Posterity: UCLA (speaking with my heart)
One thing that propelled my staying in LA at the time I decided to do so was the availabilty of an apartment. I stayed a few nights with the Mastio, who lives in the same building I did when I was here before. The landlord is the same, and the landlord is an awesome guy, in my estimation. He hadn’t forgotten me in the intervening years, and invited me to his apartment for a cocktail one of those nights. He asked me if I was happy. I didn’t dissemble. I couldn’t. There was no reason to pretend.
“I’m not happy, Mr David.”
“I didn’t think you were, baby.”
We talked a bit more. And then, this:
“I’m not trying to promote anything, here, and it’s all up to you. But I have a vacancy coming up.”
I didn’t say yes right away. But my heart flipped.
The day before on a bus, I was txting with the CakeLady.
“I kind of want to stay here.”
“I kind of think you should.”
We exchange more messages and conversations of similar sentiment in the next five days. I came around to an idea of going to Austin and then getting my shit together, maybe getting a contract and then and returning to L.A., after a while. But the more I thought of that, the harder it was to picture a place for myself here. How would I find an apartment, a job, would he let me have the car I drove? Thinking about it, the plans spiralled. So much to plan. I drew process flow charts, trying to figure out what made the most sense. The most efficient thing would be to stay and make it work.
I love efficiency.
But I would have to decide to stay. And that I would probably mean I forfeited everything I might think of as mine. But nothing I had compares to how this City touches me
I said yesterday to Ipso: Boys are good, girls are good but oh my fuck this City truly loves me
So on 12 January, I stood in the sculpture gardens on North Campus at UCLA. I looked around at million people who didn’t know anything about what was going on with me. I didn’t get going toward the shuttle stop when I was supposed to get going. I didn’t leave. I called Mr David and said I’d take the place.
I sent an email from my phone to a friend with whom I has spent the weekend. I just wrote,
“I’m not taking the return flight.”
He wrote back, quickly.
Another, different word and I might have reconsidered entirely. A different sentiment and I might have fucked off and gone back to wearing clothes I did not like on a body I didn’t understand or recognize.
Might have. Not necessarily so.
But that word? That was an amazing thing to read from someone I appreciate so much.
I called CakeLady and told her, she immediately launched into plans to send me some things. (Laptop, clothes, shoes.) I called the Moth. She was steadfastly behind me. She avered that Bro supported me, as well, and would do what he could to help.
When I called [him] to say I was not getting on the plane, his reply summed up far too well exactly how I’d figured he felt about me.
It wasn’t angry. I didn’t suspect it would be. But neither was it in any way impassioned.
He sounded rather unmoved. Unsurprised.
I said something, something. But I didn’t apologize. He said,
“We’ll work out your things later.”
That was about it.
I don’t think he could have changed my heart either.