Next week I’ll take the 210 to the 2 to the 5 to the 110 to the 105 to the 1. Then, I’ll hop on a plane and head off for an almost three month festival of lucky-swine Alpine writing workshop followed by a slow paced mountain and/or continent conquering aimless wander. I am excited and humbled beyond expression at the particular path my life is currently following.
What I can articulate is an acute awareness of just how much a product of my environment I am. It takes a special place to nurture the intense level of fantastical self creation and belief required to become a disabled lady adventure writer.
A place that the entire planet mocks for its fierce commitment to solipsism. A place that acknowledges and owns that mockery. A place that embraces that mockery and proclaims in full on valley girl uptalk pride, ‘um… The reality I’ve created is, like, way better than your one anyways?’
Last weekend was spent saying a nostalgic farewell to friends and places that I don’t see nearly enough as it is. An afternoon drive past the Foot Clinic sign to determine which way the fates would have me go. The happy foot smiled down. Turned into dinner at a hipster pizza place so new they had us buy our own caguamas at the liquor store across the parking lot to be drunk on the down low. Our server provided mason jars and a wink. No liquor license yet. The evening somehow ended up in the Angeles Forest having a scrounged campfire and talking until three in the morning. In LA, no one is afraid of the elements. In my car, I had a light cardigan and knew I would be fine in the mountains. It’s May. It couldn’t possibly get colder that 60.
What is it about this place? Four million people live here all crushed up together. Each one struggling for space and sunlight enough to thrive. Somehow all we agree on is to leave each other alone beyond the eye contact and smile required when turning left on an arrow. Often, I find it overwhelming. However, in this companionable solitude a magnificent oddness creeps in.
The existence of a nothing-to-see-here storefront museum dedicated to a romantic eastern european and scientific recent history that may or may not be, at least partially true. Total commitment to the belief that the orientation of a podiatrists rotating sign can set your day spinning wildly out of control. Waning belief in the reality of rainfall. A place with a memory so short that it identifies anything occurring more than three months ago as history. As, ‘back in the day.’
This is the place I am from. These are the rules that I understand. I cannot wait for the summer. But every time I prepare to leave I am reminded of just how unlikely I am to make sense outside of my very specific context. Europe, I’m coming for you. You can call it what you want. Call it Magical Realism, but I’m bringing Los Angeles with me.