That day, when I watched the lights of Downtown get smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror, I thought I was leaving behind all the coagulated love and hate for the city that I had accumulated inside.
I guess I was wrong.
These past few days, while listening to the music that gave soundtrack to my last year in L.A., I felt the sting in my heart for a love I thought I gave up on.
So, I’ve been thinking about all those nights we drove down the PCH, coked out of our minds, listening to The Cure with the top down and the warm air wrapping around our necks, holding us firmly in our place.
Or the spur of the moment trips to Palm Springs at 3AM, watching you, with your hand out the window, your sunglasses on though it was pitch black in the desert, and thinking there was no greater moment than this.
I remember the limo trips through Hollywood, driving up and down Sunset, rolling into the Whiskey, the Viper Room, the Roxy, and crashing at the Chateau Marmont where a beautiful boy and I would watch the lights flicker around the bend and head straight towards the ocean.
And then I think, “Oh shit. None of these things happened to me.”
My nostalgia for the city doesn’t belong to me, but to the movies, books, TV shows, and music videos I grew up watching. Just like New York City, the charm of Los Angeles is not always the reality, but the fantasy. If you believe the fantasy, you will be ok.
I guess what I miss was the feeling off holding my breathe every single day. Literally and figuratively, I grasped for air. It was dizzying. It felt good. It felt scary. It felt like at any moment ANYTHING could happen.
I'm obviously intensely biased, but I think New York is different. The fantasy in there. But it's really the reality that's enchanting: millions of realities intermixing effortlessly. Occasionally, even, mingling with the fantasy.
I lived in LA for twenty years starting in the mid 80's until about 2004. Can't even begin to express how my heart breaks every time I reminisce about the city. I lost more than I can recount by not spending the rest of my life there. Where did I go? Brace yourself…IOWA!! For family reasons. But to me, LA is Valhalla, Shangri-la and Xanadu all in one place.
You're obviously the real deal and it's always an awesome pleasure to read your blogs. All the best!
I recently moved to New York from LA, but I know my heart belongs to LA. New York is too anonymous. LA is from where all my love, dreams, and heartache came. This post makes me smile.