I’m from Los Angeles. I wasn’t born there, but when I was three it became my home and my identity; what was associated with who I was. And if the world saw me at all, that is what they saw. I left ten years ago but I go there occasionally to visit my friends, and more often than not, I get on the plane back to Reno weary from a long weekend drinking and eating amazing sushi with Wayne on Friday, managing that hangover at whatever event I end up at on Saturday, picking up a pair or two of Diesel Jeans on Sunday because my best friend had to go to a baseball game with better friends, feeling an overall daze about what I’m about. I talk a lot about who I am, and why I’m unhappy (which I mostly blame on the chemicals in my brain but …), and who I could have been. I speak in generalizations because the specifics of my life seem monotonous and dreadful compared to theirs. I see friends who haven’t changed in my minds-eye, but lead very different lives. I search for the sentences that will renew our relationships, and allow me to relate to their new world but all too often I don’t.

I end up spending a lot of time remembering the comfort of the gray freeways, and the frustration of not being able to find a radio station that’s decent. I spend minutes with people I should spend hours with, and hours with people who I should spend minutes. I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms surfing the Internet and watching TV because something more important comes up at the last minute with the people I make plans with. I go to clubs alone and talk to no one because I’m too straight to be gay, and too gay to be straight (and not pretty enough to be either), and I drive home worried that the two beers I had will cost me a night in jail with no one to call to bail me out … even though Los Angeles is technically home. I rent an over priced car, and pretend for two days that I’m back, and everything is the same, and for the most part, everything is the same.

I don’t understand my friends there, not because they lead such different existences, but because I don’t understand anyone. I don’t know how people connect, and feel wanted, and loved. I don’t know what it feels like to feel safe in someone’s arms, or know that I’d be missed when I leave a room. I’ve never felt those things, and thus they are things I never write about because they’re not true to me. I’ve left weddings, events, parties … what have you, minutes after I get there, and I’m never missed. I have long distance friends because I live a long distance life.

This is why I write. This screen listens to me. This screen wants my words, and it is complete when I finish a thought or reduce crazy events into stories that have nothing to do with them. This screen knows me and never crashes (I love Macs). I write because the light shines into my face, and shows me a world where I get it. So writing to be read, or published would be counter intuitive to me because it doesn’t matter. My journey is completed when I hit the save button. I’ve spent weeks never hearing the sound of my own voice, only the sound of fingers hitting keys with a rhythm that mimics a heartbeat next to me, and I don’t miss it. I spend other weeks hearing my voice but not recognizing it because people want me to be someone other than who I am and I give in because it’s easier. I like the sound the keyboard makes better. I’ve gone to Hawaii, Europe, and pretty much everywhere alone looking at things and people I later turn into stories.

I didn’t go to Harvard and study English, and my words sometimes aren’t formatted correctly and are written in run-on sentences, but make no mistake, I am a writer if only because it’s who I am. I spend all day thinking about sentences, and all night trying to remember them. The world sees me as this guy from Los Angeles who surfs casually though life as if nothing matters. I’m never in a relationship, I’m never with anyone, and I only show up for special occasions I’m invited to, but I know better. I know there’s an ocean of depth beneath this current of superficially … and now this screen does too. And I’m lucky because although I might be alone, I’m never lonely.

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