A Long Way From the Past

A Long Way From the Past

I felt it today - sadness.

So reads the first sentence from an early morning typewriting session dated: Monday, January 30th, 2023 - 6:28 AM. That was just a few weeks before we would disembark to New York City to apartment hunt. Since arriving here in New York I've found great closure in revisiting these early morning rambles which now, somehow, feel like ancient history. Those moments were just here, merely an arms-length away, but now they seem to be aggressively accelerating off towards the cool dream that was our life in Los Angeles.

I've experienced the strangest of sensations this week walking these familiar alleys. I grew up here, I know these streets well, very well, and as a result, sometimes while walking them, I have difficulty distinguishing the version of me that is experiencing them now. It can often feel like I never left this place, like LA never happened, like I'm still my 21 year old self - like I've just stirred from a deep sleep. It's the oddest notion.

Just a month removed from California and looking backwards at it feels more like I'm looking through it, like it's an image that's been double exposed over a New York skyline. In place of a defined picture swimming with detail, the image is instead a thinning silhouette; violet and orange hued, faintly warm, outlines of mountain tops, sandy beaches, jasmine flowers, and smiling faces just barely able to be made out against the blue and stoney image beneath. I'm not sure what that means, but it's installed its own distinct emotion that I'm still distilling.

I read in a book a few years back that memory is more fragile than we realize, and that the process of trying to remember a particular memory only obscures and scrambles its details further. In layman's, the more you try to remember something, the more you're going to distort what actually happened. I wonder if that's what's going on with our time in LA. It's a curious world; if we want to protect a moment's integrity we have to let it go and only recall it as it naturally stumbles back to us through drifting scents, faded photographs, lost songs, and warm winds.

That's that, we're a long way from the past. If you're interested, I've put the rest of that early morning writing session below for you to read at your own discretion.

Monday, January 30th, 2023 - 6:28 AM

I felt it today - sadness. It has been easy enough to gung-ho myself into a state of reckless abandon regarding our move to New York. My ADHD made sure to paint the move as the shiniest object in a 3200 mile radius. When that happens, it's hard to see anything but green-lights in relation to what is, in reality, a much more nuanced matter. I suppose this week I've really begun to stumble upon the aspects of Los Angeles, but more specifically, California, that I'm going to miss dearly.

Over the weekend, we all loaded into the car and drove up to Zuma Beach in Malibu to support Liza while she took it upon herself to learn how to surf. While her and Sasha swapped wetsuit and surf board as they continuously plunged again and again into the powerful Pacific, I sat there upon the shore, book in hand, with my small powered speaker serenading me with my favorite somber jazz standards. The sun was hot but the air was cool, I remember pulling on my hoodie for extra warmth.

It was this trip that I especially felt the sensation of the sand between my toes.
It was only now that the glinting waves really caught my eye as rolling oddities.
It was only then when I thought to myself - "Wow, I could really use more of this".

It dawned on me that the substitutes found in New York and New Jersey were likely not equals but merely concessions. You see, there is a romance here. It is perhaps found best along the PCH, pulled off the road and nestled there in the sand. It is there too in the winding and tangled canyons of Topanga and Laurel. It exists, or maybe existed, therein the writings of Joan Didion, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, and Eve Babitz. Today, it is around, but not ever present in the ways I imagine it once was: where ever that romance is buried, it is an unmarked grave with an address I can not pinpoint, but will miss visiting nonetheless. I know that this move will be a challenge, but my virtues are true, this move is the right thing to do.

You will miss the effortless beauty of a Malibu beach, sure. But you will indubitably miss the spark-like moment of your brother's youth all the more, that is guaranteed. Beaches erode and may change shape as the years march on, but your brothers will never be the same age twice. Go forth in the courage of your love.

Hello from Brooklyn

This edition is already getting long so I will skip out on providing musical accompaniment this time around to save you all some time.

👋 Until next time...

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