This essay reminds me of my own experience of California and the dramatic differences between the northern section of the state and the south. I associate Sacramento with depression and Los Angeles with hope.
When I was ten years old, on the cusp of the great American recession, life as I knew it was split in half when my stepfather got an offer for a better-paying job up North. With the promise of more money to guide us, my erratic family left the chaos of our native Los Angeles behind, and swiftly made our way up the I-5 to finally settle down in the quiet suburb that would become my hometown.
When the U-Haul dropped us off in front of our rental home in Northern California, the first muggy curtains of autumn had already gone down with a vengeance…
Seasons were grueling. Summers were bright and scorching, fall was soft and cool, and winters were pitch-dark and soaked to the bone with rain. From October to February, it was impossible to tell when you were supposed to get out of bed and when you were supposed to go back to sleep, because it looked like the middle of the night all day long.