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California

Ray Mirzabegian and Arsineh Yaghyaei attend to their daughter Emily as she recovers from a seizure. Los Angeles, CA, April 2018.

The Taboo Medicine

Many parents know firsthand how cannabis can transform the lives of children with severe illness. Why won’t the legal system listen to them?

March

There’s a moment—barely—when you see both
ocean and bay from the 280 as it mills north
near Millbrae, the waters flash what they know
of daylight, and you register being a sort of gliding porch
before dunking back under cypress

Illustration by Chad Wys

The Partition

Mainly, she wanted to be left alone. She didn’t want a husband or a wife or a partner or a lover, she didn’t want a companion or a pet or friends, she didn’t want to be closer to her parents or siblings or relatives. She enjoyed her solitude, relished it. She had plenty to occupy herself—her work, her house and garden, her hobbies. She was not at all lonely. She was thoroughly happy, being alone.

This perplexed people.

Photo by Ryan Bradley.

The Air Keeps It Interesting

1. In the darkness it was nothing but a thin low thrum, moving to a higher pitch as it neared. The Goodyear Blimp was somewhere out there. I stared into the sky off Venice Beach, California, trying to locate the thing. A woman in a polo shirt (Goo [...]

Illustrations by Jen Renninger

Total Loss

Fire does not abide by reason. In its destructive trail, there are empty bank accounts, unreturned voice mails, FedExed checks, hours upon hours of smooth-jazz hold music, fine print written in inscrutable jargon, and the summary Laurie learned to say for expediency’s sake: “My house exploded in a catastrophic fire. Can you please help me?”

California Sun

The pool whirrs suddenly, and the bluebottom stirs, like the blue in the sky when clouds sail across its seas.The tangerine sapling may be dying, hasn’t grown in two months. Frondson palms are limp and brown. Paradise is thirsty this November. [...]

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