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My Dearest Freeway Five,

Having spent most of my life in New York City, I have never truly known someone like you. But I came out here for new and exciting experiences, and boy am I glad our paths crossed. You are a fresh breath of air (you know...except for all the pollution) and I have cherished out time together.

You were the first to welcome me when I arrived in San Diego with your wide, open, forever-stretching arms. We explored San Diego together. With the finesse of a veteran tour guide, you brought me to Encinitas and Carlsbad and Oceanside. You waited patiently as I frolicked on the beach and played in the water. You took me to baseball games and concerts and restaurants. We even took a trip together up to LA. You were always there- stronger that I could ever be for you. The one time I was in serious trouble, you even lent me a shoulder.

Among all of my new friends, I have spent the most time with you and I feel I know you better than anyone else. By now, I have internalized your each and every curve. I have studied the gentle contours of your body like a map. I know every crest, every feature, every imperfection. Like everyone else, you have your rhythms and your moods. In the mornings, kissed by the warm San Diego sun, you are almost always so smooth and understanding. We listen to KPBS together. We enjoy the sunrise. Our time together is short but sweet. In the evenings you are often less forgiving, and these times are often rocky and tumultuous. Perhaps it is because you've had a long day of work. I hate those days when you feel everyone is riding you. Or perhaps it is simply because you don't want to let me go. I may voice some frustration, but I get it. I get you.

I like that I can be myself around you. I can sing like no one's watching. I can share with you my troubles of the day. Minutes, hours and days pass effortlessly (usually). We have good times without the aid of alcohol. A good soundtrack, some sunshine and each other are all we need.

I don't like that I have to share you with so many others, but I understand I don't deserve to keep your magnificence all to myself. I must admit though, that when I see you with so many others, I've wandered astray myself....sometimes to the 101, and other times to the 15. But you do not mind these indiscretions, for you know I will always come back to you.

As fierce as these feelings are now, I've come to terms that this relationship will not stand the test of time. My heart ultimately lies where you cannot take me. As a bullet seeks its target, my heart's arrow is aimed at Times Square, and the network of trains that tremble below its streets. You have not noticed, I hope, but I still keep my metrocard in my wallet- tucked just beneath my driver's license. I have not been fair to you. I have been lying about who I really am- and that's a straphanger.

There will come a day when I drive back east with my life in tow. As you were the first to greet me, I know you will also be the last to see me off. I will look back at you through my rear-view mirror as I will look back at our memories together- with tremendous fondness. I've felt a deep roster of emotions while with you- joy, excitement, exhilaration, freedom, frustration, jealously, and at times, fright (usually when it's raining). You have been everything I was looking for when I came out to California. To me, you will have defined my experience as a San Diegan.

Yours in the fast lane, Terence

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