As I drove by the L.A. skyline all light up, I felt so excited. This is where I would begin a new life. Start fresh, reinvent myself. It was about 10pm. I drove out route 10 towards the coast. When I got to Westchester, I called Jeff, the owner of the house I had arranged to rent a room in, as he had instructed me to. I waited at a Carl's Junior (a fast food joint like Burger King) for him. He showed up and said he has some things to talk to me about before we went to the house. I had Johnny, so we drove to the house, dropped off my truck and Johnny, then went to a small nearby women's bar. We sat at the bar and he bought me a beer.
He said, "Since I talked to you, we've had another house guest move in, his name is Joel, he is renting the other room and he has aids. I didn't want you to get there and be surprised."
I thought it was very nice of him to tell me, but not really necessary. This meant I would be living in a house with three gay men, Jeff, his lover Steve, and Joel. I told him I was fine with that, and thanked him for his desire to make sure I wouldn't be upset.
"And one more thing, there's another guy, Chuck, who's sleeping on the couch in the living room. He'll only be there for the month. It's just temporary." His eyes narrowed as he looked at me to see what my reaction would be.
"Okay." I said, looking around at the first few California lesbians I'd seen. I met a woman sitting at the bar. She was very nice and told me her girlfriend was in a band, and they would be playing at the Palms, a lesbian bar in West Hollywood, on Friday night if I wanted to come. I thought it might be nice, and said I would try.
Jeff and I went to the house, I met everyone, got a tour of the house, and went to my room for a good night's sleep. The next morning, I opened my eyes, looked out the window, and it was a beautiful day. Blue skies, the sun was shinning, it was warm, but not humid, perfect. I walked to the kitchen grinning. "What a beautiful day!" I exclaimed.
"You'll get used to it." Jeff said in a matter of fact tone.
"I'm going the beach to roller blade on the bike path." I said triumphantly, and Steve wanted to go with me. At the beach, on that perfect day, I looked around at the beauty of it all and wondered two things, What took me so long to get here?...and, Why doesn't everyone live here?
It turned out Steve was Jeff's lover more out of necessity than love. It gave him a roof over his head and food etc. but he was bi-sexual, and took a shine to me right away. I made it plain, I was not bi-sexual, and not interested in him at all! He continued to be creepy around me until I finally moved out, about two months later.
My Friday night at the Palms was insane. I'd been in L.A. less than a week, I was sitting in the outside patio of a fantastic bar, meeting people, listening to live music, and in walks kd Lang and her entourage, to see the band. Unbelievable, I almost fell off my stool. I didn't ask for, but was given three phone numbers that night, each woman, beautiful, and I was amazed.
The second of those three that I went out with, turned out to be my first girlfriend in California. I got myself into therapy, with a therapist that worked on a sliding scale through the Gay and Lesbian Center, and really did reinvent myself.
Moving to California on what seemed like a whim at the time, turned out to be the best decision I've ever made. As a result, I am a much better human than I was when I embarked on that journey, and my life is so much richer for it.