It's stalking me, this feeling. This feeling that leaving L. A. is bigger and wider than I want to admit. The city where I've spent nearly two-thirds of my life is about to become a pinpoint of the map of my past.
It was sweltering the day I arrived, sweating in the passenger seat of a 1966 Dodge Coronet. No one would recognize either of us now--the lanky blond boy that became my husband a year later, or the round-cheeked girl with dark hair falling to her waist. They inhabit the past, too.
And they inhabit the present.
Last night I thought about the way things end. How, in my choking grief after he left me, I told everyone I was already over it and moving on. It wasn't a lie. It wasn't the truth. "I'm over it," I'd say, sometimes laughing. Sometimes weeping.
I'll drive out of the City of Angels alone. I know I'll look back. There's a lot to see. But I'll be looking forward, too.
Here's what I saw from my patio last night: