love letter to erik #16

hello sweet angel,

happy september! just past midnight and i can't sleep. after trying for the last two hours, figured i'd best stop struggling with it and just get up. suppose my body will tell me when it wants to rest.

been here nearly a week, and as you know, i was not looking forward to coming to l.a. there were the obvious reasons, but also because for the longest time, i had painted a picture in my head that this was somewhere i wouldn't be able to walk anywhere. my mind was filled with visions of strip malls, souped up cars blasting gangsta rap, and scenes of police brutality. where did these ideas come from? probably years of watching too much tv, the movies, the news, and believing the sensationalist messages from mass media who have their own perspective, their own agenda.

after settling into a comfortable little studio apartment on the outskirts of downtown long beach, i found a walkable city with courteous drivers and police officers who nod their heads when i pass by. some would call this part of town sketchy. i call it real. yes there are plenty of downtrodden, lost souls, and people who don't make eye contact, but there are also those who smile back and generous folks who let me play with their dogs. there's also art everywhere, a sweet little community garden, a ginormous public library, a movie theater with super plush seats, and a cute cafe/grocery store that serves and sells natural organic food.

as always, there's the touristy center along the waterfront with every chain retail outlet and restaurant represented, but there's also a ferris wheel, a boardwalk with colorful storefronts, a carousel, an island with a lighthouse, and even a house of jerky i know you would have been happy about. it all has a certain charm, especially after sunset when the light casts a beautiful glow on everything. it's no wonder the tourists flock here.

then there are the people i met today while wandering around… a man with three dogs who swears he loves each one equally, a woman who cried when i pressed a few bucks into her hand, a little girl with too much makeup, and my new friend who lives across the street and waves at me every time i step outside. he is 72 and can barely walk, but has the most brilliant smile and big soft hands to hold. too shy for a photo claiming he'd break the camera, he agreed to a selfie with me. then he introduced me to his best friend who wouldn't stop wagging his tail and kissing me. walked back home with the biggest grin on my face.

ok, lesson learned… don't prejudge! let go of preconceived notions about a place, good or bad, and let the experiences unfold. always go with an open mind, an open heart and only good things will come of it. what could have been a lonely miserable week spent feeling sorry for myself turned into a week full of unexpected encounters and pleasant surprises, but i'm not done yet. before i go, i plan on heading to a korean restaurant for food i'd been missing. i'm excited that there's kimchee in my future. i'll keep my eyes peeled during the walk there in case there are more things along the way that will make me smile.

now that i've gotten that off my chest, sleep is finally coming so i'm off to bed again…

love love and more love,

xo talor