Los Angeles. I only went there once but the way it moved, the way the lights danced through the smoke and palm trees, would stay with me forever. The way the land curved like a voluptuous starlet, the colours, the 's hard to forget. But then it was hardest to remember. I learned a new way of walking when I went to LA. As if you owned the world, as if your eyes were glittering rhinestones, as if you were a tiger stalking its prey.
And it was there that I almost drowned into the cracks beneath the pavement. That's what happens when you don't have the faintest clue as to who you are and you go to a place like that. You disappear; become the foam of the sea or the stars that no one can see in the sky.
I guess you could say that Seattle kept me grounded, kept me safe, inside it's green arms and calla lily tongue. I don't know if it was Seattle or just the fact that I was home again and I was already changing from the sun exposure I had finally received in Los Angeles. I don't know if it was the fact that I was on a roll and no one could stop me even if they tried; but I finally became me.
I finally saw myself clearly. Maybe it was that here, in Seattle, the stars are visible even downtown or that the cracks in the pavement are filled with moss.
Maybe the same thing would've happened if I had been in New Orleans, New York, Toronto, or even Amsterdam. I have a feeling that I would have become myself no matter where I it was my choice to begin with. It was my choice to move on and grow. To stash my memories like drugs beneath my mattress.
The air pulsated with sound as the humidity continued to close it's sly hand around my throat. I kept my distance, walking with my hair tied back, clear and out of my face. I was always so painfully aware of everything. The sweat trickling down the front of my dress to pool beneath my breasts as I crossed my arms over my chest trying to ignore the way the heat made my mascara run, blurring everything into one huge sea of colour.
I felt so lost there, by myself. Not knowing what to expect. I tried to focus on the sound my sandals made against the pavement, on the way the petals were falling like snow from the cherry trees. I remember once I walked down this way with Ezra, hair in his eyes as he told me about Judaism; about how different it was before his father left. When I was younger I would become jealous of him because his family had so much history, but then I realized that everything comes at a price. Everyone in his family had names that reminded me of deserts and colours that could breathe in the sun.
Sometimes, I would hold him, when he let me. It was almost like he was afraid to show his emotions, afraid of letting his guard slip. But there are times when you can't keep everything inside for fear of breaking. I was always there, ready to take it in, drink his tears. For I would give anything to feel the real Ezra. The real Ezra, well, after a while it occurred to me that he was different with everyone and if anyone ever told you that they truly knew him, then they didn't know him at all.
Shaking my head, my hair in my eyes, shielding me from the sun, I wondered why I always thought about him in past tense.