My life is spread across Craigslist and packed tight in so many boxes. Every breath is a dollar spent and every memory a melancholy moment. We are moving to pastures greener, literally- the greener part, not the pasture.
We are leaving Los Angeles in a matter of weeks and I’m already over it. Our corner of the county is for cowards and meth labs, hate crimes and crimes of hate. This isn’t the life of movie stars and swimming pools. It is a life unfiltered and the daily grind has left us stained and lethargic.
Say goodbye to Hollywood.
That isn’t to say there isn’t something to it. L.A. is everything you hoped it would be. It is sunshine and friendly people propped strategically against beautiful beaches, magic kingdoms and drive-by shootings. There are bikinis, martinis and stacks of money. It is a gated community wound tight against the denial of reality. Everyone has a role to play and every character must make an exit.
I am making mine.
My oldest son is filled with equal parts fear and excitement. He is 40 pounds of confusion. He has put down the seeds of boyhood and his roots are a good rain away from taking.
But he looks forward to soil unspoiled and faces tomorrow with the hope of a 5-year-old that has never known disappointment.
His is bittersweet.
His younger brother is going with the flow. He is three and knows the names of towns and the concept of parting. He understands the sweet and has no time for the sorrow.
His is filled with anticipation.
My wife is leaving family, six years after we arrived against our better judgment, and therein lies the rub. We’ve cast Los Angeles as the villain in this screenplay, but it hasn’t done us any harm. Its shortcomings are our scapegoat through no fault of its own. It is far too easy to blame the mood on the lighting.
Her family is not happy that we are leaving. We are not happy that we’re here. It’s six of one and half-dozen of the other. We’re talking apples and oranges.
Hers is somewhat complicated.
Yet, we are acting after years of dreaming. We are doing after lifetimes of talking. Our moment is upon us and though we may go quietly into the night our morning song will fill the air with chords of relief and a hopeful chorus that sounds of promise.
Every hero needs a theme song.