24 July 2013

Leaving California


It was only a few days before Christmas when I said goodbye to the only home I'd ever known.

I spent my first year living at an apartment in The Valley then we moved to a pretty suburb of LA. My twin brothers were born two years later and that was life in the ranch house on the top of a hill.

It overlooked the Santa Monica Mountains which I could see perched from my bedroom window. The sun set behind them illuminating the palm trees with their toxic but beautiful glow. Oranges - pinks - yellows. I'd count across the sky.

Some people only dream of living here....

That was the message I'd picked up from watching movies and television shows. Seeing the Hollywood sign behind my church every week while my friends tried to be stars while others still shine.

Wish they all could be California Girrrrls...David Lee Roth crooned in his gravelly voice in place of the poppy Beach Boys.

I thought it was my forever home but then we moved to New England. Our plane had a layover in New York City and the cold snapped against my body and I learned that East Coasters aren't considered wusses if they zip their jackets...or totally lame if they put on gloves. They weren't SoCal teenage masochists.

I'd never felt that kind of cold. Only the wet fog that chilled you to the bone instead of turning you to ice. When my dad drove us away from Boston to our 300 year old farmhouse the next day I saw bare trees for the first time. They looked like angry paintbrushes scratching the dull sky.

Leaving California was the hardest thing for me at the time. I tried to hold my breath until I was 18 and could move back. I'd sit in the library unimpressed with the pretty natural pond in our huge yard and think this is it...I will hold my breath until I die or they take me home.

It didn't work.

I became fond of fireflies. I'd never seen them in real life before...only on The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.

By the time I was 18 I'd moved only a little further west to Pennsylvania but it was Boston that I returned to. Somewhere along the way my heart started beating green and it's never completely stopped though





I've been to California twice since leaving and it turns out it isn't all that.

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