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WHAT’S SO FUNNY:An exile’s miss list grows

I’m still in New York, with two weeks to go on an independent film shoot. I’ve been away from Laguna for more than a month now, and the other day I found myself making a mental list of the things I miss.

First, of course, is the fam. I often take my wife and daughter for granted when I’m home, but I miss their company when I’m somewhere else. I also just missed Katie’s senior prom. Not that I was going to it myself, but I would have liked to see her.

As for my wife Patti Jo, she said on the phone the other night that she was forgetting what I look like. I reminded her that I’m really handsome, but I’m not sure she believed me.

There’s some relief ahead: Patti Jo and Katie are coming to visit for a couple days. But our dog Booker isn’t, and not only do I miss him, I feel guilty about him.

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The humans understand why and where I’ve gone, but Booker thinks I’ve inexplicably abandoned him to live at John Wayne Airport, the last place he saw me. Patti Jo says he’s become sadder. He thought our family group was guaranteed eternal. Now he’s found it’s subject to change without notice.

I miss the relatively bug-free atmosphere at home, too. Last week, we filmed for two days in a nice little New Jersey town called Califon, a name just three letters shy of home but a good deal buggier when the sun goes down.

When shooting went late on the second night, we became host to the entire New Jersey flying insect population, which found movie lights wildly exciting. Laguna bugs rarely bite me, but in New Jersey I’m quite the delicacy.

My apartment below the Queensboro Bridge is economical for New York, but it makes me miss my home shower. The shower here is the most mercurial I’ve ever stood under, changing temperature quickly and extremely. Every morning when I wash my hair, I dance more than I have in my entire marriage.

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I also miss our home washer and dryer — not that I operate them myself, but if I ever had to, I could do it without having to put 16 quarters in them every time.

And I miss downtown Laguna, which even in the crowded summer is pleasant to stroll through. New York streets are pleasant, too, most of them, but you feel like you have to increase your tempo to walk around here.

I’m not complaining, really. It’s great to be doing what I’m doing. But I need to get home soon. Katie’s graduating, Booker’s given me up, and Patti Jo isn’t sure she can place my face.

So I don’t really worry so much about missing home. I worry more that home is getting over missing me.


  • SHERWOOD KIRALY is a Laguna Beach resident. He has written four novels, three of which were critically acclaimed.

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