Northward

It’s been A Year. Here are some things that happened in 2022.

I published a kinky new comic series with AWA called HIT ME.

I got new author photos. I like them.

Photographer David Suh was a dream to work with!

I got a hard deadline on my current WIP and a compelling idea for the next.

I am the cliche.

I started my epic Mads Mikkelsen in bondage list and got #12InchMads. Look, everybody needs a pandemic hobby, ok?

I met Heather Levy in person and got to read her new book, which is amazing and you’re not even ready.

Photo by Roxanne Patruznick, who I also met in person for the first time

I finally got Covid. One star, would not recommend.

Channeling Viggo Mortensen in CRIMES OF THE FUTURE

I got my hair cut short.

But the biggest and most life-altering thing that happened in 2022 was the death of my mother’s life partner Tom.

Tom was one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He was New York Irish, born and raised in Queens and lived most of his adult life in Hell’s Kitchen with my mom. But he really fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and found himself happier there than he’d ever been in our home town. Over the course of his life, he developed a keen, discerning eye and a refined aesthetic that drove him to amass an astounding collection of art, textiles and other unique and beautiful things that we are still figuring out what to do with. He also loved travel and early music and chocolate milkshakes. We shared a love of foreign noir flicks and shows, and I still have a DVD of THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR that I never had a chance to give him. He died just after his 75th birthday.

Tom and my mom never married, but he was like a father to me
even when I annoyed the shit out of him, like I’m clearly doing in this photo.

I always figured that I’d eventually end up living in Gig Harbor, in my grandparents house. It’s the only way a broke-ass freelancer like me could ever own a home, and I’m immensely grateful for that privilege. One that so many people my age will never have.

But here’s the thing. I always expected that move to take place sometime in the far flung future. You know, when I’m old. Not now.

… oh wait. I AM old now.

It’s funny, but I’m kinda seeing my life divided into three acts. The first act was growing up in NYC, 1969-1992. The second act was coming into my own as a grown-ass adult in LA, 1992-2022(ish.) The third and presumably final act will be in Gig Harbor, 2022-whenever I fuck off this mortal coil.

The other funny thing about this transition to act three is that it’s not going to be a bandaid-ripping all-at-once kind of situation. My mom is doing pretty well on her own up there for now, but she needs a lot of help around the house. She’s also 78, so the amount of help she needs will undoubtably get higher, not lower, as time goes by. Meanwhile, I’m on this half up, half down schedule that involves a lot of traveling between my two worlds. When my grandmother died, my mom and Tom did a similar half NYC half Gig Harbor thing for a couple of years before moving there full time. It’s looking like I’ll be following in their footsteps.

As a result, I’m in this weird limbo where LA and I are still living together and having occasional hot break up sex, but we both know in our hearts that it’s over. I’m spending more and more time with my new boo, but can’t quite cut it off completely with LA yet. Soon, but not yet.

I don’t see myself as a Pacific Northwest person. Maybe I never will. I feel very much like a stranger in a strange land there. Too loud, too aggressive, too well dressed, too everything. But it’s beautiful, and I have friends there and an amazing house with a cool office where I’m hoping to be more prolific and creative than ever. My dog Lupe loves it there. I think my third act is gonna be the best one yet.

Bring it, 2023.

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