A Different Puppy?

I’ve been back in Los Angeles for a few weeks now and have commenced with seeing my Los Angeles Facebook friends.  In many ways, the journey I had on the road is continuing in a more local context.  In other ways, it’s a completely different beast.  But a beast that I love, so maybe it’s a different puppy?  I’m staying with an adorable boxer right now (a dog, not a man who boxes, though staying with an adorable boxing man could be quite the adventure!).  Maybe I have dogs on the brain.  Perhaps a horse of a different color?  Same journey.  Different nuances.

The “rules” have changed slightly.  Many of my Facebook friends, I actually see in my everyday life.  Others, I bump into randomly because we run in the same circles or neighborhoods.  In either case, seeing someone counts.  But not from across the room.  We do have to have a conversation.  It can make getting a picture a little awkward.  I went to pick up a friend of mine at her house where she lives with 4 other women, 3 of whom are my Facebook friends.  One of the roommates was in the final throes of finishing her thesis on the couch.  We said a few words, then snapped a picture.  That felt dumb and intrusive, so I may modify that a bit.

But with the exception of people that I know I will see regularly (like the musicians I rehearse with weekly), the same method applies to LA as on the road: I have to give everyone a chance to get together.  At first, it was easy to copy and paste a message to people.  But then all the responses started coming back, and I find myself scheduling and rescheduling and planning based on geography and traffic.  This means spending a LOT of hours staring at my computer screen sending and receiving emails.  My new calendar is getting a workout.  I finally went to purchase a 2012 paper book last week–yes, I like to kick it old school.

But it’s all wonderful.  Just as on the road, the enthusiasm from people on the other end is encouraging and exciting.  And I get to do fun and different activities I didn’t always get to do on the road.  I’m trying to attend a lot of the events I get invited to on Facebook.  It is a Facebook road-trip-social-experiment after all.  The other night, I went to my friend’s gig in Hollywood.  It has always been one of my favorite pastimes in this city to support my musician friends.

Ironically, though we live in the same city, I hadn’t seen that friend in a couple years.  That’s happened a few times and will continue to happen as I reconnect with friends here.  I have found that my social circles in my tenure in LA have often spun and rotated at a rapid pace, flinging me into and out of groups more quickly than other places I’ve lived.  But as is the case with the world of Facebook, I keep the cyber-connection even though our paths may have diverged.

But then there’s a lot of normal life.  Seeing friends who I will see over and over again whether they have a number or not.  Getting my iced americano from my barista and former coworker.  Errands.  Cleaning.  I still don’t have an address.  But at this point, that’s normal, too.  I’m anxious to get rooted and stable, but fending off that impulse for a little while longer.  In the meantime, normal and everyday life also involves the simple joy of playing outside on a sunny afternoon while watching my friend’s toddler and my friend’s dog.  May you enjoy this brief moment on a screen as much as I enjoyed it over and over for a couple hours in the flesh.

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