I’m in Los Angeles and this city is haunted.
Not in a ghost under the bed kind of way. But in a way where it is almost impossible to walk down the street, drive a mile in the car, eat lunch at a restaurant, without being swarmed with memories of the past. Of my past…here.
I first laid goo goo eyes on LA 5 years ago. I moved here with two suitcases and lived in a sorority house. I was 22. Fresh out of college. Desperate to get cozy next to people, places and things that reeked of adventure.
Now every time I come back here, I feel so many things. I remember so many people. I want to forget so many feelings. But I can’t.
I have learned that it is almost impossible to erase the fragrant memories that live inside nouns that once clung to our hearts. They don’t pause because our fingers are hitting the erase button at full force. And they don’t sneak away for an afternoon nap when we need a little peace.
They greet us as we step off the airplane with a 5×7 sign that reads, “Welcome back. Remember me?”
So what do we do when we go back to a place we once called home? When we see a person, again, who we once called our everything? When we hear a song on the radio that takes us right back to a moment, 4 years ago, we wish we could forget?
We hug it hello. We high-five it. We say, “It’s nice to see you again” and entertain it like a temper tantrum from a toddler until it finally runs its course and we can take another step forward, always remembering it’s perfectly okay to flirt once again with our past.