Four Days

On Monday I woke in a glossy, modern, oversized hotel room on the 18th floor of the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada. I was alone. A giant white bed for me, Shakespeare, a red-ink-stained manuscript, and my laptop.  It was glorious, but—as is my nature—I became anxious around noon.

I set out on foot in search of something green to eat along side a glass of white sangria (don’t tell me you never have specific sangria cravings). The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino is far, far, far abstracted from the heart of Reno. The high desert stretched in waves of simmering concrete and patches of weeds and I was grateful the cracked sidewalk never disappeared, especially when I crossed beneath the interstate.


Forty minutes into my sangria-and-greens quest, as I was approaching what looked to be the actual city, my right sandal snapped. I don’t usually wear sandals—am most comfortable in tights and Mary Janes even on the warmest of California days—and I now know why: sandals are unreliable contraptions destined to disappoint.

Like I said, I was forty minutes into my walk at this point. Famished, dizzy, and sweaty. There was no turning back so I hobbled on with my broken sandal. Blessedly, I discovered a little café not far beyond. A café that not only served raw kale salad with salmon, but also sangria. There was even a cupcake shop next door. A cupcake shop that catered to both teenage vegan Heather, or occasional gluten avoiding for no reason other than I can Heather, or present day just give me the sugar Heather.


After my greens and sangria, I picked up a standard chocolate fudge cupcake, called a cab, and was back on my bed revising and reciting Othello within ten minutes. What a success.

Tuesday I flew from Reno to Denver. The sun dipped behind the Front Range as I drove down the I-25. It was still bright. Rain fell. Multiple fires have been raging through draught-inflicted Colorado the last week, devastation I won’t even try to note on today. Three rainbows shimmered—one in the fields to the east, one straight ahead south, one draped in front of the mountains. I cried. Beautiful, beautiful sporadic rain.

Yesterday I unpacked and repacked. I worked a quick shift at my college’s Writing Center. No drop-ins arrived so instead of tutoring I wrote (hey, it’s a writing center). I picked up my mail. I picked up a dress from the alterations. I wrote a paper on Othello. I revised and I wrote and I revised and then I went to sleep. This morning I woke and was back at the Denver International Airport by one pm to fly to California.

And here I am. Sitting at a Newport Beach restaurant with a glass of wine at hand and my little sister eating tiramisu. Do you live in the high desert? Above 6,000 feet? Then you know how luxurious it feels to step off an airplane, ten minutes from the coast. People, the air is silk in California. My mountain skin is soaking it up.

I’m home for a week. For a wedding. For doctor appointments. To see my family and snuggle my black lab. All the while: Shakespeare and writing. Here I am.