Millennials mill around a circle of chairs and a coffee station. They settle into seats and begin the weekly meeting of people whose friends have all moved to Los Angeles. This group is known as “We Have Yearning (for Those Who Moved to) Los Angeles” or WHYLA.

FACILITATOR KERRY: Good morning. Thank you all for coming—and for continuing to support one another as we pine for friends who have decamped for West Hollywood, Silver Lake, Culver City, or another area in LA for opportunities in the film industry, or simply because they like the sun. I say “area in LA” because I heard that some parts of LA are actually their own little cities, but they feel like neighborhoods, so I’m being vague because I don’t really understand.

VARIOUS GROUP MEMBERS: (overlapping) Me neither! Same!

FACILITATOR KERRY: Our guest speaker today is Jenny, who, as some of you know, has lost three friends to Los Angeles.

JENNY: Thank you, Kerry. My story begins three years ago, when my best friend moved to Los Angeles. To Los Feliz, specifically.

FACILITATOR KERRY: And for those of us just learning about Los Angeles and want to understand it, is Los Feliz a neighborhood within Los Angeles? Or a city within the big Los Angeles city?

JENNY: Actually, I don’t know. (Tearing up) I don’t even know what type of municipality my friend lives in now. But that’s okay. She’s in someplace called Los Feliz—that I know. And I have her address—sometimes I send her stickers in the mail. After she moved, I was like, “Okay, I have other buddies around.” But a year later, two other friends moved to a place in LA called Echo Park. Then last week, a work friend told me they looked on Zillow at bungalows in Highland Park. I know better than to ask where that is. It will not make sense to me.

(Many mournful headshakes in the group.)

JENNY: They said they were only browsing, but who knows? Part of me thinks, maybe I can make new friends. But making new friends is hard, and I like being at home, watching Megastars and Meltdowns in my pajamas.

(Solemn nods all around.)

JENNY: When I’m lonely, I think of what we say here at WHYLA: “Livin’ in LA, but still in our hearts, and we can talk on FaceTime.” That keeps me going.

FACILITATOR KERRY: Thank you, Jenny. Who would like to respond?

ADAM: Jenny’s share resonates. Over the last five years, four friends have relocated to Pasadena. I miss them.

LUCY: Pasadena is an LA neighborhood, right? I’ve heard of it.

ADAM: I think it’s a city inside LA, like two cities on top of each other.

FACILITATOR KERRY: Layers of city—interesting. Continue.

ADAM: Well, I try to talk with these friends on the phone, but the time difference makes scheduling difficult. When I’m eating dinner, they’re finishing up work, and it’s too much. I can’t.

FACILITATOR KERRY: I know some of us visit friends in Los Angeles. That can help us cope with this sense of longing.

LUCY: I’ve done that. But when I’m in LA, I have to wear sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. I can see wearing two of those things, but all three? Also, when my hat bumps into the sunglasses, I feel irritated.

ADAM: When I visited last summer, we tried going to a bagel store. It was only open Wednesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and therefore not open when I wanted to go.

JENNY: Unfortunately, I have let my driving skills atrophy, so when I visit LA, I have to take Lyfts everywhere. That adds up.

(Fervent nodding all around.)

FACILITATOR KERRY: To ease visits to Los Angeles, some of us in WHYLA who also no longer remember how to drive have opened ourselves to the idea of driving lessons.

JENNY: I am closed to that idea.

LESLIE: Maybe our friends will move back?

LUCY: No one moves away from Los Angeles. They only move to Los Angeles.

JENNY: Because the weather is always nice and everyone is relaxed and the produce is fresh.

ADAM: I heard that Los Angeles actually has some nice museums.

(Appreciative murmurs in the group.)

ADAM: You know, I have nothing keeping me here. I work remotely. All my friends live in LA.

LUCY: (whispers) Same. Maybe I should move there.

JENNY: (hesitates) I think you’re right.

LESLIE: Me too!

LUCY: (looks up from phone) I’m in. I just quit my job.

(Despair throughout the group.)

FACILITATOR KERRY: It seems we’re experiencing another loss. The call of Los Angeles is strong, but remember, those of us who remain are here for one another. Let’s adjourn. Hopefully, we’ll see at least a few of you next week.