A couple of weeks ago, I was at work at the restaurant, filling in for our hostess who was out of town. These two women came in right about when I first got there “just have a glass of wine.” Four hours later, when I was leaving, they were still there. I stopped by their table as I was walking out, to joke, “You guys are going to be here longer than I am!” I thought we’d have a quick chuckle and that would be it, but it ended up turning into a 30-minute conversation.
It came up that one of the women was going to Miami in a couple weeks. So I mentioned how I lived there and how much Miami taught me about LA, namely that it’s so segregated, and that led to a discussion on the differences in immigration communities between Cubans and Mexican/Central Americans.
Her: Yeah, I lived in Canada so–
Me: Oh, really? Where’d you live?
Me: Of course you did.
Turns out she was from Kits and went to high school with Ryan Reynolds and Joshua Jackson who are among Canada’s best gifts to the world. But that is an aside.
We talked a little bit about the similarities between the Chinese immigrants there and the Cubans in Miami and then she asked me about my time living there: when I went, for how long, what did I do, etc. And I realized in talking to her that the day before was my 2-yr. anniversary of leaving LA. TWO YEARS. Last year, I was hyperaware of all that, but this year I had forgotten. It was…weird to realize it’s been that long.
In front of strangers.
The next night, I went out to Hollywood and ended up at a friend’s show. At that show, I met my friend’s friend’s girlfriend. The boys were talking a while to go back inside so I said to her, “What’s going on? Why are they taking so long?”
And she responded with a chuckle, “I don’t know. I’m from Vancouver. I just got here a few days ago. I don’t know what’s going on!”
A bit later in the night, she bought me a drink and invited me to stay at her place in Gastown when she goes back in 2 months.
Those two events happened Friday and Saturday nights. On Monday, I did Crossfit in the park (because that is a thing I’m doing now) and when I got back in the car, I had all these text messages, including one from a number I don’t know that just said, “I’m in Vancouver.”
I wonder if this happens to other people or if I am uniquely hauntable.
To be honest, I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to talk about this place and miss it and love it. I don’t want to try any more things that just lead to dead ends. I don’t want any more chapters in the story of my life to be about how I wanted something wholeheartedly and didn’t (know how to) get it. I don’t want to give disappointment years of my life.
So maybe two years is long enough to say, “Let this go.”
The Twilight books are terrible, but there is an interesting thematic idea that Stephenie Meyer tries to investigate in New Moon where Bella is comparing Edward to Romeo and Jacob to Paris (and herself to Juliet). She wonders if things hadn’t worked with Romeo if Juliet could have been happy with Paris:
What if Paris had been Juliet’s friend? Her very best friend? What if he was the only one she could confide in about the whole devastating thing about Romeo? The one person who really understood her and made her feel halfway human again? What if he was patient and kind? What if he took care of her? What if Juliet knew she couldn’t survive without him? What if he really loved her, and wanted her to be happy?
And…what if she loved Paris? Not like Romeo. Nothing like that, of course. But enough that she wanted him to be happy, too?
Would it be so wrong to try to make Jacob happy? Even if the love I felt for him was no more than a weak echo of what I was capable of, even if my heart was far away, wandering and grieving after my fickle Romeo, would it be so very wrong?
Trust me, I hate myself for quoting anything from that sigh-ga.
But I can appreciate the sentiment. There are wonderful things about LA: Mexican food, sunshine, beaches, ridiculously Hollywood conversations, Hotel Café, my friends, gas stoves…
I am safe. I am relatively healthy. I am working. I get to exercise for the price of baked goods!
I have no place to complain about anything. The universe has zero obligation to give me everything I want and when I look at my position relative to the world, I realize that I sound like a spoiled brat and should shut up. I can check my privilege.
To be continued…