April 11th, 1991
Flight from LHR – LAX
Pacific Shore Hotel, Santa Monica, California
I love New York like there’s no tomorrow, but LA pulls at my heartstrings like no place else.
One of the many amazing perks of working for an airline is staff travel. Both my parents qualify for staff travel concessions, so mum’s ticket was just over a hundred quid, which, considering the upgrade to First Class, is pretty incredible. We crew look out for our own and make sure accompanying family members receive the best service in the best cabin, as witnessed by mum’s beaming smile after landing.
Felt pretty nostalgic on the crew bus as we whizzed our way past the palm trees, to beachy Santa Monica but mum’s incessant chatter kept me from dwelling too much on that dreadful morning last November, when David came to my room and told me he’s gay.
I can’t deny the pang of sadness I felt walking into the hotel lobby but I pushed it aside and wasted no time changing and meeting the crew in the bar, where we enjoyed the hotel’s legendary Long Island Iced Teas (a further reminder of the countless times David met me here.)
In an effort to shake off any lingering memories, I suggested we take a walk to Venice Beach. The light is one of my favourite things about this place and tonight was no exception, with pale pink streaks painting the sky as mum and I strolled down the beach, oohing and aahing at the sight of the Pacific (and the gargantuan bodybuilders!)
“What do you think, mum?” I said, taking her arm.
“It’s some place, isn’t it? I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Stunning,” she smiled. “Are you ok?”
“Uh-huh,” I nodded, breathing in the balmy air, another vivid reminder of the magical nights I spent with David, on his rooftop terrace.