I waited so long. Took a plane far away from home with no intention of looking back. I saw a future prospering in front of me, a million different realities all within reach. California can be a beautiful thought, but as I learned, it’s not a place where everybody finds himself or herself; it can easily be a place where anybody can lose themselves. From knowing friends and colleagues who went through the California grind, I’ve seen both pressurized gold and culture-shocked experiences from living out there. I put it this way, you either make it out there or you don’t. Its just that simple, for every celebrity there is, there is a surplus of 50-1000 different bums who had the same starting intentions, to just end up on the streets. With this in mind, I came out there to not just find the stereotypical California lifestyle, but something different.
My time out there was beyond interesting. When I initially arrived, I remember hearing, “Forest Whitaker”, by Bad Books through an old vinyl player with self-contained speakers. That was when I met him, the roommate. A “nice” guy, graduated from college, and he couldn’t get his eyes off my ex-girlfriend even when I tried to shake his hand. He had been living with her and the other two roommates for a couple of months.
To put the following awkward drama in laymen’s, there was multiple nights I either slept alone or got kicked out on the street. Even though it was difficult being out in the middle of Oakland, I found beauty nonetheless. One night I met a bum outside, he looked elderly, so I assumed he had been around there for a while. When I was about to pass him on the sidewalk, I stopped and asked him, “Over the years, has anything around here changed?” he responded, “No, it’s always been the same”, and walked away, didn’t even ask me for a dime.