I feel it the minute I get off the plane: the air itself is different. It’s warmer, drier, thicker, if the air was a tortilla chip it would be stone ground. I leave the terminal, look for my rideshare. I glance across the airport at the Theme Building, the midcentury UFO-with-landing-gear, whose restaurant closed a few months after I left this city in 2013. It’s then that the chorus swells with the noises I rarely hear in Portland: the car horns raise their frantic duck voices in harmony, I hear the nearby lilt of a family speaking Spanish and I smile. I’m in Los Angeles. I am home.
Los Angeles is everything people say it is. LA is shallow, LA is awful traffic, LA is that guy on Tinder you matches with you and never, ever replies. LA is a city of broken dreams and loosely made promises. Los Angeles is an acquired taste, if you like the taste of garbage. LA is that spoiled child that falls down and looks around to see if anyone is watching before starting to cry.
You do this: you ride the bumpiest, smallest plane on the planet from San Francisco to Albuquerque. You have white knuckles and the Xanax is taking the edge off the anxiety you feel, but just barely. You wonder if the plane falls out of the sky will it spin or tumble. Maybe it will just dive down nosefirst, and for a beautiful minute everyone will be weightless in the freefall inside the cabin. You decide that if that happens, you will unbuckle your seatbelt, you will enjoy the last few moments of your life like an astronaut. Continue reading Pride→
It’s usually like this: you catch his eye, usually it’s online, maybe it’s in person, you get his attention. He sees past your currently questionable facial hair choices to the real you. Maybe he is good at texting back, though more often than not he’s not: “Sorry I’m bad at reminding you I’m interested in you wait why am I still single?” You flirt back and forth and you’re excited for when the two of you spend time together, which is frustratingly seldom because your work schedules are opposite. You’re eager to explore this because this one is local, for once you’re not FaceTiming or coordinating time zones or coming up with clever photo ideas to send him selfies. A few hours before a dinner date with him he texts you his apology and promises to stay connected. “I didn’t feel the chemistry but let’s still be friends” is nice to hear, but it’s also the sound of never hearing from someone again for the rest of your life.
“Two roads diverged in a wood”…no, that’s not the quote I’m trying to remember. “Life moves pretty fast; you don’t stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it.” Yup, that’s the one. Thanks Ferris.
I spent the last week exploring Portland, Oregon, for the first time. I fell in love with the city, as I had a suspicion I would. I met a lot of really wonderful people, reconnected with a crap-ton of old friends, conquered formerly-debilitating fears, and almost sliced people’s fingers off when I gave them my business card. The life-changing consequences of all this love are at the end of this post.