Another rainy morning in Beachwood Canyon. Anytime I’m driving up into the canyon, I think of you. Especially when it rains.
I work in a house situated deep in a hill with the Hollywood sign virtually in the backyard. I’ve watched Moby DJ in his own basement somewhere in the twists and turns of Hollyridge Drive. I’ve gazed out over the LA skyline at the foot of an infinity pool and idled my embarrassing Volkswagen next to a thirteen car all-Audi garage.
But your friend’s house is special. A sprawling view of Los Angeles, with every major landmark visible in striking panorama and clarity. The grand piano juxtaposed by his DJ equipment made it feel sophisticated yet unpretentious. The maple furniture and the flooding sunlight were bright and inviting. Chairs, couches, pillows and rugs were all different textures. You could abandon the rush of the world at the bottom of the hill, and sequester yourself up there for a deep exhale of relief.
It feels like I left a piece of myself in that house that I’ll never be able to get back. It remains there, invisible and unnoticed, lost somewhere.
I remember how crisp the air was that Saturday night in October as I carried a celery root gratin in a tin baking tray up the driveway. My first time visiting that house. Remember my phase of seeing how many different ways I could cook celery root? You and your best friend were preparing to carve pumpkins in the charming fifties-style kitchen. There were already a few bottles of wine uncorked and it smelled warmly of roasted chicken and herbs. It was a perfect Autumnal attack of the senses, and now I conflate Fall weather with entering his house for the first time.
I’ve never felt so at home in an unfamiliar house ever in my life. Watching you shuffle around the kitchen, tending the to chicken in the oven, slicing a cheese plate, and then carving your pumpkin as you sipped your wine was so comforting to me. It’s sexy to observe a person take pleasure in their current moment, deep in their element and surrounded by things they love.
We shared a dinner we all helped cook over lots of drunken banter and laughter. We tried, but mostly failed, at carving the pumpkins. You did your makeup and we Ubered into Hollywood to watch your friend DJ at some club.
Drunk off of gin and tonics, I don’t quite remember getting back to his house. I do remember quickly staggering up those steps with you, unable to keep our hands off each other. Seemed like our clothes were on the floor seconds of getting past the foyer. The sex was a blur, but messy and loud. I don’t remember turning the lights off or falling asleep. Just sweating and screaming and nails digging into my back.
I woke up having only the edge of the king sized bed to myself while you were spread out in a free fall pose across the rest of it. When I got up to grab water, I caught your silhouette illuminated by the bright grey 7 AM fog. You were naked on your back, sheets kicked off. Hair a mess, all of your tattoos exposed. Your skin glowed in the dawn twilight, the gentle calm before the harsh morning sun. It was so quiet I could hear myself breathe, and even the slightest rustle of the sheets felt too loud. I was afraid that if I stepped on the wrong floorboard, the creak would wake you, and I didn’t want to ruin such peaceful beauty.
Out of any beautiful view in Beachwood Canyon, this one was the only one I wanted. I knew then, I wanted it every morning.
I showered and picked up all of our clothes that got strewn all over the floor in the heat of the moment — my Acne jeans, your underwear. I joined you in the kitchen, hoping coffee and eggs would ease my hangover, counting four wine bottles in the trash. I gazed out the window, using my coffee mug as a hand warmer. The side of the hill was so green and lush, fog so thick you could touch it. Eerie and serene. It was misting a bit.
In that moment, everything fit. The dimly lit fifties-style kitchen, BMW in the driveway, the view from the window, you in nothing but a tee shirt. Sitting across from you with no real urgency for conversation, but with the vivid memory of the black dress you wore the night before. That kindred connection that neither of us had to speak about, but was tangibly evident.
“I could get used to this,” I said.
I guess that was my way of telling you, “The harmony of this very moment is making my love for you grow roots.”
Nothing special happened in that moment, except that there was no doubt in my mind that I loved you. No question. I loved you totally, completely, free of conditions or expectations. It was a calm and quiet click. Simple and warm.
Gentle and honest.
The kind of love that makes you believe people really do have souls.
I still think about how it felt to be so fulfilled by another person in such a seemingly average setting. I think about how as I gazed out at the rainy mist that fell over the canyon, you made perfect and passionate sense to me. It made me realize that’s what love actually is: Average moments that become extraordinary when shared with the right person.
I don’t know where that piece of me is at his house. Maybe it’s in that coffee mug I held. Maybe it got cast somewhere in that echoing hallway while we were stumbling through it at 2 AM. Maybe it’s under the pineapple coffee table or hidden amongst the strings in the grand piano. Maybe it got stuck in the couch cushions as I was sprawled out in tears of laughter. Maybe I left it out on the balcony as I held your dog in my arms and took in how pretty Griffith Observatory looks at night.
I don’t know where I left a piece of myself in his house, but I do hope you find it for me. You can keep it, I don’t want it back.