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Directions to My House

By Rebecca Fish Ewan

If you’re starting in Berkeley, stay put for twenty-three years. Have a few thousand cappuccinos and bran muffins while you prepare for the move.

Enter into dozens of ill-conceived relationships while drunk. When you sober up, go to grad school and then pack everything into a pickup truck and hop on 580. Give away any tropical fish and plants you have, because there just won’t be enough water where you’re going. And it’ll be hot as fuck.

• • •

     Connect to I-5 and drive through your childhood memories. Think about stealing pomegranates from your neighbor’s tree, the great monarch caterpillar migration, the day you teased a bull on your friend’s farm. Have a grilled Swiss cheese sandwich and split pea soup in a bar near Modesto. Think about your dad. Play shuffle board and then head back onto I-5.

• • •

     Hold your nose when you drive past the cattle stock yard. Lament the death of the small family-owned farm industry that was once Thomas Jefferson’s wet dream.

• • •

If you can swing it, try to pass through Los Angeles when it isn’t rush hour. So, noon in 1950. Feel sorry for yourself for never going to Disneyland as a child. Remember your grandmother. Wonder what could have been if you’d only taken advantage of her connections as a Hollywood screenwriter. Could you have been on the Mod Squad? Feel jealous that she named an episode after your oldest sister and not you. Listen to talk radio and judge people in LA for being phonies and wasting water, to salve your personal burn from missing that brush with fame.



About the Author

Rebecca Fish Ewan, founder of Plankton Press, creates Tiny Joys & GRAPH (feeties) zines. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Femme Fotale, Survivor Zine, Landscape Architecture and Hip Mama. She has authored the non-fiction books, A Land Between and the forthcoming By the Forces of Gravity (Hippocampus books), a memoir of cartoons and verse about a 1970s Berkeley childhood friendship cut short by tragedy.