Now Officially a Citizen of Oz

by Sandra

I put my California tags on my car today. It felt strange, oh so strange — I can’t really say why, it feels as if I’ve crossed some sort of line. Like I’m really Californian — I’m one of those “one in five Americans who live in California,” that’s me. I can no longer make the excuse of “I’m from Oregon” when I do one of any number of illegal things on the road.

Refusing to get California tags before now, before it was a necessity, was always a way to keep myself distant and unattached to this place. Sure, Los Angeles, I live there, but it’s not where I’m from. I know deep down there isn’t any point getting so worked up over it — Los Angeles is just another place, and from an eternal perspective, it’s all just temporary anyway. I’m a citizen of heaven, and no matter where I tread the earth, it’s all still “home away from home.” Still, it’s an instinct hard to shake for someone whose entire familial identity is wrapped up in place — place becomes important.

I haven’t philosophized any further really, except to say that I’ve always thought that the maroon color of my Honda coordinated with the calming blue sky and Evergreens of the Oregon plates better than the utilitarian white, blue and red of the California ones.¬† Alas.