Dear City That Has My Heart,
From the very first moment that I fell in love with you, I understood that this was going to be an open relationship. And I’m all for it. Really, at heart, I’m an open relationship kind of girl. Monogamy has never made much sense to me; we reach our full potential when we are able to explore all of our own limits without having limitations imposed upon us. What makes sense is the idea that other people should enjoy all that you have to offer and since you’ve never failed to meet my needs, I’ve always been okay with the circumstances of our connection. But, I have to tell you sweetie, I’ve been spending this weekend trying to have a love affair with another city, and I just can’t get my mind off of you.
It started before I’d even acquired the rental car that would take me away from your center, the center where I thrive creatively and feel all of my inspiration come to the fore. Warning signs tumbling at me from your suburbs urged me to rethink this affair that I was about to embark upon, but I ignored them. I crossed the Bay Bridge and headed away from our love. As I was moving across the water, I felt what I always feel when I leave your embrace: my heart leapt out of my chest, remaining behind with you and leaving me with only a vague emptiness.
But, the thing is, I’m all for experiencing those affairs that have nothing to do with the heart and everything to do with … everything else. So I ignored the emptiness, refreshed my lipstick, ignored the rearview mirror and made my way to the lover who would do nothing but disappoint me. I didn’t even have to get to L.A. before it had caused me frustration and pain. Phone calls to my connections in the city went awry. Disappointment began to flood in. Surely, I could make this affair work. It’s an affair; it’s supposed to be titillating and fun.
But, sitting in rush hour traffic which caused a standstill on the freeway before I’d even met the squeamish embrace of Los Angeles, I began to wonder what I was doing leaving you at all. Sure, there’s some glittering appeal to the superficial beauty of Los Angeles. The smog can look a little bit like the pleasant fog of a smoky club on a drunken night. But I don’t even like smoky clubs; the clean air within your venues is part of the appeal of your late night charms. And when the smoke clears, Los Angeles really isn’t a handsome city at all.
Still, I was here. I was ready to indulge in a tantalizing whirlwind romance. I would put my differences with this new city aside and have what fun I could have here. But Los Angeles is a game player. Sure, it’s hard to navigate your one way streets sometimes, but you’re a straightforward city when compared with the circling freeways and confusing neighborhoods and distracting road rage swirling around me as I try to get to anywhere there might be to go in this new city. And when I finally gave up and decided to get a hotel, any hotel, as long as it had free WiFi so that I could get my work done … I found that free WiFi isn’t really common here. The things about you which I take for granted are the things which remind me that this affair isn’t worth my time.
When I finally found my hotel room, I waited here alone. This new lover of mine failed to turn up. Sure, it was around me, somewhere, but I couldn’t feel it. There was no passion. There was no inspiration. There was no romance. Having an affair with Los Angeles when you are in love with San Francisco is like paying too much money for a bad hooker when you have a sexy committed lover waiting for you in your fabulous home. Sure, sometimes the affair seems appealing … but when it comes right down to it, you’ve gotten all dolled up, put in a bunch of effort, taken too many risks and paid too much money just to wind up disappointed and missing what you’ve already got.
I understand that we’re in an open relationship. I support that you need to be who you are and others need to explore what you’ve got to offer. I’m willing to share. But this weekend in Southern California has confirmed it for me. You, my dear San Francisco, are “the one”.
With much love,
The Noncommittal Girl Who Finally Believes in Soulmates