Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Welcome To Los Angeles

By
Welcome To Los Angeles


My reflection stared back at me, hostile as if a stranger appeared in my eyes. The candy-coated sky no longer resembled the vibrant blue M&M stuck thousands of miles above clouds, rather had been blotted with ink, no longer preserving any artificial color. Black, tainted by none other than the shadows of the unknown, became more real to me than the pilot flying his massive jet above the cluttered city asleep below.

“We will now prepare for arrival, please put your tray tables up and place your seat in the upright position as we make our final descent into Los Angeles,” a blonde haired Barbie doll interrupted, as my mind entered its own descent. I’d been here before. Yes, in fact I was familiar enough to yank the intercom from the flight attendants grip and announce the plunge myself.
“We will now prepare for arrival, please put vacation aside to face reality and place your feet on the ground, towards the upright position as we make our final descent into what I call, my infected world.”
I belted myself to the chair, doubting the safety a lousy seat belt would provide. I’d flown on many planes before and never once had trusted their strength. Each flight, a new smile was plastered onto a middle-age woman bound to her duty of serving drinks to the ornery and blankets to the uncovered, yet not one, especially that nights blonde bombshell, had covered me from the apprehension I awaited yet again.
November 9th: 12:00 AM
We arrived to Ryan’s apartment okay, if you set aside the fact we were welcomed into a chimneystack. Time after time he never fails me. Well, truth beholds, he fails me every single time, and yet never seems to prove himself wrong- he’s not giving up his Marlboro #27 Blend whether it upsets my family or not. I suppose it’s only mom, dad, and I who are the worrywarts, but that would be enough (for me, at least) to quit before it’s too late. I guess he doesn’t respect us? Or well, I know smoking is addicting… but wouldn’t he rather see us happy and proud of his decisions? I guess I just hate being welcomed into an ashtray by the hands of an irritated brother hardly noticing through his bloodshot eyes that his baby sister, the one he prayed to have move out to the west coast, is here for a visit. Hopefully by morning he’ll be thinking clear? Man, I hate having to see my dad ignore what hurts him the most. Maybe tomorrow will clear things up- for all of us.
I began to focus on what I was there to clear up this time- my future. In the past dozens of visits, I can recall sitting through countless family counseling meetings, or what I referred to as the see-how-many-ceiling-tiles-I-can-count-without-making-eye-contact-with-the-intimidating-shrink session spanning from facilities situated in the Hollywood Hills to Malibu bluffs, and everything A-Z between. Five different facilities, multiple visits each, yet one ongoing dilemma. Assuming the main goal I wanted to accomplish this trip was to visit colleges and allow myself for a broad horizon of opportunities, I realized I was not about to allow myself to slip off the edge of sanity for the next three days. This trip I wanted to set aside all worries of Ryan and determine what best suited my future. Independence longed to be achieved, right? I soon found out, the answer to justice was wrong.
Again (and again and again), I’ve found myself trapped, suffering between the jaws of an addict’s vicious lifestyle. What scared me was that this addict and I shared the same name, and even contained identical blood pumping through our veins. That day, he arranged to meet with his therapist, but I was informed I myself must accompany him. No way, now how, I thought would I be dragged into the deep-end I was balancing above. I had no intentions whatsoever of getting involved with more of those see-how-many-ceiling-tiles-I-can-count-without-making-eye-contact-with-the-intimidating-shrink sessions. Wasn’t I just craving an independent weekend focusing on what I need to accomplish? Nowhere in my itinerary did I see a roadmap connecting my destiny to Dr. Jeff’s house- 10650 Prosser Street Beverly Hills, CA.
November 10th: 11:00 A.M.
I absolutely, positively, certainly, HATE when he treats me like this. Just because he is loaded with stress from suffering yet again a pitiful downward stint, doesn’t mean that he should scream at me for being scared. I’m so just downright upset right now because he takes all of his anger out on everyone else. Here’s the situation: I ask what we’re doing today, he tells me visiting Dr. Jeff. So, logically, or at least what I assumed logically, I asked what I would be doing while he and dad were in their session. Well, then he told me that my own session was before theirs, an instantaneously I freaked. How couldn’t I when I had never in times of “Sunday visits” been by myself faced with his therapist. Automatically I asked dad if he’d sit in with me, and agreed 100% that he’d do anything if it would help make me comfortable. After all, this wasn’t his set up. Ryan, however, screams at me telling me I’ll never be able to grow up if I make mom and dad hold my hand for everything I “should be able to handle on my own.” But I’m fine. I don’t need any stupid therapist to analyze my situation. I know, or at least, knew… what I came here for. We argued and argued the fact that I didn’t want to go. I mean, come on, I’m visiting for three days and one he wants me to spend stressed under the watch of some psychopath. I’m sure Jeff is a great guy, but I sincerely want nothing to do with Ryan’s dumb addict maze I chase through daily, today. I have no way out… and unfortunately he is yelling as I write this for me to get in the car. We’re late- of course, my fault…
Remembering the car ride was worse than any memories of passing miles on previous “therapy session” occasions, because this time I wasn’t supportive. My brain suffocated itself with an army of swarming regrets, but I was stuck seat belted into his Dodge Dakota, strapped above the 405. Generally, I face what I’ve got to face. But for some reason my stubborn attitude was as immovable as the skin wrapped around my bones. I guess an hour of sitting with a sour stomach suffering the damage Ryan’s lead foot had created with the brake petal had been enough to bribe me out of the car into the fresh air. Step one, two, three, four. I couldn’t believe it, I was actually making my walk of shame up the driveway, not making eye contact with anything but the specks of dirt wedged inside the crevices of cement.
November 10th: 7:00 P.M.
Alright, I admit. I finally gave in to what terrorized my memory. Over and over I heard the words “holding my mom and dad’s hand my whole life,” creating the one incentive which placed my foot slowly through his doorway. I guess it was something I had to face, seeing as what I’d came to do was break into my independence. I trusted my older brother would want the best for me, yet when he’s failed me all of his life, I’m confused by every little move he makes or word he speaks. I guess I just have to grow up sometimes and learn to trust old failures, right? Well so much for this trip being relaxing. I think talking to that guy was one of the most anxious feelings I’ve ever felt. Anyways, who asks some of the stupid things that came out of that mans mouth? I need some serious sleep.
What passed with dreams of living lives of happiness brought the final morning to my trip. After visiting two colleges, you’d think I would have a new life plan unfolding in my mind, but unfortunately I left this time with little remembrance of the tours. It’s true I had unanswered questions about “will I be happy here?” or “do many kids enjoy being here?” but those weren’t about the schools. They concerned the general role of my life, and what I face when finding peace with my big brother- or at least attempting. As I gazed at the reflection in the mirror onboard Boeing 737 flight to Chicago, I had no urge to steal the flight attendants thunder. I had already announced where I was headed. Chicago, more or less just a word in my mind, was not where my plane was landing. No, mine already had taken flight the moment I faced one of the biggest fears of my life. A buckled my seatbelt and this time trusted those measly clasps that surprisingly fit right into place. I began to wonder, how the tiny wheels continue to support such baggage onboard a massive jet, each and every trip. Although, this isn’t their last journey- these wheels were built to last.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback