When I lived in Pasadena but worked in Hollywood and took the Gold Line (monorail!) to the subway to the bus to and from work each day, my life was kind of hell.
My boss knew this and always offered me a guest bedroom at her place during pilot season, since we were working crazy hours and would often be at the office really late. The later you use public transit in LA- or anywhere, I suppose- the sketchier it gets.
I’d always say no, because this woman was a ball of frenetic energy that never stopped moving or talking, and though I loved working with her, I always felt exhausted at day’s end by both the job and her, and needed to be alone. One night, I was so tired that I caved and said yes.
She had a beautiful four bedroom Spanish-style house not far from the office, with a plant-filled terrace, an enclosed cobblestone patio area, guest bedrooms with crazy soft sheets and perfect mattresses, a fridge filled with REAL FOOD (mine contained exactly: mustard, bread, eggs, kool aid, goat cheese, old milk), and she used to be an artist, so the whole place was really well decorated.
It was already late, and after we fixed a quick dinner and had a glass (goblet) of red wine each, she brought me to the guest room, tossed me a some pajamas and a St. Regis robe that felt like it was made out of the Snuggles bear, advised me to mind her friend/houseguest in the next bedroom (“You’ll meet him tomorrow. Very quiet, though. He was in that movie ‘Trainspotting’ - have you seen it?”) light a Dyptique candle, and she’d wake me for work in the morning.
I’d normally have to set my alarm with 4 backups, and if someone was trying to wake me up it would take multiple tries. But on that morning, I arose on my own accord, even before she did. I felt completely calm, well-rested, relaxed, and almost happy.
Maybe it was the comfortable bed, or the fact that I knew I didn’t have to get up two hours early to commute to the office, or the fact that I knew I could have a real breakfast instead of trying to discreetly scarf down a Special K bar on a bullet train speeding along between the freeways, or the fact that it felt really nice to have a boss who seemed genuinely concerned with my comfort (she’s also Canadian) and wanted to give me a break from my sort of awful life at that point, but I felt happy and calm for the first time in a very long time.
I lay there for awhile, just listening to what a morning sounds like and enjoying the light. Eventually I reached for my phone, not to turn off blaring alarms or scan my work emails, but to take this picture as a reminder of that moment where I let myself breathe.
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