I want to write of my love for this place I’ve spent the past four+ years of life.
San Francisco; the spaces of green that I knew from the very beginning, shocking me with cold sprinklers as I ran through them at midnight with Dr. Seuss-like trees overlooking the city, expanses of patchy sun and slow-rolling fog, a human circus of difference and indifference and anything-goes and parades filled with curious strangers; my favorite hillside park where I looked at a man I loved and knew I would be with him the rest of my life, and was wrong. A house once warm with beginnings and endings that I still think of and will never return to. Weekend trips to the best brunch in the city with the people I was closest to and probably stayed up with most of the previous night. A place where I loved and learned the hard way, where I cried so hard from heartbreak that I threw up on my shoes while riding the cable car to work. A place where I thought I could roller-skate down a hill and ended up ripping my knee open instead, where I learned a bit of French while I mopped floors and poured a good local brew and screamed in elation on election night when my neighborhood became a place of hope and celebration. A city where I got a rush at running up the same hills that I thrilled at riding a motorcycle on with a man I would eventually love as he drove me to school through foggy early mornings. A city that left me long before I left it.
Los Angeles, with its neighborhoods that remind me of the boroughs of New York, the jaded excitement of staying out late and doing nothing and everything important, experiencing some of the best live music I have ever heard, spending too much money on the best vintage dresses and boots I could find, running around the lake and climbing up through Griffith Park to the soundtrack of the morning in my ears as I overlooked the spaces I didn’t know but had imagined years before I ever saw them.
Laguna Beach, the hilltops from which both the rising moon and the setting sun can be seen at the same time; the rich pull of the ocean which simultaneously provided me with fear and took away that same fear as I grew to know and respect it; the community of people who know you and where you’re from and if you’ve caught any waves that day, even if they don’t know your name; a place of old artists who made old history and young yuppies who make new money; a place where you don’t have to keep your doors locked or your windows shut; a place, when you actually live there, is nothing like the televised version the rest of the world thinks it is;
our fucking incredible jungle of a yard, where we spent many nights under lit leaves, resting on furniture built with our own hands; a place where our cats adventured and we played music and smoked and ate the food that Jesse would carefully and creatively prepare with vision, a place where we laughed and kissed and sometimes ended the night with cheeks damp after difficult discussions, a place our friends knew they could come to dance with cats and get drunk and draw with crayons;
the tiny rustic vintage wooded home by the ocean I had always dreamed of living in but didn’t know it, until it was ours and we woke up that first morning and all we saw were trees and I knew we would be happy here, and I am so grateful to have shared this space with the man I loved throughout the seasons we occupied its rooms, as I let go of this place and say goodbye to the people I’ve loved in it.