you know things are getting better when you walk away from the hotel where you just gave two presentations wearing your best pretense of holding-it-togetherness while inside you felt shakey, hungover, and insane. remember how long you stood there, smiling and rationing weak handshakes while pretending you believed that you had a future? promise yourself you’re never doing that again. you walk away from the volatile company of people who made you feel shitty about yourself without trying to and into the car of someone who looks like they could be your new friend. you drive down the street and pack your bags, take off your stupid clothes and pull on a grey tshirt. now you’re driving down Highway 5 towards LA, the hills are honey-colored, the mountains crashing into sunset sky with symphonic grace, your insecurities start to crack like chipped gold paint. you pick at your wrecked fingernails and start to feel like you might have the vaguest idea of what to do with yourself tomorrow morning. then your new friend turns on the stereo and says, “do you want to hear a song i wrote? it’s about how my mom was a cunt.” you say, sure.