Tuesday, November 09, 2010

That strange deluded calm

I’m staying at this gorgeous place in LA—the key is the garden, oh my the garden! It’s like you could be anywhere, maybe not even in LA except my nostrils are closing from something in the air, I mean the air. And these cushy lean-back chairs, I need to get one of these for Santa Fe. But I think the stove is leaking, I keep smelling gas, even over by the bed with the windows open. But then I’m outside, and I smell the gas again – at first I start thinking maybe there’s a leak in the whole neighborhood, but then I remember wait, I’m in LA – that’s the air.

I go outside for a walk, and it’s almost like high elevation the way I’m out of breath almost right away, but that’s just the pollution. Still, I look in the distance – mountains? Where are those mountains? Maybe that’s Griffith Park. I look to the side—those tall skinny palm trees growing diagonally. All these big houses, many of them not particularly fancy but not particularly rundown either. Birds of paradise growing out on the street. Each time I come to LA, I get closer to understanding the allure. I’m in the center of one of the largest and certainly most polluted cities in this country, the center of so much industry and striving, but there’s that strange deluded calm you get when you walk around outside in the sun and everything is growing and you can hear the wind blowing through the trees. Then there’s the highway up ahead, cars stopped for miles even though it’s noon, I think I better turn around.

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