Living... alone, in San Diego, not too far from the house he grew up in. Miles moved there after the divorce, which was two very long years ago. It’s convenient that he lives so close to his parents. Whenever he is short of cash, he just takes some money from his mother’s wallet when he visits her.
Visiting... the roads of Santa Ynez Valley wine country with his buddy Jack, who is getting married. Miles wants to show him a good time with lots of wine and golf. He and Jack were roommates in college and have been best friends ever since, even though they are nothing alike. Unlike Miles who can be quite neurotic, Jack is confident and carefree. What Miles and Jack do have in common is their frustration over their careers. Miles is a struggling writer, and Jack is an aspiring actor whose biggest break has been doing voiceovers for pharmaceutical commercials. Jack is good at talking fast and detailing drugs’ side effects in five seconds or less.
Profession... writer. Miles is working on his 700+ page novel entitled The Day After Yesterday, which is fiction with a lot of details from his own life. But to pay the rent, he teaches English to middle school kids. After trying (and failing) so many years to get his book published, he fears he's going to spend the rest of his life grading essays and reading the works of others.
Interests... drinking large quantities of the finest wines. Just don’t bring him any merlot. On this trip to the wine country, Miles fell in love with one wine that he described as "a little citrus, some strawberry, passion fruit, mmm, and, oh, there's just like the faintest soup…”
Relationship Status... heartbroken over his failed marriage to Vicki. But he's starting to recover on the trip, now that he’s met Maya. He really likes her. And for some reason unknown to him, she seems to like him too. Unfortunately, he tends to have a knack for screwing such things up.
Challenge... coming to terms with the fact that half of his life is over, and he has nothing to show for it. That’s how he sees it, anyway. In his words, "I'm a thumbprint on the window of a skyscraper. I'm a smudge of excrement on a tissue surging out to sea with a million tons of raw sewage." Yes, he can get in dark moods.
Personality... anxious, unsure, and depressed. He’s hanging on by a thread, so a road trip with his best friend may be just the ticket to liven his spirits. Unless, of course, it sends him into another spiral of despair. Frankly, it’s too soon to say.
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