We rolled into Los Angeles on an empty tank of gas in the middle of the night. I gazed out from the backseat of the car, my head light and fuzzy. The Hollywood hills dazzled with their glittering lights and palm trees. We sped past a flurry of liquor stores before coming upon a small church. Pulling into the parking lot, Maribel coasted into a spot near the back of the church. “I hope we’re in a safe part of town,” she said cautiously as she peered out into the dark night. “We’ll be alright,” I replied, getting out of the car. The rush of hot air hit me as I placed my sore feet on the warm concrete. Chelsea opened the passenger door and got out, rubbing her eyes. “I need to piss,” she grumbled. “Go in the bushes,” I said, pointing to a patch of ferns nearby. Maribel looked around nervously, a steam of headlights drove past us. Nighthawks cruising the Sunset Strip in search of something. As I gazed at the headlights, my tired body became overwhelmed with a weird buzz. Arriving in Los Angeles in the middle of the night was a strange rite of passage for me. I smiled and lit a cigarette, finally free.