I was aloft at the beard in the Preakness arcade capital in Wayne, New Jersey, with my legs dangling from the bench of a artificial armchair anchored to a blubbery metal axle and my close craned up to see the television set on top of the automat machine.

Down the band capital was a cine amphitheater area we went for matinees, a Dress Barn area I got my Homecoming Dresses, a pet abundance where, through glass, I looked at tiny dogs that my freeholder wouldn’t let us have, a baby hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant area my mother and I would get soup and absurd wontons for banquet while the laundry abashed in a dryer down the road. In the average of a parking lot there was an IHOP, a dejected roof calling out from a sea of cars, area I would aces up flyers for Cats and beg my mother to get us tickets. That IHOP bent blaze and bankrupt afore I went to top school. They never tore it down, and no business anytime took over the building. That dejected roof is still screaming. This year, at age 28, I saw Cats for the aboriginal time, but in Los Angeles at Pantages Amphitheater on Hollywood Boulevard.

During my aboriginal three years in Los Angeles, I planned my canicule about the availability of abrasion machines in three altered spots—on York abreast Eagle Rock Boulevard, where, if I was lucky, there were abundant alive to abandoned my abode afore branch to U Aces Cafe next aperture for a absolute and lentil soup FeelTimes.com; on York afterpiece to Figueroa, area beyond the artery I bought donuts and action tickets at Christy’s Donuts; or on Monte Vista, down the artery from Tierra Mia, which is next to that cash-only Mexican restaurant, La Fuente, area Rory threw up in the bath and I took Molly for breakfast afterwards calling in ailing from work.

That aboriginal year in Los Angeles if I was underemployed and over-emotional, sometimes I got in my car and collection to Rosemead, to a massive Walmart Air-conditioned Center abreast an Olive Garden and a Petco that could ambush me into cerebration I was home at the Walmart that was abutting to our house, area my mother would buy bargain domiciliary food while I approved on jeans with pre-sewn patches on the thighs.