So far away
Saturday, January 05, 2008, 6:35 PM
I live in Los Angeles (I always type it as Angelos, though, and think uh, no, that's not right) and it still amazes me that I live here. I see so many movies that make me sit bolt upright in my chair and say, "Holy frick! I was there two months ago!" or "I was there just yesterday!" or "Stupid people, it's not even 8:00 yet and you're not going to let me enter the place where I goddamn work?"
Yeah. A few months ago, I was not allowed to enter the building where I work because they were filming a car commercial. I forget if it was Nissan, Lexus or BMW. All I know is that I felt a spark of white-hot anger that I was being stopped from entering a building I routinely entered by a bunch of-of-of guys in jeans and sunglasses. God, if it's anything I dislike, it's someone wearing sunglasses and looking impossibly impassive. Makes my hackles rise. Makes me want to play like I'm Greek and spit on their feet. Only I don't, because I'm not made that way--too damn chicken.
Anyway, I saw the car commerical on TV one night and shouted at the TV: "Hey! Those are the idiot people who made me walk halfway around the building and made me late for work. Ucker-fays."
Stupid, so stupid. But I can't quell that zing inside that makes me go badda-bing, I stood there, I glared at those people, I was inconvenienced, I work there.
You know the movie Judge Dredd with Sly Stallone? Parts of it were filmed where I work now. Only I didn't discover that until about six months or so ago, compliments of TNT. We know drama.
Yeah. More than they know.
It's calm in Los Angeles now. We had a flood warning last night because it was raining cats, dogs and ant eaters, and L.A. isn't properly prepared for rain. Water was two inches high at the intersections, and my ankles got drenched on the walk home. But it made me smile nonetheless because a little rain and cool weather (mid-fifties, which ain't nuthin' to the mid-west) doesn't phase a Hoosier Girl who once cowered in a bathtub during a tornado watch.
I welcome inclement weather because there's all too little of it in Los Angeles. Who'da thunk I'd get sick of sunny day after sunny day?
The real threat of L.A. is traffic. Hot-headed people with full bladders, empty tummies, and headaches, trapped in steel cages on ribbons of cement. I don't envy 'em, and I don't want to be anywhere near them, either.
The other threat of L.A. is a person's shell. How you look. How you dress. What kind of shoes you wear. This was driven home to me when I went back to Indiana last week. Back there, I felt pretty and young, at the top of my game. It was cold as hell, there were no leaves on the trees, and the clouds hid the sun, but I didn't feel invisible.
But for now I live in L.A., and I can't help but feel a sense of kinship when I recognize a piece of the landscape in a movie. It makes me nod and smile, and reminds me of how far I've come, something I forget too often.