i'd been wondering when the really substantial california feelings would kick in. hello boys, been expecting you.

it's not the beach - i still love it, but we've been growing apart since i went to college (and no one outside of my immediate family is able to dive through the most robust waves, bless them for trying). it could be the excellent food, though i usually snag the fancy thank-you fruit baskets at work (The Corporation admires and doesn't eat their partners' gifts). it's been established that most of my friends are elsewhere, and i see more of dad on the east coast than i have in years. mom and the sisters are excellent phone buddies, so...?

i'm always asked for directions, for help with a dressing room, for the prices of random things. i could flatter myself and think that i look comfortable everywhere, but i think it's that i don't appear to be from anywhere else. i'd like to seem californian, or somethingian, but i don't have an accent, a look, regional figures of speech (excluding the time paul called me appalachian).

i found this weird little can of coke in one of my tchotchke boxes when i was packing the apartment. it was fifteen years old, a present from my elementary school best friend, back from visiting family in singapore. it was probably just like the cans they have there now, but it could have been a cool addition to our theme kitchen. i drank it on the porch and tried to think deep thoughts, instead.

it gets cheesier: said friend also brought me a miniature novelty mug from san francisco. i was going to throw it away, but mom said she was thinking of having a garage sale.

my favorite scene in monty python's the meaning of life comes toward the end, when the restaurant glutton explodes and the french waiter (eric idle) tells the cameramen to follow him outside for it, The Meaning. he takes them to the cottage where he was born, becomes intensely uncomfortable, and tells them to fuck off. in a less eventually misanthropic way, coming back to leave is like that.

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