Los Angeles at a Glance
No one knows where Los Angeles begins or ends. They did once but not anymore. It spreads out in so many directions north south east and west stopped only by the sea and then barely, that there is no obvious boundary. It is like the universe only dirtier and with much less order. There will be heat death for Los Angeles someday, but it will be ugly getting there. The ocean stops the city but when it does the leavings of masses mixes with the surf and while yeah, the reason the foam at Santa Monica is brown may have something to do with churn and rainwater, but you’re never really sure. There’s forever a nagging. Is it or isn’t it shit I’m swimming in? Whose is it and what are they infected with?
The east. Desert spattered with mini-malls and settlements gives way to something called “Upland,” although it is not clear what it is up land of. Up land of more land which is bleak and waterless, sandy and shifting both in its architecture and population. Lots of Latino immigrants have settled in Upland; they don’t mind the heat so much but the boredom gets to them as they work at fast food joints serving people driving to better or at least more exciting places burgers and burritos and send them on their way. Go away Gringo. We’ve got to get back to the hopelessness and meth labs, the first is always waiting—it ain’t going to go anywhere-- but the second tend to explode and burn down if you don’t keep an eye on them.
San Diego used to be south of Los Angeles but it has lost its autonomy and bled in. It likes to imagine it is the other way around, that it has bled into LA but San Diego has never had much of a sense of self despite what T. Jefferson Parker says. San Diego is real estate developed and yanked from under the indigenous population because it is too nice for the likes of them. Bushy blond hairdo’s and hot rods disappeared a long time ago. There are dolphins living in tanks now in San Diego. One of them is going to jump out and go splat on the tarmac one of these days. It has happened before elsewhere and it will happen again but very few people know about it. It’s a secret.
I live in Encino south of “the boulevard.” “The boulevard” is Ventura and to live south of it is a big deal. Everyone wants to live south of the boulevard since that means you’ve got dough except in my case. In my case it means I fell on the charity of an old friend or maybe he needed the dough and fell on mine. Either way it’s a kind of an impaling on chenielle and as you wake to the leaf blowers and middle easterners with black- tinted windows on high-end sports cars careening around the curve and down the hill, it kind of make you wonder in general about the things people crave.
My neighborhood is Jewish. There are conservative Jews, Orthodox Jews, regular Jews, non-observant Jews and Jews who switch off Monday, Wednesday, Friday and alternating Saturdays. There are kosher, non-kosher, short, tall, bearded, clean-shaven, men, women, and children Jews. Many of them wear yarmulkas on Friday night and Saturday too. I haven’t quite figured that one out yet but there’s a reason they have 2 Sundays. Of course like the rest of us, some of them have no Sunday at all.
You cannot go to the bathroom in Los Angeles without getting on a freeway. Cars are a religion here and people act all kinds of ways they wouldn’t ordinarily when they are in their cars. With a car you’ve got loads of metal, plastic, and tinted windows around you and you can act any old way you want to. If you get really mad you can crash into someone. Of course most of the time it suffices to bully them, sidle up alongside and say mean stuff, intimidate them by acting aggressive and or crazy. You can say things with your car you’d never have the guts to say ordinarily. Leaning on your horn screaming “get the fuck out of the way. My needs are a hundred times more important than yours are and even if they aren’t, fuck you anyway.” There is a lot of fuck youing going on from the inside of cars. Fuck youing nobody’d have the balls for if not for the metal, plastic and tinted windows.
But the fuck youing isn’t the worst thing emanating from the interior of cars in the City of the Angels. The worst thing is the “I don’t give a fuck if you live or die because I’m busy texting. If I don’t tell my best friend lol right now, some kind of bad electrical impulse is going to go off in my brain and I’m going to have to eat a quart of Haggen Daas when I get home. Wtf?” Text messaging monkeys are worse than fuck youing monkeys since at least the fuck youers have self-interest going for them. They may act like they want to run into you but they don’t since it would damage their armor and get their insurance rates hiked. The texters, which includes the yappers just for convenience’s sake, are in the grips of advanced addiction and while if they do run into another car or a pedestrian they won’t much like it, what they like and don’t like has nothing to do with anything. They are compelled. Compulsion is a dangerous thing.
Well, that is all for now. Some Angelinos will read this and like, totally go, “Wow! What a negative Nellie!” I will address this phenomenon in the next installment, “The Law of Attraction, Pathological Narcissism, and Basalt.”