One Year Away from 30: Willow and Oz Reunited in San Francisco, CA

Chapter One: Oz

San Francisco, California, in 2010

I haven't been to San Francisco in years, but I love this city. It seems like the perfect place to get a fresh start, which is exactly what I need right now. I've found the perfect place to live, between The Mission and Noe Valley. This Mission has an alternative, eclectic vibe about it that I like. Noe Valley is full of hills, bookshops, and coffee shops with good music. How can I go wrong here? Maybe I can even get another band together here. If there's any region of the country where a dude who's one year away from 30 can get a band together, it's the West Coast, Left Coast.

Tibet didn't work out the way I had hoped, when it was all said and done, but the later years calmed down the werewolf in me. And that year in Seattle, well, that's a year I would rather forget. It's time for me to move on.

It's ironic that sometimes, to move forward, we have to go back to where it all started. I'm back in my home state, where I first started morphing into a werewolf and my life "got flipped, turned upside down", as Will Smith rapped when I was a kid in elementary school. But at least I'm in a different part of the state this time, which is good, because I sure as hell don't want to live in LA, and I'm not sure I'm ready to see the huge hole in the ground that was once my hometown of Sunnydale, California. Having my high school attacked by hell creatures and burned to the ground is not an experience I enjoy remembering. But, then again, most of us have memories of high school that suck.

But there was one good part of high school and my few early college days that was good. Well, one person to be exact—Willow. How fitting that my first true love has a name from one of my favorite books from childhood, The Wind in the Willows. Yeah, I know it might be dumb of me to think I can rekindle things with my first love from just over a decade ago, especially since I know she's taken a few trips down lady lover lane since then. But I have to try. We've taken chances on each other before, so why not do it again? Plus, most of us have that someone, that person who might have worked out if one or two things had been different. If I try and it doesn't work out this time, I'll know without a doubt that it's because we weren't meant to be together as romantic partners, rather than circumstances gone awry.

Of course, reaching out to Willow means reopening old wounds from my past. But some wounds need to be tended to and re-dressed, even years later, if they're going to fully heal.

So yes, I have her number, and yes, I'm going to call her. I just need to take a few deep breaths first.