the surface of things

I’m sad to say I’m leaving LA, saying goodbye to the hipsters, the hippies, the rich and famous and the hustle and bustle of a beautiful, vibrant, diverse city. On the surface of things, Los Angeles might simply appear like a mass of cars in a concrete jungle that in one direction kisses the ocean and in the other meets corrugated canyons and foothills. Though I spent only a couple-few days there, it felt like a week. Strutting the streets with my girlfriend, Seti, we dipped into pastry shops, ran into celebrities, drooled over boutique items such as a pair of $610 nubuck boots and $275 jeans, ate Mexican food in a boisterous gay bar, sipped coffees and beers and wine, noshed on a sinfully delicious four dollar gluten-free vegan donut (who’da thunk?), strolled barefoot on the beach, dined outside under a full moon and laughed so hard at times I nearly wet my pants.

My time with Seti was as easy as a soft shoe, having known each other for nearly twenty-two years and having been through the thick and thin of it all. At dusk we walked arm in arm along the Venice canals which were lit with strings of lights and stars. As others strode past us I became aware that Seti and I likely appeared as lovers. I smiled at the reminder that none of us really knows another’s reality simply because of how it might appear on the surface of things.

Yesterday, after Seti and I said our goodbyes, Elizabeth and I said hello. We hugged like old friends though we’d never met before. The soft, southern voice I’d heard on the phone matched her gentle features, her loose, wavy hair, creamy skin, smiling eyes and shapely curves. She introduced me to her son Oliver who is sweet as the lemon meringue pie her chef husband baked. We made a pleasant drive out to the Valley to pick up her teenager, Henry, whose sly sense of humor I immediately appreciated, and when we got back home I met Sophie.

Sophie, eighteen, has suffered frequent seizures since she was an infant. Recently, she’d gone two weeks seizure free since having started a tincture of high-cannabidiol medical marijuana called Charlotte’s Webb. Sadly, though, yesterday Sophie had seizure after seizure at school and at home. In her thickly padded room she laid breathing deeply curled up on her bed. Noting the furrow in her brow, Elizabeth and I sat next to her stroking her arms and legs and offering reassuring messages of love.

Though I’d seen many photos of Sophie I was struck by her willowy beauty. She’s got her mothers dark eyes and her delicate face is framed in gorgeous sprays and ringlets of long blackish hair. I watched Sophie have her seizures, saw her arms and hands clench and shake. With each one something knifed my heart and I felt my own brow begin to cinch. Like when Calvin has a seizure, I silently floundered in feelings of helplessness, anger, frustration and despair at the suffering that kids like ours have to endure for a lifetime, it would seem.

I am hoping that what appears on the surface of things, these seizures Sophie is having, are just blips on the screen and that what is happening on a deeper level is healing, soothing and restorative, hoping that we've scratched epilepsy's surface, disrupted its balance, broken its electric grip.

Me and Seti over the Venice canals


  1. Aw. You've made me cry. Thank you, dear, dear Christy.

  2. Christy, I'm glad that you and your friend had each other for a brief time.