by John Ellis
My first day in California was spent exploring Antioch, the bedroom community of San Francisco where my brother lived. As I drove around, stopping from time to time to explore parks and shopping districts, many of the people looked plastic to me and much of the town appeared meticulously molded in a Stepford Wives kind of way. By the end of that first day, I was somewhat disillusioned, and decided that I needed to move to the city at the first opportunity. Since San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the country in which to live, moving there required more money than I possessed.
That evening, after finding a waterfront park in downtown Antioch, I sat on a bench and called Christine. She took my confession about my lagging optimism as a signal to try and convince me to move back East. We argued as I insisted that she didn’t understand that there was nothing for me back East, an assertion that she didn’t appreciate. I soothed her anger by telling her that I wanted her to move out West to be with me. She was from California, so it made sense, and she agreed.