Can I see California? (Once before I die)

© Julie Anderson All Rights Reserved

I must see California before I die.
This is not an option for myself.
I would walk the 3000 miles upon nails and razors only to see the sign that will probably read,
“Welcome to the State of California”
If that is even what it says.

I imagine the sign actually reading;
“Hey there friend, you finally made it, Welcome to California,
where the weather is always perfect and the strangers already love you.
The moment you cross over the state line, all of your problems in life just melt away.
Please feel free to find yourself a spot at one of our many beautiful beaches and enjoy the rest of your life in harmony. Thank you very much for finally making it here.
We love you so much!”

This would be a rather large sign.
I must see what it says.
I cannot die in New York State,
side by side with all of my problems and tarnished history.
I no longer question the existence of God; I only question my ability and courage to do what it takes to be happy.
God will always figure itself in the end.
But as far as my sanity is concerned, well, I suppose nowadays I’m only two sad songs away from leaving this all behind.

Richard DeFino

Ricky De Fino grew up in New York City and currently resides in Buffalo NY. When he isn’t writing about his anxiety and his crazy Bronx upbringing, he enjoys watching countless hours of television with his wife Andrea, cat Bebe and dog Zeke. Two years sober, good coffee and veganism keeps him sane. His work can be found in Two Cities Review, tNY Press, Purple Pig Lit, Dialougal and Cycatrix Press.

2 thoughts on “Can I see California? (Once before I die)

  1. Richard DefinoRichard Defino

    Hi Barbara, thank you for the feedback. Although I never been to California, I understand that it is not perfect, it’s only a childhood fantasy that I never lived out.

    I checked out your blog and your pictures are beautiful, except the spiders! We don’t have spiders nearly that big out here in NY lol. That alone makes me never want to live there, unless there’s a place with zero to little posinous spiders.

    Like yourself, I traveled and lived all over my home state, mine being NY. I think constant travel is good for the mind and soul, it’s important to see new places, meet new people and great for writing material of course.
    Thank you again.

  2. Barbara Radisavljevic

    As one born and raised in California, I find this humorous. I fled Southern California in my thirties and continued to keep moving north of Los Angeles County where I spend the first 35 years of my life. I spent the next 15 in Ventura County, which was much less crowded and had lighter traffic — at first. By the time I moved to the Central Coast in San Luis Obispo County, that was no longer true. When we revisit our old neighborhood, we hardly know it. The open fields are now housing tracts and shopping centers. Yes, the Point Mugu State Park is still a 20-minute walk, with the beach another nine miles down one of its trails, but that’s about the only remaining free space in the area now.

    The weather is not always perfect, though it is probably mild in winter compared to New York. Everyone is not always kind, though many people are. Driving the freeways in Los Angeles and Orange Counties is a harrowing experience for those out of practice and we avoid going south to visit my brother now, much as we’d like to see him, since we’ve forgotten how to drive defensively. Drivers in Southern California can be very rude. We won’t even mention drive-by shootings and road rage in Southern California urban areas.

    We do have some beautiful beaches. I’ll give you that. We have some beautiful state and national parks, especially in the northern part of the state. We also have a fire season each summer and fall when many of those forests burn, usually because of an arsonist. Many parts of our state are brown six months of the year because we don’t get much rain and water for landscaping is rationed.

    That being said, I don’t really want to move until our high tax rate here forces me to. I love living half an hour from the coast with vineyards all around me. I love the friendliness of our small town and the community spirit. But the times are changing, and once again the developers and government policies are making life more crowded and less fun.

    I hope someday you can visit California and see what’s it’s really like. My blog about California will show you what it’s like for me.

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