FOUR | I LEFT MY HEART IN L.A.

JAY COPES 

"To me, dusk is the most beautiful, but it means the coming of night... And now the night makes me uneasy." (Pg 47)

"My concept of fun changed after Josh died--a lot had changed." (Pg 47)

"I poured myself a glass of Patron and downed it before I headed downstairs to call for a taxi." (Pg 49)

Back in Chapter 2, Jay says, "It's tequila I try to stay away from. That stuff really messes me up." (Pg 20) The tequila represents Jay's current state of mind and his willingness to consume what he claims messes him up.

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THE AMBER EYES

"I suddenly snapped out of my trance and realized we were passing Times Square. I swiftly moved from the right seat to the left, completely averting my eyes from the massive billboard that overwhelmed me every time I passed it.

 

"It was a digital Louis Vuitton billboard that lit up half of Times Square--partially because of the lighting, but more so because of the eyes. I knew the eyes on that massive billboard--those amber eyes. They belonged to Val.

Whenever I passed through Times Square, I made sure to sit on the opposite side of her billboard. Each time I saw it, it took me back to a place I spent the last seven years struggling to bury." (Pg. 49)

Jay consistently recognizes Val by her amber eyes, and his inability to look her in the eyes portrays his inability to process the trauma he faced when he lost Josh.

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JAY PEOPLE-WATCHES

"I didn't want to admit it, but diving into other people's stories seems to keep me going. I no longer wanted to be a part of my own story." (Pg 50)

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"Over the past seven years, I've developed an obsession with nightlife, and I spend every night going to a different club or bar to people-watch. I watch how every club operates and the way people interact with one another. Each individual with their own unique story." (Pg. 50)

"I dissected each individual's scenario based on what I could see. I pieced together jewelry with hairstyles and clothing--mannerisms and conversations alike--just observing... Creating my own reality the way I wanted." (Pg. 58)

In this chapter, I want to show how Jay copes with Josh's death. While he would tap into his gift of reading people as a teenager, we see him now obsessed with both reading people and with nightlife. Instead of making peace with what happened to Josh, Jay would rather bury his past and distract himself with simple pleasures. As Jay reconnects with Braden who claims that he's the only family Jay has left, we find that Jay may be willing to pick up where he and Braden left off while in pursuit of their dream.

Have you coped with a loss? If so, what helped?