Monday, August 23, 2010

Staying In

Today I am staying in.
I am staying in this morning because I will inevitably spend money if I go out and I really shouldn't.
I am staying in this afternoon because I am waiting for the dishwasher repair man to come.
If the dishwasher gets repaired early enough, I am allowing myself 1 (one) trip to the Goodwill donation station. But that is ALL.

Today I am packing.
I am packing for a mini road trip that I am planning to take to Southern California. Just for a couple days, just to see a couple of important people while I'm still in this strange limbo of summer break/working part time.

I have my audiobooks. I have my new hot pink duffel bag. I have clean tank tops and undies and my swimsuit and flip flops.
I don't have an itinerary.
My plans to stay with my friend M fell through because of the construction at her apartment so now I'm not quite sure about lodging. I texted a couple of people but have yet to hear back. I'm not worried, though-- something will work out. It always does.
The last time I drove down to LA on my own, somebody (you can probably figure out who) flaked on me at the last minute and I called my friend Nicole at 11 pm from a Safeway parking lot off the I-5. She had to work at 7 am the next morning but she gave me directions to her house and promised to have a vodka cran and some cheese ready for me when I got there.

So I don't have a plan, but I have a very long car ride and a cell phone to figure it out. I would like to see my friends. I would like to eat at some of my favorite restaurants. I would like to wear my sundresses.

It is actually a little bit surreal to be going to LA. I used to live there. For eight years, I lived there. I considered it my home. And now I hardly consider it at all.
LA is big and loud and dirty and inconvenient. It is full of people looking at you, looking at each other, dressing up to go to the grocery store. It is full of people who are something else. Bartenders are actors, waitresses are singers, singers are poets, celebrities are a nuisance.

LA still has a special place in my heart, and I think it always will. I don't want to live there, but I want to remember what it was like to live there and the kind of person I was. I recently showed my SF friends how I would sway my hips when I walked in my heels and fancy jeans, tossing my hair and pouting because I knew people were looking. Someone was always looking. I never walked anywhere I could drive. I would drive across the street to Trader Joe's to buy a salad for lunch. But after a night of drinking, my friends and I would walk home a mile or two from the bars. Because it was warm enough. And because we were too cheap to pay for a cab and none of us had the phone number for one anyway.

I lived there for eight years and the last time I was there was in the middle of last December. The last time I drove down there on my own was almost one year ago. My my how things have changed in one year.

I wonder if going there this time will feel different. I try not to wonder what my life would be like if I hadn't left.

Today I am packing and tidying up. I am waiting. I am staying in.