Rainy Mornings in Beachwood Canyon
Another rainy morning at the Green Oak house in Beachwood. Anytime I’m driving up Canyon Drive, I think of you, especially when it rains. Specifically, I think of the one Saturday afternoon after the Sound Christmas party when you, Jess, Orlando, and I decorated the tree at Orlando’s house. While you and Orlando left to pick up the tree, I was helping Jess try to make sense of her breakup. I told her, “When people are suffering, they make other people suffer.” Driving down the hill back to Hollywood, Orlando thought the dream I had about dying was beautiful. We made a joke that the colors of the sunset were the colors of all the broken hearts in LA.
I loved Orlando’s house. I loved the tranquility, the views, and flooding sunlight. His piano and pineapple coffee table. That October weekend we spent up there while he was on tour is a memory I get extremely sentimental over. I remember it in vivid detail, almost hour by hour. It was that weekend that I fell in love with you.
There was lots of free flowing wine Saturday night and a pumpkin carving initiative, which eventually lost traction due to the free flowing wine. Jess and I became too buzzed to want to exercise any motor skills, but you finished yours. We ate and laughed until we couldn’t breathe over Snapchat filters. You and Jess are hilariously comical and just watching you two was pure entertainment for me; you two had me sprawled out on the couch in tears.
We left for Sound. I don’t like clubs, and you knew that, but I tried to get used to them for you. With you, they were tolerable. You held my hand a lot and kept feeding me gin and tonics. I’m a terribly awkward dancer at clubs, so I just sat in the back of the DJ booth and tried my best to look cool. I felt awkward either way. We got back to Beachwood around 2:30 am and hastily ripped off each other’s clothes seemingly within seconds of getting in the house. The sex was a blur, but messy and loud. I don’t remember turning the lights off or falling asleep.
When I woke up in the morning to grab water, I caught your silhouette illuminated by the bright grey 7am fog. You were naked on your back and sprawled in the center of the bed, sheets kicked off. Hair a mess, all of your tattoos exposed. Out of any beautiful view in Beachwood, this one was the only one I wanted. I knew then, I wanted it every morning.
We eventually staggered out of bed after a few minutes of sleepy cuddling. I showered and picked up all of our clothes off the floor — my Acne jeans, your underwear. You went into the kitchen and reheated my celery root gratin from the night before. I joined you at the table, hoping the coffee and eggs would ease my hangover. I counted five wine bottles in the trash. There was a comfortable silence for a bit, and I gazed out the window, using my coffee mug as a hand warmer. The side of the hill was so green and lush, fog so thick you could touch it. Eerie and serene. It was misting a bit. In that moment, everything fit. Waking up to coffee and a soft scramble in a fifties style kitchen, BMW in the driveway, secluded by the beautiful landscape. Sitting across from you, remembering how beautiful you looked the night before, and still thinking you were so sexy wearing nothing but a grey t shirt and Adidas flip flops.
“I could get used to this,” I said.
We spent Sunday evening adventuring all over Silverlake with the BMW. We went to Jumbo’s Clown Room and it was my first time. I had little interest in burlesque dancers grinding against a dirty mirror to 80’s new wave. I thought it was sexier to watch you, watch them. Covell and Taco Zone with Kate were the next stops. If eating was ever a spiritual experience, it came in the form of you, drunk, shoveling mulitas in your mouth. I think it was the happiest I’ve ever seen you.
We had to go check on Angie’s dogs downtown before heading back to Beachwood. I can recall a few times you hinting that a house like Angie’s would be perfect for you and me. Airy and renovated, two bedrooms with one converted to an office, a yard, and a BMW in the driveway. “The thought of that with you isn’t scary to me,” you said once. I enjoyed being at Angie’s house with you for that reason. We ran around with the dogs, totally oblivious to how much noise we were making at 11 PM on a Sunday evening. We played fetch, we chased them, got them to jump and bark. We were completely out of breath by the end but the happiness I felt pouring out of you was so infectious and my heart swelled at the sight of you running and laughing, completely unrestrained.
You made another vague statement about how you wanted this for our future. Playing with our dogs. In our yard. At our house. It was comfortable and made me so happy, I felt I had to suppress it.
It was a somewhat quiet drive back to Beachwood afterwards. Stopped at a bright intersection in Echo Park, I looked over at you. You were lip syncing “With You” as it played from my Spotify. Street lights glinted off of your glasses and blue hair. There was nothing unique about that moment. There was nothing special about you having colored hair or driving through Echo Park. I watched you lip sync practically every Drake track at that point. Nothing special happened in that moment, except that I fell completely in love with you, right then. It was a calm and quiet click. Simple and warm. Gentle and honest. The kind of love that makes you believe people really do have souls.
You can see Orlando’s balcony from the back patio at the Green Oak house. Sometimes when no one is around I’ll go out there and stare at it. I think about you. I can still see you lip syncing in the passenger seat next to me. I think about how it felt to be so fulfilled by another person in such a seemingly average setting. I think about how as I gazed out at the rainy mist that fell over Beachwood, you made perfect and passionate sense to me. There was a grand realization that this simple moment of sitting across from you sharing coffee and comfortable silence was the only thing I wanted. It made me realize that’s what love actually is: Average moments that become extraordinary when shared with the right person.