MEXICO CITY: Witches!

In tiny, packed hallways, shoppers crowded around small vendors. Each vendor sold a variation on a similar theme: witchcraft. Santa Muerte glowered down from every surface, that wonderfully evocative patroness of the lost and downtrodden. Since I booked my flight to Mexico, I have been deeply intrigued by this heretical icon. She is revered by many people in Mexico, but the Catholic Church has condemned her worship. She’s skeletal and terrifying and considerably menacing to some. Legend says she will appear in your dreams, answer your prayers with the right gifts, and bring death to your enemies. She’s charming. Santa Muerte is not a truly Catholic image, obviously, instead she is the perpetuation of ancient Aztec religious belief.

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MEXICO CITY: Tlacoyos & Tequila

I miss all those people and all these places. In fact, missing things might be the only unpleasant part of travel. Abroad, your existence is transitory; you are an ephemeral presence in another world. I think of these encounters daily, like the waitress at the Café Saint-Antoine that I adored, but they’re surely too busy living their lives to recall a young man who spent a month on their shores. Still, it’s wonderful to have that to remember and reflect on. 

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MEXICO CITY: Decadent Darkness

One life is hardly enough. I have no fear of death, but I really am irked that I only have a century here. And that is if I’m lucky. For a lot of people, more than I ever expected, a hundred years is plenty. People are tired and worn down and disinterested in life. I think there’s nothing more thrilling than being alive, seeing what’s around and learning about what has happened in the recent and distant past, so I will never understand this attitude. If I could live forever, I would pay whatever price. I’d make a deal with the Devil if that were a real thing. 

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CALIFORNIA: Away At Last

Summer is sacred to me. It represents freedom and adventure and culture. During this time, I am blessed with the opportunity to escape normalcy and have a grand and glorious time. These months are vital for my sanity and for the person I am. Travel has become my supreme passion. I think it might be my religion. I have learned so much about the world and myself, and I treasure those experiences. The things I have seen could come from a book, but it would be impossible to experience the sensations. The places I have been could have been visited virtually on Google Maps, but I wouldn’t hear the cars honking, smell the food cooking, or feel the rough roads beneath my feet. When I’m somewhere new, I’m my best self. 

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NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Queens

I was in Villefranche. I was in Paris. I was at home. I was walking through Los Angeles. I was thriving and having something of a spiritual moment as the music washed over me. My eyes got all watery — probably some kind of allergic reaction to the curtains, you know? — and it was magic. I always forget how profound an impact music and stories make on us. This one has been in my life for so many years, and I had grown accustomed to the idea of never having this chance. So to be in that audience having this rare opportunity was a delirious delight. I did not take it lightly at all. 

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