Here's the thing about moving. You don't get there right away even if you have arrived.
The act is exclusively a physical one which is fueled by all the pent up anxiety and frustration that you feel when you struggle to leave your nest.
The one thing you don't secure lovingly in bubble wrap is your emotional baggage.
That part of the move follows you at its own sweet time and arrives just when you think you have settled in.
When it show up at your front door it is so heavy and loaded down with feelings and memories, some as recent as tomorrow, that opening it instantly converts your U-Haul to a Pandora's box.
I happen to love New York which is a at once a very simple yet complex place. It's like any great piece of music really. On the one hand you can be captivated by a gorgeous melody and never, even after decades, learn the lyrics or you can probe deeper by analyzing and memorizing the composer's clearly spelled out universal message.
The best part of its daily tutorial is in all its many options that lay before you. You can dive right into the deep end and go see Hamilton (which thank God I have), lose yourself at the Met or go to The Village Vanguard and listen some cool jazz ghosts wail.
Of you can simply plug a little once upon a time Sinatra into your ear-budded head and surf the waves of your imagination as you watch a flotilla of tall ship people cruise through the tumbling waves in the concrete sea of ambition and hope.
Being surrounded by all those towering building sentries gives you a sense of total calm and comfort. Evil and any kind of viable threats are always lurking but so are your own nightmares. As a species it's our natural inclination I think to select daydreams as our Fred Astaire dance partners. I was going to use "Dancing With The Stars" as a reference but New York is just way too sophisticated and indelible to go there.
There is literally and metaphorically something always cooking there. Thousands of restaurant cloud aromas come wafting your way like seductive ghosts and their many notes of seductive perfumes lure you towards them like an impossible resist orgy of naked and available lovers.
The only good thing about leaving New York is knowing that you can always come back. No matter how hard bad guys try to fuck with it, trust me, it ain't going anywhere, pally.
Here in California where I have just recently crashed landed like a wind wobbly, wayward drone is my new temporary home. I got drafted by the army of show biz, again, this time to launch a new series that I co-created.
I lived here for 25 years and enjoyed great success. Eventually, in my late forties, having finally completed my Princess Cruise journey along the Sea of Done It All (because that's pretty much what working here is like. With one exception: Your Love Boat captain is really your Secret Satan who forces you almost from day one, to trade in your young soul for 30 silver coins, while you learn the words to "Hey Judas.")
I never ever thought I would be back here again. When you grow up, if you grow up, LA is just not the place for you.
Beethoven and Mozart had their late symphonies as did virtually anyone in their own fields from Monet to Einstein to Salk to your next door neighbor, Phil. On the east coast we celebrate our hard earned age and achievements.
On the west coast you start considering your retirement options some time around your Sweet Sixteen.
This place for all intents and purposes is nothing more or less than a Gilded, Swag-heavy Cage Match with sand and one hard to reach ocean (you tend to surf waves of traffic most of the time).
There is a rhythm of sameness here.
I always laugh at the weather reports because Bill Murray, in Groundhogs Day was a weatherman, and what they report is the same weather over and over again.
Every single day.
They could literally play an endless video loop and no one would know the difference. All you need to know is the simple math. The Valley is between 15 and 20 degrees hotter than the beaches. And....scene.
There are reports about something called the Inland Empire, but that just sounds to evil to me to pay attention to as in why would I care what the weather is going to be in Darth Vader's neck of the woods?
As you may tell, this whole piece is the direct offspring of having just opened my own, personal Pandora's Box of emotional baggage. Yesterday I spoke to the two little girls that my NY partner in crime were co-raising. They are actually her grandnieces that literally no one wanted. Not their parents or grandparents. And now their giggly girl voices are banging around the empty locker of my heart and that makes me feel, well, very, very far away and now I have my-grain-of-truth-headache whose source I believe is the basis for every single song on the album "In The Wee Small Hours." Picture downcast Frank on the cover and that is what an MRI would look like.
I suffer from a perpetual New York state of mind where I achieved my two biggest goals in life: having great friends, a Cheers-like coffee shop whose congregation knew my name and a job that did not require pants.
I am a writer who writes, after all. All the time. Often in my defiant underpants.
So, I am putting up wanted posters all over Studio City today that will read:
Wanted: A sense of humor in order to survive this next tour of duty. I will then head to my local armor store and buy out their entire supply of heart protectors and brain preservers.
Then I will go home, make the a/c feel like an east coast blizzard day, take off my pants...and create.