California is my home court. This used to be my playground. It still is, even if somewhat less than it once was. There's something special about leaving something/somewhere/someone you love, only to return with a longing heart and a fondness for familiar ground, honed and sharpened by absence. "I miss you, my love." You know it well. I was born in a little hole called Harbor City, raised in neighboring San Pedro just a few clicks north of the Port of Los Angeles, watching the tugboats guide in massive cargo ships through the channel. As a tyke I would frequently sit with my folks on the back patio of El Paso Cantina, loudly warning anyone who would listen that a crab was crawling up out of the murky marina water, ready to attack the first exposed toes it could find. I didn't know until much later in life how unique of a spot this was. How much those boats meant to California's struggling economy, what a longshoreman's life entailed, what (or whom) may have been stowed in those colorful lego-looking boxes stacked seven miles high on every boat...and the biggest burning question of my youth - how the fuck that boat could possibly float??
I go back there sometimes, drive down to Warehouse No. 1 out by the harbor patrol station to watch the ships. Birds too, there is always a flock of pigeons hanging around the warehouse. They segregate from the seagulls, and occasionally fuck with each other. Dock dwelling bird gangs. I really just went there for a touch of nostalgia, to connect with my childhood in a physical way. It's one of the most ingrained, vivid memories of a location that I have. It's just therapeutic. Certain places just are.
Tomorrow morning we leave for Chicago, and the tour finishes in New York with a bang. A very exciting announcement coming soon... Maybe I'm just anticipating the arctic, and movement is heavy on my mind.. but I'm feeling that FEELING. Impending adventure butterflies stirring my soul into a spicy froth. Brain's all jacked on possibility, the unknown the same swooning high that it always is. Not without it's hangover, but no fucking regrets you know?
This little corner of the country is truly incomparable in it's complete and diverse natural beauty. No matter where I go it always flares a beacon in my heart if I'm gone too long. Even the ugly stuff is slightly poetic in it's tragedy. Could be somewhat of a Hollywoodization, but almost anything you want is here, somewhere.
Anyway, If I don't see you much this year, Miss Cali.. it ain't because I don't love ya.