River Hill

Nearing the end of our senior year we set out on many mid-day strolls up canyons: in Studio City, in Sherman Oaks, in Hollywood. It was during the time we became engrossed with the idea of co-writing a novel together, about Aleka and Ramona, about their friendship and their lovers, about drugs and death and Venice Beach. We had idea-jotting meetings all along the boulevard, in coffee shops, with our feet in the bubbling hot tub of the Regency apartments, we once even walked thirty four blocks along Ventura blvd in the scorching spring valley sun, brainstorming plot lines the entire way. It was during one of our canyon meanders that we discovered River Hill. It's entrance masked as the driveway of connecting hilltop houses, walking passed it would have never given it's existence away. But that single afternoon, our confiding limbs guided us to a paradise of rolling green hills, of oaks and willows, with a single narrow dirt path mottled with snake holes stretching down the middle. We sat on patches of dry earth and watched the city below, watched street lights begin to ignite, watched a coral glow follow the sun to lands beyond the horizon. We never did write our novel, at the end of that summer I stuffed my life into two suit cases and headed fifteen hundred miles north.