Goodbye, LA

I have to break up with you. It’s been two years and it became imperative that I move forward.

But let’s not stuff our faces with carbs yet, for our story was one of love and to label the void left behind as “depression” is simply not fair. It’s a beautiful bleak landscape, like the one left when we exit the womb.

I didn’t just love you LA, I lived you.

I’ve enjoyed hours with much of your citizens – together we laughed, cried, partied, saw hundreds of movies, and shared our lonelinesses as if we shared last names.

I’ve served food to your scholars, I’ve sold candy packed as jewelry in Beverly Hills, and I’ve read from your finest slush pile.

I told your cashiers how my day had been so far, and I smiled back when they wished me a great rest of my day, thinking not even my mom is so interested in the hour-by-hour status of my wellness.

I made small talk about the weather, the Obama jam, the Santa Ana winds, and how Japanese went to Brazil, countless times.

I’ve kissed your hipsters at taco food trucks, bar hoped with your wannabe writers, had crushes all over your cute assistants.

I took hidden caipirinha to your beaches.

I put avocado on my sandwiches.

I went to your stupid desertic hikes.

I went to your networking events.

I went where Bukowski first read Fante.

And I also stayed home watching BoJack Horseman, feeling too damn hot, playing the ukelele, and afraid to be swollen by your greatness.

I’ve seen Fiona Apple sing, Ellen Degeneres do stand up, Elizabeth Gilbert shine, Mark Wahlberg drink a milkshake, Brendan Constantine read – all so close to me I could touch them if I was the kind who transpasses. But I’m not. And because your cops are scary. Your bus drivers are scary. But you, alone and dark by 2 am, is not. You’re eerily quiet at dawn by Sunset Blvd and Vine, and that I will never understand.

I was incredibly happy and incredibly sad. I was strong as the smallest bird. I was smitten, by the weakest light. I was broken and broke (by the end of some months). I cried on people shoulders, and laps. I was disappointed, ghosted, left behind. I was amused, counseled, comforted, and loved like a favorite book left with pages all crumpled and torn.

And you taught me how to write, LA. As cliché as it is, from Ask the Dust to Californication, you are a writer’s nest. I wrote at my desk, and coffee shops, and even at your classes. I wrote on scraps of paper in scraps of time. I’m lying, I wrote full-time. And when I wasn’t, I was either thinking about it, or worrying about it, or hiding from it, because I was fearing it. Or maybe I was reading (which is writing backward, anyway).

When I think about really writing, I remember myself on my knees, on the floor of my 2×3-meters-shared-room, fixing a script like a swordswoman who kills dragons armed only by a red pencil.

I wrote bad and good things. I wrote from below the neck, from inside my guts, from whatever magic dust still floats on your air and pours all over us, hard dreamers.

Still finding Venice Beach sand inside my pockets, my “missing you” lacks a higher vocabulary. It’s a teenager riot chanting “oh boy, like you have no idea”.

I tell myself all these open scars are fuel to my extraordinary machine because I refuse to sink.

I won’t bend.

And I will tell you goodbye.

Now go find new people to knock their socks off.

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