It’s a quiet evening in the apartment. I didn’t turn my fan on—my white-noise maker that envelopes all the creaking and clomping of this noisy and rattling apartment building. So, it’s very quiet without its hum or roomies or music. Whoever lives on my ceiling just got home, with a step two three four up the stairs, the dull push and thud of a front door, and a thump creak across the floor above me. I don’t mind it, right now. I usually do, I suppose (hence the fan) but now I don’t mind it. It’s human background noise, soft feet and hard dishes.
I spent the day driving, and have arrived to this 10 p.m., four hours on the road later (typical Wednesday), with the conclusion that this city is ridiculous. I tried a new route to a 3:30 appointment—quicker! easier! it seemed in the haze of 60 mph on the 10—and ended up stuck on the 405 and twenty minutes late and over-stressed to be so late. I didn’t learn my lesson and two hours later, giddy for new route day, took Sunset east instead of Wilshire for a 7 p.m. appointment in Westwood. I could have walked there faster than I drove.
It’s so cliche L.A., to complain about traffic. So cliche, and so defended and ridiculed. Why do people live like this? As I was having my nervous breakdown on Sunset—around the time that a gaggle of pedestrians blew by me—the Escalade in the opposing lane nudged (or ran into) the car in front of it. It was less a rear-ending than a man easing up on the break peddle too eagerly, and then he swore and ran his fingers through his hair and was hating life. What a weird city, entrenched in this way of life, sitting in gridlock. But then we get home, or we get where we’re going, and it’s okay, it’s doable: it’s sunny and beautiful! And… it is. Yesterday, I had a two hour lunch break, so I ran from the Santa Monica pier to the Venice pier. Bright ocean, bright sand, and this is the reason for Los Angeles. It’s a different world over there, meandering and pedestrian along a boardwalk. But… that isn’t the LA most live, and when I finished my run, I found a parking ticket tucked under my window wiper.