A piece of travel writing?
Beautiful, clipped, sensual, engaging. Love it. I remember touring around Arizona one summer circa 2004 with my buddy’s punk band. The heat was ruthless. But we had fun.
‘Sincere American Writing’
terrific, just perfect. you have such great comedic timing ("when has anything you thought about the future turned out right?"), and i love how you connect the lydia davis snippet to your own "good happy memory." your descriptions of arizona are so visceral; i can really feel the sizzle of all that endless dry heat.
I love this. I am a new subscriber and this is one of the first pieces of your writing I've read. I love your descriptions: “a runaway slouch” (!!!!) “indistinct fuzzball”. So many satisfying descriptions of experiences and feelings that also captured some things I too have felt.
I live in NH (right near Mt Monadnock) but I’m traveling now and his morning I woke up in the Nevada desert, – this foreign (to me) and beautiful terrain – and read your piece and just loved everything about it.
I must say your love is so much like mine - Matthew & I became a couple in our 50s - we are now sharing the end of our 60s ....we moved to Arizona at the same time, found work at the same place. We had shadowed each other through other cities on our way to Arizona. We did not meet until we were here at that point in life here in the Valley of the Sun where the hard parts of life were over.
Your description of these cities is so spot on and I see each one as you share.
Thank you - I will subscribe because I relate to this piece so very much.
Beautiful imagery and feelings in what you have to say - perfection!
One of my favorites. What delicious descriptions of amazing sights and sensations.
2 quick pieces of advice on a Sunday: 1) Never stop reading Laurie's writing; 2) In an AZ summer, always get stuff done first thing in the morning.
I never intend to read your long posts but after the first paragraph I can’t stop. You have a way of hooking the reader to leap over the space to the next section. And each one is leaping off somewhere else and I go with you. Your writing is breathtaking. Really.
Charming, charming, charming and also sweet about Richard. Shades of Didion in Arizona cultural observations. The late afternoon Chekov gaze of women from windows.
I respectfully disagree with Lydia Davis.
But I love that you quoted her!
I have travelled--mostly alone--in 70 countries.
In my “old age” many of those travel memories--made alone--will feed my soul and imagination. They are so sublime.
As for the tensions between being alone and being partnered, your descriptions are beyond eloquent!
I, too, kept thinking of Didion. On reading, it seems as if the stories are wandering in some lackadaisical way, being led with no real purpose other than to see this foreign scape and glimpse a couple of its creatures. But one is compelled to continue. The “fuzziness” evaporates as quickly as the sweat on your skin and I find myself reading a page turner! There is a line in my book, said by a boy in Liberia, W. Africa, “If the road meanders you must chase it.” That’s what you do, Laurie. And the chase is thrilling.
Thank you for writing about this dear place, where I’ve lived for over 40 years (even though since childhood I always thought I’d go anywhere else). Your writing, and all its familiar imagery, reminded me that despite its flaws and despite all our efforts over the years to escape (the heat, the desert scruff, the conservative politics, the scorpions), this place is in my veins, for better or worse. My heart is here.
Phoenix is in water crisis. We have to consider climate change for habitat. I saw a coyote on a trail outside of Phoenix, I think. I was alone and it appeared to be a female in front of a cane protecting cubs. As it was my first encounter, I was terrified, as I’d heard of coyotes in Malibu carrying off babies and pets.
Later I lived in Dutchess County and learned that they’re here, too, upstate NY, and far more interested in deer at night. I loved listening to them, even seeing evidence of a kill. It’s nature.
Hopefully that doesn’t seem creepy. I can be odd, sometimes, without knowing how odd.
Late this morning my wife came in through the front door of our relatively new home in Toronto. It was a lovely morning, strong sun, rivery breeze. We have been here ten months, after 12 years in Washington Heights (known locally as Mirandaville, a semiprivate joke). "Where've you been?" I asked. "Sitting on the porch," she answered, "looking at the morning." "What porch?" I asked, thinking 'Uh oh' nearly as soon as the words came out of my mouth. "What do you mean, 'What porch?'" she asked. We argued for a few minutes, until she left to shop for the week. The porcupine needles along our spines began to relax and we kissed. "Goddammit, I thought, you meant 'stoop.'"
Zoom is easy to set up. Do it. I'm in.
Excellent piece of writing! One of my sisters lives in Arizona, and I've been out to visit her - and gone to several of the places it describes. Captured it beautifully, and with a lovely personal story woven through. Kudos!