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I’ve been out of Hollywood for a while and my feet know this—they feel the dirt of the sidewalks. My lungs noticeably breathe in the car exhaust. I even flinch when men too tall or too burly casually walk toward me, heading down Vine, knowing what they must know, going where they must go; not giving a shit about me. But I give a shit. I notice. I’ve been gone too long. I care. I worry. Every bout of Tourette’s throws me into a minor frenzy of fear.  Oh Hollywood. Oh Hollywood, you crazy, wild beast of a city.

It’s been nearly six months and new restaurants have sprouted as if someone dumped a gallon of fertilizer upon them. Bookstores have died. I’m not sure where Bob is—perhaps he moved from Franklin to Ivar near the Library. Perhaps he packed up his grocery cart and scooted off to somewhere that I can’t even imagine. I noticed that the newsstand shrank and that Japanese place closed its doors for good. My sister will be sad (she had her first date with her husband there). But things change.  She packed up all of her little boxes and labeled them with words like “Bathroom”, “Kitchen” and “Breakables” and she moved home. Oleg moved across town, Matt to Ohio, Meg to the country. Friendships have fizzled. Things change.

But today I am meeting Alice who still lives on Yucca. We are going to see a movie that will make us weep aloud inside of the theatre. We are going to eat chocolate and drink coffee.  So we are walking down Cahuenga and I see Steve and that one guy that use to order a double cappuccino. So maybe things aren’t too different. Maybe, just maybe, I can still call it home after all.

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