...where it was always warm

“But I also hoped that [she] had chosen California because she thought that was her true home, the place where she really belonged, where it was always warm and you could dance in the rain, pick grapes right off the vines, and sleep outside at night under the stars.”
― Jeannette Walls,
The Glass Castle

Cruising on the freeway this evening, windows rolled down, a refreshing breeze brushing across my face, Latin music playing in my car—for a brief moment, I thought I was in California. Then, for a much longer moment, I dreamed I was back in Los Angeles, California—eight years ago. 

I have not thought about California in such a nostalgic way since I moved to the East Coast. It was palpable and I missed it—all of it. The burrito trucks; the hotdog stand outside The Conga Room where one could grab a tasty midnight snack after dancing for a few hours; someone speaking Spanish no matter I went; bustling farmers markets where I could get a Peruvian lunch for $5, a pair of earrings for $1 and listen to Celia Cruz for free. I missed the warm weather, the ocean, the laid-back pace. I missed the fact that I could go Latin dancing every night of the week and never get tired of it. I missed the body I had eight years ago, when I worked out and danced everyday, and was the most fit I had ever been in my life. I missed the melting pot of foods, cultures, and people, and I missed being a part of it.  

For a short while, I dreamed that life was carefree again and I lived in a place that was always warm.


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