A Tale of True Romance: On Love and LeAving

Thank you to Jackson Hollister for the photos that accompany this piece and to Natalie Engel for encouraging me to write on the subject. Above all, thank you for reading and my inbox is always open to discuss any thoughts or feedback that comes to mind.

With love, K.

On Love and LeAving.

I packed up and left for the weekend because I felt she had grown much too familiar.

The biggest mistake you can make in any relationship is allowing your gaze to blur someone’s truth because you’ve been staring for too long.

Of all the cliches, “distance makes the heart grow fonder” may be the most honest.

I’ve learned that she has 88 faces and 10 million personalities, but that is a hard thing to wrap your head around. A romantic at heart, I still flirt with the idea of getting to know each of them. My plight to feel that I’ve known enough of them, more than the others who have loved her, is why I haven’t left.

Every stroll, outing, or drive, no matter how familiar, is littered with surprises. This, paired with the guarantee that if I need something specific of her, I now know where to look and how to ask, is incredibly sexy. 

Those moments that I wish she treated me differently or gave me more are those moments that I’ve been let down. With age, I’ve come to find that you can’t expect any more of anyone than they can give you in any given moment.

I’d hate it if anyone expected me to do so and yet,

I’ve acted out of character to impress her on countless occasions. 

She is glamorous. She can match the best of the best even when they revert to their worst behavior. Regardless of stature or sentiment, she’ll accept you up until that point you don’t accept yourself. At that point, she’ll swallow you whole. For every dozen that she has broken, she has made one with her faulty Midas touch. 

While everyone says that they crave honesty, most cannot handle it. That is why many who have tried to befriend her, or riskier yet, fall for her as I have, limp away jaded or weak.

I often wonder if you can truly change someone in your favor. Ultimately, it’s more so your responsibility to recognize yourself in others. No matter who you are, I believe that there is an essence that is irreplaceable, irrevocable, and perhaps irresponsible in each of us that we must wear with pride.

In March, I watched as everything and everyone gave up on her, and most everything else.

I envy her ability to breathe through the smog and smoke caused by others. At times, to me, it feels impossible. In tears, a rare occurrence to which there is no appropriate reaction, she displays more life than even the strongest of characters. Every quality she puts forth is unapologetically human, yet it feels impossible that her conception came of this world. It is much too random, much too perfect.

I know that she’d have me tomorrow, or years from now, so long as I can be myself with her. At times, her undying confidence makes me question whether I’m capable of navigating even another hour. Granted, the thought of leaving her is even more suffocating.

I believe that love is learned rather than experienced or felt. Years of practice have taught me to love her like I haven’t others. My words do not affect her, and what an effect that has on most. “Fake,” they told me.

For the first time in my life, I have considered leaving Los Angeles. Like others before her, she has both seen me broken and made me. She has torn down my friends and brought me the closest relationships that I’ve held.

This is romance, no?

So when someone tells you that they know Los Angeles, whether they speak in praise or shame, remember that they cannot possibly have known each of her faces. I remind you that there are 88 boroughs and over 10 million people here, each of whom she shows her truth.

Los Angeles, you’re as real as they come.

I love you, and like the few that I truly have loved, I would rather walk away than ask you to change.