CA and VA: My Star-Crossed Lovers

Graffiti in Los Angeles

I am awaiting my flight to Vegas on a layover in the heavily populated Phoenix airport. In an attempt to be thrifty, I am hopping three flights to get to Philly where my sister and brother-in-law live. A man just sat down next to me talking all kinds of smack to himself. He belches a lot. I felt inspired by his crudeness which is why I am writing at this moment. Thanks, you daft random man.

I left California today for Virginia. I said that like I am cheating on the place I love more than anything in the world. There was a time when my code of conduct on travel included bridges of some sort being burned before I left. When faced with my inadequacies at any given place, I sprinted to the next best destination for an easier route. (Update: the belching king is back and someone named Tom Jones keeps ignoring his name blared over the loudspeaker. Maybe his own music would persuade him to make his flight on time). I chose to revisit Virginia for reasons completely foreign to me, none resembling the abandonment I am adept at inflicting. Thanks to my family, I saw a tiny window of opportunity to save my spirit once again. If sobriety has taught me anything worthwhile at all, it’s that rigorous honesty with self and surrender to reality are non-negotiables.

I have struggled for eight months to tread the tepid waters of brokeness in LA. With as much faith and support as a person could ever hope to receive, I met every financial setback with unyielding strength and encouragement from my friends. Our program tells us we will surely meet each other as we “trudge the road of happy destiny.” With a bit of sadness in my heart, I finally had to concede that a disproportionate amount of trudging has been the norm for a little too long. The happy comes in fits and spurts, thanks to my friends and their genius sense of humor. It’s time for me to achieve a balance and to reset.

I haven’t seen my family since I’ve gotten sober. And I couldn’t be more excited to be with them. For once, I am going toward something, rather than running away. I found my home in California, but it’s time for some southern charm. I will only be gone for a couple of months, but it already feels like an eternity has passed. Forgive my dramatic attitude; I enjoy airport histrionics, it’s kind of my thing.

I am freshly tattooed with Bowie’s likeness on my arm, so at least I can bring some LA flare to the Commonwealth. This trip, like everything else, is temporary. I pray to be of service to people newly sober in VA. I will miss Los Angeles more than any place I’ve left because it is where I discovered my sobriety. I guess now is as good a time as any to exercise the 12 steps in even more dynamic ways.

Until next time,


Lucy Hartman

Lucy Hartman

I'm funnier when I'm sober.