There is no way to mark time in Southern California.
Every season feels the same, every month as perfect as the last.
March feels like November, October like April, June like January.
There is no unbearable heat like the Summers of Texas. No horrible ice and snow of the North-East. The colors of fall look like the colors of spring. Christmas feels like Easter! Easter feels like Halloween!
You’ll go mad trying to remember a place in time, a moment past.
I remember a day, in eighth grade. I remember the ride in my mom’s car. I know I was in eighth grade because I only went to that school one year.
What month was it? Who knows? Felt like October, which felt like July.
I remember the day like yesterday, the day we found out our friend Stephan killed his dad.
I remember being shocked but not surprised, confused but totally understanding exactly what it meant.
It meant things would never be the same. The seal on my innocence was worn before, but now it was completely broken. The possibility of death was always a part of my childhood, but the possibility of murder was now completely real.
I remember not talking to any of my friends about it because I only had one friend then and he wasn’t at school that day. I remember watching a kid vomit in the middle of the quad at school. His vomit was bright orange and I remember wondering what he could have eaten or drank to make it that color. Cheetos? Orange Crush?
I remember sitting by myself, wondering if I would ever murder someone, wondering if this feeling would become the new normal. My reality was change forever, nothing would ever be as it was before. All my thoughts were tainted by this new possibility.
But the sun was still shining, and the grass was still green, and the trees still had leaves, and I was still wearing shorts.
When did it happen? Who knows?
There is no way to mark time in Southern California