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the best thing about us is the people we know.
 

Selma and Cahuenga || Tuesday, 4.20pm

It's 4.20. I've circled the block of Selma and Cahuenga for twenty minutes and finally settled on a parking spot...or, rather, been chosen by the parking gods to receive the benison of a parking spot in West Hollywood.

Despite the flaring pain of my sciatic nerve, I find myself loath to leave my car behind, because I just saw the movie Drive, which indicates that people in this town do whatever the hell they want.

Leaving is never not hard. I know from experience that it's a good thing. And it seems I've evolved enough to realize better the modes and degrees of leaving. Leaving my parents is a little issue--we'll talk, I tell them, and Skype and FaceTime and whatever. It will be just the same as it's been, except I won't be napping on the couch on Sundays.

But then I try to explain to my brother how much I will miss him, and I feel as if I'm reaching into a meat grinder.

That's the difference, whatever it's made of, whatever it means.

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Women here look so beautiful and hard.

I kind of envy them, and kind of don't.

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Whenever I drive into L.A., I wonder at the ubiquity of advertising. Doesn't it dull the effect, at a certain point, to have so many billboards, so many murals, so many ads on the sides of busses?

  •  "You can't say 'Swiss' without a Smile!"
  • "The Finest in Cutting Tools."
  • "Es Miller Time."

Everybody is constantly being told that everything is the best...how do they know what to buy?

By the time I claim a table at Caffe, Etc., my capacity for trust is burned out from sheer overwork, and I suspect every smile I encounter.

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I came here first--meaning this particular caffe--because, as a result of the people I interviewed, and the people I interviewed them for, it feels like a harbor of good memories. In other words, like home.

As close to one as I can hope for, in L.A.

"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread."

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On the docket:

  • Catch up with Kim, my fine artist friend from long ago.
  • Interview the fabulous Leslie.
  • Find some sort of theme for the L.A. travel article, culminating (I hope) in a visit to the Brown Derby. Where (I hope) one can still find something that resembles the penultimate scene in Swingers.
  • Meet up with Vincent.
  • And some kind of to-do in Pasadena. But that's ages from now. Like, at least three days.