Is This Really Where I live?

by Dori Nicole

Long Beach, Ca . Jan.22.2016

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I had mixed feelings coming home. I was excited to see a person I loved again, half excited to be part of civilization, and all the way bummed out by the time I arrived in San Francisco, the area in which my life originates.

San Francisco was my favorite city for as long as I could remember, but this time flying over it and seeing the golden gate bridge and all of the sad faces in the airport, totally took its toll on me.

I wanted to go to the flight attendant to see if I could trade in my ticket for a ticket back to Hawaii.

Take my money. All of it.

If there was any good place to be homeless, that place was it.

It was bad enough that I accidentally splurged on a meal that was way too fancy for my wallet and current state of life before leaving Honolulu. I needed a drink, right? It had to be a Mai Tai. I also was hungry so …

This happened. It was $42 . Like what? It was delicious and pretty, but If I wanted to pay for two people, I would’ve traveled with someone else who was broke but here we are. I paid it and I ate every crumb out of guilt. I should’ve looked at the menu before ordering a drink, but I was so spent I just walked in with bags in tow asking for a Mai Tai and water before I even said “Aloha.”

The perfect customer.

The drink came and I looked at the menu. My drink was $17 . Same cost as my meal. Fries were a dollar extra. Otherwise, boring potato chips that weren’t Maui Onion.

Anyway, I arrived back in Los Angeles on a very cramped flight full of people who were either on business or excited to be going somewhere new. I felt like the only person there struggling with severe depression going back. Like, “ugh L.A is such a DUMP! WHY !!!!?

And when I finally landed and had a few days stuck in my cold small apartment without wifi this time (back to reality) I took a walk to the beach that is right down the street.

Yep. A complete dump.

Life guards ruining  the entire atmosphere by driving their vehicles all over the beach yelling “no dogs allowed!”. Bums sleeping in ditches they dug, trash and beer bottles everywhere and no one to clean it up, policemen driving on the side walk.

I’m back to a place where I can’t even leave my apartment on my own without getting followed to my destination, or some meth head trying to talk to me, or someone asking for quarters. Or, the kicker, someone asking my boyfriend if he’s willing to do some interracial porn for a quick $1200.

Coming from a place where I was walking about in a swim top and short shorts with no stares or cat calls or stalkers, its going from one extreme to the next.

Here I can’t leave even if I am wearing over-sized sweat pants and a hoodie without being stalked and harassed as a woman.

Negative Nancy, right? It’s L.A!!!

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