My lifestyle is completely different than anyone else’s in my family, and it makes them very nervous. I think they think I’m reckless, which is maybe not untrue. They also seem to think I will be dead any day now.

I just sort of crash-land into things and sometimes it works out. My grandmother was saying to me the other day, “So you’re going to Texas?” I told her I wasn’t. She looked horrified and asked me why not, and I told her it was very complicated. She asked me where I was going to live and I told her I didn’t know just yet, but I was leaving anyway, and I had to do a few things, and all the things I have to do take place in California and Oregon.

I really did try to be as vague as possible, because my grandmother is 89 years old and this stuff scares the hell out of her. I had to assure her I would be all right, which I always sort of half believe whenever I am forced to say such things for the comfort of other people.

I said: “I’ll figure it out. This is nothing. I’ve been through way worse things than this.”

Which is true!

My mother made a face, said, “You have?”

Good lord, mother, yes.

Before I left, my grandmother gave me a hug. “You have everything but money,” she said. That’s not true at all, but it was nice of her to think that anyway.