A Short, Sad Love Story

A Short, Sad Love Story

My brief love affair with Los Angeles coincided with the similarly brief and most intense relationship I’ve ever had. It began in the spring- blossoming out of the lonely winter I had endured, and waned as summer ended. It’s a story as old as the seasons themselves, and as cliche as that entire sentence was.

I don’t have to get too into it, the joys of a new relationship and a new city are about the same – not exactly a groundbreaking analogy. Discoveries and possibilities abound. Everything is scary and thrilling and wonderful. You ease into your surroundings and get to know one another, every fault and quirk.

They began parallel to one another, like two comets hurtling side-by-side towards utter destruction. Bright flashes, loud sounds, and the promise of everlasting joy. Hot and dirty nights of excess followed by bright, lazy days. Bright neon lights that peter out to grey, dismal reality while the LED still flickers in your eyes. A fluorescent glare that highlights all the ugliness we work so hard to hide.

I would do anything to recapture those fleeting moments of happiness. Golden sunlight, ice cream, escaping other people to camp under the stars. If I could have seen the misery that awaited me in the autumn, would I have been able to change anything?

Would I have stayed my course and meandered down the same path I do every time? The path where I destroy relationships and punish myself for trying to have something good. I’m aware that this happens every time, without fail, because something in my heart tells that I don’t deserve it.

I really had been trying to overcome the hurdles I threw in front of myself, and I’d been so hopeful. The kind of hope that makes you sick to your stomach with longing. It’s hard to fight off your enemy when it’s inside of you though. Things fall apart.

I’m back where I never intended to be – a crumpled broken mess of a person with no ambition of joy left. Grubby, tear-streaked days. Chasing that same loving high with drugs and alcohol. Eager to feel something again. At least I can wallow in comfortable familiarity here in the ugly depths of my own darkness.

Every once in a while I’ll sneak a out a claw and grasp at passersby with the hope that they’ll be seduced into caring about me. I can put on enough charm and be interesting enough until they see through the facade. When they push just a little too hard and discover that I’m rose petals with broken glass lurking underneath. They’ll cut up their feet while running away, leaving me disheveled once all over again.

I’ve given up on chasing relationships with people and places that don’t completely want me. This means moving back to San Diego, learning to love myself a little more, and realizing that I shouldn’t let another relationship absorb me so completely. I will continue to wander and travel; to make attempts at building friendships that won’t last because I’m not the right kind of person for that kind of thing.

A person that belongs anywhere.

I’m a photographer, painter, writer, and brewer based out of SoCal

Keep up with Ashley on Instagram