Well that was a bust.
What a miserable place. There’s dust everywhere it seems, as if someone had shaken carpets off at everywhere they couldn’t find garbage. And then these two things have saturated the air, and sticks to your skin as you walk around in the sun, gasping for breath. The closer you are to the center, the browner the air gets. I’m frightened to see the rain, if it ever does (judging by the men, it rains hair gel). It’s a town without a well, and I had to stop into the nearest gas station to get a water bottle which I constantly refilled every chance I got. I lost count after eight, as I was in a hydration delerium, and it still felt insufficient. It was like I needed a shower once I stepped outside. If a man becomes accustomed to this sort of air, I do not want to know the conditions of the rest of his life that makes it acceptable. The air in downtown Los Angeles is like standing behind the exhaust grate of a bus perpetually leaving the curb.
I decided to go to a bar, a modest proposal. Regarding the citizens’ modest amount of positives, their adherence to modesty was itself quite modest. It’s like being a snob because you have more trash than the next person. There were large amounts of fat people walking around in jerseys or wife-beaters or long white shirts that drop to their knees, their waist misplaced by about a foot. What’s more, the most exotic thing they had on tap was Heineken.
On the streets, the bikers have a death wish as they white-line at well over 45 miles an hour in stopped traffic, and right past cops; I question the ramifications of these bikers colliding with a car door accidentally ajar. Encountering one of these is like a freight train sneaking up on a deaf person, and the first one almost made me jump into the passenger seat.
The hotel was done right, with a bed that can only be described as plush and white. But this hardly consoled me, as every few hours, I heard an ambulance or fire truck go by. Are there really so many needed in the downtown area? I enjoyed the exercise room, and the reception area, but I’ve always liked the accommodation of accommodations.
I rented a car and drove around a little. Every part of this city looked the same, like the part that gets you by between attractions, or parts worth visiting. It’s all little shut down stores, obnoxiously wide streets in the center or alleyways elsewhere. I didn’t know suburbs could conglomerate until I came here, or that there was a place in the world where there was nowhere to go in public and enjoy oneself. There are more than 15 million people in the metropolitan area, and there’s not a single place I could find that felt public or shared. It’s like there’s no community here at all. I’ve finally found the epicenter of plastic in the world, and it’s Los Angeles. If there is a God that rules all the things that are good and fun and pleasurable in this world as we perceive them today, Los Angeles is his Gomorrah. What’s worse, it goes on and on and on, seemingly to infinity. So does my home city, but 1) we don’t waste space, cause we didn’t go to the desert and leech off of San Francisco, and 2) there is an undeniable sense of class that permeates the buildings, the streets, even the slums. I couldn’t wait to go back, which is definitely counter-productive. If this is California, they can keep it.
Great food though.
I hadn’t even realized that there was virtually no public transportation until I was back and underground. LA is definitely not suitable, and I had no intention to even attempt the people there. Admittedly, I didn’t miss the hipsters while I was gone, but I think this is the only time I preferred seeing a 1920’s mustache and off-kilter tattoos halfway up an arm and a vest/striped pant combo riding a fixie down the street. It’s amazing the different looks a fedora can accommodate, both for evil and lesser-evil.
I must admit I had some adolescent giddiness in me as I left on Friday morning, and coming home Monday night seemed like a disaster, even after a fairly uneventful seven hour flight. I think this sort of thing is what wives are for. At work, the last assignment is as done as it’s going to get (without the posturing, but that’s not our business), and since Donovan is plenty wise, I had no voicemails when I returned to my cell. That was a strange occurrence.
It’s then that it occurred to me that if no one calls me, I have no one to call. With California falling through, it was enough to drive me back onto this blog (no offense). But there’s really no doubt that I’m getting out of here. It’s almost like a panic driving me, some sort of wild fire chasing me wherever I go, keeping me on the run. Which is ironic, cause I haven’t gone running in several days. No fat around the midsection yet, and I’m tempted to just push it.
They say it’s difficult to switch careers at my age, but they never met me.
There are supposed to be some great bands playing all up and down the west side of the island tonight, and all through the week for CMJ. I’m going to get off at Houston station and check out S.O.B.’s and wander when I get bored after a sangria or two. Goodbye.