Rain pours down over the city – or at least that’s how I remember it. Oslo is sweating and the sun has decided to visit one last time before the leaves fall. For some reason the sun seems like a burden. I long for a darker Norway, the one I used to hate, where the sky is always open and the dark barely lets the light in. The type of Norway where you wake up and know you’ll be needing that scarf, those boots, the knitted sweater. Now my body feels conflicted – the morning exhales a cold breeze that makes you shiver, afternoon brings a summer’s heat, the evening an autumn whisper. I wish it would remain autumn. Summer will never be as beautiful as the one in California.
I can’t stop talking about that place, the place where I woke up every morning and knew that when I’d look in the mirror I wouldn’t feel confused or worried, angry or irritated, conflicted or empty. I’d look in that mirror and see myself, honest and real, and not some imitation of a person I used to be. I’d see myself and remember how excited I was about living, realize that that very moment was a gift and that the present would bring even more gifts if I’d let it. And I’d smile cause I was home, home in the city where the skyscrapers would lift me and the ocean would release me, the heat would warm me and the lights would enlighten me. I never thought I’d find a place that I’d want to call home, yet for some unknown reason this place ended up as just that. I saw myself in every reflection, every building, every streetlight, every street sign. I am Sunset and Santa Monica, I’m Wilshire and Rodeo, I’m Pico and Fairfax, I'm La Brea and Hollywood.
I’m a compound of contradictions, just like Los Angeles. I remember those moments of observing, whether it would be during the silent moments in Ubers or during night rides with my partner in crime, a dear friend who, unlike most other friends of mine, I can share minutes of silence with, without it being awkward.
Those night drives set me free, somehow. They made me fearless and I let go of everything that prevented me from living in the past. The results are more painful now, yet I can’t help but smile because at least they’re making me feel something in these suburban trenches that so often leave people numb and wounded.
Infatuation has infected me and I can’t escape it. I fell in love with life again in Los Angeles, and with that love came passion and fondness in tidal waves that sweep me off my feet. Whenever a song comes on that reminds me of something, a memory, a feeling, a moment, a person, my heart starts pounding and I can't help but start smiling. I close my eyes and I see the same things over and over, the moments that made me feel life pulsate through my veins. Infatuation has always come easy, but not as easy as now. Either that, or I’m infatuated in the right things, the right experiences, the right people. I want to open myself and let others read me, read every line and verse, see through me like nobody really ever has, stripped bare and vulnerable, yet fearless and brave.
And brave was never a word I thought I could say without guilt, but I do feel brave, for reasons still uncertain, but valid.