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2pm 6.4.08

Scene: a smoothie shop in Claremont, border to Inland Empire county

“Fuck it, I’m going to LA today.”

I’d said this several times before.  But working as hard as I was and commuting to friends that lived in the city limits made this place hell.

“It’s Los Angeles.  I know it’s not San Diego but… you’ll be happier here.  I’ll be able to help you more with you closer.” my dad professed a few months prior as he moved me out of the hell that was my post divorce residence.

What it turned out to be was a tease.  My dad wanted me to like Claremont so much.  And for a few moments I did.  There were pieces of it that made the dog days of working two crappy jobs and commuting back and forth on public transit to push towards the actual dream: of a good job in the city just like my dad a bit tolerable.  But something was still amiss.

In my adventures back and forth, I’d met a friend through a party.  Ever since then, he’d been helping me commute back and forth up to the area.  In some ways, he’d essentially “adopted” me.  So when dad told me that he was too busy on the Fourth to come get me from work and let me see my son I did what came natural to me: I elected to spend the day with my new friends.

“It’s going to be close but we can make it.  I’ll go get you and then we can meet everyone over at Trina’s.  We’ll walk to the beach from there.”

In all the years that I’d lived in California, I had never seen the fireworks over the water on the Fourth.

We arrived just in time to get parking.  We grabbed some drinks and blankets.  There was a whole convoy of us.  A whole convey of video game loving geeks.  We were going to have a blast.

When we finally decided on our landing spot I talked to one of my friends a few minutes.  My senses lighted up.  I was too close to the beach not to go in.  I tugged at my friend’s arm before he surrendered.

“If there’s anywhere to bring Jena to see her happy, it’s at the ocean.” my friend said as I ran off.

For someone who didn’t really know me too well back then, my friend really knew me well back then.