“My name is Harris K. Tellemaker. I live in Los Angeles and I’ve had seven heart attacks, all imagined. That is to say I was deeply unhappy, but I didn’t know it because I was so happy all the time. I have a favorite quote about L.A. from William Shakespeare. He said, ‘This other Eden, demi-paradise. This precious stone set in the silver sea. This earth. This realm. This Los Angeles.” Steve Martin, L.A. Story
Last Saturday, I packed all the essentials. Six Theo chocolate bars (dark and milk varieties), blood pressure cuff, reflex hammer, and a bag of necessary books (Sonora Jha’s Foreign, Michael Schmeltzer’s Blood Song, Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky, Ann Patchett’s Story of a Happy Marriage, and of course Bedside Cardiology). My remaining five copies of The Cardiologist’s Daughter were already chilling in the backseat, because you never know when an imaginary passenger might need to fulfill a hankering for poetry. Besides this, a wool blanket and a flashlight in the shape of one small frog that ribbets, flashes blue every time you engage the button located conveniently atop his little frog head. Because, safety.
Heading the slow way to SoCal, stopping by my favorite spots from a certain small town that produces its own bleu to the warehouse of Small Press Distribution Books (cue kid in a candy shop—except adult in theory), folks’ reactions ranged from envy to concern. All those hours alone in the car. To an INTP like me, someone who has been traveling abroad since she was in utero, what greater freedom? With graduation, clinical Boards on the horizon, what better time?
With one last year on a student pass, Two Sylvias Press and so many writer friends attending AWP 2016, how could I not? Beyond this, though, I admit I’ve been harboring feelings. It’s been going on for quite some time. Realistically, I’d say almost two decades. I imagine I am not alone in this, because who doesn’t envisage a highway billboard demanding hugs, offering riddles specific to your situation in life with cryptic hints about your daddy?
Now back to things poetic. Meet me at the Two Sylvias Booth 835 on April Fools’ Day from noon-1:00 p.m. and I will attempt to embed an ECG feed in a copy of TCD. Or swing by to tell me about your secret, not-so-secret, mutual affection for one Mr. Martin. Please make my LA story.
Natasha Kochicheril Moni is a writer and a licensed naturopath in WA State. Enjoying this blog? Feel free to put a little coffee in Natasha's cup, right here.