Though departures may occur all at once physically, they are rarely emotionally complete in that same instant. Instead, we leave places slowly, draining ourselves from them a bit at a time, as our hearts and our minds gradually lose their grip on whomever and whatever they leave behind. Geographies tend to imprint themselves on my heart commensurate to the emotion I’ve felt in those places.
And so it was, that, after three years away from San Francisco, my return last weekend felt like a true goodbye. At the end of three days there—after much eating and boozing and wandering and giggling—I found myself sitting on the sidewalk of 18th street, across from Pizzeria Delfina, surrounded by all my luggage, trying to figure out a way to get back to LA early.
But let’s rewind a moment. Because I do need to tell you about meeting everyone, all the blog friends I’d known and loved virtually for the past year, in person.
When traveling the continent on break between my study abroad, my friend Debbie and I stopped in Turin, Italy for lunch. At this cute little cafe they had a list of coffees… including a latte de menta. But I guess I forgot to specify that I wanted caffe latte de menta because what I got is this:
Green, mint milk.
I hope the cafe people thought it was hilarious, because Debbie and I sure did… and it surprisingly was not that bad.
It’s just funny, because I don’t even like coffee anyway, but I was going to try it because I was traveling.
The other day I walked out of my bar method class because I drank something called “Green Milk” earlier. One push-up at the bar, and I said, NOPE. Instead of going home, I sat outside in the lobby area and chatted it up with the front desk girl and my fave gay who was teaching the next class for no other reason than I left my stuff in the cubby in the room and felt like a giant ass walking back in to get it. Anyway, there I was chatting about life, men, break-ups, rebounds, work, whatever, and this girl interrupted our conversation. I’m not trying to be too judgey here (yes I am) but she was just so LA. Her whole vibe. (And yes, I realize I’m telling a story that includes the phrases “bar method,” “green milk,” and “fave gay,” so black pot meet kettle, moving right along.)
Back to the LA girl. In her best affected SNL Californian voice, she turned to me and said, “Can I give you some advice? Someone told me once, and it really changed everything for me. All roads lead to Rome."
I let it hang there for a minute until I finally said, "Which Rome?”
She said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “Which Rome? The one that flourished or the one that fell? I really need to know. My whole love life is as stake.” (I really wasn’t trying to throw a wrench in her life motto here, but I really needed to know.)
She didn’t get it. She actually said, “I don’t get it. Rome, like in Italy.”
I started to explain but caught eyes with my fave gay who was giggling and just said, “No worries. I get it. I think you’re trying to say what will be, will be.” And she smiled.
But more importantly, I think she was onto something. I really gotta get out of LA for a minute. So here I am, putting it out into the universe. I need to travel. I just need to book an express metaphorical ticket to Rome, preferably the one that flourished, but I’ll even take the one that fell. Come on universe, let’s do this.