A LOVE LETTER TO SACRAMENTO
I know it’s only been a year, but girl I miss you hella bad. When I left you for the town where the beaches are long, I promised I wouldn’t dote. But when we split, you promised never to change and so I guess that makes us both liars.
And even though I got this new boo, I admit without shame, that I’ve been watching your progress from afar. (read: Facebook stalking because your privacy settings are set to “friends of friends.”) Ground-floor installation of the arena downtown, a potential MLS expansion, a Parisian styled city-scape where a man’s Fro-Yo and his showers occur under the same business address. I always wanted that for you, but maybe I was holding you back? Maybe, it took our separating for you to realize your true potential? They always said you were perpetually on the precipice, that you were just a small town wearing big boy pants. Maybe, they were wrong.
When I left, everyone patted me on the back. Told me it was time. That it took me too long as it were. That nothing good, nothing lasting, remained between us. “You’ll love it in L.A.” they said. “There’s so much more to do. The women are beautiful and the weather is comfortable in perpetuity” but that’s why they never understood us.
Down here, friends are hard to come by when you recognize the futility of constantly upgrading a 300 series Beamer. How can I strike up a conversation about God or country with a neighbor who doesn’t even have the decency to respect water use prohibitions one day a week? And no the beaches aren’t glamorous. Oil derricks obstruct any semblance of serenity the sunsets might provide and that assumes the smog is thin enough for visibility to extend that far. You and me? We had the American Dream. We had cozy floats down gentle streams in rafts of black rubber. We had blue skies attended by birds the size of dogs. We had air that doesn’t cause your offspring asthma.
People here can’t appreciate the value of a good protest, the thrill of lambasting your least favorite version of Bush on the steps of the Capitol every time the government initiates an “incursion” on foreign soil to protect corporate interests in natural resources. They can’t relish the peace of mind of owning a double-wide bike lane to yourself at two in the morning. Quality of life is an afterthought for people who talk about the 405 like it’s some sort of abstraction and not the life-force sucking vortex that I know it to be. And sure the yoga here may be hot, but is it Namaste? Hell no, is the answer.
Plus, I miss your in-laws. Spring weekends in the meritage of the Carneros and Dank winters on the fresh pow slopes of Truckee mountainsides. The never too high stakes approach to gambling on the barely Nevada border of a lake everyone wants to keep blue. Unfortunately, for the current version of me, I married into a never ending land of strip malls and decrepit suburbs where constituencies have the audacity to seek out the removal of trees to preserve the aesthetic of sidewalks. The nearest tourist destinations are overwhelmed by the existence of gasp and actual tourists.
But enough pining. You’re there and I’m here. What’s left to be said? Possibly, maybe…like from a time when Björk was relevant…we’ll get back together. I’ll pretend like I don’t relive the smell of the city of trees in my dreams and you’ll go on growing up, evolving, becoming the woman we always knew you’d be when I wasn’t riding your coattails for an entire 8 years of college. Or maybe you won’t and then that’ll be what I love about you.