Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Going Home Again

I grew up in Manhattan Beach.

If I haven't been back in a while (say, six months), it changes. Businesses come and go. Houses go up. Others get torn down. And bigger houses go up where those were.

It looks a lot different than it did when I grew up there. And yet, in some ways, it doesn't change a bit.

It's a beach town. A faster-lane beach town than I remember. But still an informal, easy-going place where shoes were never really required, except if the sign said so. If our feet were tough enough to endure the heat of the pavement or the sand, well, then we went bare foot. No one really cared.

It's a town where people from all over the country -- and at this point, probably the world -- come by themselves and make new lives. They graduate from college and leave Iowa or New Jersey or Texas or New Delhi or Glasgow or Copenhagen -- and they never look back.

It was rare, when I was growing up there, to be a native. I can't imagine that's changed. It's very impermanence is a part of the permanent face of it that I remember the most.

I loved growing up there.

I'm revisiting it with Natalie and Christo. I'm wandering down to the beach at 10th Street where I used to go every day.

I'm walking out on the pier, doing a bit of body surfing, letting Christo take a surfboard out early before he heads off to be a high-powered hard-edged Presents hero. It's humanizing him. And it's giving me a mini-vacation in my head.

Anyone out there from MB? If so, speak up. Tell me what it's like for you now. Anyone visited recently? Let me know.

Christo is talking to his grandmother on the phone. I think he's saving the cat. I had no idea that was why he was doing it.

I guess if surfing doesn't make you like him, maybe the fact that he loves his grandmother will.

Thank you, Blake Snyder. I'm glad someone out there knows why I write the things I write.

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