The Little Bear

Today I was invited for a hike and some brunch. The e-mail read “meet at the little bear statue at 10am.” I was concerned with being a self-reliant Angeleno so I googled “Griffith Park little bear” and then drove to the statue for a dry run yesterday. I couldn’t stand the thought of e-mailing: “Um, where is the little bear?” I’ve been in Los Angeles for a month. Maybe they’d prefer I say I’ve been here for one moon cycle. Certainly one full cycle of culture shock. I was in love with it, then I found myself asking a friend to say “You didn’t make a mistake, Bridge,” out loud to me.

You know those ocean waves you think aren’t going to be that big so you try to dive over them but get sucked under and think “Fuck, I didn’t suck in enough air for this?” That was my third week here. I moved here practicing exceptionalism, one of my flaws. My desire to be a sunny LA actor was colliding with the reality of my lifestyle. A few meetings I thought would alter things, didn’t. I’d likely have joined a cult for companionship if it wasn’t for Kate Hess and Andy Secunda. They’ve shown me the pizza parlors, movie lots, smoothie bars, and fake snow pavilions that I needed to return to feeling exceptional.

On Saturday, I felt like I belonged. Like some layer of unsettled cells had been sloughed off. I felt grateful and content. I had been going to sleep at 9:30pm with sad frequency but on Saturday I had plans to go to a party AND an after-party.

Now the places that used to be where I got lost are familiar. The bend in the road where I almost went to Pasadena is now just another palm-lined zone for me to zoom by, screaming Bruno Mars lyrics. I’m still strutting around going, wow, this person at the ATM has no idea that this is my first time at an ATM in California or look at me here, buying pecans! But now I know which yoga studio’s blocks and bolsters are always moist. (That’s a bad thing). I know which “Japanese market” in Little Tokyo is actually Korean. I know what a Freeway is. I know which shows I ought to show up at if I want to book ’em. I know which boys want to go on actual dates and which just want to kiss someone new to town. I know how to pretend I am just getting out of a serious relationship and really just can’t, thank you for understanding. I found an arthouse cinema and am volunteering for them so I can see as many documentaries on the Silver Sixties as I desire. I’m picking it the fuck up.

This morning I made it to the Little Bear statue. I made it and I even told this fancy Angeleno something they didn’t know! I told him his car, a Scion, meant “one who will be king.” I’m gonna run this town. Or at least, I’ll last for one more moon.

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