I guess, in a lot of ways, California has always been the place I escape to. In high school, when avoiding my mother's drunken wrath, avoiding schoolwork, avoiding the misogynistic dumbfucks who populated my public high school--when I needed to get away, I'd get in my car, and drive across the state line. I'd drive halfway to Sierraville, to Tahoe City, to Sacramento. Sometimes I drove north on 395 until I hit Hallelujah junction, a couple times going as far as Susanville. I'd sneak away for weekends, camping at unpopulated campsites that were within earshot of the highway, making myself forget in the insulated paradise of the Toyaibe, Sierra, Tahoe, or Plumas national forests. I always had a pup tent and a two gallon jug of water in my trunk, and I never really told anyone why, chalking it up to my paranoia about being stranded without sustenance.
I thought it was the driving that made me calm down, breathe deep, get over it. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was California.
I guess I owe the world an explanation. I've been told, anyway, by the innumerable people who have asked me questions along the line of "where the fuck are you?" And when I tell them I ran away to California three weeks ago, they ask me why.
I don't know why I've stayed so long, or why I dread going back. My best guess? I'm unhappy in Eugene. I was unhappy in Reno too, so I chalked it up to my mood, my incurable depression, the wrong meds...I never thought that maybe a change of scenery was all the cure I needed. All the apprehension I had about my life in Nevada or Oregon or wherever I was would manifest itself as panic... whenever I met new people, whenever I realized how alone I was and how much I hated and feared my surroundings. Not so much anymore. Now Ativan is my recourse for insomnia, and not much else. I feel better here, because I know that I have a network of people who care about me and even love me, and I don't have to worry that I'm being too much of an angry feminist or that I sound too cerebral and stuck-up or anything.
I am a completely different person than I was a year ago, different than I was 60 pounds ago. The person I am now is more confident, more laid-back, happily in love, and ready for a future that no longer looks hopeless or distant. My friends from high school wouldn't recognize me (except perhaps my trademark assertiveness), and the people I'm closest to have gotten to know me better in four months than some friends have in ten years. This new person lives in California, and every time I leave here, I leave her behind.
So that's why.
On a separate note, since I've been here, I've spent time in: Palo Alto, Bakersfield, Taft, Berkeley, Oakland, Long Beach, and Van Nuys (and this weekend, Fullerton). And that doesn't count driving stops. There are a lot of bad things about California (the sprawl, the drivers, the distance), but the good, I'm convinced, far outweighs the bad.
paranoid star lover
you talk rich and that's your cover
- (no subject)