Earlier today I was driving up Santa Monica Blvd, stuck in traffic actually, more like parked on Santa Monica Blvd, staring up a very strange cloud that had been hanging over the west side all afternoon looking a bit like the clouds in Independence Day that show up just before the alien ships emerge from behind them, when it occurred to me that I was leaving Los Angeles again.
All I can do is trace the timeline like a boring history professor: my girlfriend dumped me, which in turn inspired me to quit the job I had at the time (which I hated anyway) and then I drove to Athens GA because it was the last sane moment I could think of, but I ran into a friend who was recently back from Asia so I decided to go to Asia. I didn’t have much money and I didn’t want to work. So I came out here to Los Angeles and started building websites for a friend of a friend. By the end of summer I had enough money to go on my trip. So I left, traveled around Asia for nine months and returned here to Los Angeles. Then I got a job writing for Wired from a friend.
I will never exactly understand how getting dumped and quitting what was arguably a good job in spite of the fact that I hated it, somehow managed to get me to a better place, but it did. I don’t even know why I bother to tell you these things, except perhaps as a way of expressing my gratitude to all my friends because if we back up and look at all the key plot points in the last three years of my life, none of them are the result of my talents or skills, they were all gifts handed to me by friends, very good friends, friends I wish I could do more for, friends I will miss very much now that I am leaving.
I don’t really know where I am going, but I’ll be sure to send some postcards along the way and when I raise a glass it will be, as Bukowski wrote — to all my friends.