I’m in Los Angeles because of a failing relationship. The City of Angels lies an easy 350-mile flight from San Francisco, a city where I now live for reasons that have more to do with her than I’m willing to admit but less than my friends and family back east believe. I didn’t have to see about a girl. Well, at least not entirely.
We worked wonderfully in theory when she and I lived in Brooklyn and we were dating other people. In practice, we’re a fatally flawed couple. I say ‘I love you.’ She says ‘I appreciate you.’ L.A., we have a problem.
Neither of us says anything, but it’s over. She’s known for a while. I held on to the slowly yet inevitably unwinding thread for longer – which explains why I bought us tickets to The Airborne Toxic Event’s homecoming show at the resplendent The Walt Disney Concert Hall and flew south – but I’m now letting it slip from of my grasp, too. “We lie to each other like they do and say we’re so happy / It’s easy when you’re young and you still want it so badly.”
So here we are, starring down at the foursome, their assorted friends and lovers, and the rest of the audience from our seats 20 feet above stage left. It’s fine; the concert, a charming celebration of the band’s remarkable success, is the type of event that calls for a date, even one with no future.
Later that night, she falls asleep on my arm in her bed. “I stare out the window and I think that I might scream.” I don’t. Sometimes you smile, gaze into the sky, and let things wordlessly fall apart.