Once you make up a place in your head and you visit it, it loses its luster. Either you start knowing too many people there, you see the bad side of it, your friends say something irrational to you about your past relationships and all you want to do is go somewhere safe, and there is no safe.
There is just a large city named San Francisco where you saw your favorite band at a really awesome venue that was close to a really awesome coffee shop and a sketchy smoke shop. I loved that city in the middle of the night, taking the Muni back to a couch that I slept on, covered in fog. The city didn’t love me though, it didn’t offer me safety and understanding, like I thought it would. It wasn’t a shelter I could run to when I was exhausted of being in the middle of a state that people think is made of gold.
There’s no gold here. There never will be. There never was.
There was that time at Treasure Island Music Fest when Youth Lagoon was playing when you got high with that cute stranger from Sacramento who thought Los Campesinos! were okay. Then your friend decided it was a good time to pass out and you didn’t get the strangers name.
There was that time you got on a plane in Fresno to fly to Seattle.
There was that time when you went to Cambria and wrote “Love is real” in the sand because you’d been obsessively listening to Bright Eyes on the way there.
There was your almost grandfather, who’s buried in the town over from yours, he taught you about WWII, gave you a pet frog, and for you seventh birthday gave you a box he’d gotten in Japan. You keep it close all of the time, because you believe his soul is connected to it.
There is all of those times you decided that you didn’t want to be there.
There is that boy who you loved and fucked and fucked over. The one with the dead best friend, dead mom, and girlfriend he cheated on with you for almost a year. You miss him, but you know it’s no good anymore.
There is no gold here. There is just a past.