I had a goldmine of a music referral friend once upon a time. He was an HR colleague of mine from England and had plenty of stories about how he hung out with these huge British bands I adored. He traveled to the US to compete for rugby in the 90s and him and his friends got some girls to believe they were the EMF boys (true? not true? who knows).

I enjoyed swapping cds with him and trying to get him interested in ska at the time (never happened) and he tried to talk me into loving Carter USM (couldn't do it). Although we had some rejected suggestions, my favorite find from the trades was that of The Beautiful South. It was gut-twistingly amazing vocals and musically curious to my ears. I couldn't stop listening until I knew the words to every song. Even though I was in a sappy romance high with Mike, even the sad heartbreak songs sounded magical to me. It was a former favorite band of his; he said they provided fond memories of his past. Knowing he had a wife and daughter, I still braved to ask him, "Who was she?"

All he replied with was this:

"Petra. She was the one that got away."

A brick fell in my stomach when I read that line. What perfect words to explain it. I wanted to know the story, to find out all about her and her ways and the butchering of the love. I wanted the romance novel of it, but professionally it would have been going too far. I left it at that and just kept listening to his broken hearted memories by piecing together the story; listening to the sounds bellowing into my ears from the English pop group.


California is going to be my Petra. It's slipping away from me too quickly. I am not done with it yet. Every sweet smelling blossom and fresh cut blade of grass, walking paths and grassy hills, tree-filled parks and summer breezes. These aromas and eye pleasing treats are a pleasure I will miss deeply. I have so many things I want to see and places to visit and not enough time. I fully plan on sending love letters to California with no return address. I wonder if the postman receiving them will read them and enjoy this splendid place a little more?