"I laughed with him.... but it would be a long while before I would come to understand the particular moral of the story. It would be a long while because, quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean 'love' in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and never love anyone quite that way again.
... this was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake every word, all of it.
Some years passed, but I still did not lose that sense of wonder about New York. I began to cherish the loneliness of it, the sense that at any given time no one need nkow where I was or what I was doing.
You will have perceived by now that I was not one to profit by the experience of others, hat it was a very long time indeed before I stopped believing in new faces and began to understand the lesson in that story, which was that it is distinctly possible to stay too long at the Fair.
I could not tell you when I began to understand all that. All I know is that it was very bad when I was twenty-eight. Everything that was said to me I seemed to have heard before, and I could no longer listen. I could no longer sit in little bars near Grand Central and listen... I no longer had any interest about people I would like very much if only I would come out and meet them.I had already met them, always. ... I hurt the people I cared about, and insulted those I did not. ... I cried until I was not even aware when I was crying and when I was not, cried in elevators and in taxis and in Chinese laundries, and when I went to the doctor he said only that I seemed to be depressed, and should see a "specialist." He wrote down a psychiatrist's name and address for me, but I did not go.
I talk about how difficult it would be for us to 'afford' to live in New York right now, about how much "space" we need. All I mean is that I was very young in New York, and that at some point the golden rhythm was broken, and I am not that young anymore.
There were years when I called Los Angeles 'The Coast,' but they seem a long time ago."
— Goodbye to All That (Joan Didion, 1967)