The Mamas and the Papas sang their share of California Dreamin’. But baby boomer Laurey Boyd doesn’t just sing it, she lives it … in her mind!
I am a Texan.
That sounds like something one says at an AA meeting. I only say it because 1) It’s true; it’s in my DNA. And 2) I am in every way a native Texan: born in Dallas, the right place to be born; living just north of Austin, the best place to live, and colleged in east Texas, but we won’t go there.
So why am I perpetually in love with California?
I’ve never been there. I’ve only known it through television and movies. Still, I am hopelessly devoted to my imaginative ideal of the perfect spot on earth.
For one thing, I don’t think that anyone really works there. Oh, I know they make huge incomes to support wildly expensive houses furnished in large white upholstered furniture. I know they drive for hours from their stately pleasure domes to get across town to engage in creative brainstorming sessions from which they make the millions of dollars that fund the stately pleasuredomes.
And occasionally, they jump in the Tesla with their Chihuahua and head off for some beach-like spa to purge themselves of any negativity, just to be safe.
From whence did I conceive this vision of heaven on earth? From every media biometric I’ve ever been exposed to my entire life. I am essentially Malcolm McDowell in “A Clockwork Orange,” eyes clamped open as my optic nerve takes in beatific scene after beatific scene of beautiful people living life against thebackdrop of an azure Pacific coastline. Why am I not there?
But reality does set in.
The same medium that brainwashed me has now set me on a path toward detox. I was innocently viewing a (what else?) program on staging outrageously expensive California homes so their owners could sell them for outrageous prices. I was happily enjoying the seduction when a certain wave of thought began to surface in my consciousness. As it reached the shore of my prescience, it sounded something like this: this is ALL staged. Yes, it’s beautiful. Sure, it would be cool to live there maybe, but something tells me I’m being had. This is the ultimate shell game and I’ve been a rube. Only my Texas groundedness has saved me.
I fear I would get there and the whole thing would turn out to be a one-dimensional Potemkin Village luring me in only to leave me singing, “Do you know the way to San Jose?”
I think I’ll stay put for now. Hopefully, this part of Texas will not look like “The Last Picture Show.” Even emigrant Californians seem to like it here. Perhaps one of them will buy my small hacienda for a small fortune.
If so, I will take the proceeds and drive headlong toward the Pacific. The brainwashed mind is a terrible thing to waste.