I’ve been back in LA for a week, and in some ways, it feels like I never left. I walked into the office last Thursday and it was so familiar I wondered if I hadn’t been gone at all. Like a dream, the reality of Tennessee faded to a warm feeling and a faint imprint, and as I stared at the tiles in the bathroom, the patterns of the carpet, the (lack of) light in my cube I wondered where I’d been these two months.
Oddly, I don’t feel any pull to the old house. I haven’t once turned that way or felt a need to drive up the hill. My brain has accepted the idea that I don’t live there anymore -living here it isn’t as sure about. It follows, of course, that everything feels familiar; I lived here for almost six years, and around here for many more. California is a part of who I am, and coming back is slipping into my most comfortable pair of broken in running shoes, blister free. Tennessee, in all its green glory and languid charm, hasn’t yet made it to my bones. These, though, the concrete glare and the gray green of the palms, the brown faces of the mountains and the sun bleached look of the streets, the mix of cars and people and traffic and sound, the low hum of the freeway and the soft morning air scented with the calls of doves – these I claim as mine.
I’m enjoying myself: burning the candle at both ends and cramming as much in as I possibly can. I’m appreciating the multitude of freeways, options galore for going anywhere I want. I’ve seen the beach and the Mouse, eaten from the highest and lowest of tables (and been equally satisfied at both), worked and talked and laughed. I’ve been to the glitter of the west side, the quiet of South Pas, the congestion of the 5 as it winds through the bleak center of LA. I’m not thinking about home – where that might or might not be for me today, tomorrow, and tomorrow’s tomorrow. In the planning this seemed too long, this sojourn with los angeles, but now that it is melting into warm days and bright nights it seems that it could never be long enough. I met friends of a friend this past weekend who wanted to know where I was from – I couldn’t answer. I suspect that I won’t be able to for quite some time.