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Courtney's California Dreams
March 6, 2014
9:05 pm

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Courtney, age 25, dreamed of being in San Francisco, rather being stuck in the midwest during another frozen midwestern winter. It was January, 2012 and the new year wasn't going well, at all. Her family members went from one drama to the next, which made the icy snow and bitter cold of the midwestern winter that much harder to bear. Right now, Courtney was looking up at a sky full of January stars, while meanwhile a family member's mental health crisis unfolded around her. 

Courtney stood outside in the hospital parking lot, on the January night. Why was she here? She wondered. She did not want to be here. This was not about her. It was about her sister. But somehow her family members had gotten her to come deal with trying to get her sister mental help. Her younger sister Beverley, in her early twenties, did not want mental help, and though she got into a family member's car and came to the hospital, now she would not go into the hospital despite the staff's attempts to convince her. Beverley stood in the darkened parking lot by the entrance to the hospital, very stubborn. 

''Is this worth the drama''? Courtney thought. Yes, Beverley surely needed mental help, and yes, she was disruptive to live with, but still. Courtney just wanted to go home and go to bed. It was too cold to stand out in a parking lot in January. Maybe they should take Beverley home and forget this, for now. Finally, as the minutes passed Courtney started to wish more and more that she wasn't there, in this hospital parking lot, in January.

Courtney looked up at the stars, frozen in the cold sky, above. She looked harder, wishing she could find a star to wish on, about her dreams of going to live in San Francisco. She wanted to wish on a star, in the January night. Courtney stared up at the stars and ''I'm going to San Francisco and I'm going to get away from this drama'', repeated in her head over and over. She took one last look at the black sky and then looked down.

Courtney looked around her. Oh great. She saw police cars pulling up. The hospital had said they were going to call the police to help convince her sister to get mental help. "The police? This night is going downhill fast'', thought Courtney. 

Where did Courtney's dreams of going to San Francisco come from? They had begun on a autumn day, in 2010. Courtney's new online friend from California, DD, had mentioned her name on twitter, tweeted along with a photograph of a California landscape, ''For Courtney, with Love, Wish you were here''. Courtney, reading the tweet on her phone while sitting the car somewhere, looked up at world around her, and thought ''If only''. She wanted to be with DD, near San Francisco, so much. DD, in his mind, though he barely knew her, wanted her, there, too. So why was it January, 2012 and why was she still in the midwest and not in California? Courtney really didn't know. 

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