Dear Uncle John,
You know you were always my favorite right? You were the one that knew what it was like to stick out. You were my John.
I did it, you know. I finally made it to LA, to your city. It wasn’t right though, because you weren’t here. I wanted more than anything to see it the way you saw it. I wanted to eat from a taco truck, to speak the Spanglish that you knew so well. I wanted to see the LA that you loved, the LA that you carried on about when I was a kid. The LA that loved you back, before it became part of your disease.
I visited with Scotch, the way you wanted me to. I saw the house, the tortoise, and his beautiful babies. He has babies, you know. Three of them. Most beautiful ones I’ve seen. I held it together, because I could see that he is still hurting, the way that I am. Seven years and you’re still breaking our hearts. We talked about you some. We talked about how it didn’t feel right for me to be there, when you weren’t.
When I left his house, I held back my tears so I could drive. I didn’t know where I was going. I crossed the street that you lived on most of your time in West Hollywood. I turned off my GPS when I should have turned to go back to my hotel. I just drove. Down Santa Monica Boulevard to the ocean. Just in time to watch the sun setting.
It isn’t right. You should have been there. Marveling in my success. Marveling at the fact that after years as the only girl, I’m about about to be surrounded by them. Instead your disease took you with heroin and cheap vodka. I’m still mad at it for that. You should have been there. You should have seen the sunset with me.