I am now at the age I was when I met him; 29. The way I see the world is vast and I no longer feel the need to hate everything as I did when I was 24. “Take note of what it feels like to be alive right now.” Sometimes the sauce does not come out right. Sometimes you burn the pan and have to scrape it with a spatula and pour everything down the drain. Everyone’s back on green tea, and they’re making it without caffeine now.
I take Laurel Canyon all the way to West Hollywood, my favorite way, and meet C for lunch at a spot we’ve both been wanting to try. DineL.A. is still happening, and we get a three-course meal. It’s beginning to warm up outside. On my hike this morning it was forty-six degrees, and now it’s seventy-four at 2:00pm. “Things are really starting to look up,” she says, and tries three different spoons full of soup. We are so lucky to be here.
A year ago I was knee deep in food service. I'm not too good for it now, but I was so in it that I did not see a way out. I was four days a week: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, with my other weekdays spent tutoring, driving up at down the Canyon, usually around 5:00pm, the worst time to be in the Canyon. You moved so much slower, and you lost service sometimes, the song went out on Spotify and you had to sit in silence for a while. You had to think about what you didn't have. I always bought iced coffee and it’d melt by the time my session was over. I was just trying to be myself, and I spent a lot of nights reading, a lot more reading than I'm doing now.
You’ll float back up to the surface if you’re not careful.
I bought myself a Groupon to the Salt Suite. I sat in a room covered in salt for an hour, three times a week, for a month. They had recliner chairs and iPods with relaxing music, guided meditations, and I’d bring paperwork from my therapist, activities that were supposed to help me get over my ex. I had to list my positive qualities, my negative ones, my hobbies, my interests, my fears. I had to draw lines from what I thought he was doing to what I wanted to be doing. Every so often I’d graze the floor and bring a pile of salt to my lap, feel its grit in between my fingers, release it back to the ground. I’d come out of that place covered in white streaks. I’d come out breathing differently, the salt still stuck in the back of my throat for hours.