When 2021 began, we had no idea where we were going to live. Staying in our longtime home studio pipe factory office dance studio club house was no longer an option; our time in the busted but charming huge old one-bedroom apartment high in the hills of Echo Park where we did all of our things for nearly two decades was clearly at a close. Our landlord grew to want our apartment back very badly; she wasn’t trying to collect our bullshit below-market rent (which was still high af for us) on a spot like that, no.  Not with its view of the Hollywood sign to the north and the LA skyline with Dodger fireworks from the sagging balcony porch to the back. No sir, she wanted that rent rent, the kind LA is famous for. The landlordress wanted us out, but she couldn’t just come out and say that because tenants’ rights, so she began heavy renovations around us. The demolition below us made a chair scoot across our floor. We had to go somewhere, but where?

How do you choose where to live? I arrived to LA as an actor – after four years in New York, I had booked a 1-800-FLOWERS™ commercial and a one-line day player role on SEX IN THE CITY. I bet I clean up in Los Angeles, I thought one day. I bet I could score me some of that wacky second banana on a sitcom action. I finally stopped pursuing showbiz for good in 2018, when I co-wrote this movie that came out starring Julianne Moore, and the director tried to take away my credit. I fought back and won, but it didn’t matter. I had been to what should have been the showbiz mountaintop and it was bullshit. When the landlordress erected a two-story building one foot away from my writing desk, my view of the Hollywood sign was boarded up for good. Jackhammers dividing the concrete below like, th-th-that-at’s all folks…

 But where to? Baja? Sebastian’s home country of Chile? There was no answer, and the jackhammer clock was ticking hard and fast. Could I force an answer into being? The pain of uncertainty begged me to try, but it was no use. I did mushrooms and the gator appeared to me with a message of patience. You keep those eyes just above water while the rest of you crouches below. Hide and be still so you can sense the answer coming and not scare it away. And then, when that answer is near, you go for it.

We go to Nicaragua to consider ex-pat life and do some thinking. The pandemic strands us there for four months (check out @miwaragua on IG); in the process we become tropical creatures who want to live the tropical lifestyle forever. Concurrently, my parents in south Georgia’s minds have deteriorated from pandemic television viewing levels bringing near constant-exposure to FOX News, and it becomes plain they need me near. 

We are introduced to the ancient off-beat magic town of St. Augustine, Florida. And 6 months later, through the assistance of encouraging friends, ghostly intervention, and territory-marking urine, Saint Augustine lowered her drawbridge and let us cross.

And that’s about as far as we’ve gotten in this next leg of the journey. We know where we are, but not who we’ll be.

Happy 2022 from two renegade gators crouching in the Fountain of Youth; its waters are an open mind. 

December 31, 2021