I may have been born in Utah, but I was raised in California; Southern California to be precise; Orange County to be exact.
Growing up in the land of blondes and BMW’s, I never quite fit in during the day and that made for some angsty nights. Because Orange County was so ill-fitting to me, I moved away from it the day after I turned 18. Where I landed, where I called home (and still call “home”, fit me like a long lost and favourite glove – San Francisco.
Even saying those two words makes my eyes misty and my throat catch. Baghdad by the Bay taught me so, so, SO much and in recompense, I gave to it my soul; it (my soul that is, what little of it there is left) still resides there.
Because of that beautiful city, and of the gorgeous souls I met there, I was able to embrace myself, in all my grandeur and in all my (many) faults. It also taught me that it isn’t so much the place, as the person.
And that is a lesson I’m still trying to remember, and teach myself, on a daily basis where I find myself back in the land of milk, honey, and boob jobs.
Tonight is just an achingly beautiful night, a soul-gripping night. The Santa Ana’s are in full gale: all the smog, the dirt, the corruption, the pain, and the anger – all of it is swept away. Today I could see the surrounding mountains and hills resting under a crystal blue sky. (It truly is a relief from the typical smudgy, smoggy brown that is typical.) I could smell the ocean, and the earth. The chit-chit-chittering of the leaves blowing across the asphalt was a perfect soundtrack to this day. Tonight, I can see the (almost) full moon lighting up everything, and the stars. Oh my god, the stars! Pinpoints of perfect.
Don’t get me wrong, we have our share of political scandals and redheaded step-children (Mike Corona, I’m looking at you), but today I didn’t think of that. The wind whipped through me and took away all negativity, all self.
Growing up, it was days like today that made me whole-heartedly embrace this region. Smile. Spread out my arms. Let my hair “flop about like a besotted salmon”. And just …
There’s just something so … vital … so life affirming … about wind. Before the fires start I mean.
But this is the night, the exact type of night, where I am proud to say I grew up here.
And I want to go howl at the moon.
Maybe it’s because it’s my folks anniversary today, and I’m sadly happy that they are able to spend it together again at Good Shepherd Cemetery. They raised me in this neck of the woods where I’ve always had a love/hate relationship, and for the first time in my life I can say this – I’m happy to be home.
And I’m happy to be ALIVE.