I lived here for only a few years, but they were significant.
My first job after law school, I worked on elections in Bosnia, so my path to the bar was all fucked up. I left the day before I graduated, and was off the grid for 4 months. You could barely send mail across the country, much less to the US.
So I came back, took the Bar in LA, then moved to Oakland because friends had moved there, I had nothing better to do, and because they hooked me up with a cheap one bedroom in a dangerous ghetto that was too cheap to resist. My now-wife moved in pretty quick, and in 1998 we were making a home in that shitty neighborhood.
That neighborhood is now gentrified and expensive. What were liquor stores with drug dealers are now coffee shops and tea houses. But I have ghosts here.
I have written and shared here about my two amazing boys, but I have not talked about my first son, Franklin. You see, he was born dead; perfectly and fully formed, alive mere hours before, but born dead.
Usually, the umbilical cord is coiled tight like an old school phone cord, and cannot be kinked. Sometimes, for reasons that are not understood, the cord is straight like a garden hose, as it was for Franklin, and he cut off his own blood supply by tucking his chin. And he was gone. My youngest had the same issue, but with monitoring and early induction, he was born alive and well.
What is the difference? By the time my youngest was born, I had a better job, more money, and better insurance. When our first died, our healthcare was a public assistance program that no longer exists.
You might think of me as conservative because of what I do, but I had to watch my wife give birth to a dead child because I did not do enough, and because our health insurance was not good enough to be taken seriously. I worked on single payer for California the first time. We got crushed.
Coming back here makes me remember because he died here, but this place has a lot of memories of love as well. This was our first home together. It hurts, but it is also part of what binds us as a family
Sorry for getting serious on you, but I am 180 miles from the Sunchaser. Forgive me.