Monday, August 29, 2011

Hometown Glory

Thank you, Los Angeles. You've been a great audience. Don't forget to tip your waitresses.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Long Goodbye

It hasn't fully sunk in that I'm moving out of Los Angeles one week from today. On a practical level, I've certainly taken the necessary steps to prepare, spending the better part of my downtime since the end of the WSOP divesting myself of a sizable percentage of my physical possessions. 14 bags of corporately-produced clothing that I wore to slave for a corporation half a decade ago went to Goodwill. Three bankers boxes of books and DVDs are still sitting in the trunk of my car, waiting to be sold to a secondhand shop in Hollywood. Cabinets and drawers full of junk I forgot I owned have been sorted, catalogued, and (mostly) discarded. Most of my clothes are already inside a dresser in San Francisco and the winter coats and heavy sweaters I'll no doubt be donning in the upcoming weeks and months have been cleaned and pressed. I suppose it's the fact that I'm still hanging on to this apartment until the end of the year, the fact that it's still filled with furniture and appliances and art on the walls that separates me from the reality of moving. The 800 or so square feet I've called home for the last seven years will remain largely unchanged, albeit inhabited by a trusted caretaker. I'll make the 380-mile journey south come Thanksgiving to placate my parents' wishes to spend the holiday with both their daughters, and again for an unspecified amount of time around Christmas that has yet to be decided. It's a long, but necessary goodbye.

The move was met with mixed reactions from my family. My mother was sad, but ultimately understood, having moved clear across the country when she was 23 to a place she'd never been. Mandy was thrilled and can't wait to visit after her hellacious 10-week shoot in Las Vegas is complete. My father, as expected, was downright funereal in his tone and went on a negative offensive (It's cold up there! Public transportation is horrible! Everything is so expensive!). He's less dour now, but still unconvinced, and probably hoping that after the initial six months, will settle back down in Southern California, in and of itself, a highly improbable scenario. But he's my father and he loves me and I'm a lot more like him than I'd care to admit. So I get it.

Outside of my family, everyone who I was once close to in Los Angeles has moved on, or I see them so often outside of Los Angeles that our mutual home based has ceased to matter. My holy triumvirate of Showcase, Bean, and Ben are all on Eastern Daylight Time. My blogging brethren are scattered all over the world and the poker circuit limps on, although my role in that traveling circus is constantly being redefined. So there aren't too many goodbyes to be had. Los Angeles will always be my hometown, but home now is with Pauly, wherever life may take us.

I see a future without this couch and this table, without the zen blue of my bedroom walls and the dark woods of Pauly's office, without my grandmother's dining room table and the orange chair my father used to sprawl in as he studied for his law school exams more than forty years ago. It's also a future without the circular saw presently grinding away in the neighbor's yard, so there's that too. It'll be replaced by the rattling our bay windows make as the Muni whirs past and the wind through the giant ficus that stands guard outside our new home.

It's a future that is only a week away, and one I'd jump into tomorrow if I could. Anyone want to finish packing for me?