastic and warm, and as having said that you’re the best part of my life.”

It is a wonderful life, despite how I might feel at the moment (sullen, stressed, sore). Plenty of people never leave their hometown. Plenty of people have soul killing jobs, and come home to sit on the couch and watch TV. Or worse. So (as I said to Abbi), cry me a river, right? Still, you asked (I mean, you clicked), so I’ll tell you: I feel off.

I’ve been whittling away at the 100+ emails I owed ya’ll after you so kindly introduced yourselves. Ana (from, ironically, L.A.) wrote, “I like reading your blog because it sounds like you’re in the in between stage: not as young as I am, no offense, and not as old as my parents.” ‘Yes!’ I thought, ‘I am in between, like, all the time!’

And that’s it, really, isn’t it? We’re always in between (or, as I told my cousin Andrew in 1993, and later titled my debut solo release, we’re always almost there). And that’s, I think, what’s going on right now: the waiting, the becoming, the gloaming. Between what? Becoming what? Executive Producer and Vice President? Boy and Man? Bachelor and Husband? Asleep and Awake? New York and L.A.? I don’t know, really. And that’s the trick. That’s the challenge.

Growing up, my mother used to say, “This is the most difficult transition I’ve ever gone through.” And I’d say, “You always say that, mom.” But now I get it! They’re all the most difficult transitions, because each one is more difficult than the one before. Each challenge is commeserate on one’s ability to withstand it.

It’s no fun to read about, I know. It’s less fun to live.

In an effort, then, to focus on the positive, let me share my three favorite random L.A. moments:

Monday morning, just moments after retrieving my rented Ford Taurus from valet, NPR’ Morning Edition reported that, after a $5.8 billion third quarter loss, Ford announced that it was dicontinuing … the Ford Taurus.

Tuesday night, driving home from the office, NPR’s Fresh Air featured an interview with “Birth” author, Boston Globe journalist Tina Cassidy. I drove around Santa Monica looking at real estate and considering my anticipated fatherhood until the fascinating, informative interview concluded.

Tonight, sitting at a stoplight on the edge of LAX, a JAL 747 roared towards a landing less than fifty feet over my head.

All three favorite random moments occurred, appropriately for Los Angeles, in the car. The next, though, will occur in the air. It’ll go like this: I’ll tuck my bag into the overhead bin, sit down, pull my sunglasses over my eyes, put my earphones in my ear, and press play…

Five hours and three thousand miles later, I’ll be home. Almost home, anyway.

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