I spend every weekday morning waiting for the bus in the Bronx on my way to work. When it’s below freezing, and the wind chill is just making things worse, I start to think about how these boots are great and this coat is badass but too bad neither protect my face. I think about investing in a ski mask and goggles. I start to wonder if yesterday was the day my metrocard expired. I think about Los Angeles. I tell myself, “I’d be safe and warm, if I was in L.A.”
The last time I was in L.A., it was unseasonably cold. It was back in January, and while it was certainly warmer than it was in New York, it was cold enough that local newscasters were saying that Tinseltown had been hit with an “arctic blast.” I remember sitting by the infinity pool at Mac Miller’s house, hanging out with Mac’s friend Jimmy, Anwar Carrots, and Casey Veggies while Mac was inside shooting scenes for his reality show, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family. Anwar, the lanky but supremely stylish L.A. wizkid who makes up half of Peas and Carrots International, remarked, “It ain’t that cold today.” I remember thinking, “It’s never supposed to be cold in L.A.”
The thing about being in warm weather is that your mood changes, even if your life doesn’t.
The thing about being in warm weather is that your mood changes, even if your life doesn’t. Music is the same way. When the icy wind slaps me across the face, my ears feel fine as my oversized headphones serve as earmuffs. And on cold days like these, I play the warmest song I’ve heard this year, Haim’s “If I Could Change Your Mind.” The Valley girls sound like their voices were soaked in California sunshine—the beat shimmers, my heart flutters. Listening to it is like waking up the morning after with the taste of sugar on my tongue and glitter in my hair—but I can’t figure out how it got there.
It sounds like a vague, distant memory. But I don’t want to know what it is, that would just ruin it for me. I learn something new everyday, but I just want to forget. Nostalgia is warm, and nothing is colder, and harder, than a fact. My memories take me back to L.A. I want to go back. I could see it now. I’m at LAX dragging my all black Swatch carry-on, sporting Ray-Ban wayfarers. I take off my jacket, step into a cab, the driver turns back and asks, “Where to?”
And then the bus comes.
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