I am three weeks into my personal odyssey and I am already itching to come home. I miss you, Los Angeles! The entire point of me being in Virginia is to exhume my finances in order to address them, while also seeking therapy for the shoddy status of my alcoholic brain. I know these things to be true, yet I “forget” them on a second-by-second basis. The God’s-honest truth is that this transition has me feeling like a newcomer again.
It isn’t easy being an adult in my childhood home. All amends have been made, so my mother and I are left with each other as our new and improved selves. My mother is retired, working here or there on freelance writing gigs. I am also writing at home, which makes for an odd pairing. Coffee percolates constantly around here, as do our tempers. The internet goes down every five to 10 minutes, depending on the weather and/or our moods. (Bite me, Verizon internet services). It rains and thunders every other day; our temperaments follow a similar pattern. My mother and I are essentially the same person a few decades apart. I have been living alone in my own dorm rooms, studios and one-bedroom apartments for 12 years. My mother has lived alone in our house for almost that exact amount of time. Naturally, we each have our own ideas about what domestic life looks like for us. I benefit from her practice of self-care, including home-cooked meals, decent bed times and frequent walks around the neighborhood. I broke my habit of LA breakfasts consisting of gummy bears and cold brew coffee in exchange for freshly-made egg, tomato and avocado sandwiches. I am tickled to see that I can learn how to take care of myself from the mother I once pushed away. I have much to learn, Mama-san.
Yet, I pine for the mean streets of LA. I am used to cars whizzing by at all hours of the day and night, interrupting my train of thought. I miss wildly gesticulating when all of those cars don’t yield to pedestrians like me. I got spoiled by the balmy 70-degree temperatures (with the largely overrated 100 million degree summer heat). I long for the mobility I had with Uber at my beck and call. I took for granted the extensive meeting roster, totaling about 3,000 meetings daily in the city. The meetings out here are rife with wisdom and old age, though I am the youngest member of every group by at least 20 years. On my way home from a meeting two days ago, we passed by a duck-crossing sign in Hopewell. The most exciting thing next to that were train tracks. Toto, I don’t think we are in Africa anymore.
My financial ducks are in a row, but not enough to cross any kind of stable road. All signs lead to recovery, though. I live in my mom’s house rent-free. I pay my way by cooking every now and again, washing dishes and trying to corral my petulance. I hold out hope that I will be self-supporting soon enough to return to my friends, my boyfriend and all the trendies on Sunset Boulevard. I see my new therapist this coming Monday for two hours of self-referencing bullshit—at least my mom won’t have to hear it anymore. I’ve made calls to a couple of AA women for some awkward chit chat. I will see my family and friends from VA Beach, Richmond and DC in the next couple of weeks. The scales are tipping in my favor.
I’ve got love for you, Petersburg, don’t get me wrong. But I have several reserves of love stored up for my main hang, LA. So take it easy, babe…I’m comin for ya.
Photo courtesy of la.curbed.com