After my marriage ended in late 2016, I started smoking cigarettes again. My second book was about to be released. I was alone with a teen and two pre-teens.
In the spring of 2017, I started dating a guy who had a beach house up in Ventura County.
“I found a surfing instructor for you, Bea. You’re going to learn how to surf,” I lied to my child.
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I spent my weekends driving up the 101 to the beach, listening to this playlist I’d made for my friend Angela. If Bea was in the car with me, I wouldn’t smoke; but if she wasn’t in the car with me, I’d open my windows and roof and chainsmoke for the entire drive. The playlist was perfectly timed to last from my driveway to his beach-house driveway, an exact hour and twenty minutes if I left at the right time. But every single drive was made to this playlist. I called it THE ROOSTER. No particular reason for the name, it just fits.
“These are all popular songs I enjoy,” I told Angela. I knew she wouldn’t know the Noah Cyrus or 6LACK song on it. She replied, “These are all terrible.”
THE ROOSTER has since become a staple for me. I listen to it now and remember a time when I was brave and naive enough to feel nothing but positive about my future. I lied to my children about my lovers. I smoked yellow American Spirits. I drove 100MPH on the 101 at odd hours and sang every lyric on this playlist for one hour and twenty minutes car-dancing on both North and South freeways. I felt as though I had become a true Angeleno.