So I made it out of LA after a week or eating and sightseeing, including a lovely trip up the coast to San Francisco with friends. It felt like an actual holiday. Though as well as a holiday this is supposed to be the start of my next project about my mum. But I can say that I did not feel any attachment what so ever to LA in connection with my mum, I could not even imagine her living there. I can see why she hated it so, and perhaps this was a silly place to try to start the story from. It was over 50 years ago that she lived here, there is no longer anyone here who knew her and the food could not be more different, so the story about her life and food has not really started yet. I did a bit of visiting her old neighbourhood (Beverly Hills), and her old school (Beverly Hills High), but they brought up no emotions at all. She hated living here and hated her school with a passion, so what I really expected to find I am not sure. I certainly do not want to illustrate a book with pictures of bland buildings.
So I left LA last Wednesday, I’m out on my way to do a road trip. I going to some of the places she used to talk about. First stop was Death Valley, I stayed there for 2 nights and loved it. While driving down the long highways surrounded by the mountains and salt lakes I realised she had seen these exact same views. The view has not changed for thousands of years, unlike LA. So it felt nice looking at these for the first time and imagining her first time as a young child seeing the same prehistoric landscapes. Without sounding too cringy I really felt her around me, somewhere, I imagined her on top of the mountain having fun. I really miss her, all through this trip I keep thinking oh can’t wait to tell her about that… and then I remember. A lot of the anger and guilt feelings are fading and now it’s more a sad lonely feeling, and a feeling of hopelessness in a way because I just have to except it, there is nothing else I can do. She would have loved this trip, that’s what perhaps makes me feel more sad, that she is missing out, but she would be really happy that I am doing it, so that is what I keep remembering.
I am back on the road tomorrow, heading The Grand Canyon way. I stopped over in Las Vegas, thank god I am leaving tomorrow. It is truly horrendous in so many senses of the word. Looking forward to getting back to the country roads. The driving out here is fantastic, I enjoy it more than the stops. You can go where ever you want, the scenery is always fascinating or weird, you can blast load music, sing along, scream, cry, and stuff your face with Mucho Cheese (a new addiction of mine, best described as a genetically modified Wotsit), and swig Root Beer…living the (American truck drivers) dream.