Saturday, August 27, 2005

Los Angeles, Home of the Taco

Monday had me on a plane from New York to Los Angeles. From the West Village to West Hollywood. From bagels to burritos. From literatti to paparazzi. East to West. You grasp the distinction, I'm sure. I came for a job. A job that I could have gotten in any city. But it was the leaving that was more important. I was leaving a bad relationship that had ceased being a relationship over a year ago which was exactly the point. I wasn't (am not) over it. And if 3,000 miles cannot put what is out of sight out of my bloody mind, I 'm quite sure I'm doomed. But not to give sole credit for a change of potentially life-altering significance to the individual who's had more than his fair share of alteration on my life already, I moved in [great] part to prove to myself that I am a person capable of taking risk. A quality which I have shown time and time again to be lacking. For the sake of illustration, follow me back to earlier years: I signed up with the PAL softball league when I was seven, approached the first practice, fully geared, mitt on hand, when, realizing the horror of my commitment, burst out in anguished tears and demanded to be taken home. At age eight, I joined the Brownies, marched the first day in uniform to the entrance of the school cafeteria, saw only an intimidating group of Jewish elementary school-age girls trying desperately in their shit brown suits for gentile standing through crafts, camping and medals earned for congeniality. And I cried again and hurried away in disgust at the Brownies' need for conformity and validation. If you believe that at eight I had such a deep comprehension of such things. Somewhere in the range of age nine, I completed a season of ice-skating lessons and, when the time came for the recital, would not step on the ice. (Yes, I was once more in full costume if you're the type that insists on seeing patterns in everything.) Between ten and eleven, I took Level 1 Ballet. Twice. I would not move on despite encouraging words from an otherwise discoraging Russian drill sergeant who liked to slap deirerres to instiitue proper stance in first position. And so on and so forth, such it was that I dwarfed my own growth, stopped my own living.

Cut to a good decade and a half later...me, degraded by an addiction to a bad relatinship, and moreover the inability to get over it a year after its cessation. Me, working for a fabulous magazine, noted for its edge in fashion and outstanding editorial, but of course not lending anything creative to the production, but rather working in Marketing, where the height of my creativity came with competitive pricing for a caterer for a shopping event. Me, living in an overpriced East Village closet amongst crackheads, styled kids with too much product in their hair and leather in their wardrobe, and mice. And so, for once, taking a risk--to move clear across the country in this instance--didn't seem all that scary. Because the state I was living in seemed just a tad scarier. So without giving myself time to choose the default, to essentially make no choice at all, I accepted a job I knew little about in a city where I knew very few people and with very minimal budget to do so with.

What do I think of LA, home of the taco, the Dodgers and Paris Hilton for the greater portion of her year? I think it's hollow. I think the disparity between the Mexican laborers and the 15 year old girls shopping at Fred Segal is disgusting. And I think that those 15 year old girls finding anything at Fred Segal tasteful even more disgusting. I think that everyone belongs to a gym, but yet won't walk two blocks to get to the next store is absurd. I think that the Hollywood Hills look like they're about to fall down and I hope I'm around to catch the piles of gold and rainfall of chihauhas that will surely fall out of them onto Melrose. I think that I already miss New York, where the people kniow their shit stinks and hot pink's not a prerequisite in the average wardrobe.

But I am determined to find my place in this City of Angels. Though if anyone's undeserving of the halo, it's me. I intend to find real friends amongst the hordes of bobbleheads shouting, And what do you do, How are you affiliated, What can you do for me? I want to sit on the Malibu beaches and think, This is why I came here. I'd like to make it through an earthquake and have the feeling that Angelinans must have that keeps them from gathering their children and their belongings and running clear across the country.

Los Angeles. If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.

4 comments:

Rowena said...

I once moved to a city where I knew not a soul and it was bloody terrifying. Props to you for taking the risk - I hope you find what you're looking for. I'll be back to check on you!

Los Angeles: a strange and unsober journey said...

Thanks Rowena! Deifinitely stop by again. Hopefully, I'll be a bit more acclamated soon.

SethJ said...

Hmmmm. Sounds like you're investing too much in the dream -nonexistent for most people- of what LA should be. What I loved about it, for my brief time there, is that you can make it whatever you want. Sunset Strip is a perfect example of the disparity between the different types of lives to be lived there. You sound like a cool girl, so I hope you realize if you try to follow a blueprint -no matter whose it is- for living in LA, you will fail. You gotta pick and choose from all that's there and make something unique.

Los Angeles: a strange and unsober journey said...

Agreed. I'm definitely looking to find my own path here. My way ususally does end up being a fairly unique one. :)