He spent his last nights on the roof of the house he was losing, drinking and looking at the Santiago Canyon Fire. The smoke was some muscular, see through chest of buff and jonquil with this beating tangelo heart inside. Was the fire more or less beautiful when he considered everything it was destroying, everyone it was displacing? He’d come down off the roof and there those people would be on the news, their befuddled zombie staggering, saying “We’ve lost everything.” The next night he’d clamber back up and decide that beautiful is beautiful, even if the beautiful thing was taking fucking everything from fucking everybody. 

On his final day in Orange County, he phoned in an anonymous tip ratting himself out for the fire—just to see if anyone would come find him. He went to Arizona, moved in with his step-brother Chad and his family. They had a place in the Catalina Mountains that was a perfect size for just them. A month in, Chad’s five-year-old Grayson told him he hated him and wished he’d never moved in.

“I hate you, too,” he told the kid, then gave him a shove. The kid went over without resistance and he was fine. Not a scratch on him.